Adidas’ New Smart Soccer Ball Can Fix Your Kicks

Hone your skills with the sensor-enabled miCoach Smart Ball.

The World Cup begins in just two weeks (see how we refrained from saying “kicks off”?). So if you won’t be sipping caipirinhas poolside in Rio between featured matches and mellowing out to some Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto as leggy, topless beauties glide languidly by, well then…Wait, what the hell were we talking about?

Oh, yeah, if making it to Brazil for the World Cup isn’t in the cards, you may as well do the next best thing and fine-tune your fútbol skills. That’s where the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball comes in. It has a built-in sensor that measures the spin, velocity, and trajectory of your dead ball kicks, and the Smart Ball companion app (downloadable for iPhone) offers tips to improve them. The app also has a “challenge yourself” feature to focus you on controlling the speed of your kicks, bending it a little more like Beckham, and mastering the knuckle kick.

The miCoach, which comes with a charging dock that keeps it powered up for a week, is not only a great training and coaching tool but also an excellent soccer ball. According to the folks at Adidas, pros couldn’t tell the difference between the miCoach and their best standard balls in tests. Moreover, the size 5, 32-panel ball is durable enough that the wear and tear of regular play won’t diminish its functionality, so it’s more than adequate for your Sunday pickup game.