STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME
Heading and its proposed link with degenerative neurocognitive conditions has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. High-profile announcements from former Manchester United and Liverpool players Dennis Law and Terry McDermott outlining their diagnoses have personalised a message that academic research has been unearthing for a while.
In light of growing concern about player wellbeing, the footballing authorities have been compelled to act. Across the home nations Football Associations new guidelines restricting heading at all levels of the game have now been established. However, with heading still allowed during competitive fixtures, the need for practice and skill development to ensure players have the correct technique in order to head the ball safely and effectively creates a conundrum.