When it comes to heading, it’s all about timing, power and technique. Make sure, as Drogba does here, that you time your header so you’re at the highest point of your jump as the ball reaches you. Stop defenders from throwing you off balance by using your arms to stop them from leaning into you.
More after the break
Stand eight yards apart from a partner and get him to serve the ball, jump and head it back. Drop to your knees and head again, this time diving forward before standing up and returning a jumping header. Repeat 10 times in quick succession.
Meet the ball
It’s vital when heading that you ‘meet the ball’ rather than let it hit you. Focus on the ball, making sure not to get distracted by those around you, and aim to ‘meet it’ with your forehead. As you connect, head downward, aiming for the bottom corners.
There’s nothing better for control with your headers than head tennis: stand eight feet apart from your training partner and head the ball between each other for as long as you can. Work your way up to 10, 20, 30, then 30-plus headers in a row.
Powered by your arms
What most people don’t realise is that a lot of the power behind a header comes from your arms. When getting ready to meet the ball, have your hands out in front of you so you can then draw them back as you connect with the ball, like a rower pulling back on his oars. This will give your neck muscles the necessary leverage to power through the ball.
Stand eight yards apart from a partner and get him to throw the ball at you quite hard. Use your chest to pop the ball up and head it back as hard as you can, concentrating on powering through with your arms.