Here’s a really simple way to control the ball to pass or shoot and it is the heading skill that can be mastered through free soccer drills. Different kinds of soccer exercises helps in the proper execution of this skill.
The question is where the player should apply the force on the ball. Which part of the head should be used to apply force and how much force should other parts generate? It is the intended direction or pathway of the ball that decides the answers to these questions.
For example, if players want to head the ball towards the ground, they’ll strike the ball with the downward motion of the forehead. The distance the ball travels after contact and the force that is applied when hit are directly proportional.
During soccer practice, the player’s position with respect to the ball and position of the ball in relation to the player help in determining the most suitable heading techniques. For instance, players in the defensive third generally head the ball high and wide, away from the goal.
On the other hand, midfield players head the ball more precisely to the attacking players.
To head the ball, the players should overcome the fear of being hit by the ball in the face. It is necessary to address this concern by using a sponge type ball, free soccer drills uses it.
In some cases, it may become necessary to use a slightly larger and lighter ball like a beach ball, to reduce the fear. To teach the heading progression, a Soccer coach should position the players on their knees to ensure proper balance of the lower body. Gaining balance from the lower part of the body helps the players to concentrate on the action of the upper body.
Players move onto the next level of hitting the ball in the standing position, when they are comfortable striking the ball with their heads. This part of the soccer coaching teaches the players about the contributions of lower body in the heading.
Then comes the tapping of the ball with a other player, first in a fixed position then in motion. Let the players to jump and head the ball with the help of a one-foot take off, when they are more confident. The players can also be challenged with heading drills in a game-like defensive pressurized environment.
Refining the heading skills will add more structure to the game and will develop intentional play.
One should really consider incorporating free soccer drills because it does not use the ball initially. And this helps young players to gain confidence in their moving skills without having to control the ball. Players should be challenged with the ball only when they are competent with the moving skills.
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About the author
Andre Botelho is a recognized expert in youth soccer coaching. He influences well over 35,000 youth coaches each year with his unique coaching philosophy, and makes it really easy to explode your players’ skills and make training more fun in record time. To download your free youth soccer coaching guide visit: How to coach soccer.