Great keepy uppy drills for kids

The art of juggling a ball with your feet, knees, shoulders or head without it touching the ground has impressed fans for decades. Pele and Diego Maradona are among the two kings of the keepy uppy, which is typically played using the feet and keeping the ball below your stomach. Although it may seem like a neat trick to learn, the keepy uppy will improve your game as it improves co-ordination between your eyes and feet, boosts confidence as you learn to use different parts of your foot to control the ball, and increases mental focus. There are different drills you can add to your training sessions to teach the art of the keepy uppy to kids.

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Warm-up exercises

You can incorporate keepy-uppy drills into your warm-up exercises. Make it a competition to see who can keep the ball in the air for the longest time using any part of their body except their hands. They will have to work out for themselves how to control the ball, which will help them during competitive games while having great fun. If they are very young, you could show them clips of Ronaldinho or Cristiano Ronaldo to give them some ideas of what they can achieve if they practise hard enough!

Follow the record breakers

Guinness World Record holder Dan Magness, who has taught his keepy-uppy skills to legends such as Lionel Messi, suggests you should use your laces to kick the ball. Drop the ball from about waist height, kick and catch it. Once you’ve mastered that you can take it a step further to juggle the ball with both feet. You can then move on to more complicated moves once the basics are covered.

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While your young players are copying the skills of the best footballers on the planet, they should look the part, too. One way is to pick a strip, including for coaching practise. Ideas for football team kits can be found at companies like

Using their head

After juggling with their feet, players could try using their head. They should keep the ball at the hairline on their forehead and must remember to keep their eyes open. Children need to practise to be able to do more than a couple of juggles, but they can achieve a lot more if they keep trying and have patience.