Westfield Matildas Top Tip Week 12 - Heading the ball

Izzy wrote in asking for some advice on how to head the ball

Izzy wrote in asking for some advice on how to head the ball. Her coach is encouraging to head the ball more, but she-s worried about getting hurt. Sarah Walsh came up with some tips for Izzy on how to overcome her fear.

Hi Izzy

Thank you for sending in your question. I must start by mentioning that you are not alone with your fear. Many footballers share this same concern when heading a ball for the first time.

For some players, heading the ball comes naturally, but for the majority of young footballers starting out, the act of heading the ball can be quite difficult. I can assure you though, once you finally learn how to do it, it can definitely be an invaluable addition to your game.

Some tips on getting started:

Use your forehead (no higher than your hairline)

Always keep your eye on the ball

Timing is very important. When jumping up to meet the ball, make sure you time it so you hit it with the sweet spot of your forehead.

Using your arms can serve two purposes. First, use them as a leverage to create more power in your header by using a pulling action with your arms, pushing your chest out (similar to the action of bench press). Second, use them to protect you from other players when jumping up to compete for the ball.

Good luck in the air Izzy!