Choosing the perfect ball…!
We spend so much time kicking it, running after it and passing it – but do you take as long choosing the right ball for you? The most expensive football isn’t always the best ball for your individual needs. Innovation is moulding the new range of footballs, with Mitre Hyperseam technology delivering enhanced benefits, but what does this mean for you, your childs grassroots club, and how do you tailor a ball to your needs?
At the heart of the beautiful game is grassroots football. Mitre is firmly embedded in grassroots, and our range has that at the front of mind when developing products. For your local club you’d usually need two types of football – a training ball and a match ball.
Training balls are developed to need less maintenance, and to be used for extensive periods of time. Whether it be the Primero or the Impel, the Mitre training ball range are season-long performers, and will become part of the team. A 32 panel construction offers a durable ball, as it helps maintain the shape of the ball for longer. We also offer features in our training balls that even the professionals have. The Primero offers excellent performance – being used as the training ball of choice for the SPFL teams last season. The Impel has a soft-touch outer, this adds comfort to the foot when passing or controlling, and really helps increase confidence in younger players. And the Calcio is engineered with Hyperseam – technology which has been scientifically tested to improve accuracy, speed and power. Bonded seams mean this ball has zero water uptake, perfect for those cold and wet winter nights.
A high quality match ball is often the manager’s prize possession. It’s the ball that sits with them on the passenger seat on the way to a game. And it’s the ball that doesn’t come out in training. Although being a little more expensive than the standard training ball, what does a match ball actually deliver? Unlike a standard 32 panel ball the match ball range usually differ in panel construction, and have been tested to strict FIFA or IMS guidelines. FIFA test all sorts from how round the ball is, to how much it rebounds. These have to sit between the tight regulations. These footballs generally offer better accuracy and speed, with optimum in-play performance.
Mitre’s heritage in football goes all the way back to 1817, before the first Football League was even created. Since then we’ve been the choice for professionals. We were the first Official Ball of the Premier League and MLS, and we’re currently the Official Matchball Provider to the EFL, SPFL, WPL, NPSL and Suzuki Cup just to name a few. Mitre has a global presence in football and helps to deliver those #madewithmitre moments every weekend.
The professional balls on the field of play vary depending on the competition, but our professional range produce unrivalled performance. The Delta Hyperseam is used throughout the EFL and SPFL, but the SuperCup NI and Welsh Premier League use the Pro Max. They both deliver speed, accuracy and power. The balls merge the best of both football constructions – stitched and bonded – which delivers a unique aerodynamic outer. The slight differences might be more noticeable by touch, but embossed outers or slightly different bladder make-ups are the reason for these being the ultimate ball. Although durability may not be as high in terms of air retention with a professional football, the performance is off the scale.
In the garden
Practise makes perfect. If your youngsters are football mad it’s more than likely they’re in the garden or down the park kicking a Mitre ball around. We call this a ‘recreational’ ball. The most important things in a football that will be used for leisure are completely different to the pro game. Ball shape retention, air retention, durability and price are some of the key factors when buying a football for the garden. Our recreational balls don’t falter on performance, but you may notice small changes to the outer – these balls are more suited for a grass surface and therefore the outer wont have to be as tough. Players wont be drilling powerful strikes or cross field passes, so the material may not need to be as soft-touch. Footballs in this category are usually made up of 32 panels, which offer the durability needed for regular use – meaning more time playing, and less time inflating. The Mitre Balon is the perfect example, available in three sizes – as well as a Mini version. A great choice as a stocking filler this Christmas.
Grazed knees. Brick walls as goals. We all remember being back at school playing the game we love. Apart from the ground, one of the hardest things is finding a ball that can be used on any surface. The Mitre Tactic has been part of the school experience since the 90’s and delivers a ball that can be used on any surface, but without the bounce of a fully rubber ball. A tough outer means the ball can resist even the toughest of surfaces whether it be on tarmac or on astro. Another popular ball across the Mitre range is the Super Dimple. The Dimple comes with a 2 year guarantee – it’s almost impossible to damage, and it might even outlast your time at school.
The range of footballs is expanding every year. Only recently has Futsal started to find its place in the U.K. It’s played on an astro or indoor surface and has a weighted bladder, meaning a size 4 typically weights that of a size 5. This encourages players to pass to ball along the floor, resulting in a fast paced and exciting game. The Mitre Pro Futsal is our top of the range ball, but we offer alternatives at match and training level for the Futsal beginners.
Other balls require specialist treatment too. The Astro Division is designed to perform better at low air pressure, as is the Seto – the Official Match Ball of Powerleague and Powerplay venues across the U.K. The JNR Lite footballs offer lightweight alternatives to encourage younger players to play with the ball at their feet – it’s easy to control, to pass, and to shoot, and helps players really develop their game.
And there are many more we haven’t mentioned. There is a ball that’s right for you. It’s worth avoiding the temptation of purchasing based on price, or buying the closest one to the till. Your local independent sports retailer or online football specialist should be able to advise you through the choice, and make sure you get the best ball for you.
Credits – www.mysportswear.co.uk
Blog created by Nathan Spencer