INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Head down

Improve your team’s chances of hitting the back of the net from aerial crosses with this session that focuses on attacking headers.

What this session is about

  1. Scoring goals.
  2. Accurate and powerful heading.

What to think about

Players should:

  • Take off on one foot and land on both.
  • Use their arms for elevation.
  • At the highest point of the jump, head the top half of the ball to direct it downwards.
  • Use the forehead when making contact with the ball.
  • Use the neck muscles and arch the back for power.
  • Keep your eyes open
  • Aim for the low corners of the goal.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes25 minutes10 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up the area as shown in the top picture and play 2v2.

The objective for both teams is to score in the opposition’s goal with a header.

Both teams’ players start on their own goal line. The team in possession moves the ball towards the defending team’s goal by:

  1. Serving the ball to a team mate (with a throw) who heads it back to the server to catch.
  2. Serving the ball to themselves and heading it to a team mate to catch.
  3. Playing keepie-uppies using their heads only.
  4. A combination of the first three methods.

If the attacking players drop the ball, or have scored or missed with their attempt at goal, they return to their goal line.

The defending team starts a new attack immediately from where the ball was dropped or saved, or from their own goal line if a goal has been conceded.

Players throw the ball to each other, returning it with a header and try to head the ball in the opposition goal.

Players throw the ball to each other, returning it with a header and try to head the ball in the opposition goal.


Development

Add two more players to each team. Each team has two players placed on the opposition goal line, one in each corner. That leaves a 2v2 in the playing area, as shown in the middle picture.

The teams move the ball by conventional passing, but can only score by passing to one of the two corner attackers who pick the ball up and serve it for an attacking header.

When a corner attacker has the ball, the defending team must put a player on the goal line to try and stop a goal being scored, while the other defender can compete in the air with the attackers.

Switch corner and central players regularly.

Teams pass the ball to an attacker on the corner of a goal, who throws it for an outfield player to head the ball in the goal.

Teams pass the ball to an attacker on the corner of a goal, who throws it for an outfield player to head the ball in the goal.


Game situation

Play a five-a-side game, plus goalkeepers on a bigger pitch.

In addition, two wide players, one operating outside each long touchline, play for the team with the ball and are conditioned to have three touches before providing crosses (control, dribble, cross/ pass). Goals scored from headers count treble.

Encourage high crosses from wingers and plenty of heading. Swap wide players regularly but ensure they return to their original team so a winning team can be found by the number of goals scored.

In a small-sided game, teams try to score goals with headers from crosses.

In a small-sided game, teams try to score goals with headers from crosses.


What to call out

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