Heading practice plan
my thanks to the North Alabama Soccer League or this heading practice session
2. Pairs with one ball. Moving across width of field, player running backwards tosses ball to oncoming player, who alternates heading to tosser's feet and hands.
3. Pairs with one ball. Tosser on end of grid (15-20 yards long); header attacks ball for either defensive or attacking headers as he or she moves forward or backward to play ball.
4. Players with one ball each, head juggling to self. Add movement to a line and back while working in pairs. Make relay race - return to starting point if lose control of ball.
5. Pairs juggling. Hit ball twice and return to teammate; 3x, 4x, 5x and work
numbers back to one touch.
2. Pairs, lying on stomach. Use upper back and neck to head for power. Start with chin tucked down and, as ball is headed, extend forward.
3. Pairs, sitting position with hands and feet on the ground and hips lifted off ground. As tosser throws ball, header pushes his or her hips forward, and as they head the ball, drives hips back for power.
4. Sitting position in pairs. Emphasis on arching back, "chin in, chin forward" head posture as they meet ball tossed by teammate (lack of backspin on the ball indicates proper striking technique with the head.
5. Kneeling position with hyper extended hips in pairs. Emphasis on striking "through the ball" with head and upper body to impart power to ball. Also have follow-through such that header lands on his or her hands when finished.
6. Standing position in groups of two. Emphasis placed on hips and legs (staggered positioning of legs) when striking the ball. Watch total coordinated effort of body in heading. Introduce defensive heading with emphasis on striking bottom half of the ball for height.
7. Groups of three with a player in middle who redirects hand-served balls to
one of the open players (see Diagram 1(B)). Emphasis on varied serves so that
heading player adjusts body position to head the ball "in front" of them and, as
much as posssible, faces with his or her upper body toward the intended target
B. Groups of three: tosser, stationary player, header (fourth player with extra balls.
9. One ball per two players. Player performs three headers (offensive, defensive, his or her choice) with a player with a ball; players then move to another player with a ball (see Diagram 3). Alternate players with and without balls Next round - slide left, jump and head; slide right, jump and head; dive and head.
10. Moving triangle; 2 tosses ball to moving 1, who heads to feet of 3 (see Diagram 4). Change and have head to hands of either the server or third player (see Diagram 5). Change and have players punt ball out of hands, rather than toss ball.
11. Three groups of three players organized in triangles, each with a ball in a large area (see Diagram 6, parts A and B). Balls must always be tossed to a teammate, but upon toss, header may play ball to an open player from any triangular group. Repeat as triangles move freely about. Try with punts from hand and balls played from the ground.
12. 2v2 in 10 x 15-yard grid. Two players must stand on their end line acting as goalkeepers to defend their goal (the 10-yard line) (see Diagram 7). The other two players head the ball back and forth and try to score by heading it over the end line. The ball starts with a toss, but then must be headed back and forth only. If the ball drops, the two who were heading retreat to defend their goal line. The other two players pick up the ball where it dropped and attack by heading back and forth. If the keepers catch the ball, they start the tossing, heading action, etc. Score by heading the ball over the keepers (defensive headers) or by playing ball below head height (offensive heading).