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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11 thoughts on “Soccer Winger Position – Tips and more!

  1. Great article and totally agree with things you mentioned.

    I was an attacker, but sometimes the trainer has put me on the winger position, because my technique was more than average, and I had great speed.

    However, my stamina had to be trained, since that position requires much more than an attacker must have.

    I will save this post for my future childs, since I have the feeling they will be the same as me.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. This is a very resourceful article for those in the sport of soccer. I’ve never play the sport but I like watching it over the TV. Obviously I have no clue about the positions but this would be a perfect site for soccer kids and parents. Great article, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for the supportive comment. It is my goal to get my content to soccer kids so that they can learn “the trick and tips” about soccer. Keep enjoying the most amazing sport in the world 🙂

  3. You are not kidding that the winger position requires a lot of skill and a lot of stamina.  My daughter played winger position for most of her soccer career in high school, and man was she tired at the end of a game.  She was so active throughout the game, so I loved that position for her because it gave me lots of opportunities for photos!!  LOL!  You know how us “soccer moms” are ha ha.

    Epic Sports rocks.  We used to get so much of our stuff there, and my husband still plays soccer and does get his accessories there.  I absolutely love your site.  Thanks.

    Babs

  4. What type of conditioning do you recommend for someone that may be transitioning from a sweeper position into a winger position? Sweepers often end up with a lot of short sprints chasing down strikers (at least that is my experience) where it sounds like a winger is probably just going to be running the entire game.

    I even remember reading somewhere some wingers run up to 10 miles a game!  Given this is your recommendation to go out and run long distances and slower speeds? Or would you still recommend training for sprints?

    • You definitely want to run longer distances. I would try 30 yards with a minute of rest in between runs. I would aim for 10 runs per training session. Running at an average speed doesn’t help because that’s now how wingers run during a game. Sprints would be a great way to prepare for a game. 

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hello There,

    I read your site because my grandson played soccer when he was younger, and now at 16 years of age, he tried to get back in, but only did so for one semester.

    Soccer appeared to be much like football.  My grandson played goalie position a lot.  Now that I understand being a winger, I’m afraid I still don’t know if that was the position he played.

    Your site really helped make soccer a little more understandable.  I especially liked the diagram.  Great images and ads for this kind of site.

  6. As a kid, when I was playing, our coach never spoke of this, not sure if he didn’t know about it or just thought it is a waste of time since we were girls. Who knows.

    Nevertheless, I still love soccer and reading your article everything just makes sense. I certainly wished I had known this during my time.

    Coaches do need to be on top and bring the best training options for their players so they may soar during the next game.

    Really enjoyed your post, learned a lot.

  7. Hi Victor,

    this is a really useful post about winger position. I enjoyed reading it. I love football and sports in general. You described it in details and I like the illustration you put in section ’One Step Ahead’. It is nice to see when someone loves the topic he writes about and presents it on the best possible way.

    I sometimes play football with my friends just for fun. I read something about player positions in football but I see that there is always something more to be learned.

    Thanks

    Strahinja

  8. Hi Victor,

    My soccer days date back to 40+ years. I belonged to one of my city’s first female elite teams, we played in many tournaments in our Province. At the time I switched from a forward to a winger. Most of us did not necessarily know positions and jobs in our 1st couple years. We learned to play together, play smart and the rules. We were quite successful. Unfortunately I only competed for 3 years before an injury put me out for the year.  Though my friends continued to play, I never returned to soccer. Hockey was the number 1 sport I competed in, winning many provincial championships. After my soccer injury I had to choose one sport over another, hockey in the end won out.

    The one plus soccer did for me what keep me in top condition for the hockey season. All that running up the field and back in the heat was definitely a good way to stay conditioned.

    Mary

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