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
Improve your players’ all-round heading ability with this session, which deals with two variations of the same technique in one.
What this session is about
- Attacking heading.
- Defensive headers.
What to think about
- Move into the ball’s line of flight.
- Time the jump with the arrival of the ball – take off on one foot, body almost side-on, and use arms for elevation.
- Keep eyes on the ball.
- Strike the bottom half and middle of the ball with the forehead at the highest point of the jump when defending – and go for height and distance; or head the top half of the ball to direct it downwards towards the bottom corners of the goal for attacking headers.
- Generate power with an arched back and use neck muscles.
- Land on both feet.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Groups of three with one goal and a six-yard box. One player on one corner of the box is the server, a player by the post is a defender and a player outside the six-yard box is the attacker. The server throws the ball up for the defender to head clear. He heads it high in the direction of the attacker who attacks the ball and heads it low into the goal.
After their turn, players join a different line for next time.
Play in a manned goal. Where the six-yard line meets the byline line place a server. Place another server diagonally opposite him. Line up attackers on the edge of the six-yard area in line with a goalpost. Place defenders behind the other goalpost.
The server on the byline (S1) throws a ball up for an attacker to head past the keeper. At the same time, S2 throws a ball for two defenders to clear. The first defender is passive and does not challenge, allowing the defender nearest the goal to clear. Attackers and defenders then join opposite lines.
Play 4v4 on a 30 x 20-yard pitch with two manned goals. The game is played by catching, throwing and heading the ball. The player in possession cannot move with the ball and has three seconds to throw it. There are two ways of scoring: After a throw, one team has to head the ball over the bar, the other into the goal. This encourages high, clearing headers and low, powerful headers. Teams then switch at half time. Players cannot intercept the ball with their hands when a player is heading for ‘goal’ but they can attempt to head the ball away.