Being slow in a sport like soccer could be perceived as a disadvantage! Well, not really as far as you play according to your abilities and occupy the right positions …
… That’s actually the purpose of this post!
Indeed, you will learn what positions you should opt for, in addition to many useful tips that should allow you to perform at the best of your abilities.
What is the best soccer position for slow players?
There are two positions fit for a player on the slower side:
1. Midfield, Deep Lying Playmaker
Midfielders are crucial as they are able to control the pace of the game. They are the gatekeepers for both offense and defense. They are the first line of defense and the first to set up the offense.
All the glory goes to the striker, but it’s up to the midfielder to get the ball further down the field to one. So, without a good midfielder a striker has literally little to no chance of scoring.
Playing midfield is exactly what it sounds like. You control the middle of the field and you work diagonally. Your goal is to set up the rest of the offense by passing to whoever is open. You are also the first line of defense if the opposing team makes its way towards your goal.
Fortunately, you’ll have your zone to protect only. This means you won’t need to be fast, just aware!
Midfielders control the pace of the game, and this means you can slow down the game as much as you need in order to set up a play.
Strikers are known to be fast players. It makes sense since they need to position themselves past the defense and to find a weakness in the goalkeeper.
This is not always the case!
If you have a foot made of lead and have accuracy to go along with it then you become an asset. It will be up to your team to set you up properly.
You’ll have to be at the right place at the right time to be able to score goals. Rather than rely on speed you will be focusing on kicking the ball with power and accuracy.
Also, scoring using your head is a great way to quite easy goals without the need of speed! All you’ll need the ability to jump higher plus a good timing.
Most positions on the field will require some good amount of speed. Don’t let that keep you away from soccer. Midfielder and striker are two examples of positions that you can try.
Soccer cleat Recommendation for slow players …
Now that you know what positions are best for you, next is to find cleats that fit your playstyle.
Cleats that promote lightweight design are ideal for positions that focus on speed. So, that means you’ll want to steer clear of these types of cleats.
Instead, look towards leather cleats.
The reason is because they offer more protection when you kick the ball. Midfielders and strikers will want the added protection leather offers.
Adidas has the Copa 19.3 Firm Ground cleats (Check it Here on Amazon) which are perfect for both midfielders and strikers.
These cleats offer a leather top for hard kicks, and a synthetic sole in order to be lightweight. They have a foam heel which will be great if you are on standby on the field as a midfielder.
These particular cleats are designed for grass fields.
Also, they have an awesome selection of colors.
Indoor soccer players, whether on gym floors or turf, will want to find similarly designed cleats. Leather tops with a heel designed for comfort.
The most important factor when choosing a cleat, besides one designed for the field you’ll be on, is sizing. As with all shoes, cleats are no different when it comes to sizing.
Some run large, and some run small.
It is up to you to find a cleat that fits you perfectly. It will not matter if the cleats you own have all the features you want if it doesn’t fit correctly.
Find the cleat you need, then find one that fits.
Does a slow player necessarily mean a weak player?
Ordinarily, most people would assume a slow player is a weak player. But, those that understand the game, for example good coaches, know that a slow player is not necessarily weak as far as they are strong in other attributes.
A slow player can make up for their weakness for having technical prowess.
What does that mean?
It means a slow player may not be able to get down the field fast, but they have total ball control. You cannot steal the ball from them and they always know how to get the ball where they want it to go.
They have amazing footwork and can play the short game tougher than anyone else.
Speaking of tough, having a ton of bravery is essential if you are a slow player. Coaches know tough players when they see them. They are not afraid of the opponent – whether it is a 1-on-1 battle or taking on a slide tackle.
Brave players are willing to get into conflict no matter the outcome. This type of bravery is rarely seen with fast players, simply because these players use their speed to avoid conflict. On the other side, slow players have no choice.
If you are slow, then you better be tough.
