How to Perform Defensive Heading in Soccer


In soccer, the position where a player is most commonly required to make a defensive header is center-back. However, even a striker may be called upon to make a defensive header. This will happen if he or she is defending a corner of the field, for instance. It is important that whatever position you play in, the art of defensive heading is mastered.

Very young players (and some older ones) can be reluctant to head the ball for fear of getting hurt. They will often close their eyes and let it land on their head, rather than attacking the ball.

It’s helpful, if you are teaching a youngster or a fearful player how to head, to practice with a softball at first.

Most defensive headers are performed with the aid of a jump, but if unopposed, they can be made from a standing position.

Making Contact

You need to concentrate on the ball and making contact with your forehead on the middle of the front part. Head the ball above the eye line and below the hairline.

The better the contact, the farther and more forcefully it will travel. Power your neck forward to allow the forehead to strike the ball.

Make contact with the ball at the highest point of the jump to get the most height and distance.

It is important not to make contact with the ball using the top of your head, as this could hurt.

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