How to Improve Your Play as a Central Defender

The central defender is the heart of the defense in a college soccer team, and is charged with the organization of the defensive line, the offside trap and leading the team from behind. Here are some of the aspects of your game you need to focus on to improve your overall play:

Organizing the defensive line
As the central defender, you're the last line of defense. Ensuring that your fellow defenders maintain the formation and height of the line and that you cover the right positions with respect to gaps in the formation and your marking strategy is one of the crucial aspects of your play.

Supporting the midfield
Great central defenders always maintain an appropriate height of the defensive line, such that you don't drift to far from the midfielders. Position yourself so that you're able to feed the midfielders without any risky passes near your end of the pitch, while also covering any gaps in the midfield.

Lead from the back
A central defender is expected to lead from the back competently, marshaling other defenders to plug gaps and cover advancing players. Effective leadership necessitates excellent communication with the other players, and clearly established roles as practiced in training drills. 

Having a skilled and competent central defender at the back who can lead the defense effectively frees up the attacking players to move forward at will, while also boosting the confidence of the goalkeeper. Follow these basic tips to improve your game in this role, and you'll find yourself as part of the better organized defensive units in the college soccer season. 


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