Juggling has an amazing impact on making your 1st touch more productive, so the ball goes right where you want it to go with that touch. It also helps to make all your other touches on the ball better. Good jugglers always have a lot of confidence about their ability to control the ball. To get good, you have to work on this at home. This helps with your focus on soccer and helps you to develop the habit of training on your own, “when no one else is watching,” which all good players do.
Younger players should start with “Keep Up”. Here the ball is allowed to bounce once between touches. Then take two touches between bounces, then three, then four. After you can do this most of the time, switch to juggling. Once you switch to juggling, try to make every touch the same. And never catch the ball in your hands; getting that last extra touch helps to make you better.
The juggling progression has 12 levels. (With younger teams, you can divide level 2 into three parts.) You move on to the next one when your score reaches 100. The hard part is getting to about 15 touches at any level. You won’t get a lot of extra benefit from making more than 25-30 in a row at any level. But it takes only a little more work to make that 25 into 50, which multiplied by 2 gives that magic triple digit score. “100” is a much bigger accomplishment, without a whole lot more effort. You have to be patient. The next goal after you can do 5 touches is not 15. It’s six! You also have to be persistent. 10-15 minutes of juggling 3 times a week works better than working for an hour once a week. No matter what, record your best scores every week.
We’ve suggested goals that you should reach at different ages. But two 9-year olds have now earned the “Diamond” Juggling Tag that goes to those who finish the progression, including Body Parts Juggling. Needless to say, their ball control is awesome!
Beginners: KEEP UP. (For players through U9 year.) Start with the ball in your hands. The test: take 4 tries, add best two together. That’s your score. The ball is allowed to bounce once between touches. Move on to level 2 – “Any Touch” – when you reach 50.
Level 1: ANY TOUCH. Start with the ball in your hands. The test: take 4 tries, add best two together. That’s your score. (Note· only 4 tries, no mulligans, and if you touch the ball with your hands or catch it, the score for that turn is O”.) Every touch counts, even the unintentional one off the face or chest. Goal: a score of 100 by end of first season of U11. Move on to level 2- “Feet Only” – once you reach 100.
Level 1B: Any Touch. The test: take 4 tries. The best of the four is your score. Try to get 100 touches in a row. Goal: a score of 100 early in 2nd season of U11. Even when you move on to the next level, do this test every month or so. Once you get to 150 touches, limit yourself to 3 tries, at 250 limit to 2 tries – but if you beat your best on the first try, stop there.
Level 1C: “Mostly Feet”. The test: “4 tries, best 2”. Only touches on the feet count. Goal: a score of 100 by end of your U11 year. Some coaches have players move on to Level 2 once players reach a score of 50. From this point on, start with the ball on the ground. Any turn with a score of 3 or more counts.
Level 2: FEET ONLY. Start at your feet. The test: “4 tries, best 2”. Only touches on the feet count, any other touch ends the turn. Goal: a score of 40 by the end of the U11 year, 100 by middle of U12. Move to Level 3 – “Weak Foot Only” – after 100.
Level 3: WEAK FOOT ONLY Start at your non-dominant foot. The test: “4 tries, best 2”. Starting with the weak foot, only touches on the weaker foot count, any other touch ends the turn. Note: Start to test this every week about 2/3 of the way through the first year just to get working on the off foot. Goal: 50 by middle of the U12 year, 100 by end of that year. Move to Level 4 – “Progressive Juggling” – after 100.
Level 4: PROGRESSIVE Start at your feet. The test: take 4 tries. The best of the 4 is your score. Follow this pattern. “right (1). left, left (2), right, right, right(3), left, left, left, left(4), …” All touches must be with the feet; any variation in the pattern ends turn. The Women’s National Team standard was reported to be 13. Coach or asst. counts once player reaches 12. Goal: 15 (=112 touches) by end of the 3rd year. Move to Level 5 – “Body Parts Juggling ” – after 15.
Level 5: BODY PARTS The fourteen parts are: four parts of each foot (instep, inside, outside, and heel), each thigh, top of each shoulder, chest, and head. Players take as many turns as possible in two minutes plus whatever “extra time” is needed to complete last turn. Coach or Assistant Coach does the counting. Players collect as many body parts as possible in any order on a single turn. Each body part only counts once until all 14 are collected, even if the player selects to use that part multiple times. Once all 14 are completed on a turn, the player can begin a 2nd collection on that same turn. Record best turn. (The current Coerver Colorado record, set by a 13-year-old girl, is 42 – three times around on a single turn.)
