How to Juggle a Soccer Ball: Tips and Benefits

Updated on November 23, 2022

Watching a professional player juggle a soccer ball is so impressive. They make it look so easy. It can’t be that hard to do, can it? Well, yes. Juggling a soccer ball is hard to do. I am sure you already know that because you have already tried, which is why you’re here now. You want some soccer juggling tips and tricks that will make you juggle like a pro. Or you want to show off a little in front of your friends. Or both. Let’s get started.

Benefits of Soccer Juggling

Besides looking badass in front of your friends, does learning how to juggle a soccer ball matter? After all, you won’t be juggling much during a team practice or a game. And you’re already a good soccer player, so why bother? Is soccer juggling that important?

Many professional players and coaches say that learning how to juggle a soccer ball is essential. Even young players should work on their juggling skills because there are so many extra benefits.

The benefits of juggling will improve all aspects of your game, and you will gain better balance, coordination, and ball control skills. Keeping the ball under control will benefit everything, like dribbling, passing, shooting, and first touch.

Another benefit is that soccer juggling is easy to practice alone, and you don’t need anything but some room to work. Ideally, an outside space with a flat and hard surface is best, and you bring the soccer ball and your shoes.

Oh, and patience. Bring lots of patience. You know that juggling a soccer ball is not easy, and you will not be perfect on the first try. In the beginning, be persistent. Be prepared to work at it regularly. Focus on having good technique. Don’t worry about keeping count while juggling or trying to set records. That will come later.

Let’s get started with the beginners juggling training video.

Beginners Juggling Video

The first training video comes from the Soccster YouTube Channel. It is a great introduction, and it begins with some helpful soccer juggling tips and exercises. The exercises start pretty easy and get more challenging as you go. The drills in this beginners video are the best way to build the good foundation that you will need to become a great juggler.

YouTube video

Good Technique

Exercise 1 will show you the proper technique needed to juggle. You will slightly bend your knees and lock your ankles with your toes pointed out.

Start the exercise by sitting on the ground. Hold the ball in your hands out in front of you. I know, that doesn’t sound anything like juggling. But it is a great starting point.

Doing it this way will make it easy to concentrate on the basics before anything else. Lift your leg to make contact on the bottom of the ball with the laces of your shoe.

Go slow and focus on good technique. Keep your knees bent, ankles locked, and toes pointed out. The ball should touch the same part of your shoe every time while alternating between your right and left foot.

Be Consistent

In Exercise 2, you will still be sitting on the ground, but now you will let go of the ball with your hands. The ball will drop to your feet, and you will raise your legs to make contact.

Focus now on being consistent. The ball should hit your shoelaces and return straight back to your hands.

You may not hit the ball perfectly every time. But you should easily be able to catch it because you are sitting on the ground, and the distance between your hands and feet is small.

Stand Up

Exercise 3, it’s time to stand up. Now you’ll feel like you’re getting somewhere.

Hold the ball straight out at about waist or chest height, then drop it. Make contact with the laces of your shoe.

Player learning how to juggle a soccer ball

Catch the ball after kicking it, and alternate your feet as you go. Start with your dominant foot and then switch to your weaker foot.

Focus on keeping the ball under control. You want it to return straight back up to your hands. You might need to practice more with your weak foot, but keep going. Your ball control is only going to get better and better.

Two Touches

Exercise 4 gets more challenging because now you will go for two juggles with the same foot before catching it. The ball will have to bounce straight up after your first touch, or you will lose control and miss the second juggle.

Try to get the ball near waist level after the first juggle. Not too high that a poor kick will send it flying, and not too low because you need enough time to react and get the second juggle.

Work on controlling the ball with both legs. Start with your strong foot, and move to your weaker foot.

No Hands

In Exercise 5, you will no longer use your hands. Instead of catching the ball, let it bounce off the ground in between juggles. Do this drill somewhere the ground or floor is hard and level so that the ball will bounce consistently.

Start with one juggle per foot between every bounce. Then try getting two juggles per foot to make it more challenging. Try for two juggles with your dominant foot and then two juggles with your weaker foot between every bounce.

Next, try one juggle with each foot before every bounce, and alternate your starting side. Sometimes start with your right foot, and sometimes with your left foot. This way, you will get good at going in both directions.

Juggle Every Day

That is the end of the beginners juggling training video. Hopefully, you already see some benefits and remember to practice every day.

Use both feet. Don’t lose control of the ball. Uh oh, the ball is already rolling away. And you’re cussing out loud.

Relax, take a breath and take a water break. It takes practice and patience to juggle for a long time. Ready to keep going?

Juggle Like a Pro – Part 1 Video

The following videos are a 3 part training series from Mark Lavery’s YouTube Channel. The first video is a good starting point to where the last video left off. The juggling drills are more advanced now, so let’s get going.

YouTube video

Right Way, Wrong Way

This video starts with soccer juggling tips on using the proper technique. Of course, it shows you the right way to juggle, but it also covers some things you might be doing wrong.

The wrong way

  • Toes pointed down
  • Toes pointed too far up
  • Ankles are soft and not locked
  • Foot goes too far back when juggling

The right way

  • Toes pointed slightly up
  • Ankles are firm and locked
  • Knees slightly bent
  • The ball should have a little backspin

Ball Control

Drill 1 in this video is similar to the last video’s third exercise. The big difference is that you will let the ball bounce on the ground before kicking it back up. Hold the ball in your hands and drop it. Let it bounce off the ground, juggle it straight back to your hands, and catch it.

Focus on good ball control. The ball should come straight back up to chest height, and you shouldn’t have to chase it around. Try not to lose control of the ball.

