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Expert Football > Training > Soccer Techniques > Heading

How to head a football
Players who can't head the ball correctly are at a higher risk for injury. Therefore, it is important to learn how to head the ball at an early age. One of the most common obstacles is overcoming your natural fear of getting hit in the head by a flying object. So, don't let the ball to hit you. You are the one who is swinging at it!
The ball should be struck with the top part of your forehead. Young players tend to close their eyes when heading the ball. By doing so, you can't see where the ball is and you can seriously injure yourself. Lock your eyes on the part of the ball that you want to head. Hitting it below its equator will cause it to rise while striking the upper part of the ball produces a downward header.
The power of a header does not come from your neck muscles. Bend back your entire upper body and then lunge forward to strike the ball. Before heading the ball, you should adjust to its flight by taking a succession of short shuffling steps. This helps you avoid tilting to the side after you have leapt in the air. Remember, it won't hurt if you do it correctly.

Different methods of striking the ball

Standard header
To head the ball with a good amount of power you'll need to arch back and swing your head forward. Keep your shoulders leveled and perpendicular to your aim. Contact should be made with the center of the forehead.

Diving header
In this technique, you must propell your entire body in the path of the ball. Your arms have to be stretched forward for protection on landing.

Glancing header
When executing a glancing header, you must turn your head in direction of your aim. This motion redirects the oncoming ball.

Flick header
On flick headers, you are actually making contact with the back of your head. As you arch backward, you direct the ball backwards. This technique is often used by midfielders who have their back towards the opponent's goal.