Heading – distance and power

Heading gameUse a 10 metre square.

S (server) throws the football to X1, who then has to head the ball over S to X.

X2 then controls the ball with either foot, chest, or head, then returns it to S to repeat the practice.

All 3 players in the practice can rotate duties so that all players get the opportunity to work at heading.

As the players improve, this practice can be performed in a larger area, although the coach must insist on accuracy as well as distance (not just distance).

Coaching points

For the player heading:

  • Eyes on the ball all the time
  • Move into the line of the service (by using the feet)
  • Head the ball with the forehead
  • Almost side-on with the body when heading
  • Go for power by using the neck muscles
  • Try and increase the distance of the headed clearance.

Awareness and skill

Heading game 2Many professional clubs, particularly at junior level, use this practice.


Again using a 10 metre square, but starting this time with the server (S) being no more than 5 metres away from X1 (who will head the ball). This time a defender (D) is introduced. She stands 1 metre in front of X1 and to start with remains static.

S lobs the ball above D (who is stationary) and X1 jumps and heads the ball back to S again insisting on the coaching points made in the previous practice.

This is repeated several times and the players S, D, + X, can rotate duties.

To progress D can take a step backward to make it more difficult for X1 to head the ball.

To progress even further D can jump to try and head the ball herself – although the server should still lob the ball more favourably towards X1