Winning the ball in the air is one of the key skills for any defender. This simple exercise can teach your players the basics of heading MORE
Players start on opposite sides of the grid in pairs. One of the pairs starts with the ball.
The player with the ball jogs to the opposite corner, turns, and serves the ball to their team mate at around waist height so that the team mate is encouraged to dive to head the ball.
The team mate tries to score past the opposition pair with a diving header that must be below head height of the standing pair.
Opposition players encourage this by only being able to stop the ball with their head or chest, no hands. And they must not kneel.
After each attempt the opponent gets a go so that all players are constantly rotating position.
Quick attacks will be better before the opposition defenders are able to get back in position.
Play to a score – say 5 – before switching opposition. See how many wins your team can get.
Area: 8×8 yard grids
Players: 4, 2 teams of 2 per grid
Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball per grid
What To Call Out
“Attack the ball”
“Keep your hands in front”
“Timing. Don’t move forward too quickly”
Allow defenders to head the ball straight back across the opponent’s line if they can to score. They can still get their turn afterwards.
Only do this practice on a soft surface. Use size 3 footballs and do not overinflate. Have plenty of spare balls ready.