Soccer Passing Drills

Drill #1: Pass – Long Ball – Dribble – Cross

This training drill is great to give players options to attack and open up the field. Movement without the ball is critical! One simple drill but many components to cover. I love this one! What do you think?

  • 1: Hard pass on the ground. Follow your pass with speed.
  • 2A: Through Pass into the space. On the ground or air. Precision is key.
  • 2B: Run the line. Control the ball in no more than 2 touches.
  • 3A: Check in as if 2A was played to you and then take off. Time your run towards the back post. Expect the ball and mistakes.
  • 3B: Check in as if 2A was played to you and then take off . Time your run towards the front post. IN FRONT of the goalkeeper.
  • 4: Dribble down the line with speed. Keep the ball close to your feet (every step a touch!)
  • 5: Nice cross. Keep your head up and look for your teammates. Try to make eye contact or give a signal.

Drill #2: Pass – Movement – Finish

This training drill is perfect for wingers and strikers. It has a quick transition from side to side in three passes, with a through ball and a chance to score.

  • 1A: Get wide and check in for the ball.
  • 1B: Pass the ball to outside player. The timing is key.
  • 2: Quick run to the center of the field. Be ready to send a through ball towards the opposite side.
  • 3A: A pass to find the player that moved into the space in the middle of the field.
  • 3B: When 3A is played, start the run. ALWAYS keep an eye on the ball and time your run.
  • 4: Pass into the space. Be aware of the strength of the pass. Use no more than 2 touches.
  • 5: Hit it hard and follow your rebound!

Drill #3: Pass – Switch – Finish

This training drill focuses on a long pass to break the defensive line. Using one-touch passes will take you to the next level!

  • 1A: Get wide and check in for the ball. Be ready to switch the ball with a long pass.
  • 1B: Pass the ball to outside player. The timing is key.
  • 2A: Strategic run to make the defender follow you. Keep you eyes on the ball. Be ready to control the ball.
  • 2B: A long pass (on the ground or on the air). Precision is key with the pass.
  • 3: Check in as if 2B will be played to you and then time your strategic run. Watch the offside.
  • 4: Pass to find the striker. Be aware of the offside (of your teammates). Follow any rebound.
  • 5: Hit it hard and follow your rebound!

Drill #4: Transition from Side to Side

This training drill focuses moving the ball from side to side and then finishing. If this can be applied in a game, then you are taking your skills to the next level!

  • 1: Nice pass to open the field.
  • 2A: Pass to the forward on your side.
  • 2B: Run down the line as if you were to get the ball right back.
  • 3A: Check in. Be ready to open up the field quick!
  • 3B: Move to the center of the field to create an open space for the winger.
  • 4A: Nice pass.
  • 4B: Run into the space diagonally towards the goal.
  • 4C: Run towards the goal, expecting a cross or rebound. TIME YOUR RUN!
  • 5: Long Pass into the space. Not too hard; ultimately, you want the winger to shoot to goal.
  • 6: Shoot! Follow your rebound. Keep an eye on your teammates making runs, perhaps a cross is a better option.

What is a “Give and Go” in Soccer? – Easy to Understand

There are many key plays that can help a soccer team look better on the field. Most of these plays require a lot of practice and communication amount players. Passing and movement without the ball are the critical components to execute a play during a game.

One important play is a “give and go”. This move requires two players; where one player passes the ball and moves to another position on the field where he expects to get the ball back. I will go into details about what it means to complete a “give and go” and will explain what you need to consider doing it right!

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Diagram and Visual Representation

In the following diagram, you will see how a “give and go” can occur on the field. This play is typically completely between fullback and midfielder, winger and midfielder, midfielder and forward, or even forward and forward.

Automatic Communication

When it comes to a give and go, players should know exactly what is going on and what is about to happen. This is talked before the game and during practice; I emphasize a lot about “communication” in most of my articles because it is key to successfully complete certain plays during the game.

“Automatic Communication” is my own term and I refer to verbal or non-verbal communication that MUST occur at all times. Remember that soccer is a team sport and, as in any team or group, members need to communicate with one another so that everyone is on the same page. How can we expect to complete a “give and go” without planning it? It just doesn’t work that way. So, make sure you talk to your friends and plan ahead!

