EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Head to pass, head to score

This week’s session will help your players’ heading technique in order to make passes and score goals. Heading is a skill that is often underdeveloped in young players because of poor technique and enjoyment. This session has fun, yet challenging, games.

What this session is about

  1. Improving your heading technique.
  2. Scoring goals from headers.
  3. Ability to make headed passes.

What to think about

The heading technique is an underdeveloped skill in young players because children are not being taught:

  1.  The basics of how to head the ball.
  2.  What part of the head to use when making contact so that it doesn’t hurt.
  3.  Being taught heading in a fun, challenging way.

This session aims to improve heading by having fun and learning the technique through games.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark an area with a goal at each end and mannequins/flags in the centre.

Two players are used as servers and stand at one side, as shown in the top picture.

Attackers line up in two groups opposite each other, and on the other side of the goals from servers.

Attackers either:

  1.  Run across the mannequin/flag to the near post in order to head at goal.
  2.  Run behind the mannequin/flag to the far post in order to head at goal.
  3.  Call out which post they are attacking then run to score from the serve.

Servers use an underarm throw to ensure accuracy in this practice.

Attackers run in to try and score with a header from either server. They can attack the near or far post.

Attackers run in to try and score with a header from either server. They can attack the near or far post.


Development

Remove the mannequins/flags and play a small-sided game.

Each goalkeeper must serve the ball into the air and then players must only use headers to pass or shoot at goal.

If the ball hits the floor, players must simply make a looped pass back into the air to keep the game flowing.

Players must be on the move constantly and react to their team mates’ headers to challenge for the next ball.

Players can head back to their goalkeeper if needed in order for the keeper to catch and serve back into the game.

Goals and passes can only be made with headers. If the ball falls to the floor, a chip up with the foot starts the process again.

Goals and passes can only be made with headers. If the ball falls to the floor, a chip up with the foot starts the process again.


Game situation

Make the area slightly longer for a small-sided game. Include two neutral players (N), who work on the edge of the area for the team in possession.

The action takes place chiefly on the ground, with teams attempting to get the ball wide and outside the pitch to the wide players.

The wide player must take one touch and then make a lofted cross into the box to set up goalscoring chances.

If the team cannot score using a header, players can make a headed pass to a team mate who can volley or shoot at goal with their feet.

Swap neutral wide players on a regular basis. The team that scores most goals wins.

Neutral wide players (N) receive passes and lob the ball up for headed attempts at goal.

Neutral wide players (N) receive passes and lob the ball up for headed attempts at goal.


What to call out

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