To be truly world class in any sport requires an innate ability coupled with years of training, usually starting at a very young age. While it's still impossible to engineer what you're born with, it is possible to train until you improve your skill level to a reasonable level. Training aids can be a useful tool, both for building fitness levels and increasing confidence. The people behind the Zero G Soccer Trainer claim their system does just this for aspiring soccer stars.

Zero G Soccer is based on the notion that juggling the ball using feet, lower legs, knees, chest, shoulders, and head – known as "keepie uppie" or "kick ups" – can help foster other soccer (or football, depending on your location) skills. Many soccer players no doubt claim that the keepie uppie helped them hone their skills, getting them used to the feel and weight of the ball and improving their timing and coordination.

This training device comprises a weighted stand on which a flexible arm is mounted. At the end of the arm is a regular soccer ball, the idea being that the ball remains under control at all times. Anyone who has tried to juggle a ball without an aid will know it tends to bounce away wildly on a regular basis. Zero G Soccer keeps the ball in place while supposedly still allowing the player to develop their ball juggling skills.

It's claimed that Zero G Soccer helps build confidence and core muscle memory with every successful touch made by the player. The device is suitable for anyone over the age of 6-years-old and features a variable gravity setting that can be adjusted to suit the changing needs of each individual.

The co-creator of the system, Steve Leen, was inspired to build Zero G Soccer after failing in his efforts to impress his daughters with his ball juggling skills. Endeavoring to teach himself on board the tugboat he works on, he experimented with a brush set over a stairway. The first prototype was packing tape attached to a stick resting on a bucket, with this basic concept developed further on dry land into the finished product pictured in the gallery.

His creation could also be just the thing for those aiming to take a shot at the world keepie uppie record. The current record is held by Dan Magness of England, who in 2010 performed kick ups with a regulation soccer ball for 26 hours without dropping it.

The Zero G Soccer Trainer is available to buy for US$139.99. The video embedded below shows a youngster using the device.

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