To improve agility and balance in modern soccer, often are used the soccer poles. Agility in soccer is the ability to quickly change the direction of movement, with or without the ball. And soccer is a dynamic game, and whether with the ball or without, while defending or attacking, a player needs to be able to quickly change the direction and avoid an obstacle which also occupies a certain vertical space. For practices which simulate such condition and improve agility, training poles are irreplaceable.
Net World Sports
And whether you are a youth or senior player, or a coach, they are a tool in your arsenal you must-have, especially in modern soccer where physicality and movement off the ball are the kings.
Soccer Poles Reviews
All soccer poles serve more or less the same function, to be an obstacle around or past which a player needs to run with or without the ball. But, many offer some additional functionality or features that set them from the crowd. This is a list of the best poles available online. The short reviews describe their strengths, which should help you pick the ones that best suit your needs.
Kwik Goal Coaching Sticks
Kwik Goal’s Coaching Sticks are in its own right, just plain simple soccer agility poles. They are 60 inches high and one inch wide, with a sturdy steel base and five inches long peg for securing them in the ground. Because of this, they can be used only on the natural firm ground fields. If you need poles for artificial turfs, these are not appropriate. They are made of UV and impact resistant PVC plastic and come in five different colors, yellow, orange, red, green, and blue.
While they are just plain old soccer training poles, their functionality can be extended with separately purchasable Coaching Stick Hurdles. Unfortunately, they come without a carry bag, and one is not available for purchase either. This makes transporting them rather cumbersome unless you can store them close to the training pitch. Coaching Sticks come in packs of six and with a lifetime warranty, which does come with a bit higher price. Some buyers report that these bends too easy, but my experience is that if you do not use them as soccer goal pole, they will last you a long time.
- High durability
- Lifetime warranty
- No carry bag
Net World Sports Spring
Net World Sports is the company owner of the FORZA brand, and while these agility poles are not sold under the FORZA brand, you will get the FORCA quality product. They are a very similar product to Kwik Goal Coaching Sticks but have some useful additions. The first noticeable difference is that they are springloaded. The stick is connected to a steel base with a sturdy spring, which in case of hit bends and thus absorbs the impact. This is a feature that prolongs their life and also prevents injuries and preventing them from upturn when hit accidentally.
These poles come in packs of 8 or 16, which is the most generous number on this list. They are intended for use on natural grounds, but separately can be purchased a base, which makes them usable on the artificial turfs also. Steel pikes used for securing them in the ground are powder-coated, which prolongs their life. They also have sturdy plastic tips, which make them safer. Unfortunately, these suffer from the same issue as Kwik Goal Coaching Sticks. They do not come with a carry bag, but one can be purchased separately.
- Carry bag purchased separately
Uber Soccer Adjustable
If you need the ability to vary the length of the agility pole, these are an excellent choice. They are 40 inches long when collapsed and can be extended up to 72 inches. And come in a pack of 12. Just as the previous two models, these are also intended for use on the natural firm grounds. While Uber Soccer has other soccer pole models in their portfolio, for some reason, these are the only that can’t be used with their artificial turf rubber bases.
These have 5 inches long spikes, which make them very stable in the ground, but prevents from being inserted in the rubber base. Made of a very sturdy PVC plastic, they will last you. A bonus is that Uber Soccer has made the smart decision, and these poles come with a carry bag. The bag itself is made of sturdy nylon material, but the stitching of the zipper is not the best in the world. While this is not a flaw of the sticks, it is a flaw in the overall product.
- Come with a carry bag
- Don’t fit in the turf rubber bases
- Carry bag is low quality
Crown Sporting Goods 6
While previous models were designed for use on natural grounds, these are designed for any flat surface. Crown Sporting Goods’ soccer agility poles are not equipped with a steel pike for driving them in the field. Instead, they come with dense rubber bases with slots for inserting them. The poles are 63 inches long, and there are six of them in the pack. This is the fewest on my list, but fortunately, they are very affordable, and purchasing two packages will not break your bank.
The bases are 9 inches wide and very stable. They feature three holes for mounting the sticks. Central for a straight position, and two side holes for angled positions in opposite directions. Unfortunately, these poles do not come with a carry bag. While these are very good poles, they come with some quirks. Poles feature plastic caps on both ends, which for some reason, are not glued. So, gluing them yourself is advisable. Also, there is a bit of inconsistency in the manufacturing of the bases, and some users report that they can come with holes featuring different angles.
