Heading with Pressure

The following comes from Don Herlan (Smedley). Much more like this can be found from Smedley on his site at www.smedleyssoccersite.com.

Read our exclusive interview with Don in Best of Amplified Soccer Training Volume 1!


Set Up: There are two pairs of players set up inside of the grid, playing head balls only.

Procedure: Player A plays the ball to Player B, tossing it over the head of Player D. Player B heads it back to Player A. Players B and D then turn around to face Player C. Player C tosses over the head of Player B, and receives the return header from Player D. The ‘defending’ player should go up for the ball in order to provide passive defense. After one minute, the players change places.

Teaching Topics:

  1. Directing the header
  2. Footwork
  3. Clearing headers

Progressions: Move to a large grid and serve a long, driven ball. 

Coaching Points:

  1. Direct the ball up at an angle as opposed to heading the ball downward
  2. Keep your stance active, with one foot forward and one foot back
  3. Bend at the waist and step into the header in order to generate power on the long ball

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