Soccer, as a game, is more than just a game of fast running and aggressive tackling. Watch the game to understand the true significance of juggling a soccer ball well. Many people feel that this is a useless skill that is good for party tricks and showboating, but it has importance in a real game. In reality, this exercise improves one's ball control immensely, and aids a player during the course of a game.
The best players in the world like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney, and Kaka can juggle the ball blindfolded. And let's be honest, they are the pros here, so whatever they do with the ball is bound to be copied by millions of fans worldwide. Juggling a soccer ball helps one beat an oncoming defender with a fancy trick, and admittedly, only the most skillful players can successfully pull this off. The most important thing that is necessary is balance, and lots of practice.
The first thing that you need to do is get on a soccer pitch and use a well inflated soccer ball. Picture, in your mind, what you're going to do with the ball, and focus on this task with your predominantly stronger foot. Once you have achieved a good level of skill with this foot, you can start using your weaker foot.
What you're basically going to be doing is bouncing the ball off the top of your feet, that's the area between your toes and the ankle joint. You will be bouncing the ball on your feet for as long as possible without letting it touch the ground. Pretty soon you can start getting a touch or two with your weaker foot as well. For beginners, you can hit the ball upwards with your foot once, and then catch it in your hands. Release it from your hands and then increase the number of times you hit the ball before catching it again.
The key here is to realize, how hard you need to actually hit the ball. If you hit it too hard, the ball will go out of control. Too soft, and it won't bounce high enough.
Balance and Vision
Maintain good balance of your body at all times, and do not get caught flat-footed. The next important thing is always keeping your eye on the soccer ball. Never lose concentration and never look away. Predict where the ball is going to land and get your foot under the ball. As long as you are constantly looking at the ball and focusing, it will not go out of control.
Once you have developed a good rhythm, you can start shaking up the routine a little bit. Hit the ball up higher and let it bounce off your shoulder or your head. If you feel the ball is going out of control, let it bounce on the ground once. If it bounces more than once, you need to start over again. Pretty soon you will also figure out how to do it with your knees and thighs. This body part is definitely easier to juggle the soccer ball on, than the head or the shoulder. Alternately, you can even try hitting the ball with the side of your foot instead of the front face.
The more you practice and train, the better you will get at juggling. Once you have mastered the technique, you can start improvising and come up with some fancy tricks of your own. Show them off to your friends and you'll get even better. Do not lose hope, the idea is to keep trying till you can perfect the art.
Even the best players in the world have to start from humble beginnings, so you're no different. They have reached where they are with years of hard work, practice, commitment and sacrifice. If you can do the same, you can easily be where they are.