For the household with a serious young soccer player, building your own goal posts is an easy alternative to buying a portable soccer goal or driving back and forth to the soccer field every day. This is a good way for your child to practice at home.
What You Will Need:
- 3 millimeter thick soccer net
- Cotton or nylon twine
- Cement mix
- Trowel or shovel
- Wheelbarrow or large bucket
- Tape measure
- 4 inch nails
- Wood glue (optional)
- 2 4x4 wood posts
- 1 2x4 cross bar
- Post-hole digger (can be rented from your local building supply store)
Step 1: Determine Goal Size
The standard dimensions for a soccer goal are 24 feet wide by 8 feet high, but these have been found to be too large for most back yards. Instead, your finished goal should measure between 4 and 6 feet high by 6 to 8 feet wide for younger elementary-age players. Somewhat older players will need a goal about 6 feet high by 18 feet wide. Also take into consideration the field space in your backyard. Smaller goals need about 15 to 20 yards of playing space, and larger goals need about 35 to 40 yards.
Step 2: Dig the Post Holes
Use the post-hole digger to create evenly-spaced holes in the ground where you will place the goal posts. If you find the ground is hard, you may want to wet it a few days prior to give it some time to soften up and make digging less labor-intensive. Make sure the inside of the holes has dried before pouring the cement; otherwise the moisture could cause the resulting concrete to crack.
Step 3: Install the Posts
Follow the directions for the cement mix carefully, and pour the mixture into each goal post hole. If you allow the concrete to come within 3 to 4 inches of the ground, this will allow you to remove the goal posts at a later time if needed. Sink each of the 4x4 posts firmly into the poured concrete. Use the level to make sure each one is completely straight up and down, and then shovel extra concrete around the bases to keep them steady.
Step 4: Install the Cross Bar
Depending on the height of your soccer goal, it may be a good idea to have a friend help you lift the cross bar to the correct height. Use a step ladder to attach it in this case. Use the level to make sure the cross bar is even. Since you are attaching a 2x4 crossbar to 4x4 posts, hammer in two 4-inch nails on each side. For extra strength, apply a coat of wood glue before nailing.
Step 5: Attach the Net
Use the twine to attach the soccer net to the cross bar and posts. Make sure you select a good quality net that will stand up to the soccer ball constantly flying into it, and tie off so the net can easily be taken down and stored when not in use. Using a 3 millimeter or thicker net will save you the time and cost of having to replace a lesser quality net later on. Test the whole structure for safety and stability once the concrete has completely cured.