While juggling a soccer ball with cleats on is a skill that almost all footballers will have.
You may be wondering can you juggle a soccer ball with bare feet?
Is it useful, or are you just better off wearing cleats when executing them?
In this post, I will be discussing the pros and cons of doing them barefooted.
Plus, I will tell you whether players juggle bare feet, and if so, should you.
So if you are someone who wants to get better at juggling a soccer ball, this post is worth a read.
How To Juggle A Soccer Ball With Bare Feet?
Juggling a soccer ball barefoot isn’t easy.
At least not at first.
That is because controlling the ball with your feet is different to with soccer cleats on.
When you juggle with cleats on, you are hitting a flat surface.
However, with the top of your feet not being as flat, it requires more concentration to keep the ball in the air.
To juggle with bare feet, it is always better to start with cleats on first.
As if you have never juggled a ball before, you will find having shoes challenging at first.
But once you have mastered it and can do consecutive juggles of the ball without miss controlling it, you can try barefoot dribbling.
The best advice to give when juggling a soccer ball is the same regardless of whether you have cleats.
Try One Bounce At A Time
So many people, when they start trying to juggle bare feet, try picking up the ball with their feet or even by bouncing it.
However, to become familiar with using bare feet, you will want to be first getting used to the action of doing a kick up.
Therefore dropping the ball out of your hands onto your feet and kicking it back it into your hands.
It will help you get used to and perfect your kick-ups with bare feet.
Doing this over and over again will only improve your control more.
This is better because if you are bouncing the ball up or trying to roll up the ball, you are making it harder for yourself.
So if you are new to bare feet juggling, you want to ease your way in, which is why this is the best approach, in my opinion.
Aim For The Top Of Your Feet (But Not The Toes!)
A common mistake people always make is trying to do kick-ups with the wrong areas of their feet.
While doing so may keep the ball in the air, its just not the most efficient way to do kick-ups.
I have seen people trying to juggle with the toes and even side of their feet.
Which not only is going to leave you feeling awkward but is a technique that isn’t really going to help you with controlling the ball.
So instead, regardless of whether you are juggling with cleats on or not, try to aim for the top of the foot.
Which Footballers Can Juggle With Bare Feet?
In order to become a top footballer, you must be able to possess good control of the ball.
Not just while dribbling but also when the ball is in the air.
So for the majority of professional footballers, they should be able to juggle a ball without too much effort.
That is because they have not only practised doing keepy ups.
But they have spent many days in their career with a ball at their feet, which will always improve their control.
So with that said, almost all footballers can juggle a ball. However, when it comes to juggling bare feet.
Not all footballers may be familiar with it.
That is because juggling bare feet is seen as quite painful, especially if you are using a heavy ball.
Repeatedly hitting with an exposed foot will likely hurt at first.
But after a while, you would get used to it.
Now professional footballers who will be used to kicking bare feet is likely to be South Americans.
South Americans are known for playing football on the beach.
So for them, they became used to playing barefoot, therefore improving their control.
Its the reason why online, you will see many players who are just playing one-touch between friends on the beach.
As they have perfected their ball control with a ball without needing any shoes on.
Is It Beneficial?
So we have established that keepy ups are always going to be beneficial for you.
However is it worth doing so with bare feet?
I would personally say yes.
It doesn’t mean you must do it this way, as doing it with cleats is completely fine.
But there are certainly benefits to just using your feet, for one you are able to get a closer connection with the ball.
As the ball is dropping onto the top of your foot, instead of onto the upper.
Its worth giving a go, if you are yet to try it.
But to repeat what I said earlier, if you are new to kick-ups you may them hard altogether.
Therefore practising barefooted, is probably the best play for you early on.