As you coach youth soccer, you will soon realize that learning to juggle is a very important technique for youth soccer player to learn. Players who can juggle have a feel for the ball and learn to become one with the ball. Their touch is often much better than those players who cannot juggle and are usually more composed when playing in pressure situations. So, learn our soccer juggling tips below!
Soccer players who are able to juggle a soccer ball typically have greater control over the ball and are more apt to adjust their body positioning in different situations. Soccer jugglers should aim to achieve harmony between the ball and the player.
As a coach, it is up to you to encourage players to juggle as a warm-up before practice and games so they can develop their juggling skills. I often have players who show up to practice early pick up a ball and start juggling while waiting for other players to show.
Have players either juggle on their own or pair up with a partner in attempt to keep the ball off of the ground. It’s great for their touch, and a good warm-up while waiting around for training to start.
It is very important to instruct players to juggle the soccer ball with both feet. Some players want to focus only on their strong foot, however, as a coach it is important for you to get them working on their weak foot as well.
I typically work my juggling into the warm-up and have the players work on the following soccer juggling tips:
- Juggle with the instep (top of foot) only. Make sure they switch feet and keep the ball below their head. If the ball gets too far out of control the player will struggle to juggle.
- Juggle with the thighs only. Make sure the players use the thigh part of their leg and not their knee. Their body movement should resemble that of a soldier marching. Make sure they alternate legs.
- All parts of the feet. Now let the players use the inside, outside and instep parts of their feet.
- All parts of their feet, chest and thighs.
- All body parts including their heads.
In addition to using the soccer juggling tips as a warm-up, you can also make it a competition. Hold a juggling competition and award prizes to the top jugglers. Give them a couple weeks to practice before holding the competition and track their progress through the competitions.
Make sure the players increase their juggling numbers each week. Make it a point to stress the importance of juggling in soccer each week leading up to the competitions and be sure to point out players who obviously have not been working on juggling.