It’s a matter of fact, some players are going to be faster than others. Whether their speed is something they have specifically worked on or something that has come to them naturally. However, speed isn’t everything in soccer, there are loads of other factors that play a role in being a top soccer player. These are the best soccer positions for slow players.
These are the 3 best soccer positions for slow players
In no specific order, these are the best soccer positions for slow players:
- Center midfielder
Below I go into more detail as to why these are the best soccer positions for slow players as well as the different qualities needed to excel in these positions as a slow player.
There are also examples of slow professional players below, who make up for their speed in other attributes.
It’s important to remember that speed is relative when comparing professional soccer players. The slowest soccer players are probably much faster than the average person!
Why the striker position is best for slow players
The striker is the focal point of any team and is the player who is expected to score the most goals come to the end of the season.
A slow striker will typically play in the central position either in the middle of a front 3, as a target player in a front 2, or play as a lone striker.
Here is a complete guide on how to be a striker in soccer.
3 reasons why one of the best positions in soccer for slow players is a striker
Slower players make better target players
The typically slower player in soccer is utilized as a target player.
These are players for who the ball is played up and their role is to control the ball with the back to play and bring in their teammates into the attack.
This is perfect for slow players in soccer because speed is not required to be a great target player.
You don’t need to be fast to score goals
A great thing about being a slow striker is that if you score goals it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are
As long as you score goals!
To get in great scoring positions slow players will analyze the game around them and be smarter with their movements to ensure that they are in great goal-scoring opportunities
Better team players
Slower strikers will tend to be better team players because they know that they need the help of their teammates to get into good scoring positions.
Even if the slow player cannot go forward they will always try to help their team keep possession of the ball.
Fast strikers will want to get the ball and look to beat the defender with their speed at every opportunity.
This can sometimes cause them to run down blind alleys and lose possession of the ball.
Qualities needed for a slow striker
If you are a slow player looking to become a striker then these are the qualities you will need to focus on.
Good game sense
Often the slowest players are the players who can find themselves in the best scoring opportunities.
This doesn’t happen by chance!
To make up for their lack of speed slow players will become better observers of the game.
That means the slow players will take in all the information around them and anticipate what could happen next.
This includes the opposition players and teammates.
The more you scan and look around in soccer, the more information you can take in which means you are more likely to make better decisions with your movements.
Great at finishing
As mentioned previously to be a good striker you just need to be able to score goals.
Regardless of whether you are a fast or slow player in soccer, to be a top striker you need to be able to put away your chances.
To help improve your finishing you need to practice:
- With both feet
- Different parts of the foot
- Finishing from different angles inside and outside the box
- Practice finishing from close and long range
- Practice scoring from crosses
On top of this, you need to make sure that you take your shots as soon as you think you can score.
This will increase the chances of catching the opposition goalkeeper and defenders off guard
Become a target player for your team
As a slow player, you need to play to your strengths, which is getting the ball played into your feet!
When you are looking to receive the ball to your feet with your back to the goal you first need to create space for yourself.
This is done by dragging the defender away from the space you want to receive the ball in with your first movement.
Your second movement should be towards the space you want to receive the ball in.
When playing as a target player, you should receive the ball on the front foot and in a side-on-body position.
This puts as much space as possible between the ball and the defender.
Great slow strikers in soccer
These are some of the greatest slow strikers in soccer:
Gonzalo Higuain is a striker who was renowned for his finishing ability, power, and strength.
He wasn’t the fastest player but it didn’t matter because he scored his fair share of goals!
Why the center midfielder position is best for slow players
The central midfielder in soccer is the engine room of the team and they work incredibly hard for the team.
Their main roles included helping the team break down play in the middle of the pitch while also playing crucial passes going forward to put the opposition on the back foot.
3 reasons why one of the best positions in soccer for slow players is a center midfielder
There is always a player covering you
Usually, there is not a lot of space in the central areas of the pitch, which means that players are unlikely to get to top speed in these areas.
If a player does manage to beat you, there will always be a line of defenders covering you.
You just have to do enough to force the opposition player into a mistake.
Perfect for players who are better at running long distances as opposed to short sprints
The players who play in this position must be able to work hard for extended periods of time.
A center midfielder is a player on the pitch who will usually cover the most ground in a game, working from box to box.
This means chasing down loose balls, pressing opposition players, and bringing the ball out from defense.
Their energy is focused on short bursts, of quick changes in direction.
Central midfielders often make the least amount of sprints in a game of soccer.
You don’t need to be fast to play good-quality passes
As a central midfielder, your role is to break down play and help start attacks.
Both of these roles require no speed.
Finding positions between opposition defensive lines to receive the ball from teammates, and playing passes through opposition defensive lines is one of the most effective ways to start attacks.
The best players in the world can do this at a walking pace.
