"The basic soccer positions
made easy to understand"

When you think in terms of lines soccer positions can be very easily understood.

Goalkeeper is the last soccer player back to defend the goal. The goalkeeper is the only player that can use his or her hands.

The goalkeeper also helps organize defenders and the team as the goalkeeper has a very good view of the soccer field.

The defenders are the next line of soccer players that play in front of the goalkeeper. The defenders primarily look to defend, but can attack as well.

Very important to get them into the soccer game when the team has possession of the soccer ball.

The midfield is the next line that plays in front of the defenders and behind the forwards. Midfielders do a lot of hard work between the forwards and the defenders...the engine of the team.

They have to get back and defend but also go forward and look to help out in attack. Some midfielders are attacking minded and some are more defensive minded. They can also be very good goal scorers.

The forwards/strikers are the next line and do a lot of the goal scoring. Forwards are the first line of defense if the other team's defenders have the ball.

Coaching tip: Young players should not be pigeon holed into the positions too soon. They should play on the field in different positions and in goal. The players will learn more about the game this way.

The basic functions and soccer skills of each position

Most likely young players will start out playing 3v3 or 4v4, so there will be no goal keeping.

Once they start playing 6v6, 8v8 or 11v11 there will be a need for goalkeeper training.

Attributes of a goalkeeper

  • Catching the soccer ball.
  • Diving to make saves.
  • Distribution - punting, throwing, passing, kicking.
  • Using their feet.
  • Organizing and helping defenders.

A good goalkeeper can really keep you in the game...

First line of defense

The mentality of a defender is to win the ball and stop forwards from scoring. It takes time to develop these skills to become a good defender.

The attributes of a good defender is the player...

  • Must be good in 1 on 1 defending situations.
  • Passing, good control, dribbling skills, shooting skills, heading soccer skills.
  • Mark or guard forwards.
  • Help out in the attack when going forward.

Some kids do very well with this soccer position and others are more attack minded...so are suited for midfield or forward roles.

Most kids will figure out what they like to play as they move up the ranks.

The Midfielders are the engine of the team, they do allot of the work!

The Midfield soccer player is the heart and sole of the team and normally does the work to defend when the team loses the ball and gets the ball forward to help in the attack.

  • Ball control, passing, dribbling, ball striking, heading, 1 on 1 attacking and defending soccer skills.
  • The midfielders can vary with some being very skillful to the player that is very good at disrupting the opposing teams attack. A coach can probably use a combination of these kinds of players.

The attributes of a good midfield player are that they are good all around players.

Forwards score goals

Forwards come in different sizes and shapes. You have the target players - big forwards that can hold the ball up, fast forwards that blow past people and you have the tricky, creative forwards who can beat people on the dribble.

Attributes of a good forward are...

  • Good passing, 1 on 1 attacking and defending skills, ball control and ball striking skills.
  • Forwards have a knack of making runs to support and create chances on goal.
  • Sometimes this is not a learned skill and just comes naturally. Good forwards generally score goals for the team.
  • At the younger ages the most popular soccer position is the forward position because kids like to score goals, and scoring is easier in the small sided games.

This quality really helps if the soccer player does become a midfielder or defender because it teaches them how to be attack minded in the game of soccer.

Looking for more on positions?

Check out my Soccer Positions e-book...

You might be in one of the following situations?

  1. New to coaching youth players...
  2. Played but need to learn how to introduce soccer positions.
  3. Kids have to step from 6 Vs 6 to 8 Vs 8.
  4. Don't understand what shape is?

This e-book will provide the coach with...

  1. A basic run down of soccer skills.
  2. How the positions work.
  3. How to use small sided games to teach kids.
  4. Shape and how it applies to soccer positions.

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