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Learn How To Juggle A Soccer Ball

Sep 12, 2008
Learning to how to juggle a soccer ball takes a lot of time and practice, is very entertaining to watch and appreciate someone with great soccer ball juggling skills, but why do players bother?

Well there are two reasons, the first is that it is fun and challenging, and learning a new juggling move, or beating your previous record is something that you can do on your own, in a small space and you only need a ball! When you can finally keep the ball in the air get past the elusive 100 barrier, you will have kept yourself entertained for some time and have great bragging rights over your friends.

The second reason why you should learn how to juggle a soccer ball is more soccer related and is that being able to juggle a soccer ball, whilst not used a lot in a soccer game is the best way to improve that your first touch and give you confidence when you are receiving the soccer ball. As a player, you are often in one of two situations.

1 You do not have the ball
2. You have the ball.

The transition between 1 and 2 is why learning how to juggle is important and that is when you are receiving the ball.
When you receive a soccer ball from a team mate, your main concern is:

"What am I going to do next?"

This decision should be made prior to actually receiving the ball, and so you should know what you are going to do with the ball, and more importantly what position you want you body to be in and where you want the ball to be after receiving the ball, and that is exactly where juggling will help you!
So, lets learn how to juggle a soccer ball.

1. Use a slightly deflated ball
2. Start juggling on a hard smooth surface, one with a nice even bounce
3. Hold the ball with both hands, arms extended at chest height
4. Drop the ball and let it bounce once
5. Before it bounces again, kick the ball back to chest height and catch it

There, you have done your first juggle, now on to bigger and better things
The sequence that you just did was called "drop-bounce-kick-catch "

Keep practicing Step 1 using both feet until you can consistently kick the ball back to chest height

You will do a similar exercise to step one, but this time the sequence is
"drop-bounce-kick-bounce-kick-catch "
That's right, all we have done is increase the number of kicks to 2 using the same foot
Keep practicing Step 2 until you can do it consistently.

We are now at the stage where we should be able to repeat the "kick-bounce-kick" sequence as many times as possible.
We will continue as we did in Step 1 and Step 2, but this time

Try to kick the ball to the same height that it was dropped from
Stay within a square that is 5 yards by 5 yards

Now for something a bit more challenging
We will repeat Step 1, but this time we do not let the ball bounce, so the sequence is "drop-kick-catch"

Keep practicing Step 4 using both feet until you can consistently kick the ball back to chest height

You guessed it, Step 5 is similar to Step 4, but with an extra kick, so the sequence is "drop-kick-kick-catch "

Keep practicing Step 5 using both feet until you can consistently kick the ball back to chest height

You are now ready to do unlimited kicks, using one foot at a time,
So you just repeat the "kick-kick" sequence.

At this stage you should only use one foot at time. That is to say see how many you can do using only you right foot, and then see how many you can do using your left foot.

As well as using your feet, you should also include other parts of the body, such as the thigh and the head. When using the thigh, make sure you use the fleshy part of the thigh and NOT your knee.
You will probably find that the thigh is overused, because the thigh is an easier part of the body to juggle with, so try to avoid overusing the thigh, just because it easier.

Rather than aimlessly juggling, using patterns is a far better way to improve, so use patterns like
1. Left foot
2. Left thigh
3. Head
4. Right thigh
5. Right foot
6. Repeat 1 to 5

Try making up your own patterns, as it is far more beneficial to follow a pattern, that to just chase a ball around, trying to keep it in the air.

Keep up the juggling practice and you will definitely improve your first touch.
About the Author
Nigel Reed has been involved in soccer during the 60's, 70's and 80's as a player and has been coaching youth soccer in Australia since 2000.
Nigels main soccer webite has detailed information on Youth Soccer Formations as well as a number of Free Soccer Drills

Good luck with your coaching
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