Stop Overthinking Your Soccer Position

Stop Overthinking Your Soccer Position

I had a chat with my son this past weekend about his current soccer position. He was hesitant in his play and “didn’t know what to do or where he should be on the field”. As I’m listening attentively, I’m just thinking in my head that he is clearly overthinking things.

Stop Overthinking Your Soccer Position

When he goes out there and just plays, he’s good. When he overthinks things, he’s more ineffective. This happens to most young athletes. Heck, this happens to professional athletes. That’s why confidence is so important. You know what to do and you just do it (sorry Nike).

Now, back to the story.

For the past five seasons, my son has primarily played in the attacking midfielder position. At the end of last season and the start of this one, he was moved out to the left and right wing. I think this is great because of his attacking abilities and versatility.

Well, sometimes he struggles because it’s a newer position. He’s overthinking where he should be on defense, what he should be doing when he gets the ball, whether he should cross it or attack the D, etc. There are so many things going on in his head. And, it’s doing him a disservice to his game.

Here’s what I told him and I think this applies to any youth player who is spending more time thinking than playing.

“It doesn’t matter what position you are in, you’re still playing soccer. And, you’ve been practicing to play all these years so you know what to do. If you only focus on two things, good things will continue to happen…

  1. Be focused and energized from the first whistle.
  2. Attack offensively and make plays happen (insert what is expected of the player at a high-level).

Focus on only these two things and you’ll do great!”

I wanted to keep it simple and on things he can control. I think effort is always priority #1. The second point would be to address what position you are in and what is expected at a high level from a team perspective.

Try to avoid overcomplicating it like “I should do this if this happens”. Honestly, there are so many variables that are out of your control during games.

You’re best bet is to bet on yourself and simply play soccer…like you know how.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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