August 2014. Juggling (and trying not to die) on top of Mt. Scott in OK.
Oct. 2016. The first long-ish combo that I mastered.
July 2016. Some clips of a practice session from a trip home.
Dec. 2010. My first video, several months after I started learning tricks.
When I was young I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, where space to practice soccer is hard to come by. The only skill that was possible to practice on the tiny 4x6 foot patch of grass in our yard was juggling, so I decided learn to juggle. Because I taught myself, my juggling form was different than the way most players are taught. However, I later learned that my style was helpful in performing tricks. In 2007 I won a juggling competition at a city soccer league and got to go to Singapore to appear on the Nokia Football Crazy TV show. At this point I only knew a couple of tricks.
I moved to Oklahoma City in high school, where I started playing competitive soccer at a local club. Players were encouraged to develop skills on the ball by joining the 25-, 50-, 500-, etc Club by performing a certain number of consecutive juggles in front of their coach. Each "club" had a corresponding t-shirt that the players could earn. Instead of a t-shirt, those who could get to 1,000 juggles got any pair of cleats free. I desperately needed new cleats, so I practiced until I was able to consistently reach 1,000. This is one of my proudest childhood accomplishments because of the focus, determination, and months of failure it took to get to that point.
Once I was able to comfortably juggle the ball into the thousands without dropping it, I decided to learn some tricks. Youtube is a great teacher! Progress was slow, but I was able to see big improvement by working on juggling occasionally before or after soccer practice. At this point I'm comfortable with the basic tricks on both feet, and have finally reached a level where I'm able to start getting creative in my tricks and combos!