Thursday, 15 November 2012

Heading in Soccer

During any soccer match there will be many different situations when players will be in position of hitting soccer ball with head to either score a goal, intercept a pass or knock the ball out of the danger zone and in some cases out of play.

Knowing the right technique for heading and practicing it over and over again can make any player confident and dangerous during a soccer match, be it defending or attacking.

Heading in soccer can be dangerous but using the right technique and proper use of our body will add to soccer head protection during any areal duel where we go up in the air to head the soccer ball.

Knowing how to position your body and head the soccer ball while being aware of your surroundings at any time during the soccer/football match is crucial for any good player.

Having the height advantage helps but it does not necessarily mean that being tall makes a great heading player, height can be a huge advantage to heading the soccer ball, however learning the proper technique is what makes any player dangerous in the air, short or tall.

The biggest problem with learning to head the soccer ball with the right technique is the fear of ball striking below our forehead and into our face so we end up striking the soccer ball with the top part of our head which ends up hurting and giving us even more fear the next time we are found in a situation where we have the opportunity to head the soccer ball.

Winning Heading Duels
Heading duels are among the most dramatic moments in a soccer game. There is a huge potential for either gaining footing - or losing it. This is without doubt one of the most important skills for any soccer player, as heading can make all the difference in both your game and the team’s success.

If every 50-50 ball is going to your team, that is a lot of potential scores. Here is a concrete, step-by-step plan for success.

1. Determine the ball’s line of flight and put yourself in its path--almost. You will want to be just a foot or so back from the expected point of impact to allow for forward movement. If possible, keep the ball in your sight at all times and try to stay ahead of opponents.

2. Time your positioning so that you can take a step forward and jump to make contact with the ball. This will give you more momentum and therefore, a higher jump and a more solid attack. You would be surprised at the difference a step can make.

3. As you jump, put out your elbows and arms to keep competition back and away. Raising your arms too dramatically may cause a penalty to be called, but simply keeping your arms slightly to the back and away from your body with flexed elbows should go a long way toward asserting your space without causing a problem.

4. Keeping your eyes focused on the ball, head the ball to your desired destination. If possible, head the ball with the area just above your eyes. Using your lower forehead will not only give you greater control over the ball, but reduce the risk of injury as well. As a bonus, this allows you to keep your eyes on the ball through the point of contact.

5. Remember form. It’s important that you use good heading form in heading duels, however difficult it may be in the high pressure, low reaction time situation. After all, the point is not so much to take possession of the ball as it is to give possession of the ball to another member of your team. Using good form will ensure good control and prevent the more common injuries.