Juggling Program One:
Basic eye-foot dexterity and coordination: Begin with one touch at a time. Toss the ball out in front of you high enough so that it bounces thigh to waist high and with-in comfortable kicking reach. Using the instep, or the laces of your shoe, kick the ball back to yourself and catch it. Ideally you should try to kick (or touch) the ball back to a specific target such as your hands held approximately 10 to 15 inches from your chest. Alternate left and right foot with each touch. Repeat this until you can kick or touch the ball back to your target consistently. Progress to two touches, using a bounce between touches, before catching the ball, and then three, four, five…. still using the bounce between touches, still using your laces, and always trying to alternate feet with each touch. Progress should come quickly once five touches is reached without catching the ball. A good mid-range goal is 100 without allowing the ball to bounce twice between touches. Hands should only be used to restart the ball at this point.
Emphasize a loose and relaxed kicking form, making contact with the ball using the instep or “laces” of the shoe. Try to touch the futebol below or at knee height, not at thigh or waist height, about 6-18 inches in front of your planted foot. Call this your “sweet spot”. The kicking leg should hinge at the knee, ankle locked, and toes curled under to create a flat surface as the foot touches the ball. You should become comfortable with the number of touches before progressing. A good exercise after having accomplished 5 or more consecutive touches is to regress to a smaller number of touches. This will increase confidence, continuity, and rhythm.
Good footwork; Moving your feet to or away from the ball is important in order to position your body so you are not reaching for the ball or crowding yourself by being too close to the ball. Try not to twist or reach across your body to touch the ball. Use footwork to turn and square your body to the ball so you are facing it and not reaching sideways. (the tricky stuff will come later) Distance yourself properly so you are consistently touching the ball in your “sweet spot”. Everybody’s “sweet spot” is different, but should produce a consistent accurate result if the ball is touched properly in this area.
Progress to the next phase by eliminating the bounce between touches. Toss the ball just as before and allow it to bounce. Touch the ball twice, alternating feet, before the next bounce, using good footwork to find your “sweet spot”, but more importantly, using a good first touch to set up a good second touch. Ideally the first touch should knock the ball straight up allowing it to fall into your “sweet spot”. Repeat until comfortable. Progress to three touches and a bounce, alternating feet with each touch. Continue progressing to four touches, five, six….This will be more difficult because you will have less time to react. If frustrated, regress back to one touch using the bounce, then try two touches and a bounce, three touches and a bounce or any combination you can think of or get away with. In any case, don’t be afraid to use the bounce, that’s the way the ball was designed.
Juggling Program Two:
The goal is to accomplish 300 juggles: Document how many attempts it takes to reach 300 touches. (At some point hands should no longer be used, instead, picking the ball up with your feet becomes a new challenge and eventually an art). Count how many times you can juggle the ball with one bounce in between touches. Each time the ball bounces twice consecutively without a touch ends the attempt. Accumulate touches with each attempt and keep track of how many attempts it takes to reach 300 touches. Progress to juggling without a bounce i.e. don’t let the ball hit the ground. Each time the ball touches the ground counts as an attempt. Ex. 1st attempt you reach 11 touches before it hits the ground; 2nd time you reach 15; 3rd time 9; 4th attempt you juggle 25: In four attempts you have 60 touches. At this rate it will take 20 attempts to reach 300. Keep track of your progress. As you get better it should take less attempts to reach 300 touches. Ultimate goal is 300 in one attempt.
- Curl your toes down in your shoe (like trying to grab the grass with your toes) when making contact with the ball.
- Lock your ankle when making contact with the ball, the top of your foot, the contact point, should be parallel to the ground. This will reasonably ensure that the ball goes straight up.
- Alternating feet with each kick is not always possible, but it should be emphasized in order to develop your weak foot, proper balance and coordination.
- Try not to put too much backspin on the ball. This will cause you to constantly crowd yourself with the ball and develop bad habits.( you also will hit yourself in the nose alot)
Using the mechanics learned in programs 1 & 2 make the ball work for you. When juggling the Brasilian Futebol it is not the number of touches but what you do with those touches that counts. MASTER IT!
Three touch and a knock: Juggle the ball three times and then kick it 10 to 15 feet in the air, control the ball with one soft touch, trying to keep that touch below your waist, use one to two touches to adjust and compose yourself, then knock it 10 to 15 feet in the air again. Repeat this process. Work on controlling the ball with your first touch after you have “knocked” it into the air, then use the other touches to manipulate the ball so you can “knock” it accurately into the air again. Progress to a three touch rotation (Knock -control- touch – knock, repeat..) and then a two touch knock-control-knock, repeat) This exercise will help to develop “first touch”.
Juggling at a consistent height: With each touch, juggle ball to the same height, 2 to 3 feet above your head, making sure to alternate feet with each touch. It is important to use good footwork to position yourself for each touch so that you are consistently touching the ball in your sweet spot. Start with a bounce between touches to increase the success rate. The bounce will save frustration and enable you to get a feel for the exercise leading to a faster progression.
The goal: To eliminate the bounce. To touch the ball so it reaches a consistent height. To juggle in a confined space employing both goals mentioned above or… To juggle while moving in a pre determined pattern. Side to side, zig-zag, figure eight, or over your head to reverse direction. Knock it higher to work on touch, timing, and striking the ball.
Other programs coming soon…
-Two touch rhythm:
The idea is to work on balance, touch and agility. It goes like this: touch the ball twice on one foot, using the laces, before alternating to the other foot. Try not to let the ball bounce (but do not stop your juggle if it does) Do not let the foot touching the ball hit ground in-between touches. This means you must balance on the non-juggling foot ( the planted foot) for two touches, then switch. It is important to keep the ball in your sweet spot with every touch, knocking it knee to waist high consistently in order to accomplish this exercise.
To start you may want to allow the ball to bounce as part of the switch from foot to foot. Eventually you do not want the ball to touch the ground.
You will find that you will need to bounce and hop on the planted foot (the one you are standing on) in order to maintain balance and stay within reach of the ball. Also, the first touch in each cycle becomes ultimately important, as does the second touch because the 1st touch sets up the second and the 2nd sets up the transfer. Finally, if you can get into a rhythm the whole exercise seems to make sense. (the sequence will go like this; left-left- -right-right- -left-left- -right-right) (remember don’t let the foot doing the juggling hit the ground between touches i.e. left-left)
Advanced Team Warm-up
Build a grid with cones that has 9 squares or boxes. Each square should be 5×5 to 8×8 yds.
As a warm-up give each player a futebol and ask them to juggle in the box.
Restrict them to 2 touches and one bounce in each square. Or 3 touches or 4 or no bounces. Whatever fits your team. Remember we are trying to make this success oriented while testing the envelope.
They cannot go back to the square they just came from or ask them to hit all nine squares in an allotted time. What ever it takes to accomplish movement with the ball.
The goal is to move with the ball, or make the ball do what they want or what they need the ball to do. They need to avoid other players in the box, move from grid to grid, keep the ball alive and hopefully juggling under control.
Ask for some artistry and creativity.
Execute a “sombrero” to change directions. A sombrero can be flipping, kicking or knocking a ball over your own head to change directions and go the other way, or it can be touching it over another players head, usually a defender, as they run by or at you, or as you run by them.
Maybe they could skip a square and chase the ball down, control it and move on.
Reciting poetry while juggling was always one of my favorites.They can also work in pairs. One futebol per pair. 2 touches, one bounce per square. Cannot receive ball in the same grid twice.Work in groups of three.
Other programs coming soon…
- Two touch rhythm
- Executing moves over the bounce
- The Dance
- For information on training programs, click here