Article by Spike Soccer Store.
Summary: Juggling is a skill that requires agility, balance, and mental awareness.
Developing the proper juggling skills in training provides key benefits to players like balance, agility, and touch. This guide will over all the aspects individually to help you train your youth soccer team.
The Importance of Juggling
When you juggle, you need to combine both body control and touch. Being able to make quick, on-the-spot, decisions and adjustments with your large and small muscles is a requirement for juggling, and players that have elite balance are the ones that bring their game to a whole new level. For instance, if one of your players develops the right tendencies, you’ll see him or her be able to drive to the right but also be able to stop on the dime and shoot with his or her left without losing balance. It’s a critical aspect that plays an important role in the game.
The Power of Touch
The pro players can essentially feel the ball through their shoes. They know what part of the foot touches the ball and how each stroke of contact will affect the ball’s velocity and direction. This is done through practice and muscle memory. For instance, tossing a ball from back and forth from one hand to another can be done relatively easy, right? What makes you think that you can’t train your players to do the same with a soccer ball instead? Your mind is essentially your fingertips. By encouraging juggling, you’ll develop touch, which translates into a more well-rounded game for any player. Passes will become more accurate, opponents will have a more difficult time defending, and pressure won’t equate to anything as your players will be able to successfully hold the ball without fear of it getting ripped from them.
An Agile Nature and a Sharp Mind
The ability to change directions on the fly is a crucial component of soccer. As stated before, juggling increase balance and can also improve one’s overall agility. Combining both agile nature and fluid motion can help improve one’s passing and striking ability. Be sure to incorporate plenty o group juggling exercises that incorporate both movement and control. The key to these exercises is challenging the players and making them think about what they’re going to do with each step. This forces the body to contort in ways they’re not accustomed to. And, with enough practice, it’ll become second nature to them – turning them into a versatile weapon that can be used on every part of the field.
Steve Smolin, The Man Behind the slogan “JUST DO IT”
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