Movement Without the Ball

The player making the first pass is responsible for moving after the ball is passed. Usually this player should make a signal to indicate where he is going and where he wants the ball. A simple “hey” or “back here” or “through ball” can set up the “give and go”.

This movement without the ball has a “domino effect”. The opponent team’s defenders now have to make decisions, whether to follow the player making the run or stay with the player that has the ball. This confusion will lead to OPTIONS for the player that has the ball. The ball doesn’t necessarily have to go to the player making the run; it can go to another player that is now FREE because a defender went after the player making the run.

I would definitely recommend coaches to practice this a lot with players because “movement without the ball” is critical to have a team that can create spaces and opportunities from different parts of the field.

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Pass into the Space

This is the most critical part of a “give and go” because without a precise pass, the play cannot be completed. Things you need to consider when passing the ball into the space include:

  • Where is your teammate moving to? – Make sure you know where he is going.
  • How fast is your teammate running? – Don’t slow him down, play “into the space” NOT “square.
  • Where are the opponents/defenders? – Your pass has to go AWAY from the defenders
  • Power on the pass – Be aware of the field condition (high grass, turf, natural-low grass, wet grass)

There is no doubt that “passing the ball into the space” will lead to great opportunities to score and the team will look great.

Watch and Learn! – This Can Never Go Wrong.

If you are familiar with my articles, you know that my recommendations never skip WATCHING SOCCER. Learn about “give and go” plays from professional soccer players. On the next soccer match that you watch, see if you can identify when a Give and Go takes place and see if you can identify the concepts explained in this article.

No matter what level you play at, when you have the basics about this important play, you will improve your performance. Remember to communicate with your teammates in order to show off your new skills!!


What is a “Corner Kick” in Soccer? – Simple Definition

Many young players may not be aware of what a corner kick is in soccer and it may confuse them at time during an actually game. So, I decided to write a quick article on this topic for new soccer players and those that would like to know more about this beautiful sport.

Depending on the age group and skill level of the team, a corner kick can be for coaches and players a key component of the game plan. For example, I really get into plays and strategies for corner kick. My teams have different secret names and signals that we try to incorporate during actual games.

My simple definition is: A corner kick is awarded to a soccer team when the ball crosses the end line of opponent’s side and the last person touching the ball was an opponent. Look at the following diagrams for some details.

Diagram – Visuals Always Help!

Important Concepts about Corner Kicks

  • * There is no offside
  • * The person taking the corner kick can score directly from a corner kick. In Spanish this is called “Gol Olimpico”
  • * The person taking the corner kick should be aware of the flag (don’t let it be on your way!)
  • * The person taking the corner kick should ask for distance if an opponent is too close
  • * The person taking the corner kick cannot touch the ball after the ball is kicked/passed until another player touches it first.
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Restarting the Game – How To

Usually a player crosses the ball to restart the game off a corner kick. Sometimes the player can simply pass it to a teammate that is close to him; this is known as “play short”. However, the ball is most likely crossed to create a better chance to score because most team would have at least 5 players “inside” the box ready to score, depending on the game’s situation.

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Strategic Corner Kicks – Let’s Get Them!

Coaches spend hours in practice working on set plays that can be used in a game. They have different names, players have different starting formation/positioning, and the runs are also carefully practiced. The person taking the corner kick is also part of the set play; with hand signals, the teammates know what is going on without letting the opponent know about what’s coming.

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Watch and Learn from the Pros

I would suggest to watch professional soccer games and study how teams execute their corner kicks. You will realize that there is a lot happening behind the scene. Share your observations and experiences below.

As I always recommend, learn from those that have made a different so become who they are right now. Professional players should be our role models on the field and we should try to imitate all the great skills that they possess. Watching games and copying their movements/runs during corner kicks can help us increase our chances of scoring off a corner kick. Make sure you share with your teammates what you have learned from the Pros.

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What does “offside” mean in soccer? – Simplest Explanation

One of the most important rules of soccer is the “offside” rule. It is a simple rule in theory but when it comes to game time, it can be challenging for the referees and linesman. Parents, players, and coaches usually disagree with the call unless it’s a really obvious one, and that’s why this rule can make a HUGE difference in a game, even at the professional level.

