Heading the ball well is both
satisfying and painless. Poor heading technique is less satisfying and much
WARNING! Sports doctors
have warned that players should avoid excessive heading before the top of
their skull is completely formed at about age 12.
My team has decided to
tightly limit heading practice before age 13. We also strongly recommend
that players not directly head punted balls before age U13.
If you are a defender, youíll
need some extra (different) physical training to get your body ready to
consistently head the ball well defensively. You need to strengthen your
neck muscles and your 6-pack. A good way to do this is to do seated
crunches with your arms crossed rather than behind your head.
crunches should be done slowly. A
quick situp is almost useless in comparison
crunches should only raise your
head about a foot, not all the way to your knees
knees should be bent and feet flat
on the floor
go back down at the same speed you
do sets of 10, rather than 100ís at
if you need something harder, twist
at the same time so your right shoulder is pointing not your left knee,
then do the opposite with your left shoulder.
Youíll find more advanced
exercises online at