Where Do You Put Your Weakest Soccer Player? (Easiest + Hardest)

As a youth soccer coach, I faced the biggest challenge of handling weaker players. Coaches of a professional team may tell you the best place for a weaker player is the bench. That’s not an option for youth teams, nor is it a good strategy for developing passion or skills in players. 

Weaker players need to play to get better, but at the same time, you don’t want it to hurt the entire team.  

There is no “easy” position in soccer, but it’s often best to put weaker players at wide forward since this position is furthest from your own goal. It’s difficult to defend when the pressure is on. 

However, to determine the best position for a weaker player on your team, you must assess several factors, including their specific strengths and weaknesses, your other players, and your style of play. 

Youth soccer players with funny smiles ○ Soccer Blade

What soccer position is the easiest?

Simply put, no soccer position is “easy”. Each position requires different strengths and skills. However, players with certain weaknesses fit better in some positions than others.

Here are some examples of the skills that different positions do not require:

Goalkeeper – What skills are not required

Goalkeepers are your last line of defense, and their #1 job is to keep the ball out of the back of the net. They are also able to use their hands within the box.

While the position is becoming increasingly important for possession soccer, goalkeepers generally do not need:

  • To be able to run for long distances/ have running stamina.
  • Elaborate foot skills (dribbling/ moves). 
  • The same level of ball handling as other positions. 
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Defenders – What skills are not required

Defenders play an important role in keeping the ball away from your goal and starting the attack. However, most often, defenders don’t require:

  • The same level of conditioning as some other positions. 
  • Extensive dribbling skills. 
  • Great shooting abilities. 
  • To play in very tight spaces or amongst a ton of pressure. 
PORTUGAL Braga Players from FC Sion hit the field for a training session on February 23 2016 in Braga Portugal. ○ Soccer Blade

Midfielders – What skills are not required

Midfielders hold down the middle of the field as they are involved in defense and attack. They are masters of transition and cover the most distance in the game.

Midfielders tend to be well-rounded and proficient in all major skills but may lack a standout strength. Compared to some other positions, midfielders may not:

  • Be as fast or explosive. 
  • Require as much shooting. 
  • Be the best at defending. 
  • Have a standout skill that sets them apart. 

Forwards – What skills are not required

Forwards are the primary players that score goals. They must be willing to take shots and attack balls in the 18, but they may not:

  • Be the best with the ball, technically. 
  • Defend extremely well. 
  • Have the best tactical vision on the field. 
Blocking in soccer bad tackle

What is the least important position in soccer?

Every soccer position plays an important role on the team. There is not a single position that does not matter. Some of the least risky positions for your team would be;

  1. Outside Backs
  2. Wingbacks 
  3. Wide Midfield 
  4. Second Striker

Many people may think the forwards are the most important. You need at least one goal to win, and goals are hard to come by in soccer. However, you must defend far more than you score. 

You can get away with not scoring many goals, but you cannot get away with giving up a lot of goals. Based on this, it’s important to prioritize defense and midfield with strong players. 

If you need a goal in the second half, you can risk playing your weaker player in a defensive position to have your best players in attack. 

Youth Soccer Players - Two players battling for the ball
Youth Soccer Players – Two players battling for the ball

Where do you put the weakest soccer player?

Assess the player’s weaknesses and strengths, find a weakness in the opposition, and position that player based on those two factors, but limit the risk by avoiding the central positions.

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Often, you’ll hear “forward” as an answer. In some cases, a wide forward is a good place to put a weaker player. But in reality, there’s no set answer. You put the weakest soccer player in your team based on the following:

  • The player’s strengths. 
  • The player’s weaknesses. 
  • Your formation. 
  • Your strong players and where they will play. 
  • Your style of play. 

Where you put “weaker” players depends on what makes them “weak.” First, you must determine the areas of improvement for the player. 

Examples of fundamentals soccer players can struggle with

  • Fitness and conditioning Physical strength 
  • Speed
  • Passing (accuracy)
  • Defending 
  • Dribbling/ 1v1 attacking
  • Shooting (power and accuracy)
  • Tactical understanding of the game 
  • Decision making 
  • Ball control/ trapping

Based on the specific areas the player struggles in, you can find a suitable position for them. Look for a position that plays to their strengths, hides their weaknesses, and helps (not hurts) your team. 

For example, many coaches may have viewed me as a “weaker” player in youth soccer because I struggled with ball handling and long passes . However, I was a strong defender who excelled athletically. 

Based on that combination, it would not make sense to put me as a forward. Outside back was a good spot to showcase my strengths while protecting the team from my weaknesses by pushing me wider than center back. 

Youth soccer players celebrating a goal. ○ Soccer Blade

What position does the worst soccer player play?

The worst soccer player should play in a position that matches their skillset without exposing the team. 

The “worst” player is often put in an outside wing or wide forward position. However, assess the specific situation when choosing a position. 

Youth coaches often have to deal with multiple weak players. In that case, it’s best to have your strongest players in the center of the field. 

You want to ensure your defenders are very solid players and your central midfielders. Place the weaker players more toward the outside of the field. 

Ultimately, coaches must evaluate which aspects a player struggles in when choosing a position. Generally, it’s not wise to put weaker players as central defenders or central midfielders due to the importance of those roles

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Placing weaker players strategically can aid their development while setting your team up for success. 

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Soccer Tactics FAQ

Can you block in soccer?

You can block a pass, shot, cross, or throw-in. It’s legal to block the ball using any part of the body other than the hands or arm (up to the shoulder). 

Why do players fake injuries? 

Although it’s disrespectful to opponents and fans, some players fake injuries to win a free kick or penalty, sometimes to stop a counter-attack, also to waste time to run the clock down, and they might try to get an opponent booked or sent off. 

How do you increase soccer awareness?

+ Scan the field before getting the ball
+ Keep an open body position
+ Keep your eyes in front of the ball when dribbling
+ Lookup after taking bigger touches

Why do soccer players and coaches cover their mouths when talking?

Soccer players hold their mouths when talking for 3 reasons: To keep conversations private from the public, Keep tactical discussions secret, and amplify their voices.

Why do soccer players raise their hands?

This is done to communicate with their teammates during a game for a pass, to say they are in space, plus to let teammates know what routine set-play is going to be taken. Players also raise their hands to celebrate a goal or signal that they are injured.

What are some ways to pass a soccer ball?

+ Inside foot: Using the area above and inside of the big toe.
+ Outside foot: This creates a spin on the ball to swerve the ball around players
+ The Laces: A powerful volley can be performed with a straight leg swing.
+ Spin: If the toes get underneath the ball with some force you create a backspin.
+ Back heel: Connect the heel with the ball to reverse play.
+ Header: Often used for clearing and shooting, but can be a creative passing move.
+ Body: Use any part of the body to deflect the ball into the path you desire.

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