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”.
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.
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!!!