Heading the ball is incredibly important whether you are a defender, forward, or center midfielder.
Heading is used to win possession of the ball during goal-kicks, to score, and to clear the ball out.
It should be clear: to become a good soccer player, you need good heading ability. This guide will teach you how to head the ball well.
Overcoming Fear of Soccer Heading
Many youth soccer players have a fear of heading the ball. This is only natural;humans have the tendency to cower away from objects coming at there head.
The best way to get over this is to attack the ball. Lean back and smash the header. If you use your fore-head it will not hurt. When you keep heading the ball, your mind will adjust, and heading will become second-nature.
Whatever you do don’t close your eyes. This can cause serious injury, and you will not head the ball efficiently.
Type of Soccer Headers
Attacking Soccer Header
This header is used to score goals. Steps to execute:
Look at the ball.
Look at the ball through this entire process. This allow you to perform a header more efficiently.
2. Plant your feet.
This will give you the full power necessary to easily put the ball past the goalkeeper.
03. Lean back.
When you lean back you are building momentum, much like you do when bringing your foot back to shoot.
4. Jump (optional)
If the ball is too high for you, perform a jumping header.
5. Move your head forward quickly.
The faster you head the ball, the more power you can generate. When you head the ball, use your forehead.
Note: all other headers follow these basic princibals. When learning other types of headers in the guide, continue to do this.
The flick-on is where you pass the ball behind you using your head. This is great for using on throw-ins and many other ways. Steps:
1. Let the ball pass over your head.
2. Flick you head up.
If you do it correctely, the ball will hit the back of your head and go behind you.
Diving Soccer Header
The diving header is considered one of the greatest plays in soccer. You will not use this often, but it is still good to know. You never know what will come at you when the game is on the line. Steps:
1. Dive into the ball.
Your momentum will power the ball into the net. Warning: make sure people aren’t going to kick you when you dive.
2. Land on your arms.
The fall can hurt, and I recommend only doing a little in a training session. A great way to train is to practice them on the beach.
Glancing Soccer Header
You can use this header to direct the soccer ball. It is perfect for faking out the goalie.
1. Look at the area of the ball like you would a shot.
Heading the right of the ball will move the ball to the left. Heading it to the left will make the ball go right.
2. Flick you head in the direction you want the ball to go.
The ball will not have as much power, but it should easily fake out the goalie. You can also use this to pass the ball to a teammate.
Defensive Soccer Header
The point of this header is to clear the ball out. Use this header to send the ball high and as far away from the goal as you can.
1. Look at the bottom of the ball
Hitting the bottom of the ball with your head will help send the ball upward.
2. Head the ball
You should use the top of your forehead, and head the ball as hard as you can. There should be no holding back on a defensive header.