Is Juggling Necessary in Soccer?
If you ever watch a professional soccer match, you never see the pros juggling in a game. So why is juggling such a common part of training for soccer players? The reality is that juggling is something that virtually every pro can do at a very high level. Despite the fact that you don’t see it used in games, juggling teaches players skills that they use in all areas of the pitch. So to the answer the question “does juggling help in soccer?”, it most certainly does! In this article, we’ll be going over 10 of the benefits that come with improving your juggling ability.
Remember that juggling should serve primarily as a supplement to your training. The focus of your training should be around playing small sided games and going through individual drills. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your performance on the field, you can also do soccer specific leg exercises and cardio workouts. Don’t forget that juggling can be challenging when you’re first starting out, so don’t get frustrated. Just keep working at it every day, and you’ll quickly start to see improvements.
10 Benefits of Juggling
Juggling is a great way to improve your first touch in soccer. By constantly keeping the ball in the air, you are steadily improving your touch. As a result, you’ll be able to better control the ball when it comes at you at high speeds. In addition, juggling can also help to improve your coordination. You’ll also be able to make cleaner contact with the ball, and your first touch will be more accurate in the direction you want it to go. By incorporating juggling into your training routine, you can see a significant improvement in your first touch.
Volleys are one of the most challenging things to learn in soccer. One of the simplest ways to improve your volley technique is to work on your juggling. Juggling the ball at various heights will help prepare you for when you have to strike the ball in mid air. This will help you feel more prepared when you need to strike the ball first time from a corner kick or long ball.
Soccer games can be hectic, and it’s rare that you’ll always have the luxury of playing a pass on the ground. You will need to know how to pass and receive the ball when it is in the air. Juggling is great practice for this. One of the best ways to hone this skill is by playing a game called “two touch”. You can see the Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk demonstrating this juggling game in the above video from Unisport. Best of all, this is a really fun drill to do with friends and teammates.
Weak Foot Development
Everyone knows that they should be spending more time developing their weak foot. One of the easiest ways to do this is by juggling regularly. Once you’ve gotten comfortable juggling with your dominant foot, start focusing on keeping the ball up with your weak foot as well. If you can successfully juggle the ball at head height with your weak foot, you will be a much more dynamic player than you were before.
Timing and Precision
In soccer, timing is everything. Whether you’re shooting, passing, or just bringing the ball down from the air, you need to have your timing and precision on point. Juggling will develop your coordination over time. Eventually, you’ll have a better sense for exactly when you need to strike the ball in the air. Mastering juggling will go along way in improving both your precision and ball mastery.
Most players develop an imbalance in their legs due to favoring a dominant foot. This can result in one side becoming weaker than another. Juggling can be a great means of correcting this imbalance over time. Getting comfortable juggling with both feet will ensure that you have a stable planting foot on the left and the right side.
Focus & Discipline
Being a great player means that you constantly have to be focused on the game. Juggling the ball is a great way of sharpening your focus. If you have any loss of concentration while juggling, the ball will fall to the ground. The only way to improve your juggling ability is through both focused effort and discipline. Developing these traits will help you improve in many other aspects of life as well.
At a high level of play, you need to be able to control the ball in a variety of ways. This could mean controlling the ball with your feet, thighs, chest, or head. Practicing juggling with every part of your body will ensure that you’re capable of controlling the ball in any situation. The “escalator” juggling drill is great for practicing this. To do the drill, you simply juggle the ball from your foot, to your thigh, to your head, and then all the way back down.
The great thing about juggling is because it scales in difficulty as you improve as a player. When you’re just starting out, you may be just trying to string two or three touches together. As you improve, you can start making things more challenging. The best way to increase the difficulty of your juggling is to start kicking the ball higher in the air. This requires more technique, as the ball will be coming down with a greater speed. If you want to make things even harder, start juggling with your friends, as this also incorporates passing into your training.
Having confidence when you step out on the field is one of the most important things as a soccer player. Juggling will make you feel closer and more connected with the ball. As you improve at juggling, you’ll evolve into a more technically sound and dynamic player. In combination with your other training, juggling will help empower you with more tools to succeed on the field.
Juggling is a great tool to include in your training arsenal. Be sure to mix up how you practice juggling to always challenge yourself. This will ensure that you’re constantly improving and working to become the best player you can be.
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