Choosing the right position can be one of the hardest decisions to make when you start out. To help you answer the important decision of “offense vs defense”, you must:
Understand your playing preferences
The first thing you should ask yourself is “where would you like to play on the football field?” It’s possible that your first answer may be “I want to play offense because I like the idea of scoring goals.” The reality is though that it’s not as simple as that.
If you like passing and having the ball at your feet, you may like to consider a position in midfield. Others, who may like the pure speed and thrill of running down the sidelines and getting the ball passed to them, are best suited to being wingbacks or wingers. You might also find that you like the idea of playing defense.
After all, there is an age old saying “attack may win matches, but defense wins championships.” You must also remember to stay away from positions you dislike as they are never a good place to start out. One amazing way to find out what position you might be suited for is to analyze the players you watch and respect.
Recognize your biggest strengths
This is probably the best indicator of whether you will be suited to playing defense or offense in football. What you like and what you are good at may be two completely different things when it comes to picking your position on the football field.
Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “what skills and physical attributes do I have which give me an edge over other players?” If you are tall and bulky you may be a good fit for a defender, whilst if you are nimble and fast, your preferred position might be attacking midfielder or striker.
Your attributes will determine your position on the field as well as your playing style. Every defensive and attacking position requires a different type of physicality and mindset. Being honest with yourself will help you figure out a match between your skill, build and mindset.
Be able to adapt to the game
A lesser known fact is that most players do not play in the same position throughout their career. They are forced to constantly adapt based on their age, coach’s tactics and the circumstances their team finds itself in.
Even if you look at a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, he transitioned from a pure winger to an out-and-out striker. The real lesson for you here is that the more adaptable and willing you are to play in multiple positions depending on what your team needs, the more you will probably be rewarded with a spot in the starting 11.
Here are some ways in which you will be able to figure out your offensive or defensive position on a football field:
- Coach’s choice
Your coach will have a big say in where you play on the football field. He/she will have studied your game and physical attributes and will be your biggest influencer in whether you play defense or offense.
- Random chance
Your position on the field might be decided by pure chance. If your teammate is shown a red card and you are asked to fill in playing a new position, a position you may end up doing well in and enjoying playing in.
- By trying out many positions
It is very possible that you figure out your best position, whether defensive or attacking, while trying out many positions on the field over time.