by Tess Pappas
Soccer is a game played between two teams in which the twenty-two players on the pitch battle for a spherical ball. The objective of the game is to put the ball in the other team’s net by kicking or heading the ball past the goalie.When playing soccer the three things to understand are knowing what position one is in and how that position benefits the team, being ahead of the game, and saving energy.
Soccer has many positions and most of the positions vary from the formations of different teams. When playing a 4,1,3,2 formation there would be 7 positions for the ten players plus the goalie. Starting with the goalie and working up to the strikers. There would be two center backs, two outside backs, one holding midfielder, one attacking midfielder, two wings, and two strikers. In soccer, the goalie’s job is to guard the goal. There are defensive positions like the center backs, outside backs, and the holding midfielder. The job of these players is to guard the goal and gain possession of the ball. They also try to block shots from the net. There are also the offensive players. These include attacking midfielders, wingers, and strikers. Occasionally, these positions will be switched depending on the formation. The jobs of these players are different, but all of their efforts are made to get the ball into the goal. The attacking midfielder connects passes with the strikers or they play the ball to the wings for a cross. They also have the option to drive the ball and shoot. The wings are on the outside of the field and whenever they get the ball their job is to drive to the corner and cross the ball so the striker can shoot. It is also critical for players to be ahead of the game.
In soccer, if one is a player in the moment and can act fast when plays happen one is a bad player. Soccer players have to be ten steps ahead of the game before they are good players. Soccer is similar to chess; anyone can move anywhere, but the opponents try to predict where the other will move his/her pieces. This is similar to soccer. For example, one is playing midfield like Lionel Messi. Messi is ahead of the game by ten steps in his mind and on the field. He moves to where he thinks the ball will go, into space where his teammates can pass to him, or where he can defend the ball and gain possession for his team. By being ahead of the game he is prepared for what is to come and if the ball goes somewhere other than where he thought it would go he must change his plan. Soccer players can not move to where they must be if the don’t have any energy to run.
Preserving energy during a soccer game can help players play better because they have the energy to run and get the ball. After a long sprint during a soccer game, most young players would be tired and they would have trouble running. Whenever this happens players tend to quit on the ball and let their other teammates defend while they try to catch their breath. One can prevent losing energy by blocking through balls and staying on their mark. This is just one step to staying energized; it is also important for players to drink water and/or sports drinks. By hydrating players are giving themselves more energy because they are sweating out all of the water that is in their body’s and sweat cools them down. Whenever players are hot they start breathing heavily, and both these things can make it hard to run because one’s muscles aren‘t getting enough oxygen. It is important to preserve energy, so one can run.
To be a good soccer player one must understand the positions, be ahead of the game, and learn how to preserve energy. Soccer is a cooperative game that is played at a fast pace that depends on the help of one’s fellow teammates. By training hard and following the guidelines above it is possible for one to fall in love with the game. In conclusion, these steps can lead young players to better perform on the field and learn the game of soccer.