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It’s a big decision when you’re deciding which position you should play—especially when you’re new at soccer.
The position you’re playing can highly affect your experience of playing soccer as a whole. If you end up playing one unsuitable for you or your personality, it might stagger your love for the game.
What Soccer Position to Play
We help you answer the question “what soccer position should I play?”
Soccer is a diverse game, with pretty much every position requiring athleticism, agility, and strength. Outside of the goalie, all positions on the field run a lot, with the average professional soccer player running 7 miles per game.
Even though everyone needs to be able to run a lot, each position does have some unique characteristics about them. To help you choose, here are the type of traits to look for according to various positions:
The Goalkeeper (Keeper/Goalie)
If you have a history of playing sports with your hands, like basketball or even the game of volleyball, you might come to find that playing goalie is your strong suit.
Some athletic skills that will help you in this position are coordination, athleticism, good hand-eye coordination, and courage. Because this position can be risky, it’s best to come prepared with good quality goalkeeper gloves.
Outside Defense (Fullback, Wingback)
If you are strong at defending and taking the ball away from your opponent, you might be a great defender. Playing outside defense doesn’t just limit you to playing at the back. In this position, you’re encouraged to win the ball back and then move quickly into the attack.
However, if assigned this position, your main objective should be defending their goal.
Some characteristics that make a good outside-d are speed, concentration, aggressiveness, decisiveness, and able to deliver a good cross.
Center Defense (Center Back/Fullback)
If you enjoy sweeping around in the back and handling the opposing forwards, you’ll want to take a shot at center defense. You have to have the confidence to be the last opportunity to stop your opponent’s attack—aside from the goalie.
Some characteristics that make a good center back are awareness, decisiveness, confidence and defensive skills.
If you are comfortable being in the middle of all the action and have a good balance between playing defensively and offensively, center midfield can suit you. This position also requires a great deal of fitness because there is a lot of running.
You’ll need to be a confident player who is willing to allow others to take the glory.
Some characteristics that make a good center midfielder are fitness, pass accuracy, unselfishness, and balanced skills.
Outside Midfielder (Winger)
To play this position, you should be able to play both offensively and defensively. As an essential player in both roles, you’ll also need to be fast. Since you’ll have a lot of room to run with the ball, so it’s a benefit to have good ball control.
Some characteristics that make a good winger are ball control, speed, and being able to easily transition.
If you are a natural-minded goal scorer that can handle the pressure of scoring the goals for their team, you can be a forward. Even though as forward you should go for the glory, you cannot be too selfish. A forward should feed balls to others to score too.
Some characteristics that make a good forward are speed, hunger for scoring, and high-quality finishing abilities.
Personal Positional Characteristics
Depending on your unique qualities and skill sets, you might have a perfect position already waiting for you. Look through this list of characteristics and the corresponding soccer positions that work well for them:
Left Footed vs Right Footed
What foot you prefer to kick with can and should play a large role in where you play on the field.
Generally speaking, whether you are left footed or right footed shouldn’t change what position you play. However, it usually does dictate what side of the pitch you play on.
For example, a left footed player would prefer to play on the left side of the field, and a right footed player on the right side.
For those players whose positions are in the center of the field, it is important that you are strong with both your left and right foot.
Your goal as a soccer player should be to practice and work your drills with both feet, so that you are equally as strong with each. However, that is rarely the case. Even if you get really good with both feet, you’ll probably always have a preferential foot.
Choosing the Best Position
Picking out a soccer position can make or break your personal experience with the sport. However, it might not be as easy as just taking a quiz. You’ll need to be aware of the traits in each position and then make a decision. However, if you haven’t picked one yet, don’t worry. You can always simply be a versatile player and be aware of every position’s role.