Goal Kick Training with Flick Football’s Urban Return Ball

We tried out Flick Football's urban ball returner for a drop kick training session with our 7 year old. Here's what we thought of it, the pros and cons and a bit more information about the product as a kick training device in the context of young players.

Contents

Flick Football Urban Returner Review

As the Mother of a 7 year old grassroots goalkeeper in training, I spend a significant amount of my life on playgrounds and fields chasing balls. Oliver has been playing in goal for a couple of months now and he loves it.

One area in particular he’s doing some work on at the moment is his distribution – kicking from his hands and goal kicks too.

I couldn’t give you an exact figure, but my estimate would be that 100 billion hours of my life have gone into chasing balls during kick around sessions with Oliver as he works on these skills. Granted, that may be a (slight) exaggeration, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. So I looked at a number of training aids to facilitate getting him spending more time kicking the ball and less time chasing it.

The Urban Returner by Flick Football is the one we decided on and bought and he’s our review.

A few things to note first:

 

  • We bought this and paid for it like anyone else would
  • Our opinions are very much that – our own opinions

Our Ratings in Summary

I’ve put both mine and Oliver’s ratings below with more information throughout this review on what we thoughts.

Oliver's Rating
5/5
Mum's Rating
4/5

The Pros and Cons of the Urban Returner 

What is the Urban Return Ball?

Basically, it’s a ball attached by fine bungee cord to a weighted bag. Here’s what you actually get:

flick football urban return ball for kick training

The size 5 ball comes deflated and the bag comes empty. You’ll need to fill it with sand or soil. This was a really straightforward process and we had the whole thing set up in about 5 minutes.

Once you’ve filled the bag, unless you intend to flatten it again for any reason, you’re not likely to need to mess about with it again.

And even with ball inflated and bag filled, this takes very little space in a car boot and even fits on the bottom of our toddler’s pram, so we can easily take it with us to the park.

It comes with a cord that has 2 parts so you can easily adjust the length. We started with the cord shorter for our 7 year old but quickly found ourselves lengthening it again.

The other thing to bear in mind is that this product is supplied with a size 5 ball. Under 7s football is played with a size 3 ball. I couldn’t find any options to buy smaller balls that can be attached either.

Now, this isn’t the end of the world. But it does mean I would be inclined to mix up kick training with my 7 year old between this and a standard size 3 ball to ensure he’s familiar in training with the size of ball he’s playing with at the weekend, particularly as he plays as goalkeeper.

Drop Kick and Goal Kick Training with Our 7 Year Old

The area of Oliver’s game that is probably most needing improvement at the moment is distribution. So we’ve used this for goal kick and drop kick training. He’s played with friends and teammates who’ve also used it for free kick training.

We’ve used this a few times with Oliver now. Here’s a quick video snippet:

Without a doubt, the return ball saves a ton of time ball chasing. What that means is that for every hour we’re out, Oliver is getting more of that time working on his distribution techniques. So that’s really useful. Of course, if fitness is a focus of your sessions, a bit of ball chasing might not be a bad thing! For me, I wish this were available with changeable balls (in a size 3 and 4 option). Oliver also took a bit of time to get used to where to position the ball to find himself less likely to be getting tangled in the bungee cord. He like to dive to “save” the ball on its return as well, so he does get a really good goalkeeping training session with this and, frankly, he absolutely loves it.

Would we recommend it?

Yes. Absolutely. The only downside for me is the fact that w don’t seem able to attach a size 3 ball to it. But as an overall investment, we’re really happy with it.

Alternative Ball Returners

We opted for a weighted back returner because Oliver doesn’t like wearing the waist belt balls. However, this isn’t the only weighted bag return ball out there. A few alternatives are below (including some ball attached to waistband options) but please not, we’ve not tried any of the alternatives ourselves.
The one we've tried!
Football Flick Kids’ Urban Return Ball, Black/Orange, One Size
QUICKPLAY Replay Football Training Ball Size 5 Adjustable Bungee Elastic Training Ball with Base Weight – The Ultimate Hands Free Football Trainer
Football Kick Trainer Soccer, Solo Training Aid football Skills Improvement Practice with Neoprene Waist Belt for early age people Adults
Football Flick Kids' Urban Return Ball, Black/Orange, One Size
QUICKPLAY Replay Football Training Ball Size 5 Adjustable Bungee Elastic Training Ball with Base Weight - The Ultimate Hands Free Football Trainer
Football Kick Trainer Soccer, Solo Training Aid football Skills Improvement Practice with Neoprene Waist Belt for early age people Adults
£34.99
£41.99
£6.99
The one we've tried!
Football Flick Kids’ Urban Return Ball, Black/Orange, One Size
Football Flick Kids' Urban Return Ball, Black/Orange, One Size
£34.99
QUICKPLAY Replay Football Training Ball Size 5 Adjustable Bungee Elastic Training Ball with Base Weight – The Ultimate Hands Free Football Trainer
QUICKPLAY Replay Football Training Ball Size 5 Adjustable Bungee Elastic Training Ball with Base Weight - The Ultimate Hands Free Football Trainer
£41.99
Football Kick Trainer Soccer, Solo Training Aid football Skills Improvement Practice with Neoprene Waist Belt for early age people Adults
Football Kick Trainer Soccer, Solo Training Aid football Skills Improvement Practice with Neoprene Waist Belt for early age people Adults
£6.99

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Goal Kick Training with Flick Football’s Urban Return Ball

We tried out Flick Football’s urban ball returner for a drop kick training session with our 7 year old. Here’s what we thought of it, the pros and cons and a bit more information about the product as a kick training device in the context of young players.