"How to take the fear out
of soccer heading for kids"

Soccer heading is a skill that needs to be introduced to young players in the right way so that the players don't hurt themselves while learning how to use the technique correctly.

There is a taboo associated with heading the soccer ball, but this can be overcome if the players are taught correctly.

Check out these tips on heading...

The coach teaches basic heading technique by having the player head the ball with the forehead and not the top of the head.

Coaching point: The players should keep their eyes open, mouth closed and neck braced.

Heading can also be use to trap the soccer ball. The player will take a lighter touch with the head and cushion the soccer ball.

This can lead to keeping possession of the soccer ball, and other decisions can be made, by controlling the ball and looking for a pass or dribbling into space.

What is your record?

How many in a row can the players head...

It is important for the player to head the ball straight up using the arms for balance, the shoulders, head and legs to keep the ball up. I like little competitions to measure the players level.

Bounce - head - catch

Start this game by...

  • Having the players take the ball in their hands.
  • The player bounces the ball off the ground, high
    enough to head the ball.
  • The player heads and then catches the ball.
  • As the ball drops onto the players head the player
    attacks the ball slightly, then catches the ball.

coaching point - The players should have a good base - feet apart, knees bent, arms out for balance.

A good variation is to see how many headers the players can do off the bounce.

Head with power

An easy way to teach soccer heading is...

  • To have the players sit down on their back sides and lean back.
  • A second player will stand in front of the player
    and serve the ball from their hands.
  • The player comes forward and heads the ball back to the servers hands.

The coach should demonstrate this skill to the players so the servers know where to serve the ball without hurting the player, and the heading player knows how to head the ball correctly.

The important part of this skill is to have the players attack the ball and not let the ball hit them in the head.

Attacking header

The players start in pairs with...

  • The player performing the skill should be positioned on the knees - with an upright body position.
  • The server is in front of the player.
  • The server will toss a ball into the heading player.
  • The player must attack the soccer ball and land on the hands - palms down.
  • The objective is to get the players to head the ball down and back to the servers hands with some power.

There are four ways to work on soccer heading for young soccer players.

Enjoy your coaching!

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