Qualities needed for a slow center midfielder
if you are a slow player looking to as a central midfielder, then these are the qualities you should focus on
Great at finding passing lanes
Some of the best slow central midfielders are able to walk into space to receive the ball.
They make it look incredibly easy to do.
To find passing lanes you must always be looking to play on the half turn and focus on creating angles to receive the ball between opposition players.
You must be aware of your teammates’ movements too.
As one player checks out of space (usually dragging a defender with them), there is an opening for you to move into to receive the ball.
Because you are playing on the half turn, when you receive the ball you can immediately turn and play forward provided you are not being pressured from behind
Composed on the ball
This comes from being completely aware of your surroundings when receiving the ball.
You are aware of your teammates’ positioning as well as the opposition’s positioning.
To be constantly painting a picture of what is going on around you you must be continuously scanning and checking your shoulder.
This will give you more time on the ball and make better quality, faster decisions.
Being the In the middle of the pitch you have options to play forward, sideways and backward.
You will always have options on the ball, it’s just about making the best pass.
Range of passing
Once you receive the ball you should have the confidence to play short or player long.
The best slow center midfielders have great passing range.
They are comfortable receiving and passing with both feet as well as playing first passes too!
When receiving the ball you should be in an open body position and controlling the ball with your back foot.
To improve the quality of your passes you should get a lot of repetition playing short passes using the inside of your foot and low drive passes and long balls played with the instep using both feet.
Great slow center midfielders in soccer
Andrea Pirlo is the master of waking football.
He made up for his lack of speed with his extreme compose on the ball and his ability to find space in the most unlikely of places.
He also had incredible passing range!
Why the goalkeeper position is best for slow players
The goalkeepers are the shot-stoppers of the team.
It’s their responsibility to prevent any shots on the target from becoming goals.
As well as blocking shots, the goalkeeper must be comfortable playing with the ball at their feet to help their team keep possession of the ball.
This a complete guide on to play as a goalkeeper in soccer
3 reasons why one of the best positions in soccer for slow players is a center midfielder
The goalkeepers make the least sprints
In soccer goalkeepers usually remain in one area of the pitch, and they usually don’t have to run too much.
Out of all the positions in soccer, goalkeepers make the least amount the least amount of sprints.
Keepers can make up for their lack of speed with better positioning
The only time goalkeepers will sprint is when they are coming out to claim the ball or to close down a striker through on goal.
To help counteract this a goalkeeper can work on their positioning.
If a goalkeeper starts further off their goal line they reduce the distance between themselves and the ball.
This gives them less ground to cover when need to come out and claim the ball.
Your speed doesn’t matter if you stop goals
Speed actually makes up a tiny percentage of a goalkeeper’s overall games.
Regardless of how fast or slow a goalkeeper is, providing a team with match-winning saves is crucial to your success
Qualities needed for a slow goalkeeper
If you are a slow player these are the qualities you need to focus on to be a goalkeeper
Confident decision making
If you are playing as a slow goalkeeper you need to be confident in your decisions, especially when coming off your line.
Quick goalkeepers may be able to get themselves out of trouble with their speed, easier than slow goalkeepers.
Decision-making is hard to practice, it comes from playing experience.
So the more you play, the better your decision-making becomes.
It is important to remember that you will make mistakes as a goalkeeper, take them as lessons learned!
Comfortable with the ball at their feet
A keeper should be comfortable with the ball at their feet.
If your team has possession of the ball then the opposition can’t score!
To give yourself more time and space on the ball you need to:
- Create angles to receive the ball from teammates
- Receive the ball on the back foot in an open-body position
- Pass with both feet
- Practice a variety of short passes and long passes.
These things will help you get better with the ball at your feet as a slow goalkeeper.
As mentioned previously, as a goalkeeper you can work on your positioning to help make up for your lack of speed.
The best way to do this is to get a lot of practice saving shots from 1v1 situations.
While playing make sure that you are always watching the movements of the striker.
This will help give you a clue as to what they could be planning to do.
You can stay one step ahead of the game by anticipating what the opposition strikers are going to do.
Great slow goalkeepers in soccer
Buffon is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Through years of goalkeeping, he was able to position himself well and consistently make the best decisions.
He could also play with the ball at his feet!
Final thoughts on the best soccer positions for slow players
As a soccer player, don’t allow your speed to stop you from playing your favorite positions.
There are some positions on the pitch that may be more suited to slow players.
This post just is highlighting what could be the best soccer positions for slow players.
In professional soccer, there are slow players who play a variety of positions.
They have focused on other parts of their game so their speed isn’t an issue.
You can do the same!
Your speed is something you can improve off the pitch if you put in the work!
These are the best soccer player workouts and exercises to take your power and speed to the next level.
If you found this post on the best soccer positions for slow players helpful or know a player that would then please share it with them!
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