How To Play Midfield in Soccer

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Be fit. The first thing that any mid will need is not exactly speed or pace, but the ability to run for a full 90 minutes. As a mid, you are not only responsible for building your attack, but also you are the first line of defense.

Step 2

You have to be able to get up to support your forwards and at the turn of possession you need to work back to protect your own goal.

Step 3

Have a good touch and technique. As a midfielder you will need to be able to receive a ball, keep it, find another player in an open space, or look to attack.

Step 4

You must be able to take at least one defender on - when it comes down to it, being able to dribble is key. Without it you will turn the ball over, leading to a fast break for the other team.

Step 5

So, being able to keep the ball and find an open player is important. Finding open space is a big plus for a mid.

Step 6

You must have great vision as well on the attacking end, you must look to not only find open space and play a forward or wing into that space, but you also must learn how to create spaces for people as well as yourself.

Step 7

To create space for others you will need to look for open gaps between defenders. Don't be afraid to take on a defender in the final third or mid. Creating space for yourself is a different story. It all becomes about movement off the ball, find open spaces to take pressure off the player with the ball.

Step 8

One of the biggest things about attacking as a mid is the ability to receive the ball and turn, (my favorite part about the job.)

Step 9

Be creative with your turns in the mid and final third. In the back don't be so quick to turn, know if you have the time to do so by listening to your teammates. If you don't think you'll be able to turn, always remember it's best to play the way you face.

Step 10

Don't be afraid to pass back to defenders. Just make sure when you do check to and away from the ball to open up lanes.

Step 11

Defending is a must. As a midfielder, you are the first line of defense. You cannot jog back carefully and get beat by your man.

Step 12

You have to be able to stick players and stick with players, diving in is a huge no-no. Contain the ball until you see your player make his move. Once he does, you attack the ball, don't be afraid to commit a foul away from goal. It gives your guys a chance to get back and catch their breath.

Step 13

Another part of defending is ironically attacking. Building from the back is a great way to mount your attack but you need to remember that your building from the back through quick and accurate passing - not dribbling. In the back, the play should be one or two touches each, one if you can - two if you must.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Passing is key, run a lot of passing drills along with one on ones. Being able to turn on a dime is going to help you in heaps in the mid, it creates a bunch of space and opportunities to attack.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I have played Mid all my life, Center mid to be specific and I absolutely love every second of it. You get to see the ball more than anyone else on the pitch, it's great. When I got to college we had to identify positions, naturally I chose mid, after assessing the abilities of each player our coach reassigned us positions putting me at forward. I didn't see anytime until late in the season as our team was struggling to keep the ball and find our attackers feet, especially in the air. He told me before one game I was going to start in the center and I was excited, but after he told me that he said, I want you to get in there win balls in the air and take balls away from their mids, once you've done that I want you to get rid of the ball as soon as you do. I was demoralized and upset that he wasn't sure about my technical ability but at the same time inspired that I had some of the right tools. Finding out this made me work way harder at the other skills that I was lacking. I played well that game, doing as he said and I even snaked a goal. He was impressed by my skill and I became a regular part of the team, which was great considering I scored in the first game I ever dressed let alone played in.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

Midfield has been in my blood since I was young, I love every minute of it and love working at my technique. I started playing that role because I could run for days and had great vision.

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