When the whole Football craze first started, everyone wanted to be a striker. I mean the other positions were cool too, but they weren’t as appealing as being a striker.
Today we know that every position on the team is equally important, but some people still take the defenders’ job for granted. Without the defenders, a goalkeeper has almost no chance of protecting the goal. Especially when there are 3 to 4 players running towards him with a ball.
Defending isn’t as easy as it looks. You may think that all you have to do is stand around and wait for the ball to come to you. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Here are a few tips on how to defend better while playing Football:
1) Don’t Panic
It’s important to keep your cool as a defender because how you react affects the mental state of your teammates as well. If you panic, it’s likely that your teammates will too, and this will make it a lot more difficult to defend.
Instead, stay calm and exude confidence as this will give your teammates courage and allow them to play optimally.
2) Look Up
Most defenders tend to look down when the ball comes to them. This gives the enemy forward a surge of confidence and time to close the distance between the two of you.
While the ball is coming towards you, try looking up and taking note of everyone’s position. That way if an opponent is too close, you know you have to pass as soon as the ball reaches you. By looking down, you may miss out on important details about a player’s positioning and hence lose the ball.
3) Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
As a defender, you need to scan the field constantly and take note of various players’ positions during the game. You must have a rough mental picture of where your forwards and midfielders are so you know who to pass to when the ball comes to you.
This is especially important when you’re running towards your own goal to fend off an enemy striker. You should figure out which player on their team is really applying the pressure and stick with them to ensure that your team can clear the ball before they get the upper hand.
4) Choose The Playing Style
Change your playing style to based on the striker that you’re dealing with. For example, if you’ve got a large player who prefers physical contact with actual skill, you want to stay close enough without making contact. These players rely more on physical contact with a defender, and forcing them to play another style can really throw them off their game.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a skilled, agile player, stick close to them and ensure that you’re within touching distance at all times. This will allow you to apply constant pressure on the player and tire them out.
Besides all these tips, ensure that you work out regularly and keep your body fit so that it can handle the rigours of this intense sport. By constantly working on your endurance and stamina, you can improve your game and do justice to your role as a defender.
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