Is there a word for when a soccer player does the kind of tricks where he would try to kick the ball with his feet into the air, catches the ball with his knee cap with another hit to bring the ball higher into the air, and then hit the ball with his head and so on?

I don't know how I can describe it, but it's a common move/trick that soccer players do. They would "play" around the ball with different moves.

I used to think that a verb for performing such actions is shuffling, and would say:

"The soccer player is shuffling the ball."

But now I think I'm wrong because shuffling sounds more for something else.

So, is there a verb for performing such an action?

3 Answers 3


The activity is called kick-ups or simply juggling. Wikipedia has also introduced me to a new term for it:

Keepie uppie, or "kick-ups" is the skill of juggling with a football using feet, lower legs, knees, chest, shoulders, and head, without allowing the ball to hit the ground.

  • 7
    Keepie uppie is pretty widespread in the UK. I imagine some people think it's a rather childish term, but lots of adults use it quite naturally. I'm not familiar with "kick-ups", but I'd have to say it doesn't fit well with an activity that normally involves much more than just kicking (with feet). Nov 11, 2012 at 17:30

It's called juggling. The link has a collection of terms used in soccer.

  • 6
    Note that to soccer fans at least, "dribbling" is usually done with the ball on the ground at one's feet, and is a basic skill for most professional players. "Juggling" is more of a showing-off activity, and isn't something you'd normally do (or have the chance to do) during a game.
    – calum_b
    Nov 11, 2012 at 21:29
  • -1 "Dribbling" is the wrong word for this.
    – Ergwun
    Nov 12, 2012 at 11:27
  • :-) OK I might as well confess. I jumped the gun and didn't get past the first sentence in the question when I posted my answer. Re-reading it, I edited the post, and now, with a downvote for listing dribble, I've made a second edit and deleted the youtube link. Nov 12, 2012 at 11:33
  • @Ergwun : thanks for your comment explaining the downvote.I've edited the post and posted a comment. Nov 12, 2012 at 11:36
  • No worries - removed my downvote after your edit.
    – Ergwun
    Nov 12, 2012 at 22:48

Known as freestyle football when practised competitively.


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