Lots of kids don’t like heading the ball – but there’s a surefire way of helping them to overcome the fear factor.
Heading is a difficult technique to coach to young players in particular. This section provides some great drills and advice to help you coach defensive headers and attacking headers. We look closely at the techniques involved and show you some fun games to help develop your player’s heading skills.
The first goal that really made me sit up and think football was the best game in the world was a diving header. Back in 1972 Leeds United beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final when Alan Clarke scored with one, says David Clarke.
Winning the ball in the air is one of the key skills for any defender. This simple exercise can teach your players the basics of heading.
Like throw-ins, headers continually occur in matches and are a great way to score goals. If you go to the trouble of getting your wingers to cross the ball into the penalty area, then you want an end product.
A great way to put your defenders under pressure at training is to get your players to bombard your best three defenders with high balls into the penalty area so they are constantly having to clear them, says David Clarke.
Players shouldn’t be scared of heading a football. You need to get them used to doing it and build up their confidence so they can do it in matches. Don’t spend too long on it, but do make it fun, says David Clarke.
Heading is about more than just finding the net, so here’s a session that rehearses players on how to best execute a header into the path of a team mate, be that in the opposition’s box or in your own!
Taking the fear out of heading can have positive results on the pitch
If you want your players to intercept those high attacking balls in the box and direct them to safety, this exercise will improve their defensive heading
Use Tony Carr’s session to coach players once they have become aware of the way a header can influence matches.