How to Juggle a Soccer Ball

Juggling a soccer ball is a fun and unique skill to acquire. What we want you to understand is that great juggling skills does not equal great soccer player skills. However it's important to understand that the by working on your juggling it can help you improve your overall soccer game.

Juggling a ball will help every soccer player improve their first touch and gain better control of  the ball in the air. 

Why Are Great Soccer Players Great Jugglers? 

Many of the greatest soccer players were also great ball jugglers. Remember not to confuse the juggling skills with soccer skills. The reason many soccer greats are also great jugglers is because they spend so much time with the ball. To become a great player you have to live with a ball at your feet and this is what great players have done. They always had a ball with them, so when they couldn't kick it around, they juggled and continued playing with the ball. AND eventually also became great jugglers as well as soccer players.

How to Juggle a Soccer Ball for beginners

Start out with one juggle with your thigh. Make sure that the ball is hitting your thigh and not your knee. This is crucial as you don't want to start hitting the ball with your knee because you will lose control. The thigh is used more in soccer and to juggle because you have more control over the ball with your thigh.

Once you are able to get one juggle with your thigh, it's time to move on and get to two juggles. Remember that you have to relax and make sure you hit the ball up high enough to re adjust your position. The ball should be going up to 1.5 to 2 feet in the air. Repeat for an hour or so every day. Then progress to three juggles as you feel more comfortable. The 3rd juggle will be the most difficult. Be patient and don't rush the process. 

Juggling Soccer Ball with the opposite leg

After you have achieved 4-5 juggles pretty consistent with your dominant leg, it's time to move to your opposite leg. Repeat the same steps you did for your right leg. Starting out with one juggle, then progress to 2-3 etc. The reason you want to also master your opposite leg is because to become a master soccer ball juggler, you must have the ability to utilize both legs/feet. Remember that this will take days or weeks to learn, so don't be discouraged if it's happening right away, especially if you are still a young soccer player. 

Juggling Soccer Ball with your Laces

Once you have the juggling with your thighs technique down, you are ready to move on to the next one. We recommend you move on to "laces" as soon as you hit 3 or more juggles with your thighs. The reason is that you don't want to get bored working on just the thighs, you want to diversify the training and keep it exciting. But don't forget to continue working on the thighs as well.

So to use your laces there are a few things to remember.

A list of rules to be a great Soccer Ball juggler:

1. To use your laces you must bend your knees and RELAX.  

2. Do NOT hit the ball while it’s higher than your knee, because it will cause you to kick it up in the air. So bend your knees, relax, and stay calm. 

3. Wait for the ball to drop down to your feet, don't get anxious and reach for the ball in the air. Remember to relax and not tense up as it will cause you to make errors. 

4. The ball should be kicked about 2-3 feet in the air, not too high and not too low either. 

5. Bend your knees while juggling and stay on your toes. 

6. Kick the ball with your "laces" (or with your shoes on, but your contact with the ball should be where your shoelaces are normally placed, on top of your foot, just abaove the toes) toes pointing up (sort of curled back to you). This technique will help the ball get a backspin and travel back to you while you are kicking it up in the air. 

You can start juggling with your laces by holding the ball with your hands in front of you and then dropping it gently onto your feet to start juggling. The advanced players can start from the ground, but for now just pick up the ball and drop it onto your feet until you progress. Follow the same procedure for your left leg. Try to beat your score every day. 

Another way to start juggling for beginners is to use the off the ground technique. To do this, just pick up the ball with your hands. Give yourself some good 10-15 yards of space. Now throw the ball up in the air about 10-15 feet. The ball should land near you and bounce back up. As the ball bounces up in the air, AFTER it hits the ground, you can begin your juggling. This technique is used for kids that can judge the ball or to help kids begin to learn how to judge a ball in the air. 

And don't forget to relax and use your same techniques we mentioned above. 

After you have mastered the laces and thigh, you are set to progress into juggling with your head and shoulders. Just follow the exact same procedures mentioned above. Start out with one juggle. With your head, make sure you are old enough and using the correct size ball. If using your head, don't throw the ball hard at your teammate or don't toss it more than 2-3 feet up in the air, no need to. 

How to coach soccer heading for young kids 

One trick we like to use to start kids earlier in heading is to use a beach ball or something similar that is super light weight so kids don't get hurt. This way they can begin using the muscles that are utilized in heading, without the risk. Sometimes we even used a balloon to help them get used to looking at the ball and judging where to strike. Again this tecqnique will not make them master it completely, but it's a way to help them begin learning to use their head and use some of the techniques used in heading. Like keeping their eyes on the ball, heading with the forehead, jumping, gauging the ball, and so on. 

Conclusion:

After you have mastered 4-5 juggles with each technique, it's time to put them all together if you haven't already, and dominate! Remember to relax, wait for the ball to come down to your feet, thigh, or whatever part you are using. The biggest mistake we see with yournger kids is that they get excited and get aggressive with the ball and reach for it, and in the process derailing their technique. If you watch a professional juggler, you can see that they rarely moved except for the part of the body they are using to juggle. Juggling takes a high degree of concentration, so you must relax, focus, and use the proper technique. Remember that it will take time to master juggling, just like anything else. 

If your child is just starting out, you could benefit from reading The Best Kids Soccer Ball Article.

The Ideal Soccer Ball for my Child Article

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