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How To Play Center Back

Free Soccer Training video focused on how to play center back.  At Online Soccer Academy (OSA) we make BETTER Soccer Players / Football Players through FREE soccer tutorials.  We inspire athletes that if you Believe in it® and back that up with hard work, anything in life is possible. 

This Video Covers: Soccer Positions - Soccer Players - Soccer Player - Soccer Defense Drills - Center Back - Centerback - Central Defender - Soccer - How To Play Soccer - Soccer Coach - Coaching Soccer - Soccer Drills - Football Soccer - Soccer Football - Soccer World - Soccer Video - Soccer Training - Soccer Videos - Online Soccer Academy - OSA - John Terry -Matt Besler

 

How To Play Center Back

 

Today we are learning how to play center back.  This is the central defender on the back line.  Usually your central defenders are very tall, fast and strong at the pro level.  The best central defenders are smart with the ball, great passers and read the game well. They position themselves to be in the right spot at the right time to win the ball.  

You DO NOT need to be tall to play this position, but it of course helps.       
 
There are many different parts to playing center back.  This video will cover a few general ideas on how to play the position, things to think about and an exercise to practice. 

First the role of a center back.  In my opinion a center back should be a great leader, good ball distributor and they should be able to read the game well so they can anticipate plays right before they happen. 

A center back mantra could be, “I organize my defense, put myself in the right position to win the ball and pass simply out of the back.”


Tip #1

Your job as center back is NOT to be the playmaker.  When you get the ball make a simple pass to one of your open teammates. 

Tip #2

Be accurate with your headers and passing out of the back.  Keep it simple and look for your first pass.  Take pride in completing your passes.  

Even your headers!  Don’t just head the ball forward.  Try to head a ball to your teammate, think of it like a pass; not a clearance.  Matt Besler of the US Men’s National Team is good at this.  

Yes, sometimes it’s not on to pass for a header.  In that case you should head it clear up the field and hope a teammate wins the 2nd ball. 

Tip #3

Position yourself and read the game well.  If you see a ball is about to be played over the top behind your right Fullback, your right back is about to get beat for pace by their attacker and there is no offside opportunity then get the first break on the ball and run to where the ball is being kicked. 

As you run to the ball in the right back part of the field, shout at your right back to cover for you at center back until the play is over.

Chelsea’s John Terry is a great example of a center back that reads the game well. He puts himself in a good position to win the ball just by being in the right spot at the right time.  It’s not luck, it’s him being smart.  

Tip #4

DO NOT commit to half field tackles to early.  Typically if an attacker is running at you around half field, then the smart thing to do is drop instead of stepping up to win the tackle in open field.  
  
Tip #5

Organize your back line.  Tell them to step up, drop, shift left, shift right.  

A simple trick to help see if everyone is in line is put your arms out to your side.  If you do that and see your right back is behind the line 5 yards, shout at them.  Step up and move your arm forward.

Tip #6

Win your aerial battles!  These are your 50/50 headers. 

Tip #7

Stand with your body open to the field. 

Tip #8

When in doubt kick it out!  If you are in a situation where it’s tight, attackers are all around you and you don’t have a clean passing option DO NOT try to make a pass out of the back.  Kick it out for a throw in, corner kick or clear it up the field and give your team a chance to re group.  

Better to be safe in this situation.  Versus trying to pass out of the back when it’s not on. If you lose the ball here your mistake may lead to a goal.  


Exercise Player Can Do:
 
An exercise we can do to practice.  We are going to work on directional heading.  

For directional heading you will need a partner, a few balls and 4 cones.

Your partner has the ball in their hands.  They do a two hand, underhanded toss to you as the center back. You then head the ball to option 1, 2 or 3 which are the cones we have set up.  These represent your teammates.  Do a few sets and then switch with your partner.  

Start easy without having the center back jump.  Then do it where on the toss they have to jump and head the ball.  After a few sets of them jumping, do it where you chip pass them the ball with your feet from distance.  


What Player Could Be Doing Wrong:
 
If you keep making bad passes and losing the ball stop trying to be a playmaker.  Just make a simple pass to a teammate.


Bonus Tip:
 
Just because you have 30 yards of space ahead of you as a center back doesn’t mean you have to dribble. Sometimes yes, dribble, but for the most part make a pass and keep the ball moving.


This Video Covers: Soccer Positions - Soccer Players - Soccer Player - Soccer Defense Drills - Center Back - Centerback - Central Defender - Soccer - How To Play Soccer - Soccer Coach - Coaching Soccer - Soccer Drills - Football Soccer - Soccer Football - Soccer World - Soccer Video - Soccer Training - Soccer Videos - Online Soccer Academy - OSA - John Terry -Matt Besler