Although heading is one of the most important skills in soccer, it is one of the most intimidating moves to master. After all, you have to forcefully hit the ball with your head – not a technique for the squeamish. Learn the proper way to execute a head shot from soccer professional Jaime Taylor.
Heading is an essential soccer skill used to direct the ball with the forehead. Learning proper heading early on is important. It should be introduced to young players so they can overcome the fear of making sudden contact with the ball and the forehead.
Before you begin your heading practice, always warm up your muscles to avoid injury. Beginners should be extremely careful when attempting heading; it can be dangerous if not done properly.
Using The Forehead
In heading, you can use all three sides of the forehead – the left, middle and right. When you strike the ball on the left side of the forehead, the ball will go to the left; if you strike with the middle, it will go straight; and if you hit it with the right, it will go to the right. Keeping this in mind will help you control the direction of the ball.
Practice heading with a partner. Have him or her throw a ball to you, underhanded, at head height. As the ball comes toward you, bend back slightly for momentum and then bend forward at the waist, making contact with the ball. The contact point is the forehead; keep your eye on the ball the entire time. Keep your neck firm and your chin tucked in as you make contact.
Proper footing is essential to successful heading. The body should be perfectly balanced between the shoulders. The feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot in front of the other. You will shift your body weight onto the rear foot, and then you will come forward onto the front foot (as contact is made with the ball) in a boxer-like stance.
The arms are spread apart, slightly bent and held stiff; the hands are in fists at chest height. Proper arm position helps with balance and provides shielding and protection against other opponents.