I was never the smallest, and maybe the fastest, so I have to draw from chatting with college and pro teammates who were on the smaller side and how they dealt with this day in and day out. What I can tell you is their size never became an issue because they never used it as a crutch. They used it as a weapon to be better than anyone they were playing against. Size shouldn’t be an issue if you continue to grow and educate yourself on the game to be successful.
At the youth, level size does matter, and we find scouts being lazy and never trying to find the diamond in the rough. The player that isn’t tall and who isn’t the biggest, but has the other attributes all scouts should look for in a player.
Here are three tips to help you feel prepared for a match when you’re on the smaller side.
1. The technique has to be spot on.
You have to understand that technique is the most important because it is what allows control and freedom on the field. If your touch is off that allows bigger players to get close to you and use their athleticism to get the better of you. If you can't pass well, it helps bigger players because they'll use their athleticism to break things up. Make sure you're doing all the extra technique if you want to improve and have a fighting chance against these players.
2. Don’t get into situations where strength and athleticism comes into play
Don't get close to these players if you don't want them to be able to use their athleticism against you! What I've noticed is when smaller players get in these struggles is they lose. Stay away from those type of bouts and use your intelligence and technique to win. Technical and tactical ability will take you further than athletic ability. Make sure you're always surveying and approaching the game cerebrally to avoid these 50/50 duals.
3. Be confident
Confidence is key. If you want on the field scared and timid, you'll have a difficult time playing well. Regardless of size, you have to go into every game with the mindset of I'm the best player and I'll show you through my skills and abilities. The bigger player will always try to intimidate because that is what will help them get prepared for the match. Be a go getter, don't give up, and play to the best of your ability by having unwavering confidence throughout the match.