Heading skills soccer drill

Improve your team’s attacking heading ability to boost their goal-scoring chances with the following coaching tips and soccer drills.
When you first start to get your players crossing the ball into attacking areas of the pitch, you add an extra attacking option. The header. It takes a lot of practice to get used to heading a ball, especially for young attackers when they need to react quickly to a ball at head height.

In your soccer training drill you want to see your players:

  • Move into ball’s line of flight.
  • Take off on one foot, land on both.
  • Use their arms for elevation.
  • At the highest point of their jump, head the top half of the ball to direct it downwards.
  • Aim for the corners of the goal.

It’s a lot for them to think about but take it slowly and the skills will eventually fall into place.

drill showing server throwing ball which player tries to head into goal

How to set up heading drill

  • Set up some square grids with each side equivalent to the width of a goal.
  • You need four players in each group.
  • Use at least two balls per group. Two players, acting as servers, stand at opposite sides.
  • A third player, a passive goalkeeper, stands on one of the other sides facing into the grid.
  • The servers take it in turns to throw a ball slightly ahead of the remaining player inside the grid, who heads towards goal.
  • Switch positions so everyone develops heading, serving and goalkeeping skills.

Advance the drill

To extend the soccer drill, get your players to try this game:

  1. Split the four players into two teams, with each player standing on a side of the square next to their team mate.
  2. A player from team ‘A’ throws the ball slightly ahead of their teammate, who runs forward and tries to head it past the opponent acting as a goalkeeper.
  3. Repeat the drill so all players have a turn each. The teams must alternate turns.
  4. As the players become accustomed to the ball coming from one side, make teammates swap positions and vary the angle and height of service.

For more tips and drills on heading, click here.

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