This video series also has you keep count while juggling. Try to do ten perfect reps with your dominant foot and ten more with your weaker foot. If you prefer to time yourself during these drills instead of counting, go for 30 seconds with each foot.

One Foot at a Time

Drill 2 is similar to the last video’s fifth exercise. The difference is you will only juggle one time between each bounce off the ground instead of two. Hold the ball, drop it, let it bounce, and then kick it with your dominant foot. Do not catch the ball this time, and let the ball bounce between every touch and keep juggling.

Focus on keeping the ball at or below waist level, not too high. Also, work on keeping the ball directly in front of you so that you are not chasing it from side to side.

Go for 20 touches or 30 seconds with each foot. Once you feel comfortable with this drill, try slowly walking forward and backward as you juggle the ball.

Alternate Feet

Drill 3 doesn’t change much, except now you will alternate feet. Drop the ball, let it bounce, and start juggling with your strong foot. Let it bounce again and juggle it with your weak foot.

Get comfortable alternating your feet in this soccer drill. Try to go for 40 touches in a row or 45 total seconds.

Juggle Like a Pro – Part 2 Video

Part 2 continues with similar soccer drills, but you will focus on getting two touches on the ball between each bounce.

YouTube video

One Foot, Two Touches

Drill 4 in this video continues where the Part 1 video left off. You are still letting the ball bounce off the ground and now going for two touches with the same foot.

Again focus on keeping the ball low and in front of you when juggling. Keep the ball under control so you can get two touches.

Go for 20 reps or 30 seconds with each foot.

Alternate Feet, Two Touches

In drill 5, you will again be alternating feet while getting two touches on the ball. Drop the ball, take two touches with your dominant foot, let the ball bounce, and then get two with your weaker foot.

Try to get 20 perfect reps with each side, or 45 seconds total.

Juggle Like a Pro – Part 3 Video

Part 3 is the final training video in this series. Follow these tips, practice these drills, and you will be juggling like a professional soccer player.

YouTube video

Two Juggles, No Bounce

Starting drill 6, you will no longer let the ball bounce off the ground. This drill is the same as Exercise 4 from the beginners juggling training video above. But now you have done a lot more practicing and a lot more reps.

Drop the ball, and go for two juggles with the same foot before catching it. After the first juggle, the ball must bounce straight back to about waist level.

Finish 20 perfect reps or 30 seconds with each leg without needing to chase the ball.

Alternate Feet, No Bounce

In drill 7, you’re alternating feet. Still no bouncing. Drop the ball, juggle with your strong foot, then your weak foot, then catch it.

Go both directions, starting with your weaker foot. Do 20 perfect reps or 45 seconds going in each direction.

Juggle That Ball Baby

You now have the skills and tips you need to start soccer juggling like a pro. Drill 8 is the final exercise of the soccer training video series. The directions are simple. Start trying to juggle, and see how many you can get. Try to get five juggles in a row while staying under control. When you do that, try to get ten.

If the ball does bounce off the ground, that’s ok, don’t stop! Just keep going as you did in the earlier drills.

The more you practice juggling a soccer ball, the better you will become. Set new goals for yourself and try to break your old records. Remember to have patience and be persistent. Train every day to improve your soccer skills continuously. You will see the benefits, and it will be worth it.

After the exercises, this video reviews the soccer juggling tips and techniques that you should remember. What are they again?

Soccer Juggling Tips to Remember

  • knees bent for balance
  • toes pointed slightly up, not too much
  • ankles firm and locked
  • light touches, don’t kick the ball too high
  • shoelaces make contact with the ball
  • some backspin on the ball, not too much
  • keep practicing and challenge yourself
  • keep setting new records

Beginner Flick Up Tricks Video

Every exercise you have done so far started with the ball in your hands. That ok, and it’s a great way to begin your juggling drills. But how about trying to flick the ball up off the ground? This video shows three ways to get the ball off the ground with your feet. Start with the easy basic method, then try intermediate and advanced. Looks cool! Let’s try.

YouTube video

Basic Flick Up

As you would expect, this is the easiest way to flick the ball off the ground to start juggling. Start with your dominant foot on top of the soccer ball, and roll it back toward you. Then use the same foot to flick it up with your toes. You can lift your foot up or slightly raise your leg to lift the ball off the ground.

Intermediate Flick Up

This method is very similar to the basic way, and the only difference is that you start with your weaker foot on top of the ball. Roll the ball back toward you with your weaker foot, and use your dominant foot to flick it up off the ground. This method is a little harder because you must quickly land on your weaker foot before lifting the ball with your strong foot.

Advanced Flick Up

The advanced method is the hardest to do, but it is also the coolest.

Start with your dominant foot on the ball. Pull the ball back toward you but at an angle in front of your weaker foot. Quickly bring your dominant foot behind your standing leg as the ball rolls, with your toes pointed down. Use the big toe area of your foot, and lift your leg to pop the ball up.

This one is tough, and you must move quickly to make it work. But it does look impressive when you finally get it. Keep trying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does juggling make you a better soccer player?

The best soccer players can react quickly and maintain control of the ball on the field. Soccer juggling can improve your reaction time, ball control skills, and overall coordination. Learning to juggle is a perfect way to help you develop these skills.

Is juggling a soccer ball hard?

Juggling a soccer ball is hard for beginners. Focus on good technique and getting just a few consecutive juggles. You’ll keep improving and breaking your record as you train more. Practice every day.

How long does it take to get good at juggling a soccer ball?

Every player and skill level is different. But with patience and daily practice, you should start to see improved results and set high records in a few weeks to a couple of months. The calendar will not make you a good juggler, and practice and persistence will.

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