Juggling a soccer ball is fun and challenging, but it can be hard to see how it benefits a soccer player during a game. I want to show you why becoming an expert at juggling a soccer ball is so important for any player.
The benefits of juggling a soccer ball are increased confidence for a player with the ball at their feet, improved control of the ball on the soccer field, and development of a player’s focus as they learn to follow the movement of the ball.
Improving in each of these areas is critical to a soccer player’s performance during a soccer game. After reading this article, you’ll see how you can make the most of juggling to see an improvement in your own performance.
Why Juggling a Soccer Ball Is Important
The record for the longest time continuously controlling or juggling a soccer ball is held by Abraham Muñoz. He completed 21 hours and 1 minute juggling a soccer ball on May 20, 2010, in New York.
This is a long time to continuously juggle a soccer ball without it touching the ground!
Now, while you or I may never reach this level of ability to juggle a ball, there are specific reasons why learning to juggle a soccer ball is beneficial for any soccer player.
The reasons why juggling a soccer ball is important are:
- It builds a player’s confidence with the ball
- It improves a player’s first touch and control of the ball
- Improves a player’s focus
- Develops a player’s discipline
- Helps a player’s timing and spatial awareness
Let’s look at each of these to understand how keeping a soccer ball off the ground helps a player!
1. Juggling a Soccer Ball Builds a Player’s Confidence
Learning to juggle a soccer ball is a great way for a player to build confidence with the ball because it gives a player multiple touches of the ball in a short space of time.
I can’t overstate the importance of regularly touching the ball in a player’s development.
The more times a player touches the ball, the more comfortable they become with knowing how the ball will respond to each touch.
Will it go high or low?
Will it move fast or slow?
As players start to notice these minor differences each time they touch the ball, they learn how to optimize what they are doing.
This awareness improves the results of their touch and improves their skills and abilities.
Discover the best way I’ve found to learn how to juggle in my article – How to juggle a soccer ball in 10 easy steps.
2. Juggling a Soccer Ball Improves a Player’s First Touch
Learning to juggle a soccer ball also improves a player’s first touch and control of the ball.
There isn’t much more important in a soccer game than a player’s first touch.
If you’re unsure what I mean by “first touch,” then head over to my article – First Touch in Soccer. It will explain what “first touch” means and why it’s so important in soccer.
But basically, “first touch” is how effectively a player controls the ball when it first arrives with them.
If a player has a great first touch, then everything you do after that will be better.
When players focus on their juggling and practices as often as possible, they are indirectly working on their first touch and ball control.
With every touch of the ball, they are developing their skills in this area.
They learn and adapt their movements based on how the ball reacts and understand how to direct the ball to go where they want it to.
Juggling the ball will help any player to get better.
3. Juggling a Soccer Ball Improves a Players Focus
Juggling also improves the player’s focus.
If you take your eye off the ball for even a second while you are juggling, then you can lose track of the ball, lose control, and the ball will hit the floor before you can do anything about it.
Juggling a soccer ball forces you to be focused.
Every soccer player needs to learn how to be focused when they have control of the ball or when playing a soccer game.
The ball’s movement can change in a moment, and if a player isn’t focused on what is happening, then the game, and the ball, can pass them by.
This ability will continually improve if you learn how to juggle a ball for a long time.
4. Juggling a Soccer Ball Develops a Player’s Discipline
Learning to juggle a soccer ball well takes time.
It takes a week for a player to learn the basics of how to juggle a soccer ball. Then, it takes a few months of practicing for a player to be capable of juggling for an extended period of time. And it takes around a year to master juggling a soccer ball, including multiple tricks and skills.
To achieve any of this, a player needs to be disciplined and committed to achieving their goal.
I remember spending hours as a kid practicing juggling. I was determined to improve and perform the same juggling tricks I saw the pros performing.
The benefit of this time paid off on the soccer field. As my juggling skills improved, so did my performance in a game.
If you can stay disciplined while learning to juggle a soccer ball, you can stay disciplined in other areas. In no time at all, you will be a better player than you were before.
5. Juggling a Soccer Ball Helps a Player’s Timing and Spatial Awareness
Another reason juggling is so beneficial to a player is that it can dramatically improve their timing and spatial awareness.
Timing and spatial awareness are vital to being able to juggle a ball successfully.
If your timing is off, you may kick the ball in the wrong direction, and if you struggle with spatial awareness, you may miss the ball altogether.
As players focus on the ball and their control while juggling, they are slowly developing in these areas.
As with any of the factors mentioned above, improved timing and spatial awareness will significantly help a player on the soccer field.
Juggling a Soccer Ball Helps a Player Improve
Most people’s objection to the importance of learning to juggle a soccer ball comes from the fact that you rarely see a soccer player juggling a soccer ball during a soccer game.
And this is true. It is rare to see a player juggle a soccer ball during a game.
However, it does occasionally happen, as you can see in the video below.
But as I’ve just shown above, juggling a soccer ball helps because it makes the player juggling the ball a much better all-around player.
There’s no doubt that it can take a long time to learn how to juggle a soccer ball confidently, especially when you are first starting.
The amount of time it will take depends on the individual and how much hard work and practice time they are willing to put into learning.
But if you are willing to put the time and practice in and are prepared to work hard at it, you will see a difference in a relatively short period of time.
And not only that, but you will see your all-around soccer abilities and skills improve along with your juggling skills.
If you want to practice juggling at home I recommend checking out my article – How to Juggle a Soccer Ball Without Shoes (5 Pro Tips) – as the technique is slightly different from when you are wearing shoes.
And if you want to discover some of the best tricks and skills to incorporated into your game, check out my article – 10 Easy Soccer Tricks (Incl. Video Tutorials)