When it comