Toward Successful Instep Juggling

The following post is from Karl Dewazien, CEO/Internet Clinician at FUN SOCCER Enterprises. Koach Karl is the author and publisher of the world-famous “FUNdamental Soccer” book series, the cornerstone of Youth Soccer practice and Small Sided games. Find out more at www.fundamentalsoccer.com.


Typical Instruction:

“Toss-right foot laces-catch; Toss-left foot laces-catch; Repeat sequence!”

Unusual young players are able to toss the ball to either instep and be able to tap it back into their hands. These rare individuals are fortunate in having developed their eye-to-foot-to-hand coordination and will love to repeat the sequence because they are successful.  These players often develop and fine tune their control of the ball very quickly resulting in their truly loving to play the game. They need to be challenged toward eliminating the ‘catch’ in the sequence resulting in “Right foot laces; Left foot laces; Repeat sequence!

Usually young players are able toss the ball to either instep but have it glance out of control for them to chase. These typical individuals are unfortunate in not having yet developed their eye-to-hand-to-foot coordination and will hesitate to repeat the sequence because they are unsuccessful.  These players seldom develop and fine tune their control of the ball which may cause them to dislike playing the game. They need to be in an environment that allows them to be instantly successful so that they can develop their confidence and eye-foot coordination. The Key is finding them A Surface Where the Ball Will Bounce. 

 Sequence:

  • Hold the ball with arms extended & elbows locked
  • Release the ball straight down & let the ball bounce
  • Use Right Laces to tap the ball up
  • *Let the ball bounce
  • Use Left Laces to tap the ball up
  • *Let the Ball Bounce
  • Then… Right Laces – Bounce –Left Laces – Bounce – etc.

Initially:

  • Ball can be picked-up with the hands to start it bouncing
  • Ball must bounce after every tap
  • Ball can bounce several times before next tap
  • No height limitation on ball (Random kicks are OK)
  • But, Insist on alternating Right & Left foot taps

Eventually:

  • Ball cannot be picked-up with the hands to start it bouncing
  • Ball can only bounce ‘once’ before the next tap
  • Eliminate bounce between taps
  • Enforce height limitations (Ball no higher than head, shoulders, or lower.)
  • Always insist on alternating Right & Left foot taps

Create a ‘Record Chart’ include the Time, Date, Location and Number of Successive Taps. Ask them to put their chart on the refrigerator or some other ‘special’ place in their house.  Then, have them post their scores of ‘daily’ juggle results. Finally, have them come-up with a reward they will give themselves at the end of each week, end the month or whenever they set a new personal record. 

Suggest that they organize a ‘Neighborhood World Cup Juggling’ Contest.  Keep a ‘Neighborhood Chart’.  Have them contact a local store owner to put the ‘NWCJ Chart’ in a ‘special’ place in the store. Have the players post their scores of the ‘daily’ results.  Finally, ask the owner to put a picture on the wall to the winner at the end of each month. 

In time success in juggling may develop and fine tune their control of the ball resulting in the beginning of a love affair with soccer.  

Final Note:  Thank you for taking the time to read this article and Sharing it with your soccer community. Clicking Like and Commenting on this subject is also very much appreciated

Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)