EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Flick-on header

Your players can use the flick-on, or back-header, when they can’t face in the direction they want to head the ball, such as from their own team’s goal kicks or near-post corners.

What this session is about

  1. Heading the ball backwards.
  2. Attacking and defensive heading.

What to think about

  • Server uses a throw-in to deliver the ball quick and “flat”.
  • The player should come towards the ball.
  • Lower half of the ball glances off of forehead.
  • Flick forehead in direction ball is traveling.
  • Head so the ball doesn’t go straight up in the air.

Set-up

  • 1 ball.
  • 3 players each standing approx 5 metres apart in a line.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes20 minutes10 minutes7 minutes

What you get your players to do

The player heading the ball stands between two other players who will act as throwers and catchers. The thrower throws the ball to the header who “flicks” it behind to the catcher. The header turns to face the catcher who becomes the thrower and the sequence is repeated in the opposite direction.

Switch roles so everyone can practice heading the ball.

The defender is passive but provides an obstacle for the header to clear with the ball.

The defender is passive but provides an obstacle for the header to clear with the ball.


Development

Introduce a defender who stands behind the player heading the ball. The defender is allowed to jump to try to intercept the ball once it’s been headed and can apply pressure to the forward, but does not challenge directly for the ball.

Set up as many teams of three as required for this race.

Set up as many teams of three as required for this race.


Game situation

For this fun game, set up several lines of cones placed approx 5 metres apart for each team of
3 players. One player stands at each of the first three cones. On your command, the first player for each team throws the ball to the middle player who heads it backwards to the third player. The third player then throws the ball to the middle player as the first player runs to the next free cone. The player who was in the middle now becomes the thrower while the player who has run to the free cone is now the catcher.

Repeat the throw-header- catch sequence. Teams that drop the ball or stray too far from their cones to catch it can be punished by returning to the start. The winning team is the first one that catches the ball at the final cone.

Which team can reach the final cone the fastest?

Which team can reach the final cone the fastest?


What to call out

  • “Jump and attack the ball”
  • “Lift chin and tilt head back”
  • “Eyes on the ball”
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