So you know how to juggle a soccer ball, but you want to get better. This is a great stage to be at, and you will begin to improve quickly with a bit of commitment and practice. I’ve put together a list of tips that I found helpful in taking my juggling skills to the next level.
To get better at juggling, you need to focus on your technique and stamina. Improving your technique will help you juggle for longer, and increasing your stamina will prevent you from getting tired quickly and making mistakes.
Repetition is vital in learning a skill, but performing it correctly each time you repeat it will take you further quicker.
Take your time to focus on each of these tips and understand what you need to do. Then get hold of a soccer ball and practice.
You’ll notice the improvement in no time!
1. Play a Soccer Ball Juggling Game
This is my top tip for getting better at juggling a soccer ball because it’s fun and productive at the same time.
Combining your practice time with a competitive game makes the practice far more enjoyable. Not only do you spend time working on your juggling skills and getting better, but you can hang out and compete with your friends at the same time.
I’ve filled many hours working on my ability to juggle a soccer ball this way.
My favorite soccer ball juggling game is soccer tennis. It’s simple to understand but exciting enough to play for hours.
Soccer Tennis: A Soccer Ball Juggling Game
The rules are similar to regular tennis, but you use a soccer ball and your foot instead of a tennis ball and racket.
You will need: A ball, a net, a minimum of two players, and some sort of boundary markers.
The rules: Set the court up to resemble a tennis court. (If you have access to a tennis court to play this game, that’s even better!) Set up the net across the center of the court and mark the boundary lines.
One player starts the game by kicking the ball from the back of the court, over the net, into the opposition’s side.
The ball is only allowed to bounce once on either side of the net before it must be returned to your opponent’s side of the net. However, a player can take as many touches of the ball before returning it, as long as it only touches the ground once. (This is where the juggling practice comes in!).
How to score points: A team gets a point every time their opponents fail to return the ball or kick it out of play.
Give the game a try and see what you think. The more you play, the more time you will spend practicing your juggling skills and ball control.
2. Work on One Specific Skill Until You’ve Mastered It
My second tip is to choose one specific skill and work on it until you’ve mastered it.
This is a great way of keeping your practice time interesting. Because, let’s face it, simply kicking a ball up with one foot repetitively for an hour can get boring quickly.
In my journey to improve at juggling a soccer ball, I found that choosing a skill I really wanted to get good at was key to my improvement and keeping me going.
For example, when I first started, I solely practiced mastering an “around the world” for an entire week until I was comfortable doing it.
This was really beneficial for my ability to control the ball and caused me to spend hours with the ball as I focussed on achieving my goal.
To implement this tip, you can choose any skill you like.
Have a look at this video below of some of the best soccer tricks and skills for inspiration.
I’ve put together a list of tricks and skills and a step by step guide on how to do them, but if there is any other skill you really want to master, I would encourage you to find out how to do it and then spend at least a few days working on it.
By the end, I’m sure you’ll notice that you have improved.
3. Concentrate on Improving Your Body Position
Another piece of advice that I’ve benefited from is to focus on my body position as I juggle the ball.
To be able to juggle for a long time, you need to ensure you are using the best techniques. Part of that is maintaining the best body position.
When juggling a soccer ball, your body position should be:
- feet shoulder-width apart,
- your knees slightly bent,
- standing on the balls of your feet,
- have your head leaning over the body.
When I first started, there was too many time where I was standing flat-footed, and my knees were straight.
In this position, I was not ready to respond to the movement of the ball. The extra moments that it took me to move when the ball went in a different direction to what I expected caused me to struggle to see a quick improvement.
Once someone pointed out what I was doing wrong, it made a world of difference.
Next time you have a ball at your feet and you’re working on one of my recommended soccer ball juggling drills, concentrate on maintaining the correct body position.
It may feel strange at first as you get used to it, but it will feel natural in time, and you’ll see your ability to juggle the ball increase.
