Going from Substitute to Starter in Soccer

Going from Substitute to Starter in Soccer

So you want to start soccer games rather than come off the bench, huh? There are definitely some steps that you can take to become a starter, but just keep in mind that it can sometimes take some time. Usually bench players are just a bit behind in terms of development, but with hard work anyone can find their place in the starting 11.

Below are some simple tips that will give you a great chance of moving off the bench and into a starting role.

Why Aren’t You Starting?

The first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself about your skill level. This is the only way that you will be able to pinpoint the things that you need to do to be better, so be brutally honest. For example, if you know that your passing is below par, you will know that you need to do everything that you can to improve your passing skills.

improve your passing skills

Sometimes it’s actually more about your attitude than your skills, so maybe you need to work on that side of yourself on top of putting in extra training. Being a good teammate and a positive player are essential characteristics of a top soccer player, so you should definitely set goals to be the best person you can be first, then work on the soccer part of the game.

Now you need to think about why the player in front of you gets to start. There’s no need to be envious or angry at that player; you simply want to recognize why they get to start and you don’t. This information will tell you what you need to do to get better as a soccer player.



Just about every soccer coach out there respects hard work over everything else, so that is where you need to start if you want to move off of the bench. If you don’t work hard, chances are you will continue to be frustrated by your lack of playing time.

solo soccer training

Not only should you put in the hard work at practice, you really need to put in at least a couple of hours of solo soccer training per week. Look up how any of the top players train and you will see that most of them work harder than anyone else on their teams. That’s what you should strive to do if you want to make it into the starting lineup.

Chances are you already watch soccer regularly, but you should do more than just watch. You should be studying the way that the players move around the field and read the game. If you are set in a position, then pay extra attention to the pros that play in that position. You will also want to watch how each formation works to familiarize yourself with the shapes and movements of each one.

Never Stop Enjoying the Game

One of the main reasons why some players can’t get off the bench is because they lose the drive that made them play soccer in the first place. You should never allow your lack of playing time take the joy out of the game. In fact, even when you are on the bench, you should be the best team player that you can be and root on your teammates.

Never Stop Enjoying the Game

Another reason why you have to always have fun playing the game is because it keeps you loose when you are on the field. You won’t be as nervous when the ball is at your feet, and your mind will be clear, allowing you to make the right plays.


Putting It All Together

By doing all of the things mentioned above, you will greatly improve your chances of moving off of the bench and into a starting role. Start off with the goal of earning your coach’s trust, then make the most out of the opportunities that he or she gives you.

With a little bit of time and a lot of effort, you can work to deserve your place in the starting lineup. Just have some patience, work hard, and have a winner’s mentality.