The Glancing Header
The glancing header is an important addition to any footballer’s arsenal of techniques, and works by slightly deflecting the ball, altering its trajectory only a little. A glancing header can be useful anywhere on the field, particularly where a player wants to disguise his or her intentions, or when they are unable to face the direction in which they want to head the ball.
If an attacking player is close to the keeper in front of the goal, a header can be used to direct the ball into the net without giving away the player’s intentions.
Glancing headers do not require a great deal of force – usually they are used when a cross already has sufficient power but requires redirection towards the target. To execute the technique effectively, the player must strike the ball with the centre of the forehead, turning the head just before contact is made.
Trying to deflect the ball off the side of the head or allowing the head to tilt to one side will usually result in a failed header! The angle of deflection is controlled by the degree to which the player turns his or her head. It can be difficult to use a glancing header effectively if the ball is curling, or in wet conditions.