How to Play Stopper in Soccer
If you play soccer, then you'll want to know how to play stopper in soccer. While it has many similarities to the other positions within the game, there are some unique attributes. To play stopper in soccer, you have to improve your game in four main stances:
- Aerial. Headers are a big part of the stopper´s job. In defense, but also in attack positions, the stopper should be able to connect the ball accurately.
- Positioning. The stopper should always be thinking his next move according to his opponent´s, and also to his teammates. Remember that a player that covers more field is not the one who runs more, but the one who does so wisely.
- One on one. Being able to take the ball off the opponent without committing a foul is the stoppers goal. Make a smart use of your body when going for the ball, tackle wisely, and you´ll be doing a good job.
- Attack. When possible, the stopper should also participate in attacking moves. Always keep an eye on your teammates positions, and carefully evaluate when your help is needed and when it´s not. Remember, a stopper´s main objective is to defend.
Those stances will definitely be part of what is necessary to play as stopper in soccer. Most of the players are stronger in some areas than in others. However, there´s no need to be perfect. Try to improve the aspects of your game that seem weaker, but don´t give up improving your strong ones. For a recreational level, being able to clear the ball should be enough.
Certain abilities, such as precision heading or one on one marking will only improve when you play. So don´t hesitate, go out and play, but also work on your individual skills. Exercises such as keeping the ball in the air while heading will improve your accuracy when playing. Always keep your eyes on the ball while heading. This way, your capacity to direct shots will be greater.