Juggling isn't Just for Clowns
Our varsity soccer coach made us juggle the ball at nearly every practice, despite our complaints-- you never juggle the ball in the game! no one ever juggles down the field and then scores!-- but he was ahead of his time and a fantastic coach (and recognized as such by North Brunswick star Tim Howard) and I've managed to convince my own children how important juggling the ball is and this has finally paid off-- because when kids first start juggling the ball, it's pretty ugly, they don't have much success and the ball goes flying all over the place . . . so we do it off the bounce a lot at practice; my older son Alex is twelve and he's finally mastered the two footed juggle . . . two weeks ago his high score was 25 touches in a row without letting the ball hit the ground, but now he's up to 97 and he's making it look easy because he can use both his feet with equal facility; now that he's achieved some success, he's getting slightly obsessed with it and practicing every day (and this may be in the genes, I used to juggle the ball a lot for relaxation and exercise . . . I once did 13 soccer fields without dropping the ball and another time I made it a mile around the track without letting the ball hit the rubber . . . after that I stopped juggling so incessantly because it was getting a bit weird, but I wish someone stressed earlier than high school how important juggling the ball is to develop balance and first touch).