How To Juggle A Soccer Ball: A Beginner’s Guide

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Learning how to juggle a soccer ball is not something that happens overnight. When we see professionals and freestylers make juggling look easier than breathing, we forget that it took them years of practice to get to that point.

That being said, juggling is an essential skill for soccer players who want to play at a high level. Whether that’s Division 1 soccer or professional soccer, they have all mastered juggling. 

Juggling is the foundation for your touch and ball control. My goal is to help you juggle the ball 100 times. 

Short Summary

  • We are going to explore the benefits of juggling and what you need for it.
  • We have a list of tips that will make juggling much easier. Obviously, there’s not one correct way to juggle, but the majority of players and coaches can agree on these points to help you reach your first 100 juggles.
  • You’ll find a tutorial video in the “How To Juggle” section that I have personally used to tidy up my juggling skills. It’s great for beginners and gives a good visual of proper form, pace, and other great advice.
  • Later in the article, you’ll find the progression guide that we created for you to track your progress and use as your personal checklist to reach 100 juggles.

Benefits Of Juggling And What You Need

Juggling is an exceptional drill because of the convenience of it. Brazilian youngsters develop their skills from a young age because they take a ball with them everywhere they go. Likewise, you can juggle anywhere at any time. All you need is a ball and a sturdy surface to stand on. We recommend juggling with cleats to replicate how controlling a ball out of the air will feel like in a game. This also helps with getting a feel for the ball and breaking in your cleats. Some cleats and shoes are better than others for juggling and dribbling so make sure you choose the pair right for you. Make sure to use a ball that is appropriate for your age, if you have a kid under 10 years of age wanting to learn to juggle, provide them with a ball that is a size 4 or under. Size 5 balls are the largest size and most youth teams start using them from u11 to u13. 

Juggling improves your first touch when receiving a pass from another teammate or controlling a ball out of the air. It also helps you remain composed when on the ball or dribbling through tight spaces. 

Tips On How To Juggle A Soccer Ball

If you are completely new to juggling and soccer in general, some of these tips may be difficult for you to achieve in the beginning. Once you have these tips mastered you’ll find it easy to go from 50 to 100 juggles and beyond. So if you encounter challenges with applying these tips try to start small and progressively work your way up. For example, if you have a hard time reducing spin on the ball will you juggle, focus on getting 1-5 juggles without spin. Get a feel for that and continuously increase the repetitions. 

Our best tips to effectively juggle a soccer ball:

  • Maintain a low ball height – strive to keep it below the waist
  • Reduce spin on the ball – this is all about contact with the foot and the kicking motion. Keep your legs loose and relaxed, if you’re tense and stiff the ball tends to spin more.
  • Make contact with the forefoot – this will help in reducing spin. *see the image above*
  • Use arms for balance 
  • Stay calm and breathe

How To Juggle

via “AllAttack” youtube channel

Juggling starts with a flick-up (or drop from your hands if needed). Simply roll the ball back and with the same foot, flick the ball up. Afterward, keep the ball in the air by using both feet. Some players like to use their thighs when keeping the ball in the air which can be beneficial but try to focus on using your feet at first. Using our tips listed above, keep the ball in the air as long as you can in a controlled manner. Once you reach your first 100 juggles, you can add skill variations that can get quite complex but are fun to master. 

Get Your First 100 Juggles – Your Progression Guide

Feel free to use this as your personal checklist to track your progress. Of course, go at your own pace, but practicing multiple times per week will yield results in a matter of weeks or months depending on your skill level. 

  1. Master 10 flick-ups with two juggles after. 
  2. Master 5 juggles alternating feet
  3. Master 10 juggles alternating feet
  4. Master 5 juggles with EACH FOOT (5 with your left, pause, 5 with your right)
  5. Master 20 juggles alternating feet
  6. Master 10 juggles with EACH FOOT (same as step 4 but 10 each)
  7. Master 50 juggles using both feet
  8. Master 100 juggles using both feet

How to use this guide effectively: make sure to complete multiple sets of each step before moving on to the next step. Be consistent in your efforts. Apply the tips that we gave you and strive for good form, composure, and excellence. If you find yourself losing control go back a step and re-master it before moving on again. The progression shouldn’t be a continuous uphill battle but it does require everything mentioned before this point.

We hope that you found this tutorial useful and that you see rapid growth in your ability to juggle a soccer ball. Youtube provides thousands of additional tutorials on how to juggle and you can always contact us if you have a suggestion on what we can add or find this article helpful. 

What’s Next?

If you found this article helpful, I believe that you’re ready for the next stage of your soccer development. Check out the best soccer drills to become an elite player and take your game to the next level. 

Different types of cleats and balls affect the quality of your touch and juggling. Make sure you’re getting the correct gear for your goals by viewing our recommended soccer gear.

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Ethan is the owner of Skillful Soccer and has over 20 years of playing experience. He is currently a collegiate soccer player and is thrilled to share his insights for all things related to soccer.

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