How to Defend Better in Soccer

A good defense is important for every player on a soccer team, and some coaches don’t teach their team how to follow proper defensive techniques, according to the pros.

Becoming strong in your defense is important to the game, and coaches can map out some elaborate defense drills for training sessions. You can check out some of these elaborate drills, with sketches, at the

You don’t have to be big, fast or strong to be a good defender, you have to be smart, though, and use your mind and strategy.

One way to throw your opponent off is to force the attacker onto their weak leg. Watch to see which leg the player favors, and then manipulate your position so they have to use the opposite foot.

The faster you move toward a player to press the attacker, they won’t have as much time to react. High pressure often forces mistakes, and they could lose control of the ball.

Vary your speed and occasionally slow down when approaching someone with a ball. A person who rushes too fast is easy to beat because a good player will simply cut away from them. If you slow down a few feet from the player with the ball, it could throw the player off. Then, take small steps, decrease the speed and then move in.

If you defend at a slight angle, meaning that your body is turned slightly to the side, it makes it tougher for the player to move back and forth. It is also easier to force the opponent to change directions and perhaps favor a weak foot.

Make sure your center of gravity is low, by bending your knees and lowering your butt. Keep your balance, and put your arms out. Your arms could also brush away an opponent’s arm if they try to dribble by.

When defending one-on-one, stay in a good position, and stay with the opponent as closely as possible. Position yourself close to the sidelines so you can sprint toward a ball that may get loose.

Don’t be afraid to foul, and keep your anger and frustration in control while on the field.

More then anything, it’s important to enjoy playing.