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Heading the ball well is both satisfying and painless. Poor heading technique is less satisfying and much more painful!

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.

Key points:

  • 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 came up
  • do sets of 10, rather than 100ís at a time
  • 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 SMARTSoccerGuide.com.      


 

 

 

 

Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com