How to Defend a Forward or Midfielder With Their Back to Their Own Goal

defending-a-forwardForwards checking back to the soccer ball are often accompanied by a tight marking defender.

Midfielders also take on this defensive role against opposing midfielders or forwards checking back.

Here, the defender’s main goal is to keep the soccer ball in front of them and not get turned.

If the offensive player plays the ball backwards, you have done a good job.

After the ball is played back, you need to drop quickly to get into a better position so the ball is not sent forward behind you.

There are four main steps to defending an attacking player with their back to their own goal:

1.) Distance: Stay about a foot and a half away from the attacking player. This gives you the optimal distance between you and the attacking player. If you can lightly touch the attacking player, this will let him know you are there.  Do not extend your arm and push him, however. This distance will help you from getting hooked or turned by the attacking player grabbing your jersey.

2.) Stance: Bend slightly down in a good athletic stance. This puts you in a good position to move and also keeps you balanced. Standing straight up does not allow you to move quick enough. Sitting down keeps your center of gravity low and gives you a good base to change direction.

3.) Balance: Stay on the balls of your feet. Many call this being on your toes because you do not want to be on your heels. Again, the reason is because it keeps you balanced and allows you to moving quickly.

4.) Awareness: Make sure you can see the soccer ball. By sitting down in an athletic stance, you will be able to see the soccer ball. Seeing the soccer ball allows you to make a play on it. If you do not know where the soccer ball is, then you cannot make a play on it.

Finally, one of the most common turns of a forward is to dip their shoulder to one side and then turn the soccer ball to the other side.

For example, if the attacking player simultaneously dips her right shoulder and plants her right foot, the attacking player is most likely going to turn left with the soccer ball. Knowing this, then you can be prepared to stick the attacking player with your right foot.


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