Please don’t ever say that “soccer is not a sport”, unless you follow that up with “It is an art”
Looking at it from a big picture perspective, not many people argue that soccer is not a sport. The definition of sport clearly indicates that it is any kind of activity that requires skill and physical effort. Under those requirements, soccer is definitely a sport. The only way I would ever argue that soccer is not a sport is if I am saying that it is an art not a sport.
Art is defined in many ways. The way I am using it is that soccer is something that requires skill acquired by learning, observing, and truly understanding the game. In the several years that I have been playing soccer I have learned that it takes more than just physical strength to succeed. In fact, if you simply know the game you are already ahead in terms of skill level. some of the most important things you can understand about soccer are the positions that are played.
You may not know this, but I have played almost every position possible in soccer. I started off as a striker, then became a center midfielder, right back and finally started playing an outside midfielder position. So I guess you could say I know soccer positions pretty well.
In terms of soccer positions, there are almost too many to count. It is broken down into three sections: defense, midfield and forward. Within each of these sections, there are more specific parts that establish the actual soccer position
Now starting off with defense, the positions are as follows:
- goal keeper
- outside back
- center back
Goalkeepers have very important jobs, but since I have never played this position I don’t know much about it. I have played both center and right back. The key about a defensive position is that you must be smarter than the opposing player. Nine out of ten times, the other teams offense is going to be faster than you, so it’s important to not let their offense have a break away. In order to do this there are some things you should remember:
- Don’t lunge for the ball. If you reach for the ball and miss, it gives the other team an advantage.
- Be smart with your tackles. If your going to be an aggressive defender, it is important to know when a soccer tackle is smart and when it is just stupid. Planning a tackle right could be the deciding factor between the other team getting a goal or not.
- Acting quickly is beneficial. By this I don’t just mean running fast, but rather acting quickly in stressful situations.
With that being said, I’ll introduce the midfielder positions, the first one being the center/defensive midfielder. The pressure is on this player to both help out the offense and defense. In addition these players have to be extremely skilled with footwork, and must be able to easily see opening plays. The outside midfielder position, in my mind, is the most physically demanding position. When there is a break away they have to be on one side of the field, but as soon as possession goes to the other team they have to be back helping the defenders. Here are some things midfielders must do:
- Have so soccer moves ready. You learn different moves in practice all the time so remember some of them and practice using them in a game. Midfielders are constantly faced with one on one situations and a well-placed move could be the perfect way to beat the opponent.
- See the field. As mentioned earlier being able to spot an opportunity for a break away can help your team get closer to scoring
- Dribbling. Just be able to dribble the ball and be able to do it with immense speed and you will be good.
Ending with the forward positions, I will begin by stating that there is really only one type of forward, a striker. However there are many types of strikers, and most teams have two playing during a game.
Listing all the types of striker would be hard because there are so many, and their individual descriptions of what they do tend to overlap. Nevertheless, I will talk about the two strikers that you will most commonly find playing. First is the center forward. Their job, which can be determined by their proximity to the goal, is to be open and ready to score, and to distract the goalkeeper and defenders. The second type is the withdrawn striker. They, similar to the center forward, are positioned close to the net but are required to come back and help out the midfielders if help is needed. Both types must be excellent passers and receivers. All of these soccer positions require individual skills but overall, it is pretty easy to become a successful player.
Listen closely, it doesn’t take a 4.0 GPA to play good soccer, it just takes so common knowledge and the ability to learn from your team and coaches. Playing well doesn’t mean that you score the most goals, but simply indicates that you are not only a good teammate, but also a player that is successful at helping the team improve as a whole. And even though the game focuses around much more than just the soccer positions, getting familiar with these will definitely help you in the long run.
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