Heading a ball

Getting up in the air to head the ball

Looking to take your heading game to the next level? Learn how to head the ball by jumping and improve your heading game in football with our video.

Heading a ball

Football is played using your feet. this is true.

But to give the ball some air time, you'll need to focus on heading. For clearance, passes, and shots, jumping to head a ball allows you to reach the ball sooner and anticipate your opponents' reactions. If you want to start playing football or want to perfect this particular aspect of your game, we recommend watching our video guide to work on your jumping header.

This programme was produced as part of a partnership with the NGO, Sikana.
With the support of Decathlon, Sikana developed a global learning platform to support sportsmen and sportswomen, schools, associations and NGOs wanting to make the benefits and joy of sport accessible to all. On this platform you can access dozens of digital programmes and hundreds of videos at www.sikana.tv.

Video transcription:

This time we start with a recommendation: in accordance with some federations, we do not recommend that headers are performed by children aged under 14.

Jumping to perform a header allows you to get in the path of the ball, pass it, or shoot at the goal. By jumping, you come into contact with the ball higher and earlier - except for diving headers, but we're not covering those here - which increases your chance of gaining the upper hand over your opponents.

And because we're also here to enjoy ourselves, let's talk about header shots for scoring, by jumping in this case. To begin with, keep your eyes on the ball. Position yourself in the path of the ball and get ready to jump. When in the air, tilt your chest backwards and hit the wall with your forehead.

The two key technical points to turn yourself into a goal scorer from the centre and set pieces are your balance during the jump and the timing of your strike.

So we start with the jump and the importance of staying balanced. We're here to work on our header game, not on acrobatic tricks. Jump without taking a run-up, spreading your elbows away from your chest while keeping them facing the ground. This position will help you maintain your balance when you're in the air.

Now that you're all set up, it's all about timing. To exert maximum force and precision, hit the ball when you are at the top of your jump.

To make progress, start training by jumping without a run-up. This will also help work on your spring and you'll jump higher, making it harder to defend against when you start taking a run up to sink a header over your opponents' heads.


Now you know how to perform a jumping header. Head to the pitch to practise, or to the next section to find out how to work on your passes.

Watch another video for more advice on training to score with a header:

Hitting a long pass

Hitting a long pass

Hitting a long pass without it being intercepted can be hard. Our video will show you how to flight the ball through the air and pick out your team-mate from a distance.

Backwards flicks and bicycle kicks

Backwards flicks and bicycle kicks

Want to learn how to score with a backwards flick? Our video will show how to master this outrageous piece of skill.