The Standard (Defensive) Header is Easy to Learn
The most used heading technique in soccer is the standard or defensive header. Regardless of your soccer position you will always need to use the defensive heading technique in a soccer game.
When performing a defensive header you need to arch your back, collect enough power and hit the ball with your upper forehead.
A defensive header can be very effective in situations where you need to push the ball in the back of the net, pass or redirect a flying ball or as a defensive clearance.
Learning The Skill
The key to learn this heading technique is to hit the ball with your forehead just underneath the ball.
This will make it possible for your head to move upwards so you can attack the ball easier. Fear is one of the worst things that you can have as a soccer player.
It will make the ball hitting you feel even more painful because you've already programmed your mind that there is nothing but pain waiting for you.
Don't be afraid to hit the ball! When heading the ball upwards you should keep your eyes below the ball, so when your forehead hit the ball try to move your head upward quickly.
Keep in mind that you need to use your legs as they are an important part of the standard heading technique.
By using them properly, you will be able to head the ball with more power which will cause the ball to fly higher and longer.
A pretty fun and useful drill for beginners (if you're experienced, you can still benefit from this) is heading the ball over a tennis or volleyball net.
You can even use fishing net if you don't have a tennis or volleyball court nearby.
Since you must head the ball upwards to get it over the net, this drill will help you increase your heading skills.
You will also learn how to control the soccer ball and practice on your timing. You may think that tall soccer players will always have good header abilities but this is not the whole true.
You Don't Need to be Tall!
You don't need to be 6 feet tall to be great at heading. In fact, the most important factor is not how tall you are, instead it is the technique.
One of the most skillful headers ever was the former Real Madrid center back Fabio Cannavaro.
He is not tall but his determination and ability to hit the ball with force is what makes him one of the greatest players in the world in the category of great heading players.
To become a good soccer player you must be prepared to practice many hours but also to have a big portion of patience.
Do you have that type of determination, drive, focus, and ability? Of course you do! Practice over and over until you get it right.
Fabio Cannavaro doesn't think about how hard it is - he thinks about how good he's going to feel when he succeeds!