EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Head high, head far

A well-executed defensive header away from goal will achieve both distance and height, giving an under-pressure defence time to reorganise and make it less likely to concede goals.

What this session is about

  1. Heading the ball away from goal.
  2. Getting height and distance with headers.

What to think about

When heading the ball long distances, players must:

  • Keep their eyes on the ball.
  • Be almost side-on.
  • Take off on one foot, land on two.
  • Use the arms for take-off.
  • Arch the back and use the neck muscles.
  • Jump first, head later.
  • Head at the highest point of the jump.
  • Use the flat part of forehead to contact the bottom half and middle of the ball.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Put players into groups of three. They stand in a line each five yards apart.

The server (S), stands in the middle and throws the ball up to player 1. Player 1 heads the ball over the server’s head to player 2. Player 2 controls the ball with his foot, head or chest and passes it to the server.

The server then throws the ball up to player 2, who repeats the drill. Rotate players so everyone has a go at serving.

A server (S) throws a ball to player 1 who heads it over the server for player 2 to control and pass back.

A server (S) throws a ball to player 1 who heads it over the server for player 2 to control and pass back.


Development

This time, players 1 and 2 are side by side (five yards apart) facing the server (S), but each stands behind a mannequin or flag (or passive defenders). The server stands five yards away.

The server throws the ball to one side of the first mannequin/flag for player 1 to meet and head the ball back. The server immediately repeats the service but to the other side of player 1’s mannequin/flag. The third service is over the top of the mannequin/flag.

The server then repeats the drill with player 2. Swap players so each serves and heads.

Players 1 and 2 move to the side of their mannequin/flag to head the ball back to the server (S).

Players 1 and 2 move to the side of their mannequin/flag to head the ball back to the server (S).


Game situation

Play 3v3 in an area split two halves with cones. Teams must stay in their halves and try to score a point by heading the ball over the opponent’s end line.

The defending team can catch the ball to stop the attempt and immediately set up its own attack with a thrown serve to a team mate or head the ball straight back.

To progress, each team can send up to two players into the other half when not in possession to provide passive opposition. The team that scores most points wins.

In a 3v3, players try to head the ball across the end line of the opposite half.

In a 3v3, players try to head the ball across the end line of the opposite half.


What to call out

Share this drill


Get 2,262 time-saving, stress-busting,
“print and go” practice plans



No commitment. Cancel anytime

JOIN NOW FOR FREE

Perfect Defending

Defence leaking goals like a sieve? Start plugging holes today with these 67 easy-to-coach defending drills and games MORE

Buy

Dave Clarke’s Soccer Warm-ups Made Simple

Never Have to Hunt Around the Internet for a Fresh Warm-Up Again MORE

Buy

Browse the shop

-->
Follow us