Soccer Juggling Skills: 3 Reasons to Practice and 3 Tips to Improve
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Juggling is glamorous to onlookers with the fascinating skills performed with the ball, such as around the worlds, neck stalls, and rainbows. However, when it comes to becoming a better soccer player, it is something to practice when you can't practice skills that would be more applicable to a game. With that caveat mentioned, there is some usefulness to juggling in that it can improve your touch and feel for the ball, but it is not a good substitute for dribbling through cones, one on ones, and working on powerfully striking a ball. Because there are better drills to do than to work on juggling, this is precisely why most coaches disregard using practice time to work on juggling. However, there are a few things worth considering about juggling that a soccer player should keep in mind as to why juggling is essential.
3 Things Juggling Improves
1. It is one of the easiest skills to train. You can juggle with or without shoes, on a field or in your driveway. The main thing is that as long as you have a ball, you can juggle. It does help a bit with your first touch and gaining some confidence on the ball. Furthermore, having at least one juggling skills that moderate to difficult that you can show off helps to build your confidence too.
2. Juggling improves a player's ball control, and while performing juggling exercises, you will develop your foot-to-ball connection. Your foot-to-ball connection is crucial to improve because if you are comfortable taking your first touch on the ball, it can make for better attacking touches and it permits you to control the ball without having to overthink about which portion of your foot with which you should be taking touches.
3. Juggling improves your ability to get your feet off the ground quickly, which inherently trains your reaction time. For all the bad touches you may take, you need to quickly adjust and react in order to ensure that you are able to keep the ball off the ground.
Being able to gain control of the ball more quickly during a game with your fast reflexes will allow bad passes from teammates to you look like good passes.
These are a few skills that developed with juggling in soccer, but obviously, juggling impacts a lot of other skills and soccer abilities as well. So now that you understand the importance of being able to juggle well, let's discuss a few tips on how to do it.
Soccer Juggling: 3 Tips to Being a Better Juggler
1. Always, always, always, practice juggling with both feet. Don't be the soccer player that can only use one foot because you are a defender's best friend because they can effortlessly shut you down by not letting you go to your strong foot.
2. Avoid practicing juggling with your thighs. You rarely use them in a game, so why waste your time improving your ability to take a touch with them.
3. Use the top of your foot towards your toe and with each juggle, focus on making sure that there is no spin on the ball. Spinning the ball is a more advanced ability and should be perfected when you can comfortably juggle a ball while it is not spinning.
All things considered, focus on other areas of soccer in practice and before games, but if you are unable to be on a field, then focus on your ability to juggle. Have fun with it and always set a number that you are aiming to reach or a skill you are looking to master.
Check out the book Soccer Training: A Step-by-Step Guide on 14 Topics for Intelligent Soccer Players, Coaches, and Parents to read more on these areas and other areas relevant to the soccer player such as foot skills, shooting, mindset, passing, defending, and many more.