Often a skill neglected in football training, learning how to head a football increases your chances of scoring when it matters in a game. While a player height is an important factor, players of all shape can be equally effective in the air if they use the right header technique.
Key points to remember when heading a ball:
Keep eyes open. When you see the ball flying to you, it is tempting to close your eyes. Having your eyes open gives you better chances of having a clear connection with the ball.
Hit the ball with your forehead. It is the thickest and widest part of your skull. The contact surface is bigger, therefore you hit the ball with more power and control. You can also hit the ball with other areas of your skull, but it is limited to very specific situations (e.g.: top of the head to flick the ball over a defender).
Tell your teammates that you are going for the ball. Collisions often occur due to teammate’s failure to communicate whose ball it is prior to it being played. This can result in serious injuries.
Use your whole body to reach high and push through the ball at contact. You bend your legs and push up, lift your arms to gain height, arch your body back before contact, etc.
Follow these simple tips and you will improve your heading and perfect your technique, which ultimately means more power and more accuracy. Watch the video below for a demonstration on how to head a football correctly.