3D app developed by Minnesota company helps teach soccer skills

Image 1 of 2

A Twin Cities company and a Minnesota soccer legend are working to help kids improve their soccer skills by using a 3D app.

On a soccer field in Buffalo, Minnesota, Avery Ryan and her friend Emily Boillat are learning how to perfect the Reverse V. It’s a tricky soccer skill even under the watchful eye of former pro Alan Merrick. But, it’s made easy by the new app from Twin Cities-based MOTI Sports.

“On the screens and the smart phones that we have now, you can manipulate the screens and zoom in and zoom out,” said Merrick, the MOTI Sports Director of Soccer Content. “You can rotate on any access, you can go as if you have a camera on your head.”  

It was so intuitive for Avery and Emily that they learned the skill in about five minutes.

“The brain neurons are just lighting up when they see these skills,” said Merrick. “And then in a short period of time they can conduct them and they walk off with a smile on their face, they are just as happy as could be. They go, 'I can do it.'”

The app is not just about teaching the kids new skills on the phone, but also about helping the coaches, many of whom are parents who are just simply volunteering their time and may not know much about soccer. The app helps explain basic plays to coaches and how to teach them to their players. Laura Boillat, who coaches the U8 Girls Tigers in Buffalo, says it works.

“I see these girls using their skills during the game,” said Coach Boillat. “We’ve been better about staying spread out and passing and using ball handling skills just to get around other players. It’s been a great season.”

In addition to the 23 skills the app teaches players, it has 200 practice plans for coaches. The MOTI Sports app is available for download for both Android and Apple.