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DEFENSIVE HEADERS - Winning Defensive Skills for Ages 14+. Former National Champion Player Eric De Sousa demonstrates a football drill for mastering headers as a defender. The player starts behind a mannequin which faces two different colored cones. Once a color is called out, the player sprints to the corresponding cone, then backtracks to jump and head away an incoming lob. By heading the ball away while backing up, this ... simulates a real-game scenario of defending against a long pass by the opposition's midfield or defense. Being rehearsed and confident in this critical football skill is a must for any defender. The back four often face these overhead passes from the opposition and if they lack the confidence to head the ball away they are likely to either make a mistake trying, or avoid it entirely, which can often allow for the opposing forward to receive the ball behind the defender and be in a 1v1 situation with the goalie. Mastering this skill on the other hand makes it extremely difficult for the opposing team to get their forwards in on goal as they have to do so with either a dribble or a ground pass.