5 Ideas to Start Scoring More Headed Goals
Heading is a critical technique that all players 12 years-old and up need to practice and incorporate into their skill set, and having players that can climb the ladder, and rise in the air to smash home headed goals is a must for any top team.
There are few more rewarding moments then watching a diving header nestle in the back of the net.
Here are 5 ideas to help you start scoring more headed goals:
1. Strengthen Your Neck Muscles
If you want to be able to head the ball with pace, power, and accuracy, you've got to develop some strong neck muscles that you can tense and flex as you proactively meet the ball.
Overuse of heading in training is not something to pursue, and the amount of headers in a session needs to be closely monitored for younger players, but if you want to start building some muscle memory and the strength to head the ball well, you've got to routinely drill and train your neck muscles to get stronger.
2. Eyes Open and Mouth Closed
Sounds simple enough, when you go to head a ball make sure to keep your eyes open and your mouth closed, but countless players at even the highest levels get caught closing their eyes during the climb to head, and the consequence is they lose the flight of the ball.
Learning to keep your eyes opened and focused through the entire action of going for a header is critical to becoming good in the air, and will help you come off as the victor in challenges more often than not.
3. Use Your Arms for Balance and Space
It can't be overstated enough, using your arms when you head the ball is absolutely critical for a player safety and the overall ability to win headers.
When you jump, you want to make sure your arms are up to create a protective bubble of space around your body, this capsule will help you fend off opponents, and help you gain better balance as you jump or prepare to strike the ball with your head.
4. Practice Downward Headers
More often than not, the best way to score goals from headers is to head the ball downwards into the ground, forcing the goalkeeper to initially react to the low trajectory of your header, and then almost immediately change body shape and positioning to try and respond to the bounce of the ball off the grass or turf.
Heading downwards when you are close to the frame of the goal is a super easy way to start scoring more goals, you'll keep the ball from being blazed over the bar, and give the opposing goalkeeper fits.
5. Guide Your Header
It's very critical that you develop the ability to guide your headers, regardless of if they are being smashed downwards into the ground, looped over the outstretched arm of a keeper, or placed firmly in the upper corner of the goal.
Guiding a header is an art, so start culturing the ability to use your head and neck muscles to guide home laser-guided finishes, and you'll be well on your way to increasing the number of goals your team can score.