Hey guys. Here’s my final report on the last of the three products in Obo’s new training product range, the Bobbla. To be quite honest, when i first started using this unusual product i was not very impressed with it. I thought it a little simple and not as valuable and relevant as the Flicka or D’flecta. However after using it for a bit longer and talking with my coach about the use i discovered that skills used with the Bobbla were actually more relevant than either of the other two training products.
Pictures of the Bobbla. The egg shape gives it its trademark bobble.
When using the Bobbla, the idea is to look at and practice the basic kicking techniques which are essential to goalkeeping. The Bobbla is rolled at the goal and the keeper kicks it away from the goal. Just like in a simple warm up. However the Bobbla makes each part of that ‘simple’ warm up much harder. Instead of staying on the ground as an ordinary hockey ball would, the Bobbla bounces and spins as it rolls giving an unpredictable bobble as the keeper goes to kick. This means the keeper is forced to concentrate much harder on their timing and basic kicking technique. By using the Bobbla my coach was able to pick out that my left foot was not as skilled as my right foot at kicking, a common problem for a lot of keepers, i have since corrected this and both feet are fairly even.
Here is a beautiful picture of the Bobbla in action. The egg shape has made the ball bounce up as i am about to kick.
The unpredictability of the bobble also speeds up the reaction time of the keeper and keeps them focused on the ball. Because the final direction of the ball was always uncertain i found that the best strategy was to wait until the last minute to kick. This improved my reactions, foot-eye coordination and my timing. Because the ball was traveling slower and moving about i had to focus on the ball the whole time and this improved my concentration. A weakness of mine has always been the slower, bouncy shots and the training with the Bobbla was perfect for erasing that problem from my technique.
From my experience, i found that the Bobbla is most useful for correcting and reinforcing the basic goalkeeping kicking techniques. The flaws in my technique have been somewhat ironed out and the constant repetition has improved my kicking muscle memory and confidence. I believe that this product has a lot of potential for coaches and goalkeepers everywhere. I found it extremely beneficial to my game and was able to make much better use of my coaching sessions.
To see the product in action check out the product information video: