School Holiday Soccer Tricks

The school holidays give your kids the perfect opportunity to have some fun with their soccer balls and learn new skills: time. With no school to eat up their day, your little Ronaldo’s, Pele’s and Beckham’s can focus on learning some tricks.

Tricks are not only fun to learn but also develop overall control of the ball. Soccer freestyling is a growing trend, with skilful freestyler’s putting on exhibitions of juggling and inventive tricks. The beauty of learning tricks is not only does it improve ball skills but it also gets the kids outside, away from the television and computer screen.
As with any skill, the key to success is practise and repetition. When juggling a ball and performing tricks, the focus should be on the soccer ball, have the weight on the balls of the feet and be ready to move side to side if necessary.
Some simple steps to learning tricks for our Grasshopper Soccer players:
Step 1
Experiment with different ways of getting the ball off the ground. Roll the ball back to yourself gently, put your foot under the ball and flick it up in the air to juggle. For a variation, flick the ball up higher and perform a spin (turn around on the spot) before beginning juggling (bouncing the ball up and down on your foot).
Step 2
Learn the rainbow soccer move to get the ball off the ground and juggling. Begin with your standing foot directly in front of the ball. Use the laces of your back foot to roll the ball up the back of your front ankle before flicking your heel up and propelling the ball into the air. If you roll the ball only slightly up your ankle, the ball will travel backward, and rolling too high will result in little height. Practice regularly to gain a feel of the ball -- the goal is for the ball to travel forward over your head and land in front of you to catch with your foot and so you can continue to juggle. This is a pretty hard to learn, but once mastered, is impressive!
Step 3
Employ a variety of moves while the ball is in the air during juggling. The Around the World soccer move was famously used by Diego Maradona, and requires moving your foot over, around and back underneath the soccer ball before continuing to juggle – imagine tracing a big circle around the ball with your ankle before catching it again on the top of your foot.
Step 4
Catch and balance the ball on different body surfaces while juggling without the ball touching the ground. For example, catch the ball on your foot and hold it still before continuing to juggle, or bend forward and balance the ball on the back of your neck. For example, David Beckham once performed a push-up and got back up with the ball balanced on his neck.
These tricks are much more fun if mum and dad give them a go too – imagine how impressed all the other parents will be when they see you pulling out some of these freestyle moves!