The players that should be more familiar with this rule are the forward/strikers because they do not want to “break” this rule and give away a free kick for the opponent. Defenders can also benefit from this rule because if all defenders “step up” together, the opponents can be left on an “offside” position.

With a couple diagrams, I’m going to explain what “offside” means in soccer.


 

Offside – As simple as 1, 2, 3

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Example #1: “Offside” ????

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Example #2: “You are Good to Go!” ????

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How to force an “offside” call? (Defenders)

Defenders should move up quick to make sure that opponents are forced to go away from their goalkeeper. Especially in corner kicks and free kicks close to your goal, you/defenders should step up as soon as the ball is played away from the goal you are defending.

Communication is key to make sure that EVERYONE is stepping up. Remember, it only takes one player to give the opponent “the OK” to keep playing. Work on this during practice and as your coach about his view on stepping up. Some coaches wouldn’t step up right away.

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How to avoid being on “offside”? (Attackers)

As a former striker, I was barely caught offside because I knew how to take care of my positioning on the field. Let’s start by saying that “referees” are human being and they can make mistakes. IF you are “on the border line” between offside and NOT offside, then you are going to be called offside a few times a game.

Always be two-three steps in front (closer to your goal) of the second to last defender. That way you will always be safe.

These extra steps will give you an advantage to “take off” and make a run for the goal. Furthermore, if you are going against big defenders, you don’t want to get physical with them; instead, look for running their back and beat them with speed.

Soccer Positions Diagram – An Overview of a Soccer Field!

On this post, I will share with you a quick overview of a soccer field. Many young players that are not familiar with the sport may be confused when they are told and shown on a coaching board where to go once they step on the field.

Let’s remember that, as a new soccer player regardless of the age, the actual game can be confusing because there are a lot of players and one soccer ball, so the most expected question may be: “Where do I go? Especially when I don’t have the ball”

Soccer positions diagrams can be essential for those new players that have no idea whatsoever about the sport. Again, soccer can be a complex sport and to be honest, it is! For example, you have seconds to decide what to do with the ball, where to move, and who to pass the ball to.

If you coach young/new players, PLEASE share your ideas about “introducing the concept of the game – positions”.

Left – Middle – Right… Soccer 101 🙂

As simple as left and right, make sure your players know what you mean by “left back” or “right-winger”. They have trouble staying in their positions because they see the ball and they want to get it! Use this diagram to show exactly on what part of the field they need to stay.

Obviously, there is flexibility but a left fullback shouldn’t be on the right side of the field.

Defensive Third – Get the ball out of trouble!

Once they know if they should be on the left side, right side, or the middle of the field, they need to know what to do on each part of the field. The defensive third could be introduced as the “dangerous area” because “we don’t want the ball to be in here”.

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Emphasizing in the idea that we should get the ball away from our “dangerous area” can be helpful to new players because they will realize that they can’t lose the ball there. You can use this diagram to show what’s considered the defensive third. Use the goalkeeper as the reference. For example: “You see Mike (our goalie), all of that area is our defensive third of the field”.

Mid Third – It’s going to get busy!

There is no doubt that this area of the field is the most confusing one for new players because of the massive traffic. At some point, 10+ players can be in a reduced area and they have to find the way to be productive with the ball.

I would call this the “transition” area and therefore we should find the way to get the ball up to the attacking third. In this area, players should play quick, look at their options, and make sure that they are creating opportunities to score.

New players can get themselves lost in the middle of the game if they don’t understanding how to be a soccer midfielder. The following diagram can be shown to give new players a better idea of where they are expected to be for games.

Attacking Third – Are you ready to score?

This is probably the “fun” third but not the easy one. The purpose of this beautiful sport is to score goals and that happens in the “attacking third”. New players are most likely very familiar with the concept and as soon as they see a goal, they know the must get the ball in there.

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However, there are a few things that they need to understand. Make sure your new players are aware of the “offside rule”. Depending on the age level, the attacking third may be restricted or certain rules may apply. I would get information from coordinators and management.

