Soccer training system
Ball control skills are difficult for young people to acquire, especially indoors, and lack of fitness is becoming a real social problem. KickTrix was created as an enjoyable and safe game experience based on a scientific approach, utilising technology to encourage self-motivation. To be successful the product needed to be fun and also provide a competitive element both for self-improvement and peer to peer rivalry. Professional coaches were involved in user scenario research with test rigs
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
KickTrix is a new soccer training system designed to inspire young footballers to develop their skills and fitness indoors. A wirelessly connected product supports a tethered ball and simulates the natural movements and behaviour required to keep a ball in the air. KickTrix has different difficulty levels and enables friends to play competitively whilst recording results. User trials have demonstrated that youngsters become highly motivated and quickly and confidently learn the correct skills.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The KickTrix game experience is based on keeping a freely rotating ball in the air for the maximum time by kicking with a combination of left and right feet. The ball has lines to assist body alignment, helping to develop reinforce good technique. A flexible tether has two positions to increase the degree of difficulty and the game is enhanced by electronic kick counting, stored in memory. An associated app allows interaction with the data and also lets two players compete in real time.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Proposition work started in April 2014, research test rigs were designed and tested during July and August, leading to SLS prototypes and further testing from September 2014 to April 2015.Data for production tooling was issued in June 2015 with T1 sample evaluation starting 23 July 2015. All design work was conducted in the UK with production of parts in UK, Italy and Taiwan.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Proof of principle rigs were developed to establish the correct geometry and material combinations. The solution utilises an inj. moulded tether with a special grade polyamide core, over moulded in TPE. The ball carrier/pivot is also inj. moulded. The base is rotationally moulded polyethylene, filled with sand for stability. New sensor methods were developed to count the number of kicks and the electronics and display are housed securely in their own injection moulded enclosures within the base.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Width 390mm, Height 280mm, Depth 820 mm with the product in its resting position. The ball and tether are removable for packing. Packaging size is 420mmx210mmx750mm.
Football, training, fitness, keepy-uppy, Sport, Sports app, iOS, Android
Research was primarily based on testing a product proposition arising from parallel work in other sports fields. User insight/scenario research involving sports coaches and youngsters was based on a series of test rigs, developed over time. Videos were taken and later analysed to improve the next design iteration. Some objectives from the original proposition were refined based on the learning arising from the research but the key elements of skills, fitness and motivation maintained.
The challenge was to replicate the motion and experience of kicking a ball in free space whilst tethered. To also create long term interest and motivation by utilising a digital gaming approach with a physical product. Value engineering and high volume production methods were incorporated to achieve a consumer product price point; this included researching the latest fully automated rotational moulding machinery from Italy and developing new insert and over moulding methods in Taiwan.
TEAM MEMBERS (5) :
Matthew Brown (LA Design), Simon Wilkinson (LA Design), Matthew Miles (LA Design), Corrie Crooks (LA Design) and Anthony Hamilton (KickTrix)
All images LA Design
UK patent pending GB1508590.5. Filed 2015 (priority date 2014) . Jurisdiction: UK.
PCT patent pending PCT/EP2015/078873. Filed 2015 (priority date 2014). Jurisdiction: international
European Community Registered Design 001426514-0001. Registered 2014. Jurisdiction: European Community
European Community Registered Design 001426514-0002. Registered 2014. Jurisdiction: European Community
European Community Registered Design 001426514-0003. Registered 2014. Jurisdiction: European Community