Juggling is a great way to improve mastery of the ball, which will help your players during matches and give their confidence a boost. Try the following fun soccer drills.
Juggling will build skills in three different ways:
- By improving ball control and touch.
- By improving coordination.
- By improving reactions.
All age groups can do juggling and your players should eventually be able to use all parts of their body – thighs, head, chest – to keep the ball in the air. But for young or inexperienced players it is best to start off with simple kicks so they get the feel of it. It is also best to do it on firmer surfaces because the ball will not bounce off muddy ones.
Soccer drill tips
The technique in the drill is to use the laces of the boot, keep toes pointing up and tap directly under the ball.
- Hold the ball with both hands and it let drop to the ground. After one bounce, tap the ball back up and catch (bounce-foot-catch).
- Next, rather than catch the ball, let it bounce, tap it again, then catch (bounce-foot-bounce-foot-catch).
- Try increasing the number of bounces and taps before catching the ball to 3, then 4 etc.
- Now try tapping the ball twice before it bounces (bounce-foot-foot-catch), then 3 times etc.
- Repeat all drill progressions several times with each foot. Hold the ball, release it so it falls, but tap it back into hands before it hits the ground. Increase the difficulty by tapping the ball two, three, four times etc before catching. Now, try moving the ball from one foot to the other and back again. (right-left-right etc).
Extend the drill
When players reach a certain number of kick-ups, you can get them to do more advanced juggling. In this drill, they can start on their thigh, and catch the ball, then move to incorporating their feet and head. So the soccer drill starts on the thigh, drops to the foot and the ball is then kicked high in the air to head it. Players should try to keep this sequence going for as long as possible.