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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.
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.