One of the greatest things a young player can do to improve their overall playing ability is to juggle a soccer ball. Juggling helps players learn to play with all parts of the body--feet, thighs, chest, shoulders and head. Juggling teaches ball control, touch (how hard or soft to pass or strike the ball), and it also familiarizes players with the way the ball behaves and moves.
Rules of the Game
Players stand facing each other. Player 1 serves the ball to him or herself and juggles the ball before passing it to player 2. Player 2 must then juggle the ball at least once before passing the ball back to player 1. Any part of the body can be used to juggle and pass the ball except the hands and arms. The ball is never allowed to touch the ground. Count how many times the ball is played between both players.
Key Coaching Points
Be on the balls of your feet waiting for the ball.
Try to keep the ball close to you and relax your body.
Concentrate on making soft touches on the ball and make a good touch to your partner.
Rookie: Allow the ball to bounce once on the ground before starting to juggle.
All-Star: Don't use the same part of the body (e.g. right foot or right thigh) three or more times in a row.
International: Go all the way to 10 touches and then come back down to one touch.
Start by playing the ball back using one touch and progress up to 10 touches.
Around the world: Control the ball using the right foot, then play the ball to the right thigh, to the right shoulder, to the head, to the left shoulder, to the left thigh, to the left foot and then play back to the other player.