8/18/2009 Oak Park Strikers Soccer youth players participate in Kicks for Cancer during their preseason camp week Aug. 17-21. Strikers players, who range in age from 7 to 18, ask friends and family to sponsor them as they "juggle" their soccer balls off their knees, feet, thighs or heads 200 times each camp day, for a total of 1,000 juggles. Sebastien Johnson from Oak Park participates in the event. Tamara Bell/Staff PhotographerLearning how to juggle a soccer ball is great way to gain better balance, and control the ball during a game. While juggling may seem difficult at first, the key to absolute success is to practice, practice, practice. Follow these steps to learn how to juggle and improve your technical skills.  Coach Brooks believes this is a great way to increase dexterity and agility – skill or adroitness in using your feet and body.

Step 1

Starting with the Ball in Your Hands – Hold the ball straight out in front of you so that it is at the height of your chest.  Drop it and let it bounce.  As the ball begins to descend after this bounce, kick it back up into the air.  Try to kick it with your dominant foot hard enough that it reaches chest height.  Try to kick the ball with your foot angled slightly upward.  Make sure to kick the ball with your laces.  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

  • Make sure that your laces are not double knotted at first.  The ball may bounce off of your laces at a weird angle if your laces are tied in a large knot.
  • If you deflate the soccer ball a little bit, you will reduce the intensity of its bounce.  The ball will be easier to control and won’t go flying every time you miss a kick.  Once you’ve mastered the technique of juggling, you should fully inflate your ball.
  • Keep your ankle ‘locked’ so that it stays angled and strong. A wobbly ankle leads to a wobbly kick.

Step 2

Keep your knees slightly bent – Doing this will help you have better control over the ball.  Do not lock your knees.  Keep the foot you are not kicking with (your controlling foot) flat and firmly planted on the ground.

  • It is important to be balanced while juggling the ball.  In between touches, it is risky but useful to try to re-balance yourself such that you can maintain control of how you hit the ball each time.  Always try to stay balanced on your toes, ready to make quick movements.  The biggest keys to balancing is to keep you knees bent and your eyes on the ball.

Step 3

Practice until you can easily and consistently catch the ball in front of your stomach.  You should not have to lean or reach to catch the ball.  Then do the same with your other foot.  Keep in mind that juggling with your non-dominant foot will be harder.  Keep at it!

Step 4

Increase the number of times you let the ball bounce off your feet.  Instead of catching the ball every time you kick it, kick it up into the air and as it falls, kick it up again rather than letting it bounce on the ground.  Try to keep the ball under control.  Focus on juggling with one foot until you feel confident, then switch to the other foot.  Practice until you feel confident juggling with both feet.

  • You can “catch” the ball on your foot with careful practice by cushioning the fall of the ball and holding it in place with your foot and shin.

Additional Methods – Alternating Feet, Starting with the Ball on Your Foot, Using your Knees and Using Other Parts of Your Body  Read more

Best Soccer Tricks To Develop Your Skills.  More videos:

Keepie uppie, Keepie-ups or kick-ups is the skill of juggling with an association football ball using feet, lower legs, knees, chest, shoulders, and head, without allowing the ball to hit the ground. It is similar to Kemari, a game formerly practiced in the Japanese imperial court.  Read more

Freestyle football, also known as freestyle soccer in North America, is the art of self-expression with a football, while performing various tricks with any part of the body. Similar in style to keepie uppie, kemari and the ball discipline of rhythmic gymnastics, it has become a widespread sport across the world and is practised by many people.  Read more


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