4. Focus On Your Increasing Fitness and Stamina
Next, I want to encourage you to work on your fitness and stamina as a way to get better at juggling.
If you’re new to this and still working through my 10 Easy Steps for Learning How to Juggle a Soccer Ball, then you may not realize how much energy it takes to juggle for an extended time.
At first, it can get tiring quickly! And when your body is tired, you tend to make more mistakes.
This can make the whole process frustrating.
To overcome this barrier, it’s essential to work on your fitness alongside your technical skills.
Cardio is a good option here, as well as strength exercises for your legs.
To make things really easy though, I created a 30-Day Soccer Fitness Course.
In this program, I take you through a daily, step-by-step workout session to help you see significant improvements in your fitness in just one month!
It’s a HIIT-based workout program based on the same fitness techniques that pro soccer players use.
If it works for them, just imagine how good it would be for you.
To find out more, click here or on the button below.
Improving your fitness is one of the many surprising benefits of juggling a soccer ball.
5. Juggle With a Smaller Soccer Ball
Although a size five soccer ball is the standard size for most soccer games, there are other size soccer balls.
Juggling a smaller ball is an option you may have heard of before but never tried. If that’s true, I would encourage you to give it a go.
Juggling with a small soccer ball helps you improve your ball control, focus, and precision.
The reason for this is because it’s harder to juggle with a smaller ball than it is with a bigger ball. So you’ll have to work hard to get good at it!
But don’t worry, this hard work will pay off.
Practicing with a smaller ball forces you to concentrate more on what you are doing and be more precise with your contact with the ball.
It’s much easier for a size 3 ball to fly off in a direction you didn’t intend because you didn’t kick the ball quite right or with the correct part of your foot.
This means you need to improve your first touch and focus on what you are doing.
This development in your skills will carry over to using a bigger, size five ball again.
If you don’t have access to a size 3 ball, I recommend this one on Amazon. But there are also a ton of other size 3 balls available on there, so have a look around and see what you like.
One note of caution here: Don’t spend all your time using a size 3 ball rather than a size 5. Too much time with a smaller ball means you may hinder your progression with a larger ball. So instead of just using a small ball, mix up your practice session and use both sizes.
6. Start by Having Someone Throw a Ball Toward You
Another tip I want to share with you that I found beneficial is to have someone throw the ball to you before you juggle it.
A lot of the time we spend practicing juggling, we’re on our own. This makes sense as it is primarily a one-person activity.
But having someone else help you can increase your ability to perform this one-person activity.
My advice is to find someone willing to help you who is committed to your development. Then, have them stand 5 or 10 yards in front of you with the ball in their hands.
When you’re ready, get them to throw the ball to you around waist height. Control the ball and then juggle it five times before kicking the ball back to them to catch.
Throughout this whole process, the ball should not touch the floor once.
You can add variations to this drill by changing the number of times you juggle the ball before kicking it back to the catcher, or the catcher can stand further away.
This drill is ideal for improving your first touch and initial ball control and helps your juggling skills to improve.
If you are on your own, you can do this drill next to a wall and bounce the ball off the wall instead of having someone catch it.
Or if there are more than two of you you can stand in a circle and throw the ball to each other to juggle it and then pass it on to the next person.
7. Commit to Practicing 30 Minutes Every Day for a Month
My last tip is to make a time commitment to see a significant improvement.
I found that it was too easy just to practice when I felt like it rather than consistently, and that was hindering my development.
Once I committed to a consistent routine, I saw my improvement sky-rocket! Self-discipline is key to development in so many areas of life, not just soccer.
I recommend starting with 20 minutes a day, every day for 30 days.
If this feels too much or too little, feel free to adapt it to what works for you. Just make sure you’re not too hard on yourself or too easy.
Set an achievable but challenging goal.
If after this you’re looking for another challenge, have a look at my tips on how to juggle with bare feet. Or How to Make a Soccer Team: 14 Tips to Impress the Coaches.