Cross To Head - Attacking


Here we are working on getting our attackers to practice the art of headed goals. By repetition the players can hone their skills, the illustration does not include defenders but as part of the progession they should be introduced.


Organise around the 18 yard box for more senior playes, say 12 to 16 years of age. For younger players reduce the size and mark out an area with a goal. Place two attackers in front of the goal, their objective is to score as many headed goals as they can from the balls that will be served to them by the severs.

Good delivery is essential as here we are working on heading and not necessarily crossing the ball. It may be useful to begin with to have the servers throw the balls into the attackers to give them a good opportunity to practice. For younger players, please remember to use a lighter ball and be conscious that they will be nervous at first so don't pump long balls into them, steadily build up to this. With the older players as technique is developed vary the types of headers that you want them to use, for example a looping header to the far post, glancing header, downwards power drive to the foot of the goal, going for the near and far post etc.


12 balls (4 for each server) goal mouth or equivalent area, 7 players



  • Attackers to be on their toes to adjust to the flight of the ball and attack it
  • Eyes open to watch the ball all the way
  • Mouth closed, this makes the skull more rigid as reduces risk of injury
  • Body should be side on to the target
  • Elbows should be out to the side of body for balance and protection
  • Arch the back, to get power into the header
  • Head the ball with the forehead, strike the ball centre top, this should provide accuracy and power directing the ball downwards towards the goal
  • As contact is being made, throw the elbows back and straighten the arch in back to really create power.
(Note, as long as the attacking header hits the target with either a deft touch or a powerful bullet like header, the player should be congratulated on achieving their objective!) Encourage the attackers to talk to each other shouting if they are in a better position to take the header depending on the quality of the delivery.


  1. Start the exercise without a goal keeper, allowing the attackers a better chance of scoring
  2. Server to throw the balls in rather than kick them in
  3. Vary the types of scoring headers
  4. Award points for headers scored
  5. To make the technical practice a skill development introduce the goalkeeper
  6. To make it completely game like introduce defenders aswell, to begin with they should just jump with the attackers to attempt to put them off rather than challenge. Progress to this.


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