“Starting as a whim, teqball has become a method in many top clubs and national teams.”
1NEWS – Nine Premier League clubs currently have teqball tables in club training centres, and that number is growing. Starting from Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton, Wolverhampton, Watford, Bournemouth, Southampton, to Burnley. All of them have adopted teqball as part of the training portion.
Teqball is a new sport that uses a curved table specifically designed to be able to play a ball on it. It’s like ping-pong. But, in the giant version and there is a touch of sepak takraw with the soccer ball.
So, why do clubs now seem to oblige to adopt teqball as a mandatory training menu? And, what exactly are the benefits of this alternative sport for footballers? How can these skills be applied to match scenarios?
“We believe teqball is the cleanest form of football. We have designed this game so there is no contact, low impact and therefore a low risk of injury,” said Teqball co-founder Viktor Husza, reported by fcbusiness.co.uk.
“Given the pressure the players put on through training and matches, we knew that to make teqball a viable training aid, it had to be low impact, but also fun,” added Husza.
To popularize teqball, there are many former football players who became ambassadors. Ronaldinho, Christian Karembeu, Luis Figo, and Simao Sabrosa are four examples. “When you come back from injury, teqball can help you develop technique and regain confidence,” said Simao.
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“The nature of this sport means creating a safe environment for players to be rehabilitated. That is one of the reasons why this sport has become so popular in professional clubs,” added the former Portugal winger.
That Idrissa Gueye went from training with Joleon Lescott and Leandro Bacuna to playing Teqball with Messi is remarkablepic.twitter.com/fPmyrmj6pr
— Opac (@OP4C) August 13, 2021
Players need variety in their training to stay motivated and keep growing. While teqball is based on football. It challenges players in different ways and forces them to focus on handling and controlling the ball.
Before teqball was invented, players improvised with table tennis and other equipment. In fact, that is what inspired the invention of teqball. “In the dressing room we used to warm up and practice by creating a playing field with nets and bags before the game,” said Figo.
“But now there is teqball. You can train not only in the locker room, but also in the park, school and even at home with high-quality equipment,” added the former Real Madrid player.
The curve of the teqball table encourages the ball to always bounce outwards, towards the players. It tests their decision-making and ability to maintain focus with at least one touch every two to three seconds.
Teqball players become experts in handling air-to-air balls. They learn to hit the ball, for accuracy and for the perfect trajectory, as well as how to maintain possession under pressure.
Teqball is usually played with a team of two. That means the player must also be in sync with his partner. They must share a total of three touches before the ball must be passed to the opponent. The game then becomes more tactical and skills like teamwork and communication become important.
“Kids love Teqball because it’s fun. But, the most important thing they get is communication. Players need to communicate and think as a team when playing two against two and that’s important for young players to prepare for the future,” explained Simao.
In addition to tables, teqball has also released Teqbox. It is an application designed to enhance learning and skill development. Consisting of four motion sensor cameras surrounding the teqball table, the app is able to record game scores, count the number of touches, and tell which body parts the player uses most and least.
Each player then receives personal statistics, allowing them to monitor their performance, and compare with their friends, teammates, and even game legends like Ronaldinho.
“Without realizing it, children are developing their skills, especially basic skills. It’s not just a tool. It’s fun. It’s a game, and it helps you develop skills,” said Dutch coach Henk Ten Cate.
As further evidence, Dutch football club AZ Alkmaar recently installed a teqball table at its academy as part of its “Performance Playground” for young athletes. Players are encouraged to play teqball and footsquash with teammates during breaks to learn to measure space, distance and direction, under pressure.
“Every month, the kids host tournaments in foot squash, teqball, foot volleyball and street football. They are in control and manage everything. What’s great is that they want to win. So after practice they practice extra. It’s implicit learning,” says Marijn Beuker, Head of AZ’s Performance and Development Department.
Anyone involved in football would agree. The best footballers are those who never stop learning, no matter how many titles to their name. They are players who are not afraid to experiment and enjoy the opportunity.