Some new players think that juggling the soccer ball is unimportant and that doing so is quite frankly a waste of their precious time. Believing this is actually a very big mistake. Taking time to hone your juggling skills can improve many areas of your overall game, allowing them to be enhanced. In fact, players both new and seasoned should really think about practicing juggling regularly.
So, in this article, we will take a look at the importance of juggling, how to juggle, as well as some tips on how to take your juggling skill to the next level. But hold on a second ... what exactly is juggling when you are talking about soccer? Before we get into teaching you the why and how to, let’s talk about what juggling is.
What is Juggling?
Juggling is the act of keeping the soccer ball in the air by any means necessary (except using the hands of course) and can be practiced solo or with your team members. Think of hacky sack but with a harder, bigger ball. Working on this technique helps you to improve your ball handling skills. That is just one of the many reasons why this skill is so important to learn.
Why Juggling is Important?
'It’s a massive waste of time!' 'There are so many other drills that I should be spending my valuable time on!' 'Who needs to juggle the ball anyway?' All these things are often said by players as they train. Juggling is often overlooked and that as stated above is a huge mistake. After all, by adding juggling into your drills, you can garner some big benefits.
We mentioned this above in the intro to this section. Learning to keep that ball in the air enables you to build and elevate your ball handling skills. Your game will only benefit from the ability to control that ball with a precision built from juggling.
Are you practicing solo? Then juggling can help you build a stronger initial touch. By becoming a juggling master, you will bring the ball in closer when receiving no matter how you meet the ball for the first time.
Confident and comfortable your soccer game will be so much better with the addition of juggling to your training routine. Because of your enhanced ball handling capabilities, you will feel more at ease with other aspects such as dribbling or passing.
Sounds cool, right? Well, then let’s get to talking about how to begin to juggle.
How to Juggle
Like with everything else juggling will take a lot of patience and practice, but when you look at what you will get for your hard work a little frustration is okay. Here is how you can get your juggling practice begun.
Launch the ball into the air and let it hit the ground, bouncing up once. After the ball bounces kick it once and catch the ball with your hand.
After each juggle switch feet so that you can get comfortable juggling with both feet.
Now that you are comfortable with the single juggle repeat the process but try to get two juggles in with each foot.
It would be good to keep this practice up until you are able to do at least five juggles per foot before the ball hits the ground.
Now that you are more confident with your juggling its time to go hands-free. Pop the ball up and follow the above practice.
If you keep this practice up daily, you will see a high return on your investment. Just stay patient.
Here is a video that might help you learn how to juggle a soccer ball:
Some Encouraging Words and Tips
Frustration happens! You will fail a lot but be persistent because like with all things good things come to those that wait. This is a skill that takes time so take a few deep breaths and don’t let this skill beat you.
Greatness comes to those that exhibit the most patience. Just like with frustration you must remember that pushing through the aggravation is key. You will eventually with practice crack the enigma that is juggling.
Try going high!
Once you feel comfortable with the basic juggling try kicking the ball higher and higher.
Switch it up
This means try to hit the ball with different parts of your foot. Doing this will enhance that ball handling even further
Your feet aren’t the only part of your body
Try adding in your head, chest, and thigh to enhance more parts of your soccer game.
Backspin, it's amazing!
Kick the back of the ball to garner a little backspin. This may make juggling a little easier for you.
It’s okay to lose count!
Stop trying to beat the juggle record you created the day before and just focus on the juggling itself.
Phone a friend!
If you want to make juggling a little more fun, then add in some friends or your team. This will not only up to your ball handling ability but can also help with your teams’ bond. Plus, the ball is harder to control when you add in another player and this will elevate your skill even more.
Tie a net or hit the court and use your soccer ball and juggling ability to play a game of tennis.
Try any or all these tips and see how much better your game becomes.
Read also: Best Soccer Balls
Hopefully, after reading this article, you will learn how to juggle a soccer ball and see the value of adding juggling into your training rotation. It really is not that hard to do, and with better ball handling and more comfort with the ball, you are sure to be able to capture that MVP slot more often than ever before! When it comes down to it, learning to juggle a soccer ball is much easier than you think and only requires some practice to become good at it.