A Guide to Individual Soccer Defending

By: Mirsad Hasic

When playing as soccer defender your main task is to stop your opponents from getting into the 18 yard box. How you stop them doesn't actually matter. However, you should avoid playing to tough as you may get punished by the referee with yellow and red cards. You should not either keep your eyes on the ball mainly, your focus should be primarily on your opponent.

The biggest mistake you can do as defender is to only keep your eyes on the ball. Have you ever noticed how professional player are reacting when they face an opponent 1 vs 1? They are not looking at the ball primarily, instead they try to figure out what their opponent will do and the best method for stopping him.

Keep in mind also that your task is to stop the defender from getting around you and not stopping the ball. The ball will always be faster than you but your opponent will not. Of course you are not supposed to use some unfair methods for stopping your opponents but giving him a little push to get him lose his balance is allowed.

Marking your opponents tightly is also crucial while playing as defender. The best way for doing that is to stand near him and make him realize that you are just behind. By doing this he will get much more difficult to receive the ball and do something useful with it (shooting, passing to a near standing teammate, dribbling etc).

As a defender you will also need to play aggressively and act fast. However, you need to analyze every situation closely and try to figure out the best solution for it. Practiced defenders will have easier to win a situation if they have faced it many times before than someone that is new to soccer.

As a defender you will not only be responsible for clearing the ball and stopping your opponent from getting into the 18 yard box. You will also need to start offensive attacks, find your forwards with long pass, and try to score during the corner kicks.

You will also need to have good physical abilities. Playing soccer will require big physical efforts from you. It is therefore important to live like a soccer defender. Living like a soccer defender includes eating right, sleeping well, resting properly and so on.

As a soccer defender you should always try to perform your best whether it is a practice or Cup Final. This will help you maintain your focus and develop your skills. You should never get satisfied just because you have played well. Try to analyze your game and find out what mistakes you have done. Note them down and try to correct them in your next game.

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