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Principles of Heading

December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
 
Heading is the ability to strike the ball with the forehead to score goals, pass, or redirect the ball.

Principles of Heading

  • Approach: See the ball and adjust the body position according to the flight path of the ball. Get the body as much as possible directly behind the ball.
  • Accuracy: As in any ball technique, it's important to keep the eyes on the ball. This may seem difficult with the ball being struck so close to the eyes.
  • Timing: The power created by the header is a direct result of the snapping motion through the ball. This motion must be done precisely as the ball arrives in front of the body.
  • Surface: The forehead is always used when heading the ball, regardless of the ball being short, redirected, or cleared from a defensive position.

Common Faults:

  • Jumping off both legs rather than one
  • Mistiming the jump; jumping too early or too late
  • Failure to watch the ball while heading; closing the eyes
  • Failure to arch body back, resulting in less power behind header
  • Failure to snap through the ball once struck
  • Head and neck not tensed, resulting in inaccuracy
  • Using incorrect surface; e.g., top of head rather than forehead

© 2001 by April Kater and Robert "Butch" Lauffer

 

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