ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Juggle A Soccer Ball

Updated on August 1, 2011

In soccer, ball juggling (also called lifting) is the practice of continuously keeping the ball in the air through a series of light touches. While often done with the feet, soccer juggling can also be done using the head, shins, and knees. This exercise is great for gaining familiarity with the ball, and when used correctly, it can also be employed to execute useful maneuvers during a game.

The type of footwear worn during lifting can have a significant effect on how the ball is handled.

Traditional cleats usually have a denser surface than tennis shoes, allowing for a lighter touch when juggling. Additionally, the spikes on the soles of the cleats offer excellent traction when lifting the ball off the ground. Some cleats are even specially designed for performing tricks with the ball, allowing for more elaborate lifts. As competitive (and many non competitive) matches are generally played using cleats, practicing lifts with them can be fundamental to your training.

While lifts can be performed with practically any type of shoe, tennis shoes or cross trainers are usually the easiest to manipulate the ball with. Depending on the type of material the footwear is made of, a firmer touch may be required to maintain the ball in the air. Additionally, the flat surface of the sole may require a bit more finesse than one wearing cleats would normally require in performing a lift. Speaking from Puma user's experience, I've found that the classic style Puma shoe requires a much heavier touch when lifting as opposed to when I'm wearing cleats. This is due to the fact that most of the outside of the shoe is fabric covered, giving it very little rigidity to hit the ball with. Although tennis shoes are perferred, other types of shoes can be used as well. I have even on one occasion witnessed an individual lifting and juggling the ball while wearing sandals, thus proving that, with practice, anything is possible.

Bare feet are also an option when it comes to lifts. However, because a bare foot is smoother and has a different contour than a shoe or cleat, it can be difficult to properly practice lifts at first. Despite this fact, one can quickly adapt to the differences and gain a much better feel of the ball in doing so. Many players even feel that lifting barefoot is easier than when wearing footwear, as it gives the opportunity to perform more extravagant lifts.

To perform a basic lift, start with one foot resting on the top center of the ball.

Roll your foot back (from heel to toe) until your toes slide down the backside of the ball.

The moment your toes reach the base of the ball, quickly push your foot forward and scoop it up underneath.

While scooping up the ball, lift your foot up quickly to send the ball aloft. The ball should go no more than a couple feet at most, so try to regulate the amount of force you use when connecting with it. (Note- The higher up the ball goes, the more difficult it will be to juggle with it using your feet, so it would be best to start low for the time being. As you get a better feel for lifting, higher lifts will be easier to control.)Try to send it up straight, as it will be easier to connect with when it comes down.

Once the ball is low enough in the air, lift your other foot and use the top area between the ridge and the toes to connect with the underside of the ball (a light tap upward should suffice; making sure to adjust the amount of force depending on the type of footwear worn). Repeat the process,  alternating between feet. Timing your lifts and establishing a rythmn will make it easier to maintain your stability and keep the ball in the air. A single foot can also be used, but practicing with both will make your ball handling skills more evenly balanced.

Juggling doesn't have to end with your feet. Since soccer is a sport in which the ball can be handled with any body part (excluding the arms and hands), incorporating the rest of your body while juggling can be just as beneficial. To use any other part of your body, simply lift the ball in the air using the technique previously mentioned, and follow any of the examples below (Note- In doing so, you may have to exert more pressure on the ball to increase its elevation, depending on which body part you intend to use).

Knees: Bend and lift your knee so it is level with your waist. Hit the ball on the area just above your kneecap, where it meets the thigh. Repeat, alternating knees as you do so.

Shins: This one is simple to explain, but much more difficult to perform correctly. While the ball is in the air, lift your leg so that it is level to your waist, making sure it stays straight. Connect with the ball on the center of your shin and alternate to your other leg. Since the shin bone is a smaller target, this one will require more practice to get the move down pat.

Head: Yet another difficult one, since you can't always see where you head the ball. To juggle using your hear, connect with the ball using either the base of the hairline or the top of the head, making sure you are directly underneath the ball at all times.

Full Body Juggle: Instead of alternating between the same type of appendage, mix it up by switching between your knees, head, heels, shins, etc.

Using your knees...
Using your knees...
Using your head...
Using your head...

The type of lift explained is perhaps the most basic, but there are many other ways to perform them. Here are a few sites to check out for the more extravagent ones:

Try experimenting with a few, or see if you can invent some of your own. Good luck!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Soccer Training 

      7 years ago

      My brothers were always really good at this kind of thing. Now I get to enjoy seeing my nephews play soccer. I bet you can't guess what my kids will be doing when they get older!

    • Jordan Riley profile image

      Jordan Riley 

      7 years ago

      Superb hub you have provided . Waiting to see your other articles

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Good Hub and very timely given the recent World Cup games.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice article very well written for begginers at soccer

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      Hah, I coached soccer for five years, some of the best fun I've ever had! This was fun........... thank you for sharing! Kaie

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      8 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm not much into soccer, but thanks for a very informative, well written article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)