Learn How to Juggle a Football (Soccer Ball): A Training Schedule for Juggling
There are quite a few guides that focus on explaining the technique behind juggling a football (soccer ball). The best technique guide I've found is How to Juggle a Soccer Ball by Hubber Sith Penguin. However, if you just go practice for 10 hours straight, you're likely to:
- get frustrated and give up, or worse
- learn incorrectly and achieve poor form. This can slow you down in the long run.
The guide your reading right now is based on my experience teaching others how to juggle a football and will focus on the best way to practice the tips and techniques you've received from Sith Penguin and others.
Its better to practice over time rather than all the time
A typical session for a beginner will look something like this:
Over the course of a session, a beginner gets a feel for what works and what doesn't. After about 20 minutes, they start to get less successful. Why? Because they are likely working muscles they haven't developed or used before. After about 30 minutes, their form starts to fall apart completely. This is the danger! When your form falls apart and you keep juggling your football, you are reinforcing poor form!
You may have heard that you should always practice when your tired because you train your body's muscle memory. I agree (see below) but not for the first 3-4 weeks learning to juggle a football. This is because its so difficult to explain what good technique that you need to learn it yourself by practicing. You need to be at 100% so you can feel what is happening with your foot and the ball.
Rule of Thumb for the First 3-4 Weeks
My rule of thumb based on experience teaching people to juggle is the following: for the first 3-4 weeks, only juggle 30 minutes a day. Every few days, take a day off to rest and recover.
In my experience, people who juggle only 30 minutes a day juggle better (and more times) than people who went out and juggled 2 hours each day.
Some Possible Reasons to Bend the Rule
- If you have someone with you who can spot your poor form, you can go a little longer than 30 minutes.
- If you have played a lot of soccer and you feel no discomfort juggling for 30 minutes, you can go a little longer. (Of course, if your waking up very sore the next day consider cutting your time down).
After 3-4 Weeks?
After the first 3-4 weeks of juggling for 30 minutes every day, you will have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. NOW you can start building up that tired muscle memory and juggle for as long as you want. The more you juggle now, especially when your tired, the better you will be able to control the ball in the last 20 minutes of your soccer games.
I hope you find this helpful, and if you end up trying this method, let me know how it works out for you or if you have suggestions for improvement to the method.