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PERFORMANCE

WHERE PROS REVEAL THE SECRETS OF THEIR GAME

IMPROVE YOUR SHOT-STOPPING THANKS TO LARDY AND LUMPY

Introducing the bizarre double act that will leave your goalkeeper begging for matchday

There’s a simple theory among sports coaches: make something really hard in training, and when it comes to the game, it’ll become easy. No wonder there are so many stories about Brazilians who honed their skills booting a tangerine/dead guinea pig around the favelas, and thus found juggling a normal sphere a doddle.

Now sports entrepreneur Glenn Robertson has cleverly applied this approach to goalkeepers and devised the ‘Responseball’. Branded as ‘the ball with bumps’, the training aid is just that: a football with strategically-placed lumps which, when propelled towards a keeper, bounces unpredictably, helping to hone the custodian’s reactions.

“I wanted to create something that would help youth coaches who may not have specialist goalkeeping knowledge to sharpen up their keepers,” says Robertson. “It works very well and is being used at all levels. Andy Fairman, the coach at Blackpool, is a big fan, and the staff at Liverpool, West Ham and many other clubs are also using them.”

Pictured are the original ‘Origin’, which costs £18, and the beastly ‘Max’ (£35), a low-bouncing version that weighs twice as much and helps improve handling strength (we don’t recommend trying to kick it). The big match will be a piece of cake after a session with one of these.

Find out more at responseball.com

Weighs

1kg

Changes direction at the last second

THE FOURFOURTWO PERFORMANCE PANEL Meet the experts answering your questions about playing the game this month

FITNESS

Phil Neville Everton captain

With over 400 top-flight games under his belt, the versatile veteran shares his secrets on how to eat, drink and sleep like a Prem player.

TECHNIQUE

Andy Carroll Liverpool and England striker

The £35m former Newcastle man gives his knowledgeable tips on how to use your head in every area of the pitch.

PLAYING

Joe Hart Manchester City and England goalkeeper

The England No.1 reveals the best ways to distribute the ball and improve your reaction times between the sticks.

PSYCHOLOGY

John Terry Chelsea and England captain

The 30-year-old defensive warrior names the six qualities you need as skipper to lead your team to success.

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Performance