To juggle, tap the soccer ball into the air while using different parts of your body. The
goal is to keep the ball from hitting the ground. The body parts used to juggle are the head,
shoulder, chest, thigh, and feet. "Balance" is extremely important during juggling so always hold
your arms out to steady yourself.
Hint: When juggling the ball with your thigh lean your shoulders back and lift your leg
so that the top of your thigh is parallel with the ground. Never use the bony part of the knee or
the ball will ricochet off. To juggle the ball off the top of your shoulder, make contact with the
bony part.
The biggest advantage of juggling is that it allows you to develop your balance, timing,
strength, and foot and eye coordination. Juggling is a fun activity that encourages kids to practice
and work with the ball. Below are a few advanced juggling drills that will enhance a player's
Juggle the ball using only the toes of one foot. To execute, hold your foot off the ground
and point your toes high in the air. Cock and lock your ankle so that your foot is stiff when
making contact with the ball. Hop up and down on the non juggling foot while timing each jump
to lift the ball with your kicking foot. Contact the ball when it has dropped some so you can lift
the ball up in the air as you jump. Do not make contact at the ball’s highest point or you can’t
jump any higher to lift the ball up. Switch feet.
Hop and lift.
Jog or run while juggling the ball in the air. Use all parts of your body to keep the ball
aloft while moving forward.
This drill gives you an advantage in a game because you can run and maintain control of
a ball that is airborne, instead of waiting for the ball to settle to the ground. Here you can move
the ball in the air and evade the defense or attack the goal.
Hold the ball in your hands and kick the ball straight up in the air fairly high. Your
second kick is a bump of approximately one fourth that height to gain control of it after the high
ball. You want to kick it high then kick it low straight up in the air. Keep alternating high then
low with each kick. To execute these kicks straight up in the air, lift your foot high off the ground
as well as parallel to the ground.
Kick High
Kick Low
Kick High
As you begin to master all of these juggling drills inter mix them for fun.
It is not critical that you be an expert at juggling the soccer ball to be a good player.
Reaching a goal of 100 continuous juggles will not make you a well-rounded player. As a coach
with limited time allotted for group practice, don't spend a lot of time on juggling, but rather
encourage your players to work on this important skill on their own time.
[Written by Karen (Whited) Miller]