Is Heading the Ball Dangerous for Young Kids?
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Is Heading The Ball Dangerous For Young Kids?

Soccer, the most popular sport on the planet, is played by people of all ages. The game is enjoyed by 265 million players worldwide, including both experienced and inexperienced players. Soccer players are known for their exceptional footwork, but they also use their heads.

This strategy, known as heading, is when a player intentionally hits the ball with their head. Heading is an important soccer move. Intentionally. Heading the ball is a useful but risky skill that can earn cheers from the stands as well as points on the board.

However, there has been growing concern about its safety and the possible link to cerebral (brain) harm. In this article, we’ll look at the possible dangers of heading in soccer, as well as some preventative measures.

What is Heading in Soccer? 

Heading is primarily used in soccer. A player attempts to hit the ball with their head in order to move it in a specific direction. This technique can be used by players to make it easier for another member of their team to pass the ball across the field or into the opposing goal.

heading the ball

To head a ball, the player’s neck muscles must be supported. To hit the ball properly, they should also move their entire body in one quick jerky movement.

Soccer players frequently head a ball delicately more than once during practice. In any case, they usually head the ball with more force in a competitive setting. In total, a player may head the ball 6 to 12 times during a game.

What are the Severe Drawbacks of Heading on a Player’s Health?

Heading is regarded as a fundamental soccer skill. However, the effect of heading poses a risk of head and mind injury. A few injuries are severe enough to cause problems right away or after a couple of seasons. However, it is also possible to gradually create side effects after rehashing more minor injuries.

Ball-to-head contact can cause these injuries. They can also happen when two players make unintentional head-to-head contact while chasing the same ball. Potential injuries include:

A concussion (also known as a blackout) is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). It can happen as a result of a head injury or a whiplash-type injury that causes your head and mind to shake rapidly in a to and from motion.

Symptoms of Concussion

The symptoms of a concussion vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual affected. It is not always true that people who have suffered a concussion lose consciousness.

Concussions account for approximately 22% of all injuries in soccer. Headaches, memory loss, confusion, and dizziness are all common symptoms of a concussion. Because of the memory loss, the player may not recall a specific match in which he suffered a concussion. However, it is usually only temporary and not permanent.

Sub Concussive Injuries

A subconcussive injury occurs when a person’s head is struck with a strong force. Nonetheless, unlike a concussion, it is not severe enough to cause obvious problems. However, the injury does cause some cerebral damage.

heading the ball; drawbacks


Over time, the accumulation of sub-concussive injuries can result in more serious harm. This type of depressing head injury is linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a dangerous infection. When a person experiences both subconcussive cerebrum injuries and concussions over a long period of time, the risk of CTE increases.

CTE is still not fully understood. Numerous factors, such as genes and diet, may influence how head injury causes CTE. This entity, however, should be avoided. The side effects are also unique to each individual.

Early warning signs include impulsive behavior, memory problems, a decrease in attention span, and a decrease in self-control and ability to complete planned tasks.

Are Kids at the Most Risk of Heading-Related Injuries? 

Most young soccer players are doomed to suffer minor cerebral injuries as a result of heading the ball. This is due to the fact that they have not completely mastered the technique of safe heading. They’ll use the wrong body parts as they figure out how to head. This increases the risk of long-term brain injury. Furthermore, their minds are still in the developing stage.

Their necks are also frequently more fragile than the necks of more experienced players. Because of these variables, younger players are more vulnerable to heading threats.

Should Kids be Banned from Heading the Ball? 

Not at all. Allow us to explain. Ryan Mason previously played for Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City before retiring due to a severe skull fracture. He discussed how proper heading techniques could help prevent head injuries in children.

“I look at some kids, and they head the ball with the top of the head, and their technique is all wrong. Therefore, the pressure that it’s putting on the brain is a lot more.

“Perhaps acquire sponge balls to become familiar with the strategy and increase that experience of actually trying for a header.”  


Many people believe that more research should be conducted to fully comprehend the complex dangers of heading. According to the Football Association, it is “focused on investigating and looking at all regions” of head injuries in football, including the long-term consequences for players.

“We have commissioned comprehensive and rigorous research studies in this area, in collaboration with the Drake Foundation and the PFA, which are currently ongoing,” an FA representative stated.

What is the Suitable Age for a Kid to Begin Heading the Ball? 

Children under the age of six do not have the body mindfulness or capacity to outwardly follow the flight of a ball and are unlikely to try and head a ball during games. Taking everything into account, you can help children as young as four or five develop the ability they need to safely head the ball by beginning with a balloon rather than a ball.

Simply instruct your players to “mouth shut, eyes open” (see below) and encourage them to jump up to meet the balloon on its way down. You can also make it a fun group activity. Put four or five kids in each group and see who can keep the balloon aloft the longest.

Fundamental Instructions for the Heading Technique 

When your players reach the U8 level, you can expect them to attempt to connect with the ball while it is in the air. As a result, it’s critical that they do it correctly and with the proper technique.

Give each child a volleyball or a small, light football ball and demonstrate the accompanying technique before allowing them to try it themselves.

A few things to keep in mind are 

  1. Watch out for the ball. 
  2. Eyes open – if you can’t see the ball coming, it could hit you anyplace.  
  3. Mouth shut – on the off chance that you don’t, you could bite your lounge.  
  4. Chin tucked in – helps keep your neck firm.  
  5. Utilize your arms to adjust 
  6. Utilize your legs to move your head towards the ball – don’t let it hit you.  
  7. Connect with your forehead – the thickest piece of your skull.  
  8. Finish towards the objective. 

Make sure your players grasp the ball in their hands and move their forehead to it (you need to imbue the propensity for meeting the ball with the head, not trusting that the ball will hit the head). At that point, instruct them to toss the ball several feet into the air before returning it to their hands.

If you ensure that your players are using this strategy and heading the ball correctly, their brows will absorb the effect of the ball and their neck will not flex.

heading the ball; fundamental instructions

Make Heading the Ball less Petrifying!

Timidity is defined as “effortlessly terrified or lacking self-assurance.” However, while timid football players may lack self-assurance, they are not lacking in valance. Sure, timid players can be the most spirited – it takes genuine bravery to go out on the pitch when you’re afraid of getting injuredor letting yourself or your teammates down.

You will not be able to turn a mouse into a tiger as a youth soccer coach. Furthermore, keep in mind that the benefits of having a team full of fearless players aren’t limited to improving your success-to-misfortune ratio on the field. A fearless youngster who has achieved success on the football field will carry that success over into his academics and social relationships.

You should recognize that there is one key strategy that, when mastered, can transform even the timidest of children into solid, confident players.


We understand how simple it is to sustain a physical injury that can change your life. To ensure the security and prosperity of the players, there should be legitimate examinations funded by all of the money that is coming into the game. This is the responsibility of the game’s leaders.

However, it is obvious that heading the ball is not harmful to your child if properly trained at the appropriate age. Give your child proper training, a well-planned diet, all of the soccer necessities, and most importantly, give them confidence and make heading less frightening for them. You are now prepared to watch your child compete valiantly on the soccer field.

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