Many soccer players get thrust into positions simply because they didn’t have a favorite beforehand. That’s okay in some cases, but most players will want to figure out the position that best suits them before they go out for a team. This will allow them to work on those specific skills on their own and be ready when they are going out for a team.
A lot of soccer players will find that they excel at multiple positions, but it's best to start out by focusing on just one. Each position plays quite differently, so focusing on one is the best way to improve.
Below are some tips on choosing a soccer position.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
If you’ve been able to put at least some time on the soccer field, then you should have a pretty good idea about what your strengths and weaknesses are. This is extremely important because you can evaluate yourself and start to figure out the best fit for your particular skill set.
If you know that you are faster than the average soccer player, then you might want to lean towards either being a winger or a side back. If you have great hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes, which you would learn from playing other sports, then you might just be a good goalie.
When thinking about your weaknesses, be honest with yourself. There isn’t a single soccer player on Earth who is good at everything, so don’t be ashamed to admit that you are a bit below-average in certain areas.
Get to Know Each Position
Every position on the soccer field has a number of different jobs. That’s why it’s vital that you get to know each one of them. They all require different skills and they have different approaches to both offense and defense.
For example, you will want to know what it takes to be a great central defender. As you will learn, you will learn about completely different skillsets when learning about central defenders as you will when you find out what it takes to be a winger.
Besides reading about the different positions, you can also play in each position either at practice or with your friends. Take those sessions seriously, though, because that’s the only way you will know if you feel comfortable in those positions.
Watch the Pros
One of the easiest ways to find the best position for you is to watch the pros play. You will see what it takes to be the best at each position and what those players do both on and off the ball.
Don’t make your decision after watching just one or two games. You will want to watch a lot of them to see how different formations affect each of the positions around the field. You will see that some offensive strategies call for wingers to play further up the field, while others will have them spend a lot more time helping out the defense.
Don’t necessarily choose a position because your favorite player plays there, though. You still have to keep in mind that you might not have those natural skill sets, which means that playing in that position will be tougher for you. Instead, watch every position on the field to get a good field for what you can do best.
Choose Your Position
After doing all of the things mentioned above, you should have a pretty good idea about where you want to be on the field. If you’re not, then continue to evaluate your skills and, even if you have chosen a position, never stop doing everything you can to learn about all of the nuances of each soccer position.
It’s important to keep in mind that you are not “stuck” with the position that you initially choose. In fact, many professionals played multiple other positions before they found their best one. You could start out as a goalkeeper and in the future move up to a midfield position.
The reason why you want to find a position that you can play right now is because you will want to prepare for tryouts and you will want to be able to watch other players who play that position. Once you’ve done that, a big weight will come off your shoulders and you will be able to focus on improving in that position.