If you have a hacky sack lying around, then you’ve probably practiced juggling with it a few times. And one day, you may have noticed that juggling a hacky sack is remarkably similar to juggling a soccer ball!
Now, you may be wondering – does hacky sack help with soccer? And if it does, how does it compare to juggling a regular soccer ball?
Read on to find out!
So Does A Hacky Sack Help With Soccer Technique?
Practice with a hacky sack involves juggling – just like with a regular soccer ball.
Here is how a hacky sack may be able to help you in soccer:
- Coordination. By regularly practicing with a hacky sack, you should be able to improve your coordination and the feel of where the ball is in space. This is an invaluable skill in soccer because precise ball control is crucial to scoring a goal.
- Balance. Juggling is performed on one leg, so you will obviously need to have a fair sense of balance to successfully juggle dozens of times. You will especially need balance when hitting the hacky sack off-center because you will need to rush after the sack to keep it off the ground.
- Ball control. As a consequence of better coordination and balance, juggling a hacky sack should improve your sense of the ball and ball control.
- Speed. Finally, what you may also be able to improve is foot speed. When you hit the ball/hacky sack off-center, you will have to react quickly to retrieve it.
Juggling A Hacky Sack VS A Soccer Ball - Which Is Better?
Another thing you may be wondering about is how juggling a hacky sack compares with juggling a soccer ball.
Well, juggling a soccer ball will translate to your actual on-field performance way better than juggling a hacky sack.
The reason for this is simple – hacky sacks are very different from soccer balls. Unlike soccer balls, hacky sacks have little to no bounce, so their feel is distinct and not even remotely like in a standard soccer ball.
As a result, if you were to master juggling a hacky sack, you would struggle a lot with juggling a soccer ball. Most likely, you would put too much force into your foot movements and send a soccer ball flying.
Hacky sacks don’t like to bounce, so you have to hit them harder to keep them airborne. In contrast, with a soccer ball, you have to be really subtle to keep it from flying off.
HOWEVER, because a hacky sack doesn’t bounce around, it’s much more suitable for practice at home. It’s extremely unlikely that a wrong move will send your hacky sack flying across the room, damaging your super-expensive TV.
In the end, juggling a hacky sack can indeed help you improve your foot control, balance, coordination, and speed. However, a master wielder of a hacky sack probably will not have much success if they suddenly switch to a soccer ball.
With that in mind, I think that you should still focus on juggling a soccer ball, but you may try to incorporate hacky sack juggling when you don’t have a ball or want to practice at home. Juggling a hacky sack regularly may help you improve your footwork, but it also may not work for some people.
And finally, I’d like to touch upon juggling in general. Does it really help in soccer? What should you expect from it? What it will not help you improve?
Well, juggling – whether with a soccer ball or hacky sack – is going to improve your speed, coordination, balance, and ball control. These are key to your ability to maintain control over the ball and direct it where it needs to go.
I’d also say that juggling tremendously helps with dribbling. Dribbling has many similarities with juggling, and if you learn fine control of the ball while juggling, you will be able to improve the control of the ball while running with it.
However, if you focus on juggling alone, you will not automatically become a soccer super-star. Soccer also involves a lot of running, conditioning, and kicking.
With that, juggling is just part of your soccer training. You should incorporate it into your routine, but don’t make it the holy grail of your training. Don’t forget about other aspects of soccer.
So in the end, a hacky sack could indeed help you get better at soccer. But it improves isolated aspects of the game and should be used as a supplement to your training.
Juggling a hacky sack could be especially great at home where you can’t afford your ball to jump around and possibly break something.