The best offense in sports they say is a good defense. This holds true in soccer because good defending can spring your team forward on the counter attack.

The focus of today’s blog is going to be a series of soccer defense tips and soccer defense techniques for defenders to improve their defensive skill. Allowing them to learn how to play defense in soccer no matter where they are on the pitch.

How to Play Defense in Soccer: Our Defensive Tips

Eliminate Space

Common soccer defensive tactics include closing down your opponent and eliminating space. When your opponent has time on the ball it makes it easier for them to pick out a teammate with a pass or a cross.

In order to disrupt them and not make that pass or cross easier, you need to close down your opponent as soon as possible. Putting pressure on attackers makes them play the ball quicker than they want to, giving you, the defender, the advantage.

Defensive Soccer Tactics: Closing Down

Positioning

Each position on the pitch is going to have different position guidelines, depending on where you are on the field. In general, there is one main positioning tip that will help you as a defender no matter where you are. Don’t play your man straight up with your hips and feet perfectly in line.

In order to play better defense at all times. Tilt yourself at an angle forcing your opponent away from the goal. This is called staying goal side and is a very important fundamental in individual defense as well as team defense. When your team loses the ball, it is important to get and stay goal side to limit your opponent’s offensive chances.

Soccer Defensive Tactics: Positioning

Stay Calm

One of the best tips for soccer defenders is to stay calm, cool and collective at all times. Being a good defender requires hard work and the right mentality. No matter how successful you are as a defender attacking players from time to time will get the best of you.

This could lead to a free kick or even worse a goal but you have to have a short memory and stay calm. If you get rattled when you make a bad play you will start to think instead of reacting. Thinking leads to indecision and bad defense.

Soccer Defense Tips: Staying Calm

Passing and Decision Making

Believe it or not, your passing and decision making with the ball is a key component of defense soccer. If you are rushed on the ball deep in your own territory and make a bad pass or decision you can expose your side to a scoring opportunity.

This may not always be a concept taught when covering soccer defensive techniques but it is something all players must be aware of.

Soccer Defensive Tactics: Passing

Communication

When asking the question, how to defend like a pro? The answer isn’t always a physical or a technical one that involves advanced soccer tactics. Not all situations can be dealt with on your own and therefore communication with your teammates is vital.

Stay in constant communication with your teammates so you can deal with the variety of attacking situations that may come your way. Soccer is a game with great flow and not everything will happen in a text book fashion. You will have to call for help with double-teams or communicate on how to deal with an overlap constantly.

Stay in communication with your fellow defenders and most importantly your goal keeper in order to put yourself under un-needed pressure.

Hot Soccer Tips: Communication Drill

Tackling Tips

In soccer, tackling is a form of emergency defending that should not be used often. Here are a few soccer tackling tips:

• Tackling is all about timing. Tackle too soon and you will miss the ball. Tackle too late and you will risk injuring your opponent and picking up a red or yellow card.
• When slide tackling approach from the side. Tackles from behind have generally been outlawed from the game if you win the ball or not.
• Tackle using the leg furthest from the ball and be sure to bend that leg slightly.

Soccer Tackling Tips

Summary: How to Defend Like a Pro

Why are Soccer Defense Techniques important?

Defending is not as glamorous as scoring goals for most players but is every much as important in the game of soccer. Defense can be very rewarding as well for players with the proper mentality.

With the above soccer defending tips you can become a better defender who will take pride in the dirty work that most players often do not want to do. Practicing soccer defense techniques are sure to improve your game and will separate you from the pack. So get on out there and train the right way using our soccer defense tips.

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