Today we’ll talk about a truly global sports activity – one that people of all ages are enjoying right now all over the world. This is a great way to have fun while building coordination and it’s even better with friends. The object is to keep the football from hitting the ground while getting as many touches on the ball as possible. Only one rule: No hands!
- Step 1: Get a football (or “soccer ball” if you’re in the USA).
- Step 2: Bounce it on your feet, your thighs, your head, your shoulders… you can even catch it on the back of your neck. Just keep your arms and hands off it. Don’t let it hit the ground!
- Step 3 (optional): Yell for friends to come join you!
Juggling a football is one of the first drills that a young football player attempts, but like many great games, it grows with you and gets more challenging the better you get. There’s a rhythm to the movements, like dancing. You can control the tempo by how light or how hard or at what angles your feet touch the ball. And like dancing, it becomes even more fun when you get friends to join you.
And as you add to your list of tricks– passing the ball in the air and bouncing it on a thigh, cradling it on a foot, or catching it on your neck and rolling it down your back and leg – the act of juggling is building muscle memory – a feel for the ball and your own body that’s essential to athletes, and great for you no matter what your athletic aspirations are. Because they spend so much time with the ball practicing drills like juggling and developing muscle memory, professional football players are often fantastic at juggling the soccer ball – as you can witness from these videos:
So grab a ball, call some friends, and consider this: All over the world, in every country that isn’t asleep right now (and probably even in the ones that are), there’s someone juggling a football. You’re never alone when you’re playing football – even if you’re practicing by yourself. What a “beautiful game!”
How are your juggling skills? Why don't you take a video and share it with us here!