Finding Your Position

Ideally, you want to try playing in different positions and see where you fit best. Just remember that there may be a difference between your favorite position and the one where you are most effective.

What makes a good defender

Anticipation

Top level defenders know how to read the game and are always one step ahead of the opposition. Watch any good defender and you will see that he anticipates the movement of the person he is marking. Even if the attacker is faster, they close him down and beat him to the ball purely due to their good tactical anticipation.

Experience

Good defending is not just about how aggressively you tackle. You have to be able to recognize different dribbling moves, tricks and turns. As you gain more experience you will learn to “get in the head” of your opponent and his moves will never surprise you. One of the biggest mistakes that young players commit is lacking patience. Never charge in at an opponent unless you know that you will win the ball.

Strength and agility

Quickness and strength are probably the most important abilities you need in defense. You have to be agile to mark and jockey opponents. Strength is important in winning 50-50 challenges and when shielding the ball.

What makes a good midfielder

Keeping possession

Midfielders should be able to keep possession of the ball by dribbling. This is especially important for outside midfielders because they often need to carry the ball up the sideline.

Distributing the ball

Midfielders have to be good at both finding where to pass and actually sending the ball there. As a midfielder, you have to be both tactically aware and technically gifted. Also, you need to be able to remain composed while playing under pressure.

Stamina

Playing as a midfielder is physically demanding and requires covering a lot of ground. Most midfielders have to help the defense, support the attackers and even make forward runs themselves. Without good stamina, you’re going to be watching a lot of plays from the side.

What makes a good attacker

Positioning

Some attackers can score simply because they know how to be in the right place at the right time. For example, at the moment when a shot is taken the clever attacker would immediately run to the goalkeeper in the event he mishandles ball.

Playing under pressure

Generally, attackers have to play while being marked most of the time. Some may use their speed, others will shield the ball or perform tricks. How you deal with pressure from defenders depends on your personal strengths and abilities.

Finishing touch

The most important ability for an attacker is his finishing touch. Having a powerful long-range shot means little if you need to stop and trap the ball first. An effective attacker has to be able to shoot and score in mid-stride.

Updated: July 1, 2016
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