How to Juggle a Soccer Ball
Just about anyone can learn to juggle a soccer ball with persistence and patience. Requirements include excellent eye-foot coordination and balance. For the young player, learning to juggle means greater technical skill and more ball possession for the team.
- Hold a soccer ball in both hands a few inches away from your chest. Lift one thigh so it is parallel to the ground. Drop, don't throw, the ball so it strikes the middle of the thigh. Adjust hand position as necessary. Note that if the hands are extended to far the ball will strike the knee and bounce away from the body. Focus on balance and ball positioning-don't worry about bouncing the ball yet. Repeat until balance can easily be maintained.
- Drop the soccer ball again. Just before the ball reaches the thigh quickly raise the thigh an inch or two and strike the ball. Note that the intention is to strike the ball vertically back up to the hands where it will be caught. Aim to bounce the ball only as high as your outstretched hands. Pay attention to where the ball is hitting the thigh. Strike the ball high on the thigh and it will not bounce up. Aim for the middle of the thigh.
- Repeat these steps on the opposite thigh and until the ball can easily be caught every time.
- Continue by juggling the ball off one thigh twice before catching it. Master this before attempting to juggle the ball once on each thigh.
- Bounce the ball off one thigh and don't catch it. Let the ball drop and before it hits the ground attempt to hit the the bottom of the ball at its center. Strike the ball on the top center of the shoe on the laces. Use the foot closest to where the ball drops. Aim to kick the ball vertically and catch it with both hands. Don't reach the for the ball-make the ball come to you.
- Repeat Step 5 on the opposite leg.
- Practice until comfortable with these initial steps before beginning to count. Count the number of times the ball is juggled before you lose control. Aim to keep the ball in front of the body. Have a goal in mind such as ten touches before losing control.
- Use any part of the body to strike the ball when control is lost-this is an ideal way to begin using other parts of the body to juggle. Use the outside of the right foot, for example, to try and knock the ball back in front of the body when the ball flies to the right after losing control while juggling off the thigh.
- Be patient. Keep in mind that juggling is a skill and can be learned like anything else. Be persistent and results will follow.
- Practice everyday. Practicing fifteen minutes a day is preferable to practicing once a week for an hour. Attempt to walk while juggling after thirty touches can comfortably be made. Alternate between juggling in a stationary position and while moving. Later, juggle while jogging and then while running.