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Soccer Juggling Tips - The Complete Guide

Updated: May 9, 2023


Soccer juggling tips - Improve your skills today!

One of the best ways you can improve your game is by juggling. It will improve your touch, coordination, and so much more!


In this post, I’ll share some tips for juggling that will help you become a better soccer player. We'll cover the following sections. Click the item below if you want to jump to that section.



Let's get started!


Juggling 101


First, let’s talk about some basics when it comes to juggling.


What is juggling?


Juggling is when you keep the ball off the ground using your feet, thighs, chest, or head. All you need is yourself and a ball.



I recommend spending 10-15 minutes a day on juggling so you can start getting touches and practicing your technique.


If you’re just getting started or still working on your form, try these tips:

  • Keep your eye on the ball

  • Point your toe downward

  • Lock your ankle

  • Kick the ball with your laces

  • Use both feet

  • Focus on control

As you start to practice your technique, I recommend starting with your hands at first. Try starting out with a simple foot->catch->foot->catch pattern.



This gives you more control and will maximize your touches since you won’t drop the ball as often.


Once you get that down, you can also expand it by switching feet or doing multiple touches in between each catch.


Once you get comfortable with using your hands, you can transition to other techniques.


Just remember to start small and practice often. This is the best way to learn. If you start small and simple it will help you build confidence along the way.


Technique #1: Pattern Juggling


Once you master the basics, another simple technique is pattern juggling. This is where you juggle in a pattern like left foot->right foot->left foot->right foot.



Pattern juggling will help you a lot with your touch. It forces you to control the ball and to work on coordination/timing.


One of the patterns I like to do every so often is called “Around the World”.


This isn’t to be mistaken with the freestyle move, which I talk about below in the freestyle section.


The pattern for this is as follows:

  • Right foot

  • Right thigh

  • Right shoulder

  • Head

  • Left shoulder

  • Left thigh

  • Left foot

It’s 7 touches in total. 3 on the right, 1 in the middle, and 3 on the left.


It’s a fun pattern that is really satisfying when you get it right. It’s also fun to see how many times you can do it in a row by reversing it on your last touch.


Another pattern I really enjoy is the back and forth foot-stall.


For this pattern, you stall the ball on the right foot, then left foot, and so forth as many times as you can.




The best part about pattern juggling is you can make up any pattern you want!


It can be simple or complex. The choice is up to you.


Remember, pattern juggling will help a lot with your touch because it forces you to control where the ball is going.


As your touch gets better, it will become easy to control the ball on multiple surfaces of your body and will eventually become second nature.


Another technique to focus on is soccer lifts.


Technique #2: Juggling Lifts


What is a soccer lift?


A lift is when you lift the ball off the ground into the air with your feet.


It’s a great way to improve your balance and is a step up from using your hands as mentioned earlier in the post.


Soccer lifts can be really simple or very complex. Have you ever heard of the rainbow?


That’s an example of a somewhat difficult soccer lift.


It’s a fun technique and it can be used in a game if you do it right, but it can take some time master.


Below are the lifts that I recommend if you are just starting out. They are a great foundation and you can obviously expand from there.

  • Front Pull Back

  • Inside Pull Back

  • Outside Pull Back

  • Half Rainbow

  • The Skip Hop

  • The Dead Lift



The one thing you want to remember with soccer lifts is to master them with both feet.


This will help your balance, touch, and coordination.


If you can do a lift with your right foot, can you also do it with your left?


You can also connect this technique with the pattern juggling technique. You can make a lift part of your pattern or try different lifts with the same pattern to add some variety.


This leads into the next technique which is freestyle juggling.


Technique #3: Freestyle Juggling


Freestyle juggling is when you do tricks while juggling. It’s fun and flashy and a great way to improve your skills.



One of the most common freestyle moves is “Around the World”. You do it by stalling the ball on your foot and then throwing your leg around it before it hits the ground again.



Some other good ones are the...

  • Rainbow

  • Pancake

  • Head-stall

  • Crossover

  • Neck-stall

  • Heel Juggling

This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many other moves. I'll post the tutorial video below for each one mentioned above.


Around The World



The Rainbow



The Pancake



The Head-Stall



The Crossover



The Neck-Stall



Heel Juggling



Freestyle is a whole world on it’s own. There are so many moves and new ones coming out all of the time.


The key to freestyle juggling is practice. A lot of practice. If you want to learn other freestyle moves, there are several other tutorials you can watch on YouTube and other places online.


For more ways you can practice juggling, check out the 10 additional ideas below


10 Bonus Ideas


If you really want a challenge, try these 10 juggling ideas.


Please note: Some of these will be a repeat from the sections above.

  1. Try to juggle the ball without it touching the ground 10, 20, 50, 100 times.

  2. Juggle the ball in a "left foot" "right foot" pattern as many times as you can.

  3. Switch up the pattern to be "foot" "thigh" or "foot" "head" or a pattern of your choice.

  4. Challenge different parts of your body like only juggling with your thighs, head, or feet.

  5. Attempt to juggle while jogging or running full speed.

  6. Learn to "freestyle" juggle.

  7. Use a wall to juggle back and forth.

  8. Juggle with other types of balls like a tennis ball, golf ball, etc.

  9. Juggle with a friend or in a group and see how many touches in a row you can do.

  10. Put on your favorite song and try to juggle to the beat.

These tips are a great segue into the next tip.


Practice


This probably goes without saying, but none of this will work if you don't practice. The ball will not juggle itself.


It needs you to put in the work in order to learn and improve. I remember when I really started taking juggling seriously.


I was about 14 years old and I was playing soccer competitively in Utah. One of my teammates named Kyle was into freestyle juggling and he was really good at it. He showed me some of the tricks he had learned and I was really impressed.


I thought it was way cool what he could do with the ball and I wanted to do the same things he could.


So I started practicing.


I started small and then I expanded from there. The first trick I learned was around the world and I remember it took me a couple of months to learn it.


I failed many times and it just wasn't natural at first. But with time, I was able to learn around the world and a lot of other moves.


It became a passion and was something that really helped me progress as a soccer player.


Did I ever use around the world in a real game? No. I never did. BUT....it did help me gain the control and technique that allowed me to excel on the pitch.


I have no doubt that juggling and control was... and still is... a key factor in my success as a soccer player. That's why I know it will help you too!


But you have to put in the work! You have to practice.


Summary


Juggling is a great way to improve your game! With as little as 10 minutes a day you can take your touch to the next level.


It's such a great skills because it increases multiple skills simultaneously. It's like doing a push-up. A push-up works your legs, core, chest, shoulders, and arms all at the same time.


Juggling is the same. It helps with your balance, coordination, touch, control, and creativity.


As you look to improve your juggling skills, remember these tips/techniques:

  • Master the basics

  • Pattern Juggling

  • Soccer Lifts

  • Freestyle Juggling

  • Practice

Now let’s turn it over to you!


Which technique are you going to work on first?


Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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