Soccer Practice – Assigning Player Positions

Coaching youth soccer about player positions during soccer practice is an important aspect of coaching. You need to assess and assign the appropriate positions to your players on the field.

Of course, you must always encourage your players to try different field positions, as your team will develop flexibility through this. You want your players to be prepared to handle any move on the field during a match.

Apart from your assessment, you should also get the players to explore the positions where they show optimum performance during practice sessions.

With your younger teams, you might or might not include a goalkeeper during soccer lessons, but they definitely need to understand the positions because they will progress to that soccer eleven soon enough.

Understanding Soccer Positions

  • The goalkeeper, the keeper, or the soccer goalie must have plenty of practice and special drill to develop all the skills needed to be an effective goalkeeper. The individual must be well balanced, physically fit with good grip on the ball. These keepers must have perfect hand-eye sync to be a good at the job.
  • Powerful on the field, the outside fullbacks must be chosen based on their ability to defend and attack. The aim of the outside fullbacks is defending the goal. Equipped with the strength, agility, swiftness, focused attitude, quick decision-making and forcefulness, these players must be able to close down the attackers while providing their full support to the rest of the defenders. They must also be alert to backside runs and aim to win the ball.
  • Next comes the sweeper who generally leaves the field last, apart from the goalkeeper. This defenseman must have the ability to position himself at the correct place when necessary. Being confident, strong, enduring, decisive and swift go without saying.
  • The center halfback or the stopper is also a defense player, preventing attacks from the center of the field. He needs the same qualities as a sweeper.
  • The Center Midfielders are expected to be all around supporters on the field playing both offense and defense. Ball possession skills are a must here.
  • The winger or the outside midfielder is similar to the center midfielder but with great ball control and fitness levels.
  • The strikers or the forwarders are the goal scorers who work as a team showing great attacking skills, swiftness and strength.

During soccer drills for youth, getting your players familiar with the responsibilities of various soccer positions during soccer practice is the right way to encourage them to realize their abilities.