EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Power heading

Whether trying to beat the goalkeeper with the pace of the ball, or looking to get distance with a defensive header, it’s useful to know how to generate some extra heading power.

What this session is about

  1. Heading.
  2. Getting height and distance with headers.
  3. Scoring goals.

What to think about

  • Neck muscles + arched back = power.
  • Eyes on the ball.
  • Take off on one foot, land on two.
  • Use arms for take-off.
  • Jump first, head later – not both at once.
  • Body almost side-on.
  • Arch back then use forehead.
  • Head at highest point of jump.
  • Good service.

Set-up

  • 1 ball between 2 players.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

The player heading (“H”) lies on their front, resting on their forearms.
Positioned opposite a few feet away, the server (“S”) gently throws the ball underarm from a kneeling position to H, who heads the ball back into S’s hands.
After several efforts, switch roles.

Introduce heading in static positions.

Introduce heading in static positions.


Development

With their belly pointing upwards, H places the palms of their hands and soles of their boots on the ground, so that from the side H’s initial body shape looks like an “M”.

When S throws the ball underarm from a standing position, H pushes their hips/tummy up by straightening their arms just before heading the ball back.

To progress, both players stand. S serves the ball above H so H must jump to head the ball back.

Add movement to show how power can be generated from various parts of the body.

Add movement to show how power can be generated from various parts of the body.


Game situation

Split the group into two teams and play a game of Throw, Head, Catch.

For a team to win a point they must complete the following sequence: one player throws the ball to a second teammate who heads it to a third teammate.

A team is awarded a point if the opposition doesn’t intercept the ball to begin their own sequence and the ball doesn’t hit the ground. The other team can win the ball back by intercepting the ball with their hands in the “catching” phase.

Finish with a game of Throw, Head, Catch.

Finish with a game of Throw, Head, Catch.


What to call out

  • “Concentrate on a quality service”
  • “Keep your eyes open”
  • “Attack the ball”
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