On a side note, in case you are short, then you probably should check those good positions for short soccer players! You will find those quite interesting …
How to improve speed and pace if you are a slow player (drills)?
You can improve your speed just like any other skill on the field. Focus on speed, not endurance. The goal is to get you from point A to point B as fast as possible.
By the way, you can learn about these soccer position suggestions for fast players …
1. Sprint Backpedal-Repeats.
- Get five cones and set them up in a straight line, roughly five yards apart.
- Start at cone 1, then lean forward and take off to cone 3.
- Backpedal to cone 2 – stay low, engage your core, put your weight on the balls of your feet.
- Sprint to cone 4.
- Backpedal to cone 3.
- Sprint past cone 5. Use the balls of your feet to push down into the ground when you sprint.
This drill simulates the movements of defensive players. You are constantly changing direction following the ball back and forth.
2. Flying Sprints
- Set up two cones 20 yards apart and a third cone 10 yards down from cone 2.
- Jog/Run 75% of full speed to cone 2.
- Then, lean forward and burst towards cone 3 in an all out sprint.
- Next, jog back to cone 1 as a recovery.
- Repeat 6-8 times.
The goal is to mimic being on the field, regardless of position, and needing to go from a steady pace to chasing down the ball.
3. Uphill Sprint
No other drill will test your body harder than uphill sprints. The drill is self-explanatory. Find a hill, run up it.
You’ll build endurance, increase your lung capacity, create stronger legs, and most of all force you to be faster.
Uphill sprints are a total body workout. They should be last, since they will break you down. In order to get the acceleration you need on the field, you’ll need strong legs and lungs.
Running full speed once is no good on the field. You need to be able to run full speed multiple times during a match.
That’s why uphill sprints are perfect for increasing every attribute needed to be fast.
Start slow – 3-4 sprints at first. Walk back down hill as recovery.
Work your way up to more reps over time and training sessions.
What position in soccer runs the least?
Surprise, surprise…the goalkeeper runs the least on the field. Depending on a goalkeeper’s team, they may never have to run since they won’t ever have to defend.
A left or right Corner Back is another position that does little running. If they are running, it is usually in a straight line in order to keep pace with the ball from a distance. Or, if they need to defend their zone.
Typically, a CB will stay back and watch the ball and be ready to attack when needed.
Next up, is a midfield deep lying playmaker. Again, this position is about setting up plays. As long as the ball is closer to the goal then there is no need to run.
Should you focus on speed training?
Like all other soccer skills, you should be training to be the best athlete you can be. Some people are genetically gifted with speed. That doesn’t mean you are unable to build up your baseline speed.
If you know will never outrun anyone, then the least you can do is be more technical. A fast-footed technical player is sometimes more dangerous than a fast one.
Speed without control is useless.
Famous, but slow soccer players …
Still not convinced slow players are good players?
Believe it or not, some of the top players ever to reach the professional level lacked speed.
1. Zinedine Zidane
The French/Algerian Legend was a slow player. He made up for it with magnificent technique. He could score, pass, and always had a trick up his sleeve.
Most notably his Roulette.
2. Gabriel Batistuta
He has scored 81 goals in 105 games for Argentina. If you want to get technical, he scored 306 goals in 493 appearances throughout his career. His positional awareness made him a threat on the field.
He knew when and where to be to score – he was deadly with his feet and head too.
Is one of those players who had average pace, but could score nonetheless. How was he able to get past his weakness?
He could get past the defense and pass to the right player for a goal. He knew the field. When it came down to it, he could score himself. A career total of 476 goals in 696 games.
Almost forgot to mention, Zico was a midfielder. Kind of changes the way you look at the position knowing a player could transform it into something lethal on the field.
Final Thoughts …
Hope this article has given you the confidence to perform at the best of your abilities regardless of your lack of speed …
… Speed is one skill among many others! Being average on it won’t impact you at all as far as you are strong in the other tools.
Finally, I’ve recently put together this article on how to choose your soccer position … I think you’ll find it very helpful!