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!!!


16 thoughts on “Soccer Positions Diagram – An Overview of a Soccer Field!

  1. i feel very stressful to become the goalkeeper because the team count on me. I play good at being the defender. I tried to be the striker but I get panic at some moments. I feel it is suitable for me to play defender. All I need to avoid is getting the ball shot at my face. It hurts so bad when that happens.

    • It’s a very risky position because your mistakes can end up in losing game. HOWEVER, it wouldn’t be your fault because it is a team sport and everyone should help, even if it is a silly mistake. I agree with you though, teams count on the goalkeepers!

      Defender is my favorite position because you see the entire field and your job is to take the ball away and pass. 

      Having played striker most of my life, I can see that the panic is worth when people say “we won thanks to your goals”. HOWEVER, it is also a team effort, not just the person that puts the ball in the back of the net but the feeling is great.

      Shot in the face? tell me about it! I was never a goalkeeper but I got some of those painful shots 🙁

      Best of luck on and off the field!! Check out the rest of my posts 🙂

  2. Hello Victor, Little did I know that soccer had diagrams! I thought everyone had their positions on the field or all ran towards the ball to kick it to score (little kids for example 🙂 ). Now That I’ve read through your article, I understand how soccer is so interesting! Nobody that I know watches/plays soccer & I never knew anything about it. Thanks for sharing this insight! 

    The “offside rule” is also new to me. I guess this makes it easier for players to soccer if there aren’t as many people in their way. Like I said before, I knew that players had positions but I never knew they had a name for it! I look forward to reaching deeper into your website to find more about this sport that many people love! Best Wishes, Rachel

    • Thank you for your nice comment Rachel.

      Well, I always say that “soccer” is a very complex sport because everything happens so quick and if we really talk about it, it can get intense 🙂 However, this article was a brief introduction of soccer positions.

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. I look forward to more conversations! Soccer is my passion and I can talk about this 24/7

      Best wishes as well!

  3. I used to play for two soccer (or football as it’s called over here!) teams every weekend as a teenager – one game on a Saturday and one for another team on the Sunday. The confusing side of it was that I played center half for one team and a defensive midfielder for the other team…and we didn’t really have soccer position boards in those days (the clubs were too poor!).

    It’s great to see that you’ve set this out so easy for youngsters to get their heads around – I constantly used to forget what position I was playing and ruin the formation of the whole team (more often than not in the defensive line when I should have been in midfield!). 

    I think these sorts of articles are great for modern footballers, looking to progress through their teenage years into something more professional. 

    Could I ask where you play? Are you in the States by any chance? (soccer)  🙂

    • Glad this article and my images are helpful.

      I’m from Peru (South America) and played there my entire life until I moved to the United States when I was 15. I played 4 years in college (New York) and then I dedicated my time to my studies. I currently coach two teams and player only on small tournaments. I enjoy indoor soccer (6v6) now.

  4. This is just what I was looking for! 

    I am from the UK and Soccer (or football as we call it) Is pretty much taught from age 0! This sort of info is sort of ingrained from birth! As such it can be quite hard to convey as we just kind of know it?

    So when a Friend form Florida, asked me to try and help their kid in understanding the game I found it pretty hard to get the message across, if you know what I mean. So finding this site is excellent, I will send them over so they can really see how the game works. 




      I totally understand what you mean. I put together this simple article to introduce the basics of soccer, in terms of positioning. I’m glad this was somewhat helpful!

  5. My favorite position has always been the goal keeper. I agree with the commenter below about the stress you feel as a goal keeper, knowing the whole team depends on you to protect the goal in critical moments, but I love that stress feeling. I love watching the whole game in front of me anticipating those moments when it’s my turn to get into the action.

    I’m not really good at other positions, especially the striker. I’m only aggressive when I have to be… when the ball comes to me then I have to be defending the goal, but I’m usually not good at attacking and kicking the ball into the net myself. Do you think having a more aggressive personality makes you a better striker?

    • My uncle was a goalkeeper and he was a leader from the back. Everyone heard his voice during the game!

      The stress feeling is great also when you save your team on critical plays. Keep it up!

      I think that to be a great striker you need speed, agility, be super alert, and definitely be aggressive (not in a malicious way). You “gotta want it” and you “gotta be hungry”. The striker’s job is to score. Having said that, I totally agree that an striker needs a more aggressive personality.

      Thank you for your comment! Check my other articles, including the one about strikers.

  6. Great idea to show a pic of the field from the top. It is easier to understand where everything is looking at it this way. Standing on a huge field can be very confusing for a new player, but seeing it from above really also helps me understand better.

    I never quite grasped the concept of mid fielder and back left and what the differences were, but now it is plain to see.

    We had a girls team as youngsters, but we never played by all these rules. I remember a centre and a goal keeper and thats it.

  7. HI victor Farfan,

    I just read read your article in which you have given a brief overview of soccer field. Your article is really wonderful. i never understand this game that what are the exact positions and and fields but your graphical representation and step to step guide has make all clear . I always like to play as defender know i know the positions.


  8. I love soccer or as we call it in the UK (and the rest of the world) football, this a good overview of the different areas in football field. My favourite position is most definitely attacking midfield/wing, not really a good striker or a defensive player. Are you by any chance a football coach? and how big is the game in the US?

    • Thank you for the comment. I agree with you, winger and attacking mid are great position! You can always improve your skills with practice.

      Yes, I’m a soccer/football coach here in New York, US. The game/sport is getting more popular but not the main sport yet. There are many academies and leagues for kids and it seems like young players are getting started at younger ages. 

      Check out some of my other articles. Thank you 🙂

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