This miniaturized soccer ball may seem very tiny, measuring just under 6 inches in diameter. While definitely not a legal size for any type of league play, this small ball is ideal for toddlers to start building their basic skills. Utilizing this ball, your child can practice kicking, grabbing, throwing, and grasping which can assist in the development of gross-motor skills. Playing with your child is also a great way to strengthen familial bonds and bolster your little one’s self-confidence.
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.
This 12-oz. ball works for players between 8 and 12 years old and has a circumference of 26 inches, larger than a size 3 and smaller than the size 5. This age group tends to play on a field of about 30 to 50 yards, writes Deborah W. Crisfield in "The Everything Kids' Soccer Book," with a goal size of around 6 feet high and 18 feet long. Again, the scale for the U12s falls between that of the U8s and that of the older age brackets for the No. 4 ball and the game as a whole. Some leagues may limit the No. 4 ball to U10s instead of U12s, so check league rules before making a purchase.
The type of soccer cleats or indoor shoes needed depends on what kind of field your child’s team will be practicing and play on. Have your child try on Firm Ground cleats with hard rubber or plastic studs if playing on a pitch made of natural grass or on well-worn artificial turf. Look for Artificial Turf shoes with a super low profile and an outsole evenly covered all-over in small rubber studs for the best traction on an indoor or newer outdoor turf surface.
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