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Discussion Starter #1
This is the firest in my series on coaching young players.Ive coached for 3 years now coaching a division 4 team in perth to division one in sucession as well as moulding great players as you will find out about in my series.

Juggling is the basic skill and should be tried and improved lots as it the base of great control and touch. To get your guys working well with it practice is the key.

My way of training it is my players drop the ball to there feet and the kick it back into there hands. They start at one then it goes to 2 juggles and then back up, then 3 then 4 and 5.Then they do it on there opposite foot. You will see a total improvement of there game just after a few weeks. Once they can get 20 in a row using there stronger foot 15 times and there weaker foot 5 times from there hands they pass level one. You must test them and make sure there doing it right.

Then next step is telling them to flick the ball up and then juggle. They again start at one then 2 then 3 then 4 and then they have to use there other foot and do the same. They practice this till they can get 15 with there stronger foot and 5 with there weaker. If they do this they pass level 2.

The final step is to master the players basic juggling control. The players start juggling the ball high. They first go for 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 then 5.Then they do it with there weaker foot. Then they go for 10 using both.

Then they do it low. They go for 5 on the right going up as they go and then the opposite foot and go for 5.Then they do it as a mix going for 10.

The final test for this type of dribbling is go for 20 as a mix of high and lows but the ball must be high 10, low 10.

Then you teach your players to use there knees and head and chest to juggle. Again they start with there hands using there knees first 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 until they can go to 20.Then they have to flick he ball up and then go for 20.Same process with the head. At the end of this is a test. Then they have to mix it up. Tell them they have to get to 20 using there head and chest 5 times, knees 5 times and feet 10 times.

If they manage to pass all 5 tests then you do cycles. Give them a sheet or tell them the cycle for instance head to right foot back onto right thigh then on left foot then on head and then on chest.Dont make cycles any longer then 5 things to do but once they can do 5 cycles then the go onto the real hard stuff.

The next drill is for players who passed all the above as it is difficult and takes great control to use. What they have to do is make the ball look like there going to kick it to the right but they actually kick it onto there left on a tight angle. They do this by leaning where they want the ball to go but it is great skill as it can be used in match in several ways. To pass this test they need to be able to do this right onto left onto right onto left 5 times doing this.

The final part of my juggling routine is that they must be able to go to other end of the pitch juggling as they go. They start slow and they pass when they can do it jogging.

Once they pass all these tell them to just keep practicing as they can always improve.

I say my players 1 test every 2 weeks if they are ready. I also start my training with 10 minutes of juggling.


This may sound tough all these test but it brings success. 2 players are in my squad who weren’t very good when I first joined are playing at academy level 2 years above there age and the smallest one can juggle 211 times and has only 11. These 2 passed my whole routine in season and finished the last two by the 8th training session of the second season.5 players in my team currently are nearly finished it and I think they will by the end of the season and already they are playing some games for the older teams at my club. I think this proves the effectiveness of this schedule.

I also want to tell you this is for 8 to 14 years olds. I will post my other schedules and philosophies of ball skills later.
 

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Nice, don't forget its quality over quanity.

Doing this for a warm up is good, but don't focus on this too much, just let them play with abit of guidance but not too much as they need to build their creative sides and speed of thought by playing with some freedom and individual intuition, especially the younger ones, you've got the right idea with putting dedication and hard work into something to see improvements but its got to be many areas of the game and not just juggling.

Also belive me the number of kickups you can do doesn't represent how creative you can be, there can be a guy who can only do 30 kickups, but has more confidence and intelligence with his touch on the pitch than someone who can do 200 kickups, its a game situation at the end of the day but for warming up juggling is always a good idea.

The kids you train come only a few times a week right? so its important to tell them to practice and play football as much as they can, things like hitting the ball against a wall is also something you can do when your not playing with your mates, don't make it too serious like a job because at the end of the day its a game. When they get to 14/15 upwards it becomes more serious and the mental/physical development gets more importance but the talent should always be looked at first before anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeh i agree.This is just a warm up game.I coach with 11's still and im learning more techniques.Especially with goal keeping aspects.I have also found that technique is very important for young kids.Im on a new progranm now which inclues juggling with a range of others.Im also now applying them build up finishing etc
 

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Yeah its all about ballwork, with young players try to get them doing work with the ball as much as possible.

Goalkeeping is frankly all about mentality, less about talent, if you have the mentality and the decent height anyone can be a good keeper, you just have to be a obsessive perfectionist, when it comes to goalkeeping people think its about diving when Footwork and great handling is the key, bravery and positioning, if you have this added with natural talent(which is secondary) then you can go very far. 90% of coaches are clueless when it comes to goalkeeping so a good goalkeeping coach makes alot of difference.

The keeper does almost all his learning in training, so good quality there is extremely important, good luck mate.
 

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That was the problem in my area, coaches not focussing too much on ball control, it was all about having fun up to u14, then the older coaches expected you to know what to do from u16 and up. This routine is good but like Faisal said doesn't mean too much. I can't juggle much but my first touch is good and ball control on the ground as well as in the air are fairly good. Some people develop in different ways. Match practice could also help greatly but technique training like yours will undoubtly accelerate the learning cycle.

Ball control is one of the most important parts of soccer. Up there with passing. Sadly some people just dont see it that way. Keep up the good work.
 
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