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Discussion in 'Girls Youth Soccer' started by twinssoccerdad, Oct 29, 2007.
I have read a few opinions on this but at what age should you work with kids and heading the ball?
I read somewhere that U10 is the age where heading can be introduced first. I worked with U-8s on what I call "self-defense" or "last resort" heading, in the situation of "oh oh, ball's coming at my face and I can't duck and can't/don't want to get my hands up". I just gently tossed a ball from a foot or two away, from the side, and had them strike it with their head. We did not do this often, just enough to get the safety point across. At U10 I introduced heading as a part of the game, although at the rec level it did not happen very often. Even then, my emphasis was on safety...no diving headers at ankle height, etc.
My daughter has been heading the ball for as long as I can remember. (She is now nine.) The first time a coach worked with her team on it, I believe she was eight. She has never been injured from heading. I believe as long as they are initiating doing this themselves or are being taught correctly by a coach, there is no reason kids cannot head the ball. At a clinic led by Abby Wambach recently, she was told by Abby she was a "natural header." Kids are probably less timid about doing something like heading if they are doing it from a young age also.
our u9s were just recently(june maybe) taught heading by the coach and trainer because some stated doing it naturally. many will do it in games but don't really have any control over where the ball goes yet. they have been told it is okay not to do it in a game if they are uncomfortable trying. they do work on it occasionally on it in a practice for a few minutes.
i'd rather have them know how and choose not to do it, than not know at all.
Excellent advice. How many times have you seen a young player try it, do it wrong, and walk away with a splitting headache and then afraid to head the ball.
We don't actually spend time on headers until u-14. There are some kids even at u-9 who head the ball like a professional. We don't encourage them nor discourage them as it seems to come naturally to them. But I typically don't like to see kids with tiny necks and soft skull heading the ball, especially from a punt or when the ball is wet or hard from the cold. We will show the little ones how to head properly and have them try it with a softer ball but we never yell at them during the game if they duck their head or turn away from heading the ball. Also, it's a skill that can be learned way later and still be very good at it.
I always start with a size 1 or 2 ball so they aren't intimidated by it. No matter the age.
when I was little, my coach taught us how to head it when we were u-7s. He taught us with games, which helped us all because when your 6 or 7 you don't want to do serious drills.
Don't ever let kids head the ball if you care about their SATS. I know what I'm talking about.
What is the proper way to head the ball?
do you think heading the ball more would fix my dd's dyslexia? unscramble whatever is jumbled up? jiggle the wires and connect them properly? LOL!