- Rubber all-surfaces bases
- No carry bag
QuickPlay PRO Speed + Agility
While QuickPlay PRO Agility Poles can be purchased separately, they are a much better product as part of this set. The central part of this set is ten 3 feet poles, which can be slotted into each other to create a 6 feet pole. But beside poles, part of it is 20 flexible slotted cones and five 10 feet bungee cords. The whole set dramatically expands on the functionality of the poles and sets you up for almost any agility and footwork drill you could think of. Additionally, the entire set comes in a practical carry bag.
The sticks are very thin, but very sturdy and a bit flexible, which increases their resilience. While cones feature horizontal wavy slots, for flexibility, they also have mounting holes for creating hurdles with poles. So you can create 4, 6, or 8 inches high hurdles. The bungee rope can be used, creating a 3 feet hurdle or an impromptu futnet net. The only drawback of this set is if you require more than five 6 feet poles, as buying two of these sets is not cheap.
- Equipment rich agility training set
SKLZ Pro Training
These are other telescoping soccer training poles on my list. But while Uber Soccer ones have one adjustable part, these have two. And can be set to either 24, 45, or 60 inches high. While all other poles featured a round shape, these are square. While it doesn’t impact their performance or quality, it makes some other SKLZ products usable only with them. These poles are primarily intended for use on the natural firm grounds, but you can separately purchase bases for use on the artificial turfs. Also, the 5-inch spikes are easily removable, which allows them to combine with other SKLZ Pro Training products.
You can combine them with the Pro Agility Cones to create 2, 6, or 9 inches high hurdles. Or with Agility Bands to create jump or duck obstacles. These poles come with not a very sturdy bag, and the removable spikes should be removed when carried, as there is a fair chance of ripping the bag. Also, because they are telescopic design, they are sturdy enough as agility poles. But using them as the goalposts is not recommended.
- Very portable
- Combine well with other SKLZ products
- Carry bag is not very sturdy
How to Choose the Best Soccer Poles
Not all soccer poles are created equal, and depending on your needs, you should be aware of some of their qualities and features. By having that knowledge, you can be sure that you will purchase the best poles for your needs.
Most of the poles are intended to be used on natural grounds. So they have steel spikes that vary in length between 4 and 5 inches. But this makes them unusable on artificial turfs, which are constructed from multiple layers that shouldn’t be punctured. But, many manufacturers separately offer rubber or similar bases that can be used on turfs. And some even provide poles already equipped with them.
Agility training poles usually do not require to be very durable. They are not intended to suffer kicks or impacts. But, they are among the most expensive training equipment, and you should demand a certain lifespan from them.
Most of the soccer poles are just sticks that mount in a stable position in some manner. But some manufacturers include various additional features that distinguish them from the competition. Most often, it is the ability to combine them with some other products, if not a straight inclusion in various agility training sets of poles and other equipment.
- What are soccer training poles used for?
Soccer or football is a sport in which the ability to change the direction of movement quickly is a very important physical skill. Whether with or without the ball. No matter whether you are a youth or senior player, you can always benefit from improving your agility. So, agility poles are an essential tool in the kit of any coach, and even the youngest players can benefit from them. Also, if you are a professional or amateur player who wishes to hone their skills, agility is something you can train on your own. Thus, owning a set of poles can be very beneficial.
- How are they used?
As a part of many different drills, they are used to mark a place where you should change the direction of run, with or without the ball. As part of a slalom runs, and many others. They are also used in many other sports. In short, any sport in which agility and ability to avoid obstacles is important. Soccer, football, basketball are just some of them.
- How are they different from cones and markers?
Cones and markers are used in a similar fashion. But they, in a sense, provide only a horizontal obstacle, which can be easily jumped over. While poles also present a vertical obstacle, thus also improving the overall ability to keep balance. Especially the drills, which include angled poles.
Soccer poles are an excellent piece of equipment for improving one of the essential skills in modern football, agility. Whether you are a defender marking opposition player, or a midfielder needing to quickly transition the play, or a forward trying to lose his marker. The ability to quickly change the direction of movement is crucial. And the best way to improve your agility is to mimic the required motions repeatedly. For this, agility training poles are an irreplaceable piece of training equipment. But, they usually come with some additional features besides being able to stand upright. And you should choose the ones that fit your needs. But if you are still unsure of such a decision, my recommendation is Net World Sports Spring Loaded Slalom Poles. They are a high-quality product that perfectly satisfies the primary function of soccer poles.