The present study determined the effects of heading training on serum nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in soccer players. Seventeen professional level male soccer players (mean +/- SD), age 24 +/- 4.4 years, were recruited from a 3rd league team. Each player completed 15 approved headings in about 20-25 minutes. Venous blood samples were obtained from soccer players before and after the heading training for analysis. Levels of NGF and BDNF in the serum were determined by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Mean +/- SD serum NGF levels were 18.71 +/- 3.36 pg.ml(-1) before training and 31.41 +/- 7.89 pg.ml(-1) after training (p=0.000). Mean +/- SD serum BDNF levels were 22.32 +/- 3.62 pg.ml(-1) before training and 55.41 +/- 12.59 pg.ml(-1) after training (p=0.000). In this study heading a soccer ball was found to cause an increase in serum concentrations of NGF and BDNE We suggest that the microtrauma caused by repetitive heading and/or the course of survival of the injured neurons may lead to increased NGF and BDNF levels.