Other than offside, this attacking third is where kids must get “HUNGRY” and I definitely don’t mean FOOD.

A team with no goals is like a garden with no flowers. Without being selfish, you gotta be focused and encouraged to score/assist as often as possible. Enjoy the glory!!!

“Study” your position… It can help a lot!

As I always say: “Learn from the Pros”

There is no easier way to learn about your soccer position than watching real soccer games. A soccer positions diagram can help new players visualize better but they also need exposure and professional soccer players can help a lot!

Whether you are serious about the sport or soccer is your third option, you want to have fun playing and doing it to the best of your abilities. Work hard to improve your skills, one step at the time. If you have the right attitude, you can accomplish your goals on and off the field!!!


 

How to prepare for a Soccer Game – Getting Ready!

When it comes to Soccer, there is nothing better than playing the ACTUAL game. Most young players may not enjoy running laps during practice, going over tactics, or perhaps the agility drills to work on their fitness. However, EVERYONE loves Game Time!

Now, this article is about “how to prepare for a soccer game”, individually and as a team. Players and coaches should be aware of these critical points to make sure that the game day goes as planned. Not only playing well and getting a W, but also having everyone safe and healthy by the end of the match. Some things that I consider “obvious” include:

  • Be on Time: About one hour before the kickoff.
  • Wear Appropriate Gear: Remember, the weather tells you what to wear!
  • ***DON’T FORGET***
  • TO COACH – Soccer balls and a few cones will be needed
  • TO PLAYERS – Make sure you eat AT LEAST 2 hours before the kickoff
  • >> Water – Water – Water <<

Check the Field (if possible)

Depending on the situation, players will have time to walk on the field and check for holes, dangerous items like glass, or how good/bad a field is even before the warm up. If this is the case, everyone should be encouraged to walk around and make sure they are aware of the condition of the field.

It is important to highlight that the condition of the field and the weather can determine how to play the game and what style will lead to a better performance. For example, on a rainy day the ball will skip a lot; on a field with high grass, the passes will need more power to get to the targeted area.

Again, coaches and players should take a look at the field before/during the warm up, if possible.

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Warm Up / Game Mode

Make sure the players are focused in the game and ready for it. I usually tell my players to get in “GAME MODE” as soon as I get to the field. Right before the warm up, I make sure that their minds are where they should be.

The warm up should have the typical run, static stretch, and dynamic stretch routines.

  1. Run: Player should run 2-3 laps at 30% to get the legs moving and slowly picking up the pace to 40-50%.
  2. Static Stretch: Captains should lead the stretch. About 20 different moves. Coaches should run this during practice so that player have an idea of what/how to stretch.
  3. Dynamic Stretch: Just like the Static Stretch, players should complete this task.

This portion of the warm up should last approximately 25 minutes. This would prevent/reduce muscular injuries.

Simple Shooting & Passing Drills

Once the players have completed the stretching part of the warm up, they can get into some shooting and passing/possession drills to them ready to shine! Since the main purpose of the game is to SCORE, then shooting helps them get into that mentality right before the game.

I would include some crossing and finishing, possessions 5 vs 5 in a small area, and passing into the space. There should be a routine for this so that players can run this on their own. Of course, a coach should supervise the drills at all times but PLAYERS should know exactly what to do.

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Final Talks! (Coach and Players)

Coaches should encourage players to talk among themselves about plays, ways to communicate, special “codes”, or simply about tactics that were prepared during practice. I would have individual conversation with my key players and those that tend to require a little push.

Soccer is a team sport so there should be no “isolation” because no player can win a game COMPLETELY by himself/herself. Maybe a player need “a minute” to get focused and ready but other than that, everyone should be on the same page – GAME TIME!

Motivation and Encouragement

This is what I think can bring a team together and win championships. No matter how good a team is, if there is no motivation, the game plan can collapse at any time. I truly believe that humans move because of motivation and there is no doubt that soccer players need to be motivated and encouraged to show their best skills on the field to win games.

I sometimes wonder if top professional players’ performances correlate to the way they felt a few hours before the game. For example, I can’t understand why Messi can be “a beast” with Barcelona FC but he struggles with his national team, Argentina. There is no doubt that it has to do with the motivation and encouragement that he receives at both places and that leads him to feel in a certain way. What do you think? Comment below.

