Soccer Positions

Chris Johnson 123,426 Views

Soccer Positions and putting the right players in the right positions is one of the most important jobs as a coach.

Soccer Tip Diagram: Soccer Positions

Soccer Positions, Assigning soccer positions, Assigning Positions, Forwards, Strikers, Goalkeepers, Fullbacks

Soccer Positions and putting the right players in the right positions is one of the most important jobs as a coach.

Soccer Positions, Assigning soccer positions, Assigning Positions, Forwards, Strikers, Goalkeepers, Fullbacks

One of the most important jobs as a coach is putting the right players in the right positions. At the younger ages, set the initial lineup is only a starting point for the game, but the older the kids get, the more important it is to hold a player's position.

One of the most important jobs as a coach is putting the right players in the right positions. At the younger ages, set the initial lineup is only a starting point for the game. It is up to the coach to find each player's "self-identity" and place players in the position that best matches them. I am a firm believer that players must have the opportunity to try other positions during the course of the season as your team should be flexible enough to make adjustments as necessary to match up with your opponents.

Some younger age groups might play without keepers or not play with eleven aside. However, I will go through each of the positions on the field.

The Goalkeeper (keeper)

The coach must be very careful when assigning a young player to this position and assign players who have had several practices playing this position and have proven qualified to play keeper. The goalkeeper should be coordinated, athletic, hands of a wide receiver, and the courage of a hockey player. For younger players, players who play basketball often have good hand-eye coordination and can be an excellent candidate as a keeper.

Outside Fullbacks

When assigning a player to this position, the coach should look for defensive-minded players but pose a significant attacking threat. The coach should clearly state that the most critical job of this position is to defend their goal. Their responsibilities often include man-marking, closing down attackers, supporting other defenders, watching backside runs, and winning balls. These players must have strength, speed, concentration, aggressiveness, decisiveness, and a good understanding how to defend.

Sweeper

The sweeper's position is the clean-up man. This player's job is to be the last player on the field (not including the keeper) and is the final defensive measure. This position requires an exceptional player who must have a natural talent for defending and being positioned in the right place at the right time. This player should have speed, strength, stamina, awareness, decisiveness, confidence, and a natural tact for defending.

Stopper (center halfback)

The stopper is another defender who plays in front of the sweeper. This player's responsibility is to "STOP" any attack coming down the middle of the field. I generally look for aggressive, strong, confident players in the air and clearance for relieving pressure on the defense.

Center Midfielders

This player is the quarterback of soccer and your play maker. The center midfielder's primary function is to support EVERY player on the field (excluding the goalkeeper). They must be offensive and defensive-minded; thus, they must have outstanding fitness and good at possessing the ball. These players must have stamina, strength, speed, determination, and confidence on and off the ball. I often explain this position as the center of a wheel with an outlet to each player being a spoke on the wheel.

Outside Midfielders (winger)

This player is both offensive and defensive-minded. The outside midfield player does not require physical strength, so finding a player with good ball control, the ability to take players on, and great fitness will often make great outside midfielders. This player is involved in the attack and defending, so this player must be fit.

Forwards (strikers)

This player is considered the main thrust of the attack and should be the player that naturally scores goals. These players must work closely together and share in the responsibility as feeder and goal scorer. When assigning this position, look for players who demonstrate good attacking ability but not much inclination towards defending. This player needs speed and strength. A good striker is one that takes chances. They don't always pay off but be patient as more opportunities are taken result in more goals.



More Soccer Coaching Tips

What is a Rondo in Soccer?

Chris Johnson 1,835 Views
What is a Rondo in Soccer? Rondo is a soccer game of keep away in a small circle or square playing area.

1v1, One-vs-One, One-on-One

Chris Johnson 1,749 Views
One versus one, also known as 1v1, 1vs1, or one-on-one, is the smallest game-like activity in soccer.

American Dietetic Association Soccer Nutrition Guide

Chris Johnson 43,876 Views
Soccer specific nutrition guide to help youth soccer players improve performance by eating the right things at the right time.

Soccer Skills

Chris Johnson 64,652 Views
Soccer skills, the touch one has when passing, trapping, receiving, or shooting, are an important part of being successful in soccer.

Indoor Soccer: The Benefits of Indoor Soccer

Chris Johnson 20,413 Views
Indoor soccer is a great way to get extra training sessions in while in the off-season.