Level 6: SPEED JUGGLING This tag is all about being efficient with every touch. 300 touches are to be accumulated using the specific foot and alternating feet. Players have 3 minutes to keep up 100 Right, 100 Left, 100 Alternating feet without dropping the ball. If the ball drops, restart the tag. Coach, Assistant or Apprentice must be present to count. A coach records in 600-609 (for players under 100), 610-619 (for players within 100 and 200) and 620-630 (for players within 200 and 300). Do not round up, a player who accumulated 100 with their left and then 27 juggles with their right receives a score of 612.
Level 7: BODY PARTS SPECIFIC “14 in 14” Complete ALL fourteen parts without repeating any. The fourteen parts are: four parts of each foot (instep, inside, outside, and heel), each thigh, top of each shoulder, chest, and head. Players take as many turns as possible in two minutes plus whatever “extra time” is needed to complete last turn. Coach or Assistant Coach does the counting. Players collect as many body parts as possible in any order on a single turn. Once all 14 are completed on a turn, the player can begin a 2nd collection on that same turn. Record best turn.
Level 8: BODY PARTS RECOGNITION Starting with the ball at your feet, a player begins to juggle using any body part. The partner or coach will begin to call out a specific body part that the participant must use to juggle within 3 touches. The parts called must be random. Once the specific body part has been called and used to juggle by the participant, they have completed 1/14th of the tag. Player resumes juggling while waiting for the partner or coach call out a new body part. A player must complete all 14 Body Parts within 4 turns, recording their best attempt. The fourteen parts are: four parts of each foot (instep, inside, outside, and heel), each thigh, top of each shoulder, chest, and head.
Level 9: FAMOUS FIRST FIVE A player must complete levels 1 through 5, in one turn, without dropping the ball. Players is allowed multiple attempts within 3 minutes, plus whatever “extra time” is needed to complete last turn. The coach records the best turn accomplished. Example, if a player gets to level 3 and a total of 57 juggles, their score is 935.
Level 10: TRIPLE BLACK DIAMOND A player has to complete the Body Parts Level (x3). They are allowed unlimited touches, if the ball drops at any point, restart turn. Players is allowed multiple attempts within 3 minutes, plus whatever “extra time” is needed to complete last turn. The coach records the players best turn. There is a total of 42 body parts (14×3). Example: A player completed Body Parts two times (28) and on their third, dropped the ball after completing 7. This players score is 1035.
Level 11: Weak Foot Latitude The objective of this level is for players to take the ball out of the air only using their weak foot. In this level, the ball must alternate heights, going completely above the head then at the waist line. Player is given 4 total attempts but can only count their top score. If that score is 100 or above the player moves on to the next level. Coach, Assistant or Apprentice must be present to oversee the attempts. The coach records the best attempt. Example: A player who achieves 64 juggles gets a score of 1164.
Level 12: LEGENDARY STATUS This level requires a player to achieve a total of 28 Body Parts Specific touches. They must complete 14 in 14 and then repeat, without dropping the ball. Players is allowed multiple attempts within 3 minutes, plus whatever “extra time” is needed to complete last turn. Coach, Assistant or Apprentice must be present to oversee the attempts. The coach records the best score within the allocated time. Example 1 – A player whose best attempt is 12 Body Parts receives a score of 1212. Example 2 – A player whose best attempt is 24 Body Parts receives a score of 1224.
Players finishing a level during any Coerver Colorado program are awarded a special tag for that level.
Head Juggling. This is also something to do every week, starting mid U11 or at U12. Level 1 would be to get to 50 in “4 tries, best two”. Level 2 would be to get to 50 in a row.
Around the World. Foot to thigh to head to other thigh to other foot to first foot, etc. (add shoulders for the “Long Trip”.)
Rainbow. The number of times a player can pop the ball up over the head, turn and catch the ball on feet to continue (limit number of touches between rainbows).
Sitting. or Standing to Sitting to Standing.