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Coaching Youth Soccer – Is Soccer Juggling Important? »

There is a misconception that [tag-tec]soccer juggling[/tag-tec] has nothing to do with the game at all and is something that belongs in the circus. If you are new to [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec] or a new [tag-tec]soccer parent[/tag-tec], you may think all that is involved in this game is running up and down the field kicking a ball. There are so many other skills that you need when you want to be a good [tag-tec]soccer player[/tag-tec] and I will discuss these further in coming posts.  There is however one skill that I encourage all players to master and that is [tag-tec]soccer juggling[/tag-tec]. This skill alone will not guarantee success as a player but it will assist in developing a more complete [tag-tec]soccer player[/tag-tec].

When you think of [tag-tec]soccer juggling[/tag-tec], you may immediately think about [tag-tec]soccer players[/tag-tec] tapping the ball on his or her foot repeatedly. This is indeed soccer juggling and it is a necessary skill when it comes to being a successful soccer player. In fact, juggling in [tag-tec]soccer[/tag-tec] means that you can tap the ball over and over again on any part of your body, whether it is your foot, knee, or head, as long as you do not use your arms or your hands. This is a great exercise to master and a very important component in coaching youth soccer as it will teach a [tag-tec]soccer player[/tag-tec] a lot about coordination and body control.

Soccer Juggling – Ball Control

The task here is to practice juggling the ball in the air with feet only and do not let the ball touch the ground.  Use both feet, left and right alternatively for a set number of repetitions.  The number of repetitions will vary depending on the skill level of the player.  First thing to do is to hold the ball and to drop it onto the laces of one foot.  Kick the ball to a height that the player can catch it, without moving the rest of their body.  Repeat on both sides. 

Coaching Tips – What to look for

• Ensure player is well relaxed and balanced
• The eyes are focused on the ball throughout the exercise
• Ensure the players weight is resting on the non-kicking leg
• Ensure player is using both feet throughout the exercise
• Ensure Knees are bent slightly
• Ensure the player does not kick the ball to high – definitely not above waist height

Soccer Juggling – Heading

Although I have been [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec] for some time, I have noticed there are some children that never get over their fear of heading a ball.  However, if a player wants to play the game it is a requirement to know how to do it properly.  If you are an attacking player or a defensive player, you will be required to head the ball at some stage.  Soccer juggling with the head is the first step in developing a good heading technique. The task here is to head the ball into the air with no bounces for a set number of repetitions.  Once again the amount of times the player does this will depend on their ability but you don’t want them complaining of headaches after they have finished!

Coaching Tips – What to look for

• Feet apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other
• Knees bent slightly
• The body leaning slightly back
• Arms forward for balance
• The body to be loose and flexible
• Eyes to be open watching the ball on the head
• Make contact with the ball with the forehead, not the top of the head
• Gently push through the ball with the head
• Neck muscles are locked
Soccer juggling is certainly an important aspect of [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec] and a very important part of learning to play the game. It teaches good eye and body coordination and allows the player to learn to be independent while playing.   As a youth soccer coach and a soccer parent, encourage your children to juggle whenever and wherever they can.  It is just one of those skills that will help them become a better player.

If you have the time, and want to see an expert at juggling, watch the video below. 


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  2. By shervon jack on Mar 7, 2011 | Reply

    this is great can i be emailed this video please.

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  2. Apr 1, 2010: juggling equipment

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