Advanced Juggling



After mastery of the basic skill set contained in the Coaching American Soccer Introduction to Juggling and the Individual Juggling portion of the Coaching American Soccer Intermediate Soccer Juggling, players may be introduced to advanced soccer ball juggling activities.  These individual activities include “tricks” that may be performed because of a player’s significantly-increased ability to personally touch and control the ball.

  • Balance the ball on the forehead by placing the ball on the forehead with the hands, then removing the hands, and then moving the head or the body to keep the ball in place.   This is best done with a good base and the knees bent.
  • Head juggle, slowly reducing the pace and height, until the ball rests on the forehead, then keep the ball balanced on the forehead by moving the head or the body to keep the ball in place.  Pop the ball back into juggling mode with an upward extension from the knees.
  • Shoulder pop the ball by striking the ball with the top of the shoulder just above the articulation of the joint.  Pop the ball over the head from one shoulder to the other, over the head.
  • Neck catch the ball by juggling the ball softly to an apex just slightly above the head.  Just as the ball starts to come down, duck under it in order to catch the ball in a “cup” formed at the base of the neck.  The “cup” is made by bending the head backward and raising both shoulder blades due to extension of the arms.  The catch is made by ensuring that the upper back is parallel to the ground.  This is accomplished by bending forward at the waist.
  • Instep juggle while sitting on the ground, both legs raised and hands on the ground behind for support.  Perform “Around the World.”  Include inside-of-the-foot touches.  Remove the hands to the ground.
  • Send the ball from front-to-back, over the top of the head, turn 180-degrees and resume juggling.  Send the ball front-to-back, just past the waist, turn 180-degrees and resume juggling.
  • While head juggling, turn and face in different directions.
  • Send the ball from front-to-back, over the top of the head.  Return the ball from back-to-front with a back-heel.
  • “Catch” the ball behind the knee, using to calf and the back of the upper-leg to hold it in place.
  • If there is a small bounce of the ball on the ground, hit it hard with the sole of the foot to pop it higher and then resume with the instep.
  • Dribble the ball on a hard surface, basketball-style, using the sole of the foot (actually the ball of the foot).  Use one foot, then the other foot, then alternate each foot.
  • Head juggle, jump to head back up, continue to head juggle.
  • Head juggle, jump early to receive the ball while coming down, continue juggling.
  • Juggle with a tennis ball.
  • Juggle with a “Size 1 ball” or a “Skills Ball.”
  • Juggle with a “footbag.”
  • Pass the ball during group or pairs juggling using the top of the back between the shoulder blades to contact the ball.

Pick-up:  Sole of one foot to instep of the other foot.

Pick-up:  Two-foot, inside of the feet “kangaroo hop,” ball to front, use front instep to pop up.

Pick-up:  Two foot, inside of the feet “kangaroo hop,” ball to rear, inside of left or right foot to pop up.

© Copyright, John C. Harves