There are so many topics about juggling. People are always needing help and asking for advice. New juggling topics seem to be made weekly. So I thought that the time may be ripe for a juggling guide. There are so many ways to learn juggling and so many uses for it. You can juggle with multiple parts of the body and you can perform various tricks/stunts. Lets face it - everyone would love to be a good juggler. Maybe they want to show off for their friends or their coach. Maybe you want to have something to do at your little brother's soccer game, or maybe you just want to have something that you can rapidly improve on and enjoy. Maybe you want to become the worlds greatest freestyler and get on a nike commerical. The possibilities are unlimited. So what are you waiting for? Lets get started!
Table of Contents
a. What Juggling Can and Can't do For You
b. Beginner Juggling
c. Using Multiple Body Parts
d. Stalling- Use it to your advantage!
e. Juggling Games/Activities
f. Keeping up with your progress
What Juggling Can and Can't do For You
Before you start to juggle, you need to know what to what to expect. You also need to know how you can and can't benefit from juggling. Juggling WILL improve your touch - rapidly! Juggling will give you good control and will allow you to make soft, quick touches on the ball while still maintaining possesion. Juggling with multiple parts of the body will help you trap the ball from high in the air, and will allow you to bring crosses down to your feet easily. Juggling will give you good coordiantion. For example, when you get good at juggling with your feet, it is easier to volley to ball in to the net, because you have a good foot-eye coordination. Another example would be juggling with your thighs: when you get good at it, you will find it much easier to bring your goalie's high punts down to your feet with your thighs because you have good thigh-eye coordination. Now you need to understand what juggling WON'T do for you. Juggling will not help your quick-thinking or tactical knowledge to any extent. Juggling will also not help your shoot power or crossing ability and it certainly won't help your sprinting speed or your fitness! These things can be worked on, just don't expect to see improvement in those catagories from juggling.
When you are a beginner, you need to practice juggling with all parts of the body. If you don't later on you may become "addicted" to your thighs or your right foot. You need to feel comfortable with all part of your body on the right an left sides. It will be hard at first, but when you move on past the beginner stage, you will be very pleased that you started in the correct way.
Go out in your neighborhood or in your driveway. Find a place you are comfortable and feel safe. Make sure the ground is flat and hard. When just starting it is best to have a smoothe surface, so if you lose control of the ball, you can let it bounce then start over again. What you need to do is get the proper sized ball for your age group. Don't start right off the bat with a small ball, as this will probably make juggling much harder for yourself and make you want to quit right off the bat. Under inflate your ball a bit - this will make it easier to control. You may want to run in place a bit and stretch out some before you start juggling, this may or may not make juggling easier for you. It depends on the person. Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes, try to stay away for tennis shoes or non-athletic shoes. Possible injuries may include shin splits or other feet problems.
Now we are at the actual juggling part. Hold the ball in your hands and and let it bounce. Try to kick the ball up back into your hands and catch it. Its okay if your first attept goes bad, because it is very hard to start juggling. Keep doing this for as long as you need to. You can use the instep of your foot, or the inside. You choose. Once you can drop the ball from your hand and afer the bouce easily kick it up and catch it wioth BOTH feet, then you are ready to move on. Now take out the bounce step. Just drop the ball from your hands and kick it back up for a catch, repeat this with both feet, even if one foot proves harder. This will take you longer to master, and you may not even master this stage the first day. Thats completely normal, so don't get discouraged! You can do this!
Once you have mastered that, try to drop the ball and juggle multiple times (without the ball bouncing on the ground), do your best to use both feet. If you feel that you are losing control, iots okay to let it bounce. You may need to do some extra praticing with your left foot to bring it up to par. Once you have Juggled 5 times, give yourself a break for today - you ended on a good note. If you can't seem to get 5, and you are getting frusterated. Take a break. Starting is hard, trust me, I know how you feel. Keep practicing daily with both your feet, and if you like you can count how many juggles you are getting and keep trying to beat your best ammount, usually refered to as your "juggling high".
Using Multiple Body Parts
You probably know that people don't only juggle with their feet. It can be vital to know how to control the ball with multiple parts of the body, so it is vital for any good juggler to know how to juggle with parts of the body other than their feet. I skimmed over these in the beginning, now I will try to explain to you other parts of the body that are commenly used for juggling and how they help you in game situations.
Thigh- Will help with thigh traps, and control of high balls.
Head- Will make it easier for you to head the ball in the game, because you know how to best make contact with the ball.
Shoulder- Okay, this doesn't really help you in any game situation, but it is very fun to show off with!
Chest- Helps with chest control and traps.
Stalling- Use it to your advantage!
You can improve your touch with stalling. You can single out each body part and learn to "stall" the soccer ball where you want to. When you are able to do this, it helps you control the ball in specific areas of the body. Stalling can help you understand where you need to hit the ball. Some examples of stalls:
Foot Stall: When you balance the ball on your foot. The ball rests on your instep. You try to pin it to your shin.
Head Stall: Balance the ball on your head. Try to keep it on your forehead, right about where your hair parts, find your sweet spot. You may need to move your head in order to keep the ball up.
Stalling can be hard, and doesn't necessarily help you with juggling, but many people find it very useful. And it can be the key to your sucess. You need a lot of partience to be good at stalling, it will most likely not come natural. Many time you will find that while stalling, you are putting your body in akward positions. Keep doing this, and they won't be so akwars any more!
Juggling H.O.R.S.E- The fist person to go will say any ammount of juggles. (Ex. 5, 10, 15). That person must sucessfully juggle that ammount of times. If they do not, the next person calls out a number, then that person has to juggle that many times. Keep repeating this cycle until someone has sucessfully juggled the saem ammount of time as they called out. Once someone has done this, the ball goes to the next person. They must also juggle that may times, or they get a letter. If they get the correct ammount of juggles, the ball goes to the next person, the ball should keep going around until a) someone messes up, or b) the ball gets to the original person. Keep doing this over and over, until someone has spelled out "Horse". That person loses.
Keeping up with your progress
Juggle and mark your daily high - every day! You need to review these numbers every night. See if you have made any constant progress. If you don't know how you are doing - you don't know if you are getting any better! Don't leave out this step, especially if you are a beginner. You will look back and say "1 month ago, my best was 17? No way!". You will improve, and you will be pround of yourself. Don't expect to get 100 right away, but with a month of training, you will be suprised how high your numbers will shoot up.
Percervere and don't give up! You can be just as good at juggling as anyone else. But you won't get any better sitting on your bum - get out there and practice!
I am open to any suggestions/comments. If there is something you would like to know more about, then you can ask here, and I will see if I can put it into the guide.
Last edited by Soccer4Life
on 26 Oct 2006, 00:54, edited 2 times in total.