A few weeks back, we were offered the opportunity to test out one of the most advanced rebounders currently on the market – the Munin m-station Talent Original. Being that it is pretty high tech piece of equipment, it also means the price is probably well above any soccer rebounder you have ever seen. That to me was an initial cause for concern – how in the world could a rebounder cost so much???
So, it arrived in. I spent some time setting it up, and then discovered what all the hype was about. This thing is an incredible training tool!!
Given that this is a complex rebounder, you won’t be surprised to hear there are a lot of pieces and setup will take some time. In saying that, the instructions are incredibly well labelled and it is very easy to position everything together. Toward the end of the setup, it is incredibly important to loosen the top and side panel piece used to hold the tension wire in place. Make sure each piece is wrapped around the correct rivet before re-tightening, as it is a pain to have to loosen again to fix.
Don’t be intimidated by the setup process; it will take you an hour to figure it all out but once have it ready to go, there is little other maintenance you need to do.
Man, this thing has got some serious pop. First time out, it took some time to adjust to those tension strings as the ball comes back incredibly quickly. Starting out, it is probably a good idea to stand back a bit, or look to play lobbed passes. The nice thing is that you can adjust the angle of the rebounder depending on the style of training you are doing using a simple set of handles on the side. This means you can increase the angle for headers, and decrease the angle to a straight standing position for long passes.
Another nice thing is how you can turn the side handles and store the rebounder fully upright. Now, it is worth noting that its overall size is rather large, so you will need to devote some space where you can store it. It is weather resistant, so you can technically leave it outside in a garden if needed. Mine is in my garage when not in use, and I had to do some work to find a spot where it would fit.
Even though I’ve only had it a short time, I have no reservations in the durability department. With an aluminium, corrosion resistant frame and patented tension wires, I’m pretty sure this will stay in action for a long while. If anything changes here, I’ll make sure to update.
So far, it just seems like a glorified rebounder, and there really isn’t anything that makes it worth the price. Until…….
What Makes This Special
On the bar that connects both back legs, there is a little square panel where you can place your smartphone. The first thing you will need to do before slipping your smartphone in is download the Munin training app. Once the app is downloaded and the you have your account setup, you have access to a serious amount of drills. Each drill comes with well informed instructions and you only need a few cones (or old socks) to get started. Pick what you want to do, get yourself positioned, and get some serious training done.
What is great about this is how addictive the training can be, and that is what you want in order to develop your game. What is better than wanting to take out the rebounder and work on your skills? Basically, how it works is that each time the ball hits the rebounder, it registers with the app and records the time. So, if you decide to do a passing drill, you need to control the ball quickly off the rebounder and knock it back off the tension wire to decrease the number. After 5 passes, the app registers your score and puts it on a scoreboard. You can continue to test your skills and try to beat your top score.
But that is just one of the simple drills. You can also set up cones so you have to control a pass, turn and dribble, then come back to the rebounder. Again, time is key here. So, over time you start to gain increased focus and improved touch as you look to record the quickest time. This also allows you to get some additional fitness in, as you can set a distant cone to sprint toward without the ball, and make it back to the rebounder for a pass. The potential here is endless.
I’ll be honest, the first time I used the Munin rebounder I got completely carried away and went through way too many drills. The following day, I was pretty darn sore. Not a bad thing though, as it demonstrates the fact I was working hard without really noticing.
Something I noticed was the scores were not saved on the leaderboard. So, if you were to go back and do a drill, your scores were wiped clean. I’d much prefer to keep previous times (or at least have the option to) so that you could look to beat it on future occasions.
Obviously the price is a stumbling block for many. And prior to having firsthand experience with the rebounder, I probably wouldn’t have paid the full price for it. But not that I have used it, I am absolutely behind the positives it has to offer. It is a perfect tool for club teams, where you can use it with multiple players.
Technically, you could use the rebounder without the app, but for me that is not where the value is. You could purchase a $100 rebounder, but you can’t track times and drills like you can with the Munin. Vice-versa, you could probably try to use the app, but it would be difficult to record the scores correctly with the holding panel on the back of the rebounder.
The system is used by major clubs such as Real Madrid and Arsenal. Check the below promo video that perfectly highlights some more of the unique features and drills you can do.
Going into testing this rebounder, I had several reservations including the price. But it has completely won me over, and when you see how much potential it has and what it offers training wise, it does offer a sense of value for money. I’m genuinely excited by the prospect of getting out to use it along with the app again this week. There are no rules to each drill, so I’ve gone as far as increasing the spacing between cones to create my own forms of training. Anything that makes fitness and repetitive training more fun can only be a positive!
Should you want a rebounder, there is currently a holiday deal on offer where you can get an m-station Talent Original for $395 delivered (that is $200 off the regular price).