Kick-ups, also known as keepie-uppies, are the practise of juggling a soccer ball with one’s feet, thighs, and head. It’s a great way to practise ball control while also getting a good workout. Winning competitive kick ups with friends or teammates necessitates consistent practise and the use of techniques such as watching the ball, getting into a cycle, and anticipating where the ball will go. You can master the fundamentals first, then solidify your skills and style before focusing on the big picture.
Part 1 Perfecting the Basics
1. Bounce the ball up and down on your thigh. Although soccer is primarily played with the feet, beginners should learn to kick up with their thighs first because it is easier than foot juggling. The ball should land on the flat surface of the thigh, not on the knee. Drop the ball to one of your thighs, bounce it once, and catch it. Do this for a sufficient number of reps to get the motion down before attempting multiple bounces.
2. Use your foot’s bridge to tie the laces. When you’ve mastered the thighs, add the feet. Drop the ball and make contact with it at the point where the toes begin. Maintain a slight upward angle with your toes so that the ball bounces up rather than forward.
The ball is more likely to bounce away from you if you straighten your toes out to point forward.
Begin with one bounce off your foot at a time, making sure the ball goes straight up. When you’ve mastered keeping the ball straight, try more kicks in a row.
3. Begin with your non-dominant foot. Most people have a dominant foot, and it’s easier to let that foot do all of the work, but the best kick up players will be equally strong with both feet. Once you’ve mastered your dominant foot, start working on your other foot as well.
This will give your dominant foot a break during competitive kicks ups and provide you with more options for establishing a pattern.
4. Use your foot or thigh to propel the ball up to your head. Kicking the ball with just the right amount of power up to your head is difficult and time-consuming. When you kick the ball into the air, it should be just out in front of your head, so you have to lean forward slightly to hit it. The ball should land on your flat head rather than your forehead.
Strive to hit the ball straight up off the top of your head rather than forward or backward.
Moving the ball from your foot to your head may be easier than moving it from your thigh to your head because your foot has more power.
Part 2 Building Your Kick Ups Skills
1. Consistent practise is required. Beating others at kick ups requires being consistently better than them, which can only be accomplished through practise. You should do kick ups every day to strengthen your legs and develop muscle memory for the motion that juggling the ball requires. One method for practising is to set a time limit for which you must work on the skills, and then gradually increase this time every day.
Try to hold the ball for 10 seconds or 10 reps without dropping it. Set a goal like this, and as you achieve it, set a new, slightly higher goal.
2. Find the motion that is most comfortable for you. Being comfortable with juggling will help you win more kick ups, so if one way of moving feels better, stick with it. Some people prefer to pop the ball up by moving the foot at the ankle, while others prefer to kick at the ball by slightly extending the knee. You can even move your bent leg at the hip up and down.
Try each method for a few minutes to see which one feels the most natural to you. Then practise that style until you’re an expert.
3. Perform drills to perfect your technique. You can’t set a goal of getting 50 bounces on the first try. Bounce the ball off the ground and kick it up once into your hands on a hard surface. Drop it once more and kick it twice with a bounce in between before catching it. Then, without bouncing it, kick it twice and catch it. This progression will assist you in getting the exact motion correct before going for too long.
You want the ball to go straight up after the kick without too much spin, so if you do one kick and it doesn’t go straight up, repeat the drill until it does. This provides a foundation upon which to build.
You can progress from this basic drill by passing it from one foot to the other, going from foot to head to thigh, or doing 10 reps on the foot, 10 on the thigh, and 10 on the head. Drills are designed to help you perfect your technique on a few reps before attempting to get the most reps possible.
Part 3 Staying in the Zone
1. Keep an eye on the ball. Keeping your eye on the ball may appear weak, but it is the most effective way to keep the ball moving. You may believe your foot or leg is perfectly positioned for a pass up to your head, but watching the ball will let you know for sure. The location of the ball will tell you whether or not you used the proper technique.
You can practise juggling the ball without looking to challenge yourself, but when it comes to winning, watching will give you an advantage over your opponent.
2. Concentrate on your balance. Kick ups require you to stand on one foot for an extended period of time, so having exceptional balance is an important skill to master. You will have less control over where the ball goes if you are wobbly with each kick. Maintain an upright posture while only moving enough to keep the ball moving.
Standing on one foot for as long as you can while remaining upright and not swaying is a good way to practise. You’ll be able to practise kicking once you can stand still for an extended period of time.
3. Make a pattern with the ball. Some kick ups players move the ball around at random and are constantly reacting to where the ball ends up. You can win if you have more control than your opponent. Use each body part to move the ball in a pattern. Instead of guessing, if you move the ball in a pattern, you’ll know exactly where it’s going.
Right foot, left foot, left thigh, right thigh, head is a good pattern. You could also cycle up and down the right and left sides by cycling right foot, right thigh, head, left thigh, left foot. The goal is to plan ahead of time where you will pass the ball.
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