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Play Well As a Soccer Defender

Becoming a good defender in soccer is something that takes time and you need to be aware of that. In fact, to become good at any soccer position you need to practice a lot. However, your practice doesn't always need to involve physical effort. You may also study professional players by bringing a note block and try to answer following questions:

- What is the professional player doing in order to mark his opponent? - Does he clear the ball directly in dangerous situations? - Is he following up in offense attacks or does he prefer to stay on his own side of the field.

It is important to study these players properly and try to mimic their way of playing. However, you should not try to copy their personality as it will not help you on the field.

While playing as defender you need to pose good speed, domination in the air (more about this later) and good ball handling skills. There are of course many other things that are equally important like understanding different formations or tactics.

Being able to dominate the game in the air is probably the most important skill you need to master as defender. The reason for this is that you will often find yourself in heading battles with one or two opponents.

If you already have good heading abilities then you should try to work on improving them even more. Perfection does not exist in soccer. You need to always work hard in order to improve but also maintain your current skills.

I always like to explain things with real world examples and this article is not different. Let's assume that you are playing a cup final. During the game you have been put in 20 heading duels and won all of them. However, the result is still 1-1 and your team is going for a winning goal.

But, during one contra attack the ball is crossed inside your penalty kick area. While the ball is flying toward your 18 yard box (penalty kick area) you are completely sure that you will win the heading duel.

However, you fail with stopping your opponent to get a touch on the ball and he scores. The game is over and everybody is watching at you (even if your teammates don't blame you, the anger in their faces will tell you how they feel).

So, what do I actually want to tell you with this example? Well, as you realize, you were performing pretty well until you made the jumping too late mistake. Always keep in mind that a game is not over before the referee blows his whistle. It is therefore important to keep your focus through the whole game and always be on your toes.

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