All Day I Dream About Soccer, Adidas miCoach Smart Ball Review
All Day I Dream About Soccer, Adidas miCoach Smart Ball Review. Soccer or for you Euro’s Football fanatic? Every athlete knows that video taping yourself performing is an invaluable tool for improving your form. But what if you could get feedback directly from the ball as well to contrast against what your body is physically doing, even better right?
You have to check out the newest, latest and greatest from Adidas, the miCoach Smart Ball. The new Adidas miCoach Smart Ball is a sensor equipped soccer ball that allows you to track and get instant feedback via the miCoach smartphone app. The onboard Tri-axel accelerometer gives you pertinent information on speed, spin, trajectory and point of strike so you can review your kicks when training for soccer. An excellent tool for improving your dead-ball kicks; corner kicks, free kicks, penalty kicks.
The Tri-axel accelerometer is centrally suspended inside the TPU constructed bladder. Extending out from the center of the accelerometer are 12 impact absorbing arms, that keep the precious sensor safe from the hardest strikes and bounces.
The miCoach Smart Ball is a size 5 regulation weight soccer ball with 32 panels that looks and feels every bit of a normal soccer ball; It’s even FIFA approved! The onboard Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable battery takes about an hour to fully charge and provides up to 1 week of standby time or approximately 2000 kicks. The miCoach Smart Ball is rechargeable by placing it a top the pedistal style stand that comes with the unit. Your mileage will vary but we were able to see close to a week of usage on a charge.
miCoach Smart Ball Good Looks
Aesthetically, the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball is gorgeous. The contrasting black and white accented with green just screams cool and the wireless charging dock looks great if you’re trying to show off to your house guests. Although the miCoach Smart Ball is charged wirelessly, there is a designated charge spot that you need to be conscious to place in a downward position in the cradle. Fortunately the design pattern helps you with that so you don’t have to try and match charge points while holding your head upside down. Additionally the ball’s design gives you visual guidelines to help you line up your shots and assist you on where to strike the ball depending on what type of result you are trying to achieve.
Using the miCoach Smart Ball
Information is transferred to the smartphone app via Bluetooth 4.0 2,4 GHz. Simply pair the ball with your smartphone just like you would pair any other Bluetooth enabled device to gain valuable insight into your kicks. To begin the analysis you will need to indicate to the app each time that you are about to execute a kick, the app will then record and sync with your smartphone to display feedback and store the information.
As a first retail iteration of the product, there are of course some limitations. The ball must be dead, meaning stationary to record any information. Your kick must allow the football to elevate a minimum of 3 feet off the ground and travel at least 10 yards in the air. That means no rolling measurements. It will automatically sync up with each kick since it can only display feed back and advice on one kick at a time.
You’ll be able to store your results, see a graphed history of detail, even store your favorite strikes or share them with your friends via social media. Here’s where the miCoach aspect comes into play; the app will automatically sync your kicks but also offers pointers and advice on how to tweak your technique to improve; you can even do a frame by frame to see exactly where your technique is flawed or lacking. It does however feel fairly cumbersome to have to interact with your phone every time you kick the ball but in my estimation you might not internalize, apply or remember the information if you could record more than 1 kick at a time. In some cases it could be very helpful to have someone holding it for you, say your soccer coach, trainer or team-mate.
miCoach Smart Ball App
The app is available free for download for iOS only at this time. The miCoach Smart Ball App is what allows you to gather and analyze your kicks. You can also upgrade/update the firmware of the cradle and ball with the miCoach App. What’s great is that the app will, depending on what type of kick you are telling it you want to execute, give you advice on how to adjust your form to maximize your performance.
The pointers and advice can be found under the Coach Notes section to help you train, but the app will also let you know when you’ve hit the ball just right too. However the miCoach app is like a real coach and it’s never satisfied. So even if your kicks are good, the app will continue to push you to improve and even helps you train your non-dominant foot so you can try to be that fluent all around ambidextrous player you aspire to be.
You’ll be able to see the trajectory of the ball in an animated video to easily understand it’s flight path, spin and bend to compare to where you kicked the ball. You can record your kicks in actual video using your smartphone as well. The video will show you exactly 1 second before your impact and 1 second after your kick to see your follow through from which you can see your actual kick frame by frame. It can be very helpful to have a tri-pod as we found it fairly impossible to video yourself for a 1 second before and after video when you are by yourself. Share and compare your results with your friends or compare your own kicks to those of the professionals.
miCoach Smart Skis?
As an expert skier, I’d love to see this technology executed in a pair of skis. Imagine the valuable insight you could gain into your GS, Slalom or even bump turns measuring load, angle, velocity and compare that to the ski’s designed performance characteristics and your terrain. Or how about a baseball that helps you throw a better curve ball, knuckler or slider. This is only the tip of the iceberg and hope to see the next version offer the same type of information with a rolling ball. The Adidas miCoach collection currently includes a suite of devices to help you train including the Fit Smart, Smart Ball, Smart Run, X_Cell, Speed Cell and Heart Rate Monitor; check them out at micoach.adidas.com.
In the End
The Adidas miCoach Smart Ball is an invaluable training tool to gain relevant insight into your technique and a truly innovative product that no doubt will become an integral part of Soccer training. No wonder it is a wins a CES award for innovation. If you dig soccer and are looking to improve your game or train, the miCoach Smart Ball will help you improve your game and become an important part of your practice sessions. The instant insight, feedback and coaching tips are excellent for training your dead-ball kicks and improving your overall game. I highly recommend it for any soccer player looking to improve their game, aspiring or otherwise.
Adidas miCoach Smart Ball is available for $200.00