Heading drills

Heading is a difficult technique to coach to young players in particular. This section provides some great drills and advice to help you coach defensive headers and attacking headers. We look closely at the techniques involved and show you some fun games to help develop your player’s heading skills.

  • Have fun with heading soccer drills - Players shouldn’t be scared of heading a soccer ball. Use these tips and soccer drills to get them used to doing it and build up their confidence so they can do it in matches.

  • Soccer coaching tips for a diving header - The first goal that really made me sit up and think soccer was the best game in the world was a diving header. Back in 1972, Leeds United beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final when Alan Clarke scored with one, says David Clarke. These are the soccer coaching tips and skills your players will need.

  • Soccer drill to get your defenders clearing high balls - A great way to put defenders under pressure during a soccer coaching session is to set up a soccer drill where players bombard your best three defenders with high balls into the penalty area, so they have to work hard to clear them using headers or volleys.

  • Heading the ball soccer training drills - Lots of kids don’t enjoy heading the ball – but by using confidence-building training drills, you can help them overcome the fear factor.

  • Soccer drill to improve attacking headers - Work on your players’ attacking headers with this soccer training drill and they will send fewer chances over the bar, and more into the goal.

  • Soccer drill to improve defensive headers - Use this soccer training drill to improve your players' defensive headers. The aim is to head the ball as high and as far away from the goal as possible.

  • Heading skills soccer drill - Improve your team’s attacking heading ability to boost their goal-scoring chances with the following coaching tips and soccer drills.

  • Soccer heading skills game - As a follow-on from coaching the Heading skills soccer drill, try putting your players' skill into a game situation. This game gives your players more opportunity to attack with their headers but at the same time keeps the drill simple so they concentrate on their position and technique.

  • Soccer coaching game to work on heading skills - Use this fun soccer coaching game to give your players confidence when they're heading the ball and improve their ability to anticipate headers.

  • Heading soccer drill for older players - When your players get to U10 and U11, this is the age they become strong enough to use heading skills properly in matches. Having instilled in them the confidence to head the ball at an early age (click here for a fun heading skills drill aimed at younger players) they will move onto more aggressive heading with some good soccer coaching tips from you.

  • Soccer drill to coach flick on headers - One of the roles of players in the box is to flick on headers, which can cause huge problems for defenders and give the attacking team the advantage. Coach these heading skills using the following soccer (football) drills.

  • Try the crossbar challenge - One of the things I like to do when my team is having a game-day soccer coaching session is our version of the crossbar challenge, which makes practising heading skills into a fun drill.

  • Small sided game to work on heading - Try this fun, competitive small-sided soccer game to get your players practising their heading skills.

  • Simple throw and head the ball soccer game - In this small-sided soccer game, players throw the ball to each other to head goals.

  • How to coach a flick on header - A flick-on header is used to direct the ball to a team-mate or into a dangerous area of the pitch. The idea is to keep the ball going in a forward direction over or around the defender when passing the ball is difficult.

  • Crossbar challenge game to work on basic soccer heading skills - Run the crossbar challenge to improve your soccer players' heading skills.

  • Coach passing with headers - One way to advance your soccer players' skills is to get them to think about heading to make a good pass, rather than heading without purpose.

  • Simple heading soccer drill - This repetitive heading drill is a good one to use with your soccer players to help them realise a header can be just as accurate as a kick in the right situation.

  • Soccer coaching warm-up developing heading techniques - Try this warm-up. called "Heading knock-off". to help your players develop their heading techniques. By Michael Beale

  • Soccer game basics of simple headers and a winning mentality - In the last minute of the match my team played at the weekend, they were drawing 2-2 and my midfield had cleverly got behind the opposition defence, swung a cross over to the far post where all my attacker had to do was head into an empty net.

  • How to use the flick-on header - When your defenders win the ball deep in their own half, what do they do with it? I often see a big kick up the pitch, which gives the ball straight back to the opposition.

  • Continual heading - Like throw-ins, headers continually occur in matches and are a great way to score goals. If you go to the trouble of getting your wingers to cross the ball into the penalty area, then you want an end product.

  • Teaching the basics of heading - 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.

  • Continual heading soccer drill - Like throw-ins, headers continually occur in matches and are a great way to score goals. If you go to the trouble of getting your wingers to cross the ball into the penalty area then you want an end product.

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