What is the Best Position the Really Learn Soccer as a Youth?

Young soccer players fighting for the ball - (Photo: Nl.sportanddev.org)

Throughout one’s youth soccer experience, players should really try out as many different positions as possible, even goalie.  How will you know where you can fit in best on the soccer field if you don’t try every position?  Additionally, with so many children yet to hit their growth spurts, the big center back of this year might end up being the shortest person on the field 3 years later, and may actually be better equipped to be a winger.  But without any practice, he probably wouldn’t be all that good if he had to start over in a new position.  The point I’m making is that soccer for a youth needs to be explored, meaning every position should be attempted.  But while that statement is true, there is one position on the field that can be the most beneficial to a young player.

That position is central midfield.  There are countless reasons why this position is so valuable to a developing soccer player, but the first thing that comes to mind is that the midfielder must do a little bit of everything.  He or she is in the middle of every attack, and can send in the forward passes that lead to goals.  They rush back to defend and learn how to steal the ball.  Also, they can even get in on the action and fire in a goal as well.  Midfield is a true footballer’s position, but here’s another factor that should persuade you to try this position:

Touches!  The most important thing for any young soccer player is to simply get as many touches on the soccer ball as physically possible.  With every touch will come increased comfort, experience, muscle memory, and skill on the ball.  Touches in competitive games are even better as they force you to play under scrutiny and pressure.  In the midfield, you will get far more touches than any other position.  You will always be in the middle of the action and will get the most practice and joy in soccer.  Meanwhile those on the periphery will only get sniffs at the ball.  Sure, a striker gets to sit in front of the goal and wait for chances, but if you’re team is struggling, those chances will be hard to come by.

The thing about touches is that they should be counted in the thousands, and tens of thousands.  While those touches will only accumulate through endless soccer playing and practicing on the ball, you will surely find the most touches in the position of central midfield during a soccer game over the years.

And so when you join your new soccer team for the new season, be sure to ask about playing central midfield and get yourself right into the middle of every soccer game.  But also, don’t be afraid to try every position on the field.  The important thing is to try playing soccer all over the field and not feel confined to a specific role.  Let that be determined when you are ready to become a professional!



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