How to Juggle a Soccer Ball
Learn how to juggle a soccer ball to impress your teammates, friends, family, and strangers!
Juggling is the act of keeping the ball in the air by repeatedly kicking it with different parts of your body.
It’s a fundamental skill that can help you improve your ball control, coordination, and overall soccer abilities.
While it may seem difficult at first, with practice and patience, anyone can learn how to juggle a soccer ball.
There are different techniques and methods you can use to get started, and we’ll explore some of them in this article.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced soccer player, juggling is a fun and challenging way to improve your skills on your own time.
Tips for Juggling a Soccer Ball
Start with the basics
Before you start juggling, it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics of ball control. This includes being able to control the ball with different parts of your feet, such as your instep, outside, and inside. Practice dribbling the ball around cones or other obstacles to improve your ball control skills.
Use your thighs to start
When you’re ready to start juggling, begin by dropping the ball and using your thighs to catch it. This will help you get a feel for the ball and the way it bounces. Once you’re comfortable with catching the ball with your thighs, try to alternate between your thighs and feet. Just drop the ball, kick it back up, catch it, drop again, and repeat.
Keep your eyes on the ball
It’s important to keep your eyes on the ball at all times when juggling. This will help you anticipate where the ball is going to go and allow you to adjust your footwork accordingly. As you get your footwork and timing down, you’ll want to use your peripheral vision to see the ball.
Use the right technique
When juggling, use the inside of your foot to kick the ball up and into the air. As the ball comes down, use the top of your foot to cushion it and keep it in the air. Repeat this process, alternating between your left and right foot.
Practice, practice, practice
Like any skill, juggling takes practice to master. Set aside some time each day to work on your juggling skills. Start with a small number of juggles and gradually increase as you improve.
Once you’re comfortable with juggling, challenge yourself by trying different techniques, such as juggling with your weaker foot or adding in tricks like around the world or the scissors.
Basic Soccer Juggling Techniques
If you’re just starting out with soccer juggling, it’s important to master the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques. Here are some basic techniques to get you started:
The Foot Stall
The foot stall is the most basic juggling technique and involves briefly catching the ball on your foot. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with the ball in your hands and drop it onto your foot.
- As the ball bounces up, use your foot to cushion the ball and bring it to a stop. The key is to cradle the ball into your foot.
- Once the ball is still, flick it back up into the air and catch it again with your foot.
Here’s a great video to learn a basic juggle…
Basic juggling with the top of your foot should be the first type of juggling you master. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by dropping the ball to your dominant foot.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and kick the ball up with your laces.
- Use your other foot to kick the ball back up.
- Alternate feet each time to kick the ball up.
- Continue this pattern until the ball hits the ground.
Advanced Juggling Techniques
Now that you have mastered the basics of juggling a soccer ball, it’s time to take your skills to the next level. Here are some advanced techniques to help you impress your friends and opponents on the field.
Around the World
Around the World is a trick that involves circling the ball around your body in the air. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by juggling the ball with your dominant foot.
- When the ball is in the air, jump and tuck your non-dominant foot behind your dominant leg.
- Use your dominant foot to circle the ball around your body, passing it behind your non-dominant leg.
- As the ball comes back around to your dominant foot, jump and tuck your dominant foot behind your non-dominant leg.
- Use your non-dominant foot to circle the ball around your body, passing it behind your dominant leg.
- Continue this pattern, circling the ball around your body with alternating feet.
Crossover Juggling is a trick that involves crossing your legs while juggling the ball. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by juggling the ball with your dominant foot.
- When the ball is in the air, jump and cross your non-dominant leg over your dominant leg.
- Use your dominant foot to kick the ball to your non-dominant foot.
- When the ball is in the air, uncross your legs and jump.
- Cross your dominant leg over your non-dominant leg.
- Use your non-dominant foot to kick the ball back to your dominant foot.
- Continue this pattern, crossing your legs with each kick.
Should the Soccer Ball Spin?
One common question that often arises when learning how to juggle a soccer ball is whether or not the ball should spin. The answer is that it depends on personal preference and the type of juggling you are doing.
If you are juggling for fun or as a warm-up exercise, it doesn’t really matter if the ball is spinning or not.
However, if you are practicing to improve your skills, it is recommended that you try to keep the ball from spinning as much as possible.
When the ball spins, it can be more difficult to control and can throw off your rhythm.
Additionally, if you are trying to perform advanced juggling tricks, such as around the world or the rainbow, it is much easier to do so with a ball that isn’t spinning.
That being said, some players prefer to juggle with a spinning ball because it can be more challenging and can help improve their coordination and footwork.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to allow the ball to spin is up to you. But, I recommend practicing your juggling without a spin so the Around the World is easier down the road.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re new to juggling a soccer ball, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that can hinder your progress. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
- Kicking the ball too hard: One of the most common mistakes beginners make is kicking the ball too hard. Remember, you’re trying to keep the ball in the air, not launch it into orbit. Use gentle touches and focus on control.
- Looking at the ball: It’s tempting to keep your eyes glued to the ball, but this can throw off your balance and make it harder to control the ball. Instead, focus on a fixed point in the distance and use your peripheral vision to keep track of the ball.
- Using the wrong part of your foot: Juggling a soccer ball requires precise footwork. Using the wrong part of your foot can make it harder to control the ball. Use the top of your foot, just below your toes, to make contact with the ball.
- Not practicing enough: Juggling a soccer ball is a skill that takes time and practice to master. If you only practice once in a while, you won’t see much improvement. Make a commitment to practice every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. All you need to juggle is a soccer ball!
Does Juggling Help Improve My Skills?
Yes, juggling can help improve your soccer skills in several ways. Here are some of the benefits of juggling:
- Better Ball Control: Juggling helps you develop better control of the ball. As you juggle the ball, you learn to use different parts of your feet to control it, which can translate to better ball control on the field.
- Improved First Touch: First touch is an important part of soccer, and juggling can help improve your first touch. Juggling can help you develop better awareness of the ball and improve your ability to control it when it comes to you.
- Improved Focus: Juggling requires a lot of focus and concentration. As you practice juggling, you can improve your ability to focus on the ball and make quick decisions on the field.
- Better Coordination: Juggling requires good coordination between your feet and your eyes. As you practice juggling, you can improve your coordination, which can translate to better performance on the field.
While juggling is not the only way to improve your soccer skills, it can be a fun and effective way to practice on your own.
By incorporating juggling into your training routine, you can develop better ball control, improve your first touch, and become a more well-rounded player.
Final Thoughts on Juggling a Soccer Ball
There’s no doubt that juggling a soccer ball is a fun and effective way to improve your ball control and footwork.
By starting with the basics, using the right technique, and practicing regularly, anyone can learn how to juggle like a pro.
Over time, if you juggle consistently, you’ll see progress. Experiencing this progress will give you a sense of accomplishment. This can often spill over into other aspects of your soccer career and life.
So, grab a soccer ball and start juggling!!