How do you head a football?
File Photo Credit: Samuel Lim
By Lim Weiyang
In the game of soccer, aside from using your legs, the only other body part you can use to generate power, accuracy and distance would be your head. The head is also the highest body part, making it possible to reach the ball quicker than a player just adept at using his feet. As such, mastering heading is very important in becoming a good footballer.
For defensive headers, you want to be heading the ball at an angle away from your post and upwards into the air. You should never head downwards unless you are extremely certain that your teammate would receive the ball. To get the ball upwards, use your forehead to make contact with the underside of the football.The reason why you head upwards is so you buy time and allow your defence to get ready and perhaps even engage in another aerial duel. If you head it downwards, it may go to the feet of your opposition and you will have committed a great injustice to your team. So remember, for defensive headers, head the ball upwards and away from goal.
1. Where is the ball going to land?
Study the trajectory of the ball and position yourself where the ball will be for you to head.
2. Always make contact with your forehead
Your forehead is the area that will generate the most power and cause the least pain to yourself. Avoid using your scalp as the accuracy will be poor and it has a higher risk of head injury from high impact balls. Engage your neck muscles just before your forehead makes contact with the ball.
3. Open your eyes, close your mouth and clench your teeth
Opening your eyes would ensure you don't crash into opposing or friendly players. It may be hard to get used to at first as its a reflex action to close your eyes upon impact. Closing your mouth and clenching your teeth is extremely important as it prevents you from accidentally biting your tongue or breaking a tooth during a forceful header.
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