Saturday, 17 November 2012

How to Make an Attacking Header in Soccer

One of the most inspiring plays to see in a soccer game is a great header by an attacking player. That attacker might make the perfect attacking header to either place the ball in the goal, or lead a teammate on a breakaway.

American soccer player Eddie Lewis directs the...

The attacking header really contributes a lot in gaining possession, playing with high momentum in the field and allowing players to gain confidence for playing in the air. Attacking header also allow players to focus on target as well as remaining alert for a ball to come over it and get it first before the opponent, specially when it is in the air or in such situations where kicking is not a suitable option.


Step : 1
Get clear of your opposition. Some of the most outstanding headers by an attacker you see on television are usually ones with an opponent right next to them. Remember, most of the players you see on television are professionals. If you are not a professional you should not attempt difficult headers with an opponent guarding you closely.

Step : 2
Use your legs. One of the biggest assets an attacker attempting an attacking header in soccer has is their legs. The higher up in the air you can get the less of a chance an opponent will get the ball before you do. When preparing to make an attacking header in soccer, you should plant your legs and bend your knees before leaping to make the header.

Step : 3
Practice your timing. Timing is everything when making an attacking header in soccer. Your goal is to reach the ball as high up as you can, while keeping your body under control. If you head the ball at the apex of your jump you will have your highest level of control over your body. If you have to "hang" in the air, or start to descend before playing the ball with your head you will have less body control than at the apex of your jump.

Step : 4
Keep your eyes open when making an attacking header in soccer. Too often players will close their eyes when making an attacking header. This makes no sense. Remember a soccer ball can be affected by the spin on the ball and the wind. If you just assume you have guessed the trajectory of the ball correctly you will not be effective making an attacking header. Also by closing your eyes you will lose track of your teammates and opponents.

Step : 5
Hit the ball with your forehead to direct the ball parallel to your head or at an angle towards the ground. Popping the ball up higher in the air with your head reduces or eliminates any control of the path of the soccer ball that you have. It also gives your opponents more time to react. A header struck towards the ground at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees is the most effective way to hit an attacking header in soccer.

Tips & Warnings
  • Headers can be highlight reel type maneuvers, but at the same time they are hard to perform accurately. If you do not have to make an attacking header, it is best to control the ball using another method.
  • Be very careful when attempting an attacking header with an opponent in the vicinity. If the referee determines you are doing this without proper body control you could receive a yellow card if contact occurs between you and the opponent. Multiple yellow cards for this could result in a red card.
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