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3 Tips to Make Play Predictable as a Defender

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

Soccer goalie defending the soccer goal

In this post, I’ll share 3 tips to make play predictable as a defender.

Predictability in defending helps you win the ball back more effectively.

It comes down to two main things: positioning and communication.

Let’s get started!

1. Force Them to Use Their Weaker Foot

This tip is all about positioning.

When defending, it's always best if you can force your opponent to their weaker foot.

You do this by positioning your body to funnel the attacker. See the example below.

An illustration of pushing the attacher to their weaker foot

If you have a teammate nearby, you can also funnel the attacker into a double team (2v1) situation.

Using a double team to defend an attacker

One thing to remember is you don't want to be too close or too far.

In order to funnel properly, direct the opponent by turning your hips the way you want them to go.

2. Force Them Away from the Goal

Similar to the first tip, you want to make sure you force the opposing player away from the goal.

To accomplish this, you can push them toward the sideline or backwards.

You want to make sure you are cutting off their angles to the goal by standing in their way.

Remember, you don’t always have to win the ball immediately in order to stop an attack.

If you can divert it by directing it somewhere else, you are doing a great job.

3. Communicate with Your Teammates

Communication goes hand in hand with positioning.

In order to be the most effective, you will need to communicate with your voice and with your body language.

When you push an opponent to their weaker foot or force them away from the goal, it will communicate your intent to your teammates.

It should be clear to them what you are trying to do.

You also want to talk constantly with your teammates so that they know where you are and what you are doing.


When play is predictable, you are more likely to win the ball....and ultimately, the entire match! Remember to...

  • Force them to their weaker foot

  • Force them away from goal

  • Communicate with your team

Use these tips to improve your defending and dominate the other team.

Good luck!

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