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.

Set up the challenge

The crossbar challenge is set up using the penalty area of whichever size soccer (football) pitch you use but the goals and penalty area of an 11-a-side pitch work best for U9s and upwards.

  • I line my players up in two rows with the first player in each row behind the 18-yard line of the penalty area either side of the penalty arc.

  • A helper and I throw balls in line with the penalty spot that the two teams have to head the ball and try to hit the crossbar of the goal.
  • I set a time limit and see which team can hit the bar the most times in that time limit. It’s a great fun game for the players which also gets them used to heading the ball and to stop being afraid of it.

Click here for more soccer (football) games and coaching tips to help your players practise their heading skills.