The skills necessary for attacking are easy to distinguish-dribbling, passing, shooting. And these are usually the skills which are given the most focus when it comes to training. But when you say defense, it’s a little difficult to say what skills are actually required. Sure, the basic attacking skills are also taught to defensive players, but there’s a whole set of necessary skills that a defender should have.

Defending is mostly instinctual and based on good timing. These things aren’t really easy to teach. So the best way to learn how to defend is to actually play the position in training session and games.

Core Strength

A good defender should be physical and have body strength, specifically core strength. Core training focuses on the stomach and abdomen area. If you have good core strength, then it will take an opponent more than a push to bring you down. Remember, you are the wall that prevents the attacking team from scoring, so look at yourself that way. You should be a strong wall where you can put your body on the line to prevent and stop attackers from breaching your defense line.

There are three ways to defend: containment, interception, and tackling.


Containment is when you guard or follow the attacker, blocking his path to dribble and pass.


Interception is when you stand between the attacker and his teammates so when he makes the pass, you can steal the ball that’s heading towards his teammate.


Tackling is when you actually fight for the ball.

Things to Remember

When you decide to defend, remember these tips: bend your knees and keep low, this will make it easier for you to change direction. Do the jockey position, wherein one of your feet is in front of the other, making you change your step easier. Focus your attention on the ball, and not on the player’s feet. If everything fails and he gets by you, do not fret. Chase after him and pressure, until he loses balance.

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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