Master The Art On How To Lose Your Marker In Soccer

Soccer is a game full of chaos! It’s end to end, exhilarating, and fast-paced. As a player, you may only get a limited time on the ball to shine and have a positive impact on the game. This can be made increasingly difficult by defenders who are trying to stop you because they see you as a threat. By the end of this post, you will know everything you need to lose your marker in soccer so you can influence the game to your best ability.

What is losing your marker?

Being able to lose your marker in soccer is the ability to create space for yourself by fooling the opposition player.

This could be a center back, fullback, or even a number 6.

This can be done in numerous different ways, but you essentially make the opposition player think you are moving towards one space but heading towards another space.

You can also work with your teammates to drag defenders out of position and cause confusion for the opposing team.

You can also lose your marker in soccer by looking at what the defenders are not doing.

For example, if a defender is not scanning the area as frequently as they should, or not communicating effectively with their teammates.

Essential skills that will help you lose your marker in soccer

There are a variety of different techniques you can use to help lose your marker in soccer.

Below are my 4 top skills you need to know to make you incredibly hard to mark.

Movement

If you are getting marked out of the game the chances you are very static.

The more you move the harder you are to mark, but you need to be specific and clever with your movements.

If you are aimlessly moving for the sake of moving you’re going to give yourself a lot of extra work with no end product.

Here is how you can lose your marker and create space for yourself:

  • Identify which space you want to receive the ball in
  • Your first movement will be away from that space for the defender
  • The second movement will be back towards the space where you want to receive the ball
  • The second movement should also be combined with a sharp change of direction and pace
  • Depending on the situation you may need to make 2 or movements for the defender to eventually receive the ball in the space that you want

Here is how you can lose your marker in soccer with the help of a teammate:

  • Firstly make sure you communicate with your teammate so you are on the same page and know what is happening
  • The goal here is for them yourself and your teammate to move into each other’s spaces
  • This will pull defenders out of their comfortable position.
  • Both the defenders will be in a dilemma of either following their player or communicating with each other to swap the players they are marking
  • The time delay in the defenders’ communication and the decision should give you that extra second to lose your marker

Playing the defender blind spots

In soccer, a blind spot is considered an area that a player cannot see without turning their head.

As an attacking player, you should always look to find spaces in opposition players’ blind spots.

Defenders will be having to constantly check their shoulders and rely on their teammate’s communication to know where they are.

This plays massively into your hands when trying to lose your marker.

Here is how to effectively play in the opposition’s blind spots:

  • The best blind spots find are between the two center-backs or the center back and fullback
  • When you make your first movement make sure the defender sees it when they check their shoulder
  • Your second and third movement should now be made when the defender’s back is turned
  • Remember your first movements should be for the defender.
  • Curve your runs and make runs across the backline.
  • This should give you extra time to lose your marker as there will be a delay in communication from opposition defenders.

Use teammates as blockades in set-pieces

This technique for losing your marker in soccer is a lot less subtle than the previous skills but it can be just effective.

Using your teammates as blockage will prevent opposition defenders from being able to mark you touch-tight.

This means you can make your movements and attack certain areas from set-pieces a lot easier as you’ll be put under less pressure from the defender.

Have a look at different corner kick tactics here

How to use your teammates as a blockade in soccer:

  • Start your run on the edge of the box, this allows you a nice run-up to attacking the anticipated cross.
  • Stand behind your teammates and as close to your teammate as possible. This will prevent a defender to stand in between yourself and your teammate
  • Mimic your teammates’ movement, to stay out of sight from the defender
  • As the cross is being delivered peel off your teammate
  • The defender trying to mark you now has to try to get to you through not only your teammate, but the defender also marking your teammate.

Receive the ball in positions where the defenders are not comfortable

As an attacker, you need to have the confidence to look for different positions where you can receive the ball.

This will force defenders out of a position where they feel comfortable into a position where they do not feel comfortable.

The defender marling you will become a lot more cautious of being dragged out of position to mark you, which means you will have more time on the ball.

To gain this knowledge on the defender you need to pay close attention to what they do on the ball and off-ball to help you spot potential weaknesses in their game that you could exploit.

Here are some weaknesses you can look out for which can help you lose your marker:

  • Figure out which foot is the defender’s dominant foot, so you can look to receive the ball in a position where you are up against their weaker foot
  • Try and get a gauge for how fast a defender is, slow players will hate to be pulled out wide!
  • How likely is the defender going to over-commit to a challenge to win? these types of players will be easily dragged out of position.

