Attack high balls in the box

Session on heading for older age groups 16+. Please check your local rules on heading during practise. This is all about making the most of high balls in the penalty area to score more goals.

Set up

Use the penalty area of your normal pitch and mark out a square of 12×12 yards. Set up three gates on either side of the penalty area with servers and a few balls each, and put a keeper in goal. We’ve used eight players. You need balls, cones and a goal.

How to play it

One player is working in the central box, and he will get balls played in the air from either side of the pitch alternatively. The player must make the right decision to shoot using head or chest down and shoot if the ball is not the right height. They can also volley any low balls played in but goals scored with the head are worth double. Each player gets the six balls – one off each server – and the success rate can be totted up at the end to work out who is the most accurate shot taker?


Because the working player is so close, the session is about decisions and accuracy with the shot more than power. The working player must observe the position of the goalkeeper, move away to create space and then attack the cross.

1. The working player is in a 12×12-yard square between the six-yard box and the edge of the penalty area
2. Three servers are on each side of the penalty area, playing high balls into the working player

3. You are looking for good shots with the head but if the ball is not at the right height, the players should still use some part of their body to shoot
4. Movement towards the server should be well timed, mimicking the attacker getting across a defender

5. Because of the position of the working player, accuracy is more important than power to really stretch the goalkeeper

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