Doing a heading in soccer for the first time can be one of the most awkward things that you can do. Most beginner players would actually dread the heading because it looks painful. If you do it the wrong way, it can be painful, so it’s important that you know the basics of a header.
When beginner players first try to head a soccer ball, what they usually do is wait for the ball to come to them, close their eyes, and let it hit the top of their heads. This actually hurts. This isn’t how you head a soccer ball. Here are the proper steps on how to head a soccer ball:
The key to heading is timing. But basic knowledge about what part of the head to strike the ball with and what part of the ball to hit are also key. You actually use your forehead to hit the ball. So use that.
When the ball is coming to you, anticipate where it will fall. Meet the ball, and as it comes close, lean your body back, extend your arms, and strike the ball with your forehead and push your body forward, to generate force.
Knowing where to hit the ball is also essential. Imagine that the ball has a face. The upper part of the ball is the forehead and eyes, the middle part the nose, and lower part the mouth and chin.
When you do a heading, you’d want to pass the ball to the feet of your teammate, so strike the “forehead” of the ball. If you want it to go straight, strike the “nose.” And if you want to volley the ball, strike the “chin” with your forehead.
Headings are very vital for attackers and defenders. Attackers can use their heads to pass or shoot the ball from a cross, and defenders can use their head to stop the ball from a high ball pass or the opponent’s cross.