This is not only really good heading practice but at the coach’s call it turns into a small-sided game with lots of coaching points: heading technique, concentration, focus and quick passing. Check local rules for heading age groups MORE
Fun heading race (U11-14 game)
Fun heading race
HEAD TO HEAD
“Throw the ball slightly in front of the player” • “Spring forward and head the ball back” • “Keep your eyes on the ball and mouth shut”
Get your players into pairs with one player as the server and the other the header. The header must start by kneeling up with his arms by his sides.
The server throws the ball and the player dives forward to head the ball, follow through and end up on his arms.
Tell your players to try to contact the ball and not let it contact them, and hit it on the hard part of their head using their whole body to follow through.
Make sure the players are taking turns to head and catch – try five headers then swap thrower and header.
For the game, divide your players into two teams. Each team should stand in a line with the players standing about 2 yards apart.
The aim is to head the ball back along the line and the game is to see which team can get it from front to back quickest.
Heading is an activity you don’t want to do too long especially with a younger player but you do want to make sure they are comfortable with it, and that it is something they are not afraid of because it is a very important part of the game.
How many players do I need?
Players work in pairs to start with. We used eight players in a 4v4 for the heading race.