One of the most frustrating things in soccer is being caught offside when your team could have had a great opportunity to score. This is why it is extremely important that you are a composed player at all times and take advantage of those types of opportunities.
Below are a few tips that every soccer player should get to know if they want to consistently stay onside.
Timing Your Runs
No matter where you are on the field, you always want to time your runs to keep the defense off balance and to give your teammates the best passing options possible. This takes some practice, but over time you will become more comfortable with the other players on your team and with the formations that your team uses.
One of the easiest ways to have well-timed runs is to recognize when your teammates have a good passing opportunity. If you notice that there is space in front of you that your teammate can pass into, then it might be a great time to run into that space. If you are running toward the middle lane, then be sure that there is enough space to keep the goalkeeper from reaching the ball before you do.
It's a good idea to learn about the most popular formations to up your chances of staying onside when you make your runs.
Beating the Offside Trap
Unless you are used to facing the defense you are going up against, it can be pretty tough to predict when they are going to set an offside trap. That’s why you need to have a general understanding of why defenses set offside traps and when to expect them.
If the back line of a defense is able to keep its shape, they will constantly be looking for ways to keep opposing forwards and midfielders from getting behind them. They will step up together when a player attempts to make a run, and they will back up together when they have multiple players running at them. There are ways to beat this, though.
The best way to beat the offside trap is to run at angles through the holes in the defense. This is made a lot easier by staying on the outside shoulder of one of the defenders and taking off when the pass is about to be made. Once you have gained some chemistry with your teammates, they will recognize when you are about to beat the trap.
One mistake that soccer players make when trying to beat the offside trap is turning their backs to the ball when they are about to make a run. It is always good practice to turn your body so you can see both the ball and the defense, maximizing your chances of staying onside.
Staying Onside During Breakaways
During counter attacks, defenses are usually desperate to force players offside. If you have good chemistry with your teammates, you will find that these are the best times to get behind the defense.
The easiest way to stay onside during breakaways is to stay as close to the last defender as you can and keep an eye on the player with the ball. At this point, you don’t even have to sprint past the defender because they are usually not in a great position to turn and run with you. Once the ball is played, you can simply get past the defender and go toward the goal.
If you like this article check out Learning to Pass and Shoot with Both Feet
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