Beginning player often stare at coaches in awe when they are introduced to the concept of juggling in soccer. ”I thought we aren’t supposed to use our hands,” they say.
Juggling in soccer is keeping the ball up using the legal parts of your body (everything is okay to use except for arms, hands, and elbows). Every soccer player should learn how to juggle efficiently.
Why Should You Juggle?
- Improves touch.
- Can be used in game situations.
- Can impress your friends, coach, parents, or the ladies (or guys) (:
- Is a great way to cool down after tough training
- Is great to build confidence, juggling is a hard skill, and becoming a good juggler is something anyone should be proud of.
The Juggling Form
1. Become comfortable
To juggle efficiently, you need to feel comfortable and balanced.
2. Bend your knees
Helps balance, and makes your body stable.
3. Balls of your feet
You should be ready to move in any direction.
4. Arms and hands up.
Provides balance and stability.
Starting to Juggle
Starting to juggle is hard and frustrating; i’m not going to lie to you. If you feel that you are starting to get agitated, stop juggling for the day and work on it again tomorrow.
A good way to start is to let the ball bounce, than kick it up and catch it. Try that a few times with each foot then try to kick it twice. Next try to kick it once then kick it with your other foot.
Try to get a few juggles with each foot individually, then a few juggles while switching feet. Practice this every day because it is the basis of juggling.
Experiment with kicking the ball higher and lower. To be a successful juggler you will need to be able to continue juggling the ball even if the ball flight changes.
Parts of the Feet
A good juggler should learn to use all the parts of the feet. However, focus on using the top of the foot, which is the most common way to juggle, till you become confident using it.
Players use the top of the ball most often while juggling, it is the easiest part of the foot to use, and you will use it most often in game situations.
To use the inside of your foot, turn your leg inside and bring it up. This technique is a good way to kick balls that are kicked between your legs. It is also a reliable method because the inside of the foot is the largest section of your foot.
Helpful in a awkward situation, and good to use in game. To use the outside of your foot, turn your leg outside and bring it up.
Using the Thigh
The thigh juggle is commonly referred to as juggling with your knees. However, good players know that hitting the ball with the knee does not provide very good control. What you are truly juggling with is your thigh, the part of your leg located farther back than your knee.
Using the thigh is simple but tiring. Once you practice using the thigh for a short time, it becomes second nature. Use it to control the ball and to juggle.
Using the Head
The head can be used to control the ball. To use it, let the ball hit off of the right part of the head depending on the situation. This comes naturally with practice.