Soccer drills to help you lose your marker

Download these soccer drills as a free PDF at the bottom of the page

Soccer tag to help players lose their marker

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to encourage players to lose their marker to receive the ball.

Set up:

  • 15 x 15-yard area
  • 2 soccer balls
  • 6 Players (2 taggers)
  • 2 pinnies for the taggers

How the drill works:

This drill aims to try not to get tagged by one of the taggers.

Players can only get tagged when they do not have the ball.

So this means that they will be having to make movements and changes of direction to lose the tagger and receive the ball.

If a player gets tagged, they take the pinnie from the tagger and become the new tagger.

This will also improve players’ communication with each other and the speed of decision-making.

Coaching points:

  • Your first movements should be for the defender (tagger) with your last movement being the one to receive the ball in space.
  • Communicate with your teammates to let them know when and where you want to receive the ball.
  • If you are on the ball play with your head up so you can make decisions quicker

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you create space for yourself to receive the ball?
  • What can you do to let people know where and when you want to receive a pass?
  • How can you spot the movements of your teammates if you are on the ball?

Rondo soccer drill to lose your marker

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to help players lose their markers between defensive lines.

Set up:

  • 10 x 10-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 7 players ( 2 defenders)

How the drill works:

On the outside of the square set up one player per side. In the middle of the square, there will be 2 defenders with the attacker.

Every time a pass is successfully played to the attacker in the middle and then successfully played to a player on the outside that will be 1 point.

The goal of the attacker in the middle is to try to play in the defenders’ blind spots and make small movements so they can receive the ball in space.

Coaching points:

  • You should be constantly scanning the area, so you know where the defenders are and who is open to receiving the ball once you get it.
  • Call for when and where you want the ball.
  • The movements you make must be sharp and quick as the area in the middle is very small.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How do you know where the space is, where your teammates are and where the defenders are?
  • What can you do to let teammates know where and when you want to receive the ball?
  • What should you focus on to make sure you have space in a space area?

Click here for the 10 best rondo soccer drills

Target player to target player soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to help players lose their markers when they are being man-marked.

Set up:

  • 10 x 15-yard area
  • 1 ball
  • 2 neutral players, 2 players in the middle

How the drill works:

Place your 2 neutral players on the 10-yard lines (one on each). This will leave a 1v1 with the two players in the middle.

The goal for the players in the middle is to receive the ball from one neutral player and get the ball to the other neutral player.

If they are successfully able to do this then they will get one point.

The roles of the players in the game are fluid. The player in possession of the ball will be the attacker and the other player the defender.

However, if the defender wins the ball back they will become the attacker and the other player is now the defender.

Coaching points:

  • Drag the defender into positions where they do not feel comfortable
  • Scan the area so you know where the defender is
  • Drag the defender away from the space you want to receive the ball in

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you give yourself an advantage against the defender?
  • What can you do to paint the best possible picture in your head of what you want to happen?
  • Where should you move if you want to receive the ball in a certain space?

1v1 with bounce players

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help players lose their markets when they are advancing up the pitch through passing and moving.

Set up:

  • 10 x 15-yard area
  • 2 goals
  • 1 ball
  • 2 neutral players
  • 2 players in the middle

How the drill works:

Place the two goals opposite each other on either 10-yard line in the middle.

There should be 2 neutral players, one on each 15-yard line and 2 players in the middle.

This will be a regular 1v1 in the middle with the winner player scoring the most goals.

However, the players in the middle can utilize the players on the outside by combining passes with them.

This will allow players in the middle the opportunity to move and create space for themselves to exploit so that they can score goals.

Coaching points:

  • Combine passes with your movement off the ball to create space for yourself
  • Communicate with the neutral players on the outside so you are all on the same page
  • Draw the defender into you to create space behind

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you create space for yourself as well as using your movement?
  • What can you do to make sure the passing is crisp and accurate?
  • How can you create space behind the defender and how can you exploit it?

Losing your marker in soccer conclusion

In soccer, there are a variety of different ways that you can create space for yourself.

This post should have highlighted the main techniques professional soccer players use to lose their marker in soccer, as well as drills to harness these skills.

One of the key takeaways if you want to lose your marker in soccer is to make sure you are always moving.

The more you stand still the easier you are to mark!

Remember there has to be a purpose behind the movement too.

Always think ‘why am I using this movement and how will this help me and my team?’

If you found these tips and drills help or know someone who would find this post useful then please share it with them using our social media buttons.

Thank you,

Toby

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