3 Tactics Defenders Should Use to Successfully Distribute the Ball
Distributing the ball is important when you're a defender. You need to be able to figure out where the ball needs to go next in order to put your team in the best position to succeed.
Here are 3 quick tactics for better distribution on the field.
1. Seeing the field
Defenders need to possess great vision in order to be successful distributors. They should play the ball around the backline until they see a good opportunity.
Don’t get flustered when you have the ball, be patient and wait for your players to get into good positions to receive the ball. This takes a good amount of composure from all of the defenders as they will likely be the playing the ball around the backline with forwards chasing them.
If you are frazzled and just kick the ball to get rid of it, it likely won’t end well. The other team will intercept it and counterattack you and really put you into trouble.
Be composed, play the ball around the back line with easy passes, and then when you have the other team and your teammates in positions you like, distribute and attack.
2. Reading the game
It’s important to understand what type of ball needs to be played in a certain situation. Some examples are playing it over the top into space, to the forward’s feet, to the midfielder’s feet, driven on the ground.
Different situations call for different distribution. Defenders need to recognize who they’re playing with.
Are you playing the ball into space in the corner for your speedy winger to get to? You wouldn’t play the same ball to a slower forward who is really good 1v1. You would play them the ball to their feet so they can turn with it and beat their player.
Recognizing your teammate’s strengths and reading the game situation will help defenders distribute the ball better.
3. Clearing with a purpose
Oftentimes defenders don’t have too much time to the play the ball. This is why they must excel at playing the ball out of the air.
If there is no time to bring the ball down safely, they have to have a good enough touch in order to make sure the ball goes where they want it to when they are playing it out of the air. Clearing the ball from a dangerous situation doesn’t always mean just kicking it as hard and as far as you can.
In order to give your team the best chance to win, your defenders need to be able to clear the ball with a purpose and they need to have the composure and skill to do so as well.