EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Heading to score

This session aims to improve the technique of attacking heading. The practices develop from simple technique into a real match situation with defenders.

What this session is about

  1. Improving heading technique.
  2. Experiencing heading at goal from various positions.
  3. Getting into the box to score from crosses.

What to think about

Heading is a skill that is often neglected by coaches and not coached properly or in a fun way that shows the correct technique and advantages of being competent at heading. This results in a lack of good headers in most teams. By developing your own players’ technique you are giving your team a big advantage in games.

Set-up

20 x 20 yd area for the session. Increasing to a 40 x 30 yd area for the game.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The players take it in turns to serve the ball and then run to make an attacking header at goal.

Heading a ball that is travelling towards the player from in front of them makes it easy to get power on the header.

Players should be attempting to head the ball downwards where possible. This makes the header harder to save.

Initially the players have the advantage of approaching the ball head on.

Initially the players have the advantage of approaching the ball head on.


Development

Now change the starting position so that the players are receiving a serve from the right and left rather than coming onto the ball.

The player will now have to generate their own power with the use of their neck, arms and body. This development replicates heading at goal from a cross from the right and left.

Changing the angle of their approach to the ball means players will now need to generate power themselves.

Changing the angle of their approach to the ball means players will now need to generate power themselves.


Game situation

Now have a 2v2 situation on the pitch with a wide player in the free zone out wide.

A midfielder must pass into the forward who is allowed a free return pass to the midfielder. Now a pass is made to the wide player for a cross.

The midfielder and two attackers must try to lose the two defenders in order to score from the cross. Goals scored by headers should be counted as double.

The forwards combine with a midfielder to get the ball out to the wide player. The wide player now crosses for a 3v2.

The forwards combine with a midfielder to get the ball out to the wide player. The wide player now crosses for a 3v2.


What to call out

  • “Keep your eyes on the ball”
  • “Use your arms and body to create power”
  • “Head the top of the ball”
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