 

Reminding your players that on a game we get to see the result of the effort, time, sacrifice, and hard work that they put in is a great way to motivate them. I also mention the fact that their parents/guardians do whatever they can to support them and they don’t want to come to see us performing below our best! I make it very personal and as a team we do our “TEAM on 3 – 1,2,3 TEAM” thing and get on the field with all the positive energy that we have.

At the end of the day, I want my players to be satisfied with their performance and enjoy the best sport in the world… SOCCER!

Leave your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you 🙂


How to Play Holding Midfielder – Best 5 Tips!

As a holding midfielder, you get to recover the ball and pass it to the attackers! This is a tough position to understand because there are a lot of responsibilities and you are in the middle of the field. Which means, a lot of traffic! I played in this position at the college level and I LOVED IT!!

Some top holding midfielders include Sergio Busquets, Tony Kroos, and Casemiro. These players demonstrate game after game why we should watch and learn from them. Their skills and strategic movements should be observed carefully to improve our game performance.

The following tips on “how to play holding midfielder” are my recommendations to young players that would like more information about this interesting position. It is great to be a holding midfielder because you are in the middle of the action. However, you may be overthinking about your duties if you are perhaps not enjoying this position.

#1 Job: Defend.

Don’t really worry about attacking, your #1 job is to defend. You will most likely have at least 5 teammates in front of you ready to get the ball and attack. You must be able to move up a few times but you are mainly “holding” and recovering the ball.

  1. Get to the ball first!
  2. Know when to step up and when to hold
  3. Go hard (without malicious intentions!)

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Cover Everyone… Yup, Everyone!

Playing in the middle of the field may be fun because the ball may always be around you, however as a center midfielder, you have to cover most of your defensive players.

  1. You must shift to the sides to cover your fullbacks or wingers.
  2. You must drop back to help the sweeper and stopper.
  3. You must step up when necessary to help your attacking midfielders.

Not an easy job, but definitely fun! You definitely need to be FIT for this position!

**Don’t lose the ball**

NOT YOU! As a holding midfielder, you only have the line of defense and your goalkeeper behind you, that means “half of the team” is ready to attack. You are in a part of the field where dribbling is risky and even though most professional are confident to do so, you must be very careful when trying to “dribble out of trouble”.

  1. Once you recover the ball, pass it! that’s the safest thing to do.
  2. Open up to your wingers
  3. Find your attacking midfielders
  4. Long pass to your forwards or striker
  5. Push up and make your fullback “run the line”

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>>Save your Energy when you Can<<

Just like in any other position, you must know how to use your fuel properly. When players start playing in this position, they are tempted to run all balls and try to be everywhere. That is good but you may run out of energy and then it is not fun anymore.

  1. Know when to make the runs
  2. Scan the field and see if your team has more players defending than opponents attacking
  3. Organize! Communicate with teammates
  4. Remember your role! You are a defender. Don’t move up / attack much
  5. IN through your nose, OUT through your mouth.

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Best Advice: Learn from the Pros

In all of my articles I always finish with the same line because I think is the BEST ADVICE I can give any young player. When watching soccer, pay attention and take mental notes on the DOs and DON’Ts of playing as a holding midfielder.

Successful soccer players use their skills and knowledge to improve their performances, why not try to implement in our game what they show us every week? I find it very helpful and I hope it also helps you guys reach your highest potential in soccer!

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Share your thoughts about this crucial soccer position. Your comments are greatly appreciated!

Soccer Goalkeeper Tips – Step up Your Game!

Some people may consider being a soccer goalkeeper “an easy task” because goalies are not running much and they are “watching” the game; and perhaps they intervene in the game once or twice. However, this soccer position is so critical and I would even consider a goalkeeper to be the most important player on a team! Nowadays, goalies need to be fit and possess some footwork skills to stand out among other goalkeepers.

The world of soccer has witnessed amazing goalkeepers and the most recent ones have displayed great skills, not only with their hands but also with their feet. Among the top soccer goalies we have: Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Manuel Neuer, and Thibaut Courtois.

