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Heading Soccer Drills

Coaching points

There are 2 main techniques of heading in soccer, attacking heading and defensive heading. These can be further broken down to standard, diving, glancing and flick headers.

Defensive Heading As a general rule, defensive headers should go HIGH, WIDE, and FAR. So, defenders usually will aim for the bottom half of the ball, while attackers usually will aim for the top half.

Attacking Heading Offensive headers should be as a general rule aimed towards the ground (as ground balls are harder for keepers to handle).Put feet in a wide fencer or boxer stance, with knees bent and weight centered evenly, with a one foot take off for high balls. Alternatively, use a two footed (square take off).

  1. Get in line with the flight of the ball.
  2. On your toes to do this (shuffle steps).
  3. Keep your eyes on the ball until impact.
  4. Keep the neck stiff, and use the waist/back to move the head toward the ball.
  5. Eyes OPEN!, Mouth CLOSED!
  6. Contact should be made with the center of the forehead.
  7. If you hit the ball on its bottom half, the ball will go up. If you hit the ball on the upper half, the ball will go down.
  8. To generate power and distance arch the back.
  9. Bent knees.
  10. Extend your neck. The power of a header does not come from your neck muscles. Bend back your entire upper body and then lunge forward to strike the ball.
  11. Keep your shoulders leveled and perpendicular to your aim.
  12. Arms out for balance and protection from other players in heading aerial challenges.


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