This was one of the few soccer balls that came our way that didn’t come inflated out of the box. How well the ball is inflated will depend on the long-term viability of the butyl bladder in this ball. When properly inflated with the correct needle, the air can be held for weeks, or even months, at a time. Compared to latex bladders, which need to be inflated about once per week on average, this Nike soccer ball offers a minimal maintenance experience. As a practice and play ball, the Nike Pitch Premier League Soccer Ball offers players a number of options that can help them improve their skills.
The new ball is a product of four years of design and testing, and looks are about the only thing it shares with its older relative. The original model was comprised of 32 individual panels that had to be hand-stitched together. The new one, manufactured in China and Pakistan, has just six panels that are machine-stitched around a newly designed latex bladder, ensuring a more stable performance from ball to ball.
Using a wind tunnel, Goff has researched the flight properties of the Telstar 18, drawing its drag curve to discover where the ball might dip and swerve in the air, similar to the knuckleball free kicks favored by Cristiano Ronaldo “Even if aerodynamically the Telstar 18 isn’t that different from the Brazuca, it’s still going to wobble a little bit differently because the panel shapes are different,” Goff says.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
One size does not fit all kids for shin protection. The right size shin-guard is critical to comfort and protection for your mini. Most kids shin-guards have padding in an attached ankle guard for extra protection. When first starting out, look for a single strap system with a front closure to keep ankle and shin-guards in place to eliminate constant adjusting on the field.
We all should keep in mind that the construction of a standard soccer ball is different than a street soccer ball. When you are playing on street or hard surface, you need a rough and tough ball. The shape needs to be spherical, and the cover/panels should be made out of rubber. They need to be scratch resistant as well. Not only that, if the panels are not hand-stitched with the high-quality seam there is a big chance they will not last long.
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In June, 32 nations gather in Russia for soccer’s most prestigious international event. Now, you can get the ball that will be used throughout the tournament—the adidas 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Telstar Official Match Ball. The design is based on the original Telstar ball introduced in 1968, updated with pixelated detailing for a modern aesthetic and an all-new panel shape for superior performance. Step up your game with a Russia 2018 soccer ball today.