Heading is a difficult technique to coach to young players in particular. This section provides some great drills and advice to help you coach defensive headers and attacking headers. We look closely at the techniques involved and show you some fun games to help develop your player’s heading skills.

Clear the ball

Cover your back

in Defending, Heading

In every match there will be moments when the team us under a lot of aerial pressure. Defenders must be organised and put up a united front. Successful teams are often the most organised defensively. MORE

Heading technique

Win the first header

in Heading, Tactics

This game is all about winning the first header and directing it to your team-mate. If your players can get control of the ball in the air then it makes it easier to repel opponents and start an attack. MORE

Head the ball game

Header react

in Heading, Small Sided Games

This is not only really good heading practice but at the coach’s call it turns into a small-sided game with lots of coaching points: heading technique, concentration, focus and quick passing. Check local rules for heading age groups MORE

Throw to pass, head to score - part 1

Throw to Pass, Head to Score

in Heading, Small Sided Games

The game is played by throwing and catching the ball with goals scored by headers. The player in possession cannot move with the ball. This encourages his team mates to make movements off the ball. The player in possession must not have the ball in their hands for longer than 3 seconds. MORE

How to coach heading at goal - part 1

Heading at goal

in Heading, Practice plans

Heading is an important part of any attacker’s armoury. If you can improve the technique of heading at goal by getting players used to attacking balls delivered to them in the air, your team will score more goals. MORE

How to coach defending your box in the air drills- part 1

Clear the present danger

in Heading, Practice plans

This week’s session is designed to improve defensive heading in and around the penalty box. Defenders will go on a journey of improving their heading in isolation and then in different game situations both unopposed and opposed. MORE

How to coach headers and volleys - part 1

Headers and volleys

in Heading, Practice plans

When the ball is off the ground, it is necessary for your players to have the technique to be able to strike the ball for a shot at goal. Headers and volleys will give your players those skills and the final session makes for a great game. MORE

How to coach attacking header drills- part 1

Head to score

in Heading, Practice plans

Learning how to improve your players’ heading technique when attacking will bring a greater threat of goals. The practices here focus on technique then progress into how players can implement them in game situations. MORE

How to coach attacking headers- part 1

Head to pass, head to score

in Heading, Practice plans

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. MORE

How to coach defensive headers - part 1

Head high, head far

in Heading, Practice plans

A well-executed defensive header away from goal will achieve both distance and height, giving an under-pressure defence time to reorganise and make it less likely to concede goals. MORE

How to coach attacking headers - part 1

Attacking Headers

in Heading, Practice plans

Ultimately, soccer is all about scoring goals and by improving your team’s attacking heading ability you will boost their chances of finding the back of the net more often. MORE

How to coach heading the ball downwards - part 1

Get your head down

in Heading, Practice plans

One of the fundamental principles of the attacking header is to head the ball downwards. This gives a player a better chance of scoring a goal because the bounce often prevents a goalkeeper from making a save. MORE

How to coach flick-on headers - part 1

Flick-on header

in Heading, Practice plans

Your players can use the flick-on, or back-header, when they can’t face in the direction they want to head the ball, such as from their own team’s goal kicks or near-post corners. MORE

How to coach diving headers - part 1

Diving headers

in Heading, Practice plans

The diving header is a spectacular technique that goal scorers can use when attacking crosses they can’t reach with their feet, or when they want to beat their marker to the ball. MORE

How to coach cushioned headers - part 1

Cushioned headers

in Heading, Practice plans

Whether cushioning the ball back into the arms of your team’s goalkeeper or teeing-up a volley at goal for a team-mate, it pays to master controlling the ball with the head. MORE

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