I will share some soccer goalkeeper tips to help young goalies step up their game. Some areas that I will be covering include: Be alert throughout the game, communication on the field, timing your moves and displacement, and more tips.

Be Alert!

  1. Get in the Game! Careful with the long passes
  2. Watch the opposite side (If the opponent is attacking through the left side, keep an eye on the right side)
  3. As your team steps up, move up with them staying inside “the 18”
  4. Always on your toes. That will help react a second faster!

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Organize your team!

  1. YOU SEE EVERYTHING! talk to your teammates
  2. Let them know when they need to get on someone (opponent)
  3. On a corner kick, get two players covering your front post and back post
  4. On a free kick, if needed, ask for a wall and LET THEM KNOW how many you want
  5. Be a leader! You are not always involved in the game – GET INVOLVED by encouraging your teammates!

**The timing is critical**

Whether you are coming out of your three posts to face a striker or just going for a ball up in the air, the times is the most critical component to become a good soccer goalkeeper.

Use your judgment and consider the following before making a move. Especially, if it involves moving away from your line/goal.

  1. Am I going to get to the ball first?
  2. If I don’t get to the ball first, is a teammate close enough to help me out and cover the goal?
  3. Should I REALLY go for the ball or is a teammate closer than me?
  4. What other options do I have? Can my teammate take care of the situation?

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>The Best and The Worst<

As a goalkeeper, you can go from being the SUPERHERO to being the VILLAIN in no time. This is a soccer position where mistakes are considered a loss and great performances are not as rewarding as a great performance of a striker. It may not sound fair but that’s the nature of this position.

However, when it comes to penalty kick during playoffs time, there is no way a goalkeeper can be the “VILLAIN”; if a goalkeeper can save ONE penalty kick, then he is THE HERO and the feeling is great!

Regardless of your performance, remember that mistakes will occur and hard work always pays off. No matter what the score is, always reflect on your best and worst moments on the game and improve from there.

Learn from the Pros!

Have you seen your favorite soccer goalkeeper in action recently? What was the coolest thing he/she did? Share your answers below 🙂

Whether is your standing position, side-to-side movement, your reaction time, covering your post, or footwork, watch and learn from the Pros! As goalkeeper, you need to make a decision in seconds and the more experience you have (playing or watching others), the better decisions you will make.

Watching professional soccer goalies can help you realize what you need to work on to step up your game. During practice, make sure that you are pushing yourself, even if the practice is not directly related to you. When playing time comes, apply everything that you learned from this post.

Share any other tips that you have! Thank you for the support 🙂

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Soccer Winger Position – Tips and more!

One of the toughest positions to play in but very fun. The winger position requires player to be very fit and should have good skills with the ball. Some of the best wingers include Arjen Robben, Gareth Bale, and Eden Hazard. Sometimes the wingers can also play as forwards and even as attacking midfielder depending on the coach and formation.

 

Wingers are more commonly used in formations such as 3 – 5 – 2, 3 – 4 – 3, or 4 – 5 – 1. The term “winger” also refers to left/right midfielders or the left/back fullbacks that move up and project themselves down the line. I’m going to go over: fitness, attacking and defending, movement/runs, and some tips about the soccer winger position.

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Fitness

You want to be a great soccer winger? THEN RUN!! In order to play in this position, you must be able to run up and down the field. You run back to help your fullback and run up to help in the attacking third. Playing in the middle of the field, there are “no breaks”. Focus on your fitness at every single practice because this is key.

Attacking and Defending

There is no doubt that wingers will be busy during the entire game. Remember the following tips when playing in this position:

  1. Run down the line and cross the ball
  2. “Run the back” of the player that is closer to the line.
  3. Provide support to build up some plays
  4. Drop to help your fullback
  5. Shift inwards to help the holding midfielder
  6. Communicate with your fullback when he moves up
  7. Communicate with your forward/striker

Movement

It is very important that you understand when to make a run into the space to either “create another space” or to become a passing option. You shift inward or you get wide to open up the field. Here are my suggestions about where to move depending on where the ball is:

  1. Get Wide: when your fullbacks or center midfielders have the ball
  2. Shift Inward: when the ball is on the other wide of the field
  3. Drop Back: when your fullback needs some help
  4. Run Down the Line: when you want to be an option for a through ball

One Step Ahead…

This position will keep you occupied during the entire game. You are either attacking or defending; sometimes you have to become a forward and sometimes you drop back to the defensive line. Be Always one step ahead! How?

Think about what you want to do with the ball as soon as you get it. This may include: run with it to attack or counter-attack, give-and-go with a teammate, long pass, play short and open up, or perhaps take a shot!

No matter what your decision is, secure the ball and if you lose possession, don’t give up and drop to get the ball back. Last but not least, communicate! There is no team when players don’t talk. Period.

Watch and Learn…

As I always recommend, learn from the Pros because they know how to get it right (and sometimes wrong). Watch your favorite teams and recorded games so that you can see how soccer wingers play. Take mental notes about what they do right and also what they do wrong. It is better to learn from others’ mistakes so that we try our best to avoid them during our games.

Leave a comment about the experiences that you have playing as a soccer winger. Don’t forget to mention your favorite left/right winger!!

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Fullback Soccer Position – 4 Great Tips!

This is my favorite soccer position because you get to see the entire field and you get to defend (it’s easier to defend than attack!). I played as a left fullback in college and I simply loved it! Even though, I also played holding midfielder and left winger, I felt very comfortable defending on the left side as a fullback. Some top natural fullbacks in soccer include Jordi Alba, Marcelo, and Philipp Lahm.

A fullback (left/right) is typically used when teams play 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3, or other formations that the coach may find beneficial for the team. In this post, I’m going to go over: how to defend, how to communicate, movement, and passing options. Are you ready? Take mental notes and apply it on your next game. (Let me know how it went!)

You ARE a defender!

  1. Your main job is to defend. Keep an eye of the other team’s attackers
  2. Push the opponent attackers towards the sidelines, away from the goal
  3. Stay close to the opponent attackers, especially if they are quick
  4. Go hard on the first 50-50 balls. Send the message!

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Strategic Movement

  1. Move up to leave opponents offside (communicate with your defensive line)
  2. Time your moves. Know when to step in front of the opponent and when to hold
  3. Make runs down the time. Talk to the wingers about this
  4. Shift to the center of the field when the ball is on the other side of the field
  5. If you get passed by an opponent and your centre back covers you, you MUST recover to the center and take your centre back’s position

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Passing Options

This can be controversial because it all depends on where all the players are on the field. I’m going to give you a list of passing options but YOU MUST look around and scan the field to see what is the BEST option at that particular time. My priority list is based on my coaching style. Other coaches may have a different opinion and that is fine. Leave comments below on your views about “passing options for fullbacks”

So, this is my priority list and I honestly think that 1 and 2 can easily switch depending on the coach and the game.

  1. Your first option is your centre midfielder so that they can build up a play. However, scan the field first!
  2. Your second option is to find your winger to use the width of the field.
  3. Your third option is a long pass. Find your striker or left/right forwards.
  4. And your last option (again, depending on the game), will be your centre back

REMEMBER, always listen to your coach. These are my general recommendations but of course your coach is right there watching the actual game. The more experience you get, the better decisions you will make!

Communication is Key!

  1. Talk to your teammates; especially to your centre backs and wingers
  2. Organize your midfielders since you have a better vision
  3. Leadership comes from the back; be a leader!
  4. Use verbal or non-verbal signals to ask for the ball
  5. Give directions when passing the ball (“man on”, “turn”, “back to me”)

Always Learn from the Pros

As I always recommend on my posts, you need to watch soccer and observe what the left/right fullback is doing with and without the ball. They have the skills and also the knowledge that took them to where they are, learn from them! I remember that I used to watch the Brazilian national soccer team and just learn from them. There is a reason why they are considered a TOP soccer team!

Wish you the best. Make sure you keep in mind these tips and implement them during your upcoming games. Try to focus on your weaknesses and wrongs while playing as a fullback and then fix one mistake per game. For example, if you usually clear the ball to the center of the field, for ONE game, make sure “Not To The Middle” is the only thing in your mind for the entire game. Trust me, this works. You will get better little by little. Keep It Up!

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