Nothing like smashing the ball into your newly build backyard soccer goals and celebrating while your kid gives you that look that says "are you okay?" ahhh the joys of having kids. Whether you're buying or making a backyard goal you want to be sure you are using the right materials, setting it up properly and avoiding and obvious mistakes with regards to location or construction of the goals.
Sure buying would be way easier and probably smarter but if you're decently handy and want to try and make a goal from scratch then find all the info you'll need below.
1. Strong Posts - Nothing worse than hitting a ball against the frame and the entire net falling apart. Be sure to get solid posts, crossbar and back support bars made of metal, wood or a hard plastic.
2. Foldable - Not mandatory but nice if you want to move them to a nearby field, take them to training or up to the cottage to continue your onslaught of balls into a goal. Backyard soccer goals should above all be strong and sturdy so if you have to compromise the strength for the portability, so be it.
3. Thick White Mesh - You don't want holes or the ball flying through the net every time there is a shot on goal, oh and why white? It's just better that's why. Find yourself a nice thick white mesh that can take a shot and sounds nice when the ball whistles across it.
4. Weights - Safety first now. You're going to want to have some sort of blocks, sandbags or any other type of weighted objects to hold down the back of the net. The biggest reason is to prevent it from falling on top of anyones head (the crossbar can hurt ya know!) Other reasons include people not stealing it or bad weather not blowing it away or moving it around.
5. Right Dimensions - Try not to just eyeball it and go for a regulation small goal, indoor goal or 9v9 goal side and not just some random dimensions you think of. There's nothing worse then looking at you backyard soccer goals everyday and wishing you had gone with a different size.
1. Right Size Net For Your Backyard - As much as we all want a full size goal in our backyards make sure you are getting the right size for your backyard. Most neighbours done love a post on their side of the fence so get the goal that fits your backyard. Damn neighbours crushing our dreams!
2. Weights/Sand bags Are A Must - Safety first now! Make sure you have some sort of weights or sand bags to hold down the net in case the ball knocks it over or somebody runs into it. The last thing you want is a trip to the hospital when this net falls on your kid and your spending all night wishing you had tied it down. All jokes aside this can be an overlooked part of backyard safety so be sure to do it.
3. Ask Around - We all want this to be a quick and easy process but ask some soccer parents and friends if they've bought or built backyard soccer goals before and learn from their mistakes. Even though you probably won't listen to them at least hear them out!
4. Try Before You Buy! - There is no worse impulse buy than backyard soccer goals that are a piece of crap from the day you open them up. If you're not going to do it in the store then find a friend or a coach who has the nets you're thinking of buying and ask if you can help set them up and take them down at one of the practices. Then try smashing a few balls into the net and see if it holds up, you've now tested the two most important features of backyard soccer goals, can it be easily set up and can it take a shot.
5. Set Up and Takedown Ease - How hard can it be right? Believe me if buying a goal, choosing a net that can easily be set up and taken down is a must. There are some nights you will look at that net and not even want to put it up because of the headache that comes with it. Be sure to try putting it up and packing it up before you buy it so you can save your nerves and time in the future.
1. Looks Aren't Everything - I know the flashy orange net looked cool during one YouTube video you watched but please consider function over fashion at least this one time. You went with looks on those $300 pair of cleats when the leather $200 are twice as good, apply this to backyard soccer goals too.
2. Buying Without Trying - See if a friend, coach or colleague has a goal in their backyard and see if you can try it out for yourself. You will learn a lot from testing out and listening to others stories about their goals.
3. Buying Without Research - Read some reviews and do some digging online to see if these nets have made others happy with their purchase. Anything under a 3 star net you should keep scrolling until you find a set of backyard soccer goals you can rely on.
4. Unknown Brand Names - Stick to the better known brands such as SKLZ, Kwik Goal and Bownet. If you feel like you found a deal online of some random brand that sounds Italian and made with high quality, please proceed with caution. Read reviews, watch some videos and I'm sure you will find that if you stick to these proven named brands you will get exactly what you want out of your backyard soccer goals.
5. The Best or Nothing - Really try and go high end when selecting backyard soccer goals. A couple strong shots on a flimsy cheap goal and you will wish you never bought one in the first place. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for and for soccer goals you want make sure you are splurging on an item like this so it will last.
1. Fuel Your Kids Dreams - If you build it they will come! What could be better than fuelling your kids dreams by making a beautiful backyard soccer haven for them to work on their skills. Before you know it the whole neighbourhood will be playing the champions league final right in your backyard.
2. Exercise Over Video Games - With all the video games and social media distractions nowadays having some good old exercise outside (crazy right) is always a great idea. Motivate your kids by building a backyard they want to play in or just unplug the WiFi, either way.
3. Fun For The Family - The net isn't just for the kids but for everyone that had a boyhood dream unfulfilled, I mean everyone that wants to play. Not only is it fun to mess around with the family but it will make for some good laughs and memories.
4. Personal Training - If you ever need a few extra bucks you now have a venue where you can bring kids and train them for a small fee. Add some cones, some speed ladders and a few balls you now have a full on training environment for anyone to come to.
5. Work On Your/Your Kids Game - While every other kid is training with their club teams a few times a week your kid is getting extra work in. At training you won't get the reps you need for your individual position so having a backyard for before and after training where you can work on your game is a massive advantage.
Good question, no matter what size your backyard is putting backyard soccer goals in the right place is important. For starters even though this may sound obvious I'll say it anyways, don't put it in front of one of your house windows or doors. The amount of shots that will over, through, around or deflected into one of these future house repairs will be more than you can imagine. With that said choose to put it up against a fence so any ball that goes by it won't be hard to track down. If you don't have high fences or the option to put up mesh then put it up against the fence of the neighbour you don't mind jumping into their backyard and grabbing a ball or two.
I would definitely go with portable but putting weights or sandbags on the back to make sure they are sturdy. Unless you plan on hosting the champions league final in your backyard putting posts in the ground is a headache for a more than a few reasons. First digging the holes is no easy task, then there is no give to it if someone runs into it (and they will!) and lastly you don't have the option to move it around the backyard or take it with you to a near by park. Stay portable and stay safe with backyard soccer goals that can easily move and have weighted support on them.
Of course the world's best answer to any question is of course it depends! It depends on who you are making it for. If your kids are under 10, small goals are good to suit their needs where as if your kids are 13 plus you may start to think about bigger goals to emulate what they will be up against when they go play with their teams at practices and games.
Have a look at what they use at training and you should be able to figure out which backyard soccer goals are best suited for their game and development. Some companies sell a wide range of sizes so start with a smaller size and if you like the brand and quality of goal move up to the bigger one as your kid grows or you see fit. At a young age you want lots of positive reinforcement so get the size that will make them successful and not overwhelmed with the challenge of hitting the frame.
Well of course their is a range in size and quality and this is typically somewhere between $60 for a lower end small goal and upwards of $200 for a high end backyard soccer goal.
I would try and stay above $120 if you can to ensure you get something quality that doesn't break the bank either. Anything under that price you are flirting with a lower quality product that may cost you buying a higher end one anyways in a few weeks time. As the old saying goes (and it's true for backyard soccer goals) you get what you pay for. Anything above $200 is probably a metal full size goal that is suitable for a full sized outdoor field and not your backyard so be careful about going over the $200 mark as well.
Try and stick to name brands as previously mentioned such as SKLZ, Bownet and Kwik Goal products. These have teen tested and proven over time to be among the elite when it comes to backyard soccer goals.
3. Kwik Goal