Heading is one of the most important skills in soccer. However, it has become a controversy, because impacts with a ball that travels at high speed may lead to mild concussion and various brain issues. For younger players, this could lead to impaired brain functions in later age, due to repeated impacts. An accurate header can help to win the game. In fact, we see how an unexpected heading results in a crucial goal for a team. If you want to perform proper heading, here are things that you should consider:
- Correct timing: Correct timing is vital to your game. You can’t head accurately, if you can’t judge the flight of the ball. You need to make a proper contact at the right angle. If you don’t do it accurately, the ball will go ever your head and worse, the ball may hit you in your face.
- Good technique: Having a good technique is essential. There are different types of headers and you can choose the most accurate techniques. Whatever you do, you should protect yourself first. Prepare your upper body for a sharp impact and clench you teeth. Expect that something wrong may happen, including being hit squarely on your face.
- Be confident: It is important for you to be confident if you want to have a good heading. You should be ready to meet the ball and avoid being hit severely, which may cause facial injuries. As long as you can, your eyes should be focused on the ball, so you can expect when you will make contact. Be confident and it’s more likely that you can beat opponents to the ball.
Here are some of the heading techniques that you should know.
- Defensive heading: With defensive heading, you can achieve the most power. Timing is important, because the attacking players are usually quite aggressive. Your goal is to deflect the ball and pass it to a teammate, if possible. If performed successfully, you can grab the possession of the ball and blunt the attack. It’s preferable to use the upper part of the forehead, so the ball will rebound upward away.
- Offensive heading: With offensive heading, your goal is to pass the ball to an attacking teammate or try a score a goal directly. Timing is also crucial, because you want to fool the defending opponents. If possible, you should head the ball away from the goalkeeper at an unexpected angle. So, you need to do quick thinking. Try to have a square on contact, so you can get better results.
- Glancing: When glancing, you only need to touch the ball by slightly using your head. You can do this for defensive or offensive purposes. You only need to touch the ball slightly when glancing. You can glance the ball when jumping or while standing.
- Flick on: Flick on is useful for quick redirection to cause confusion and throw off the defense of your opponents. This will enhance the possibility of your team to score a goal.