Researchers develop new training aid for nation's soccer stars

Scientists at the University of Warwick will launch a new simple but effective training aid designed to train up the next generation of UK soccer stars on Tuesday 5th August 2003. The new system trains footballers from grassroots to professional level to score more accurately.

The Technical Development Ring (TDR) came about when Birmingham based Sports Systems Ltd approached Innovation-Direct, a free consultancy service for West Midlands based SMEs, to help develop the system that helps youngsters achieve their full sporting potential. The unique system provides training in the 7 key areas football players need to build upon: balance, touch, pace, passing, concentration, vision and stamina.

The equipment can be used by up to three players at any one time. The player(s) are placed in a ring and have to react to randomly called numbers from a pre-determined voice programme with differing levels of speed. Even professionals cannot beat the TDR, as after mastering one level a new harder one can always be set. It allows for continual testing of skills and accuracy, as required by any match situation.

The TDR has already been bought by Southampton FC Youth Academy and has been successfully piloted at a number of professional clubs across the UK, including Coventry FC, Aston Villa FC, Birmingham FC, and it has been praised by Dave Richardson, Director of Youth, for the UK's Football Association Premier League.

Steve Ogrizovic, Academy Director of Coventry FC, said: "Warwick is leading the way when it comes to coaching and educating young football players. We all want to see more young footballers maximise their potential and perform at the highest level they can attain, and the system will help ensure talented youngsters have the facilities they need to improve their skills, and help them compete with the very best."

"The Coventry City squad has shown interest in the TDR because of the flexibility of training methods available, a

Contact: Jenny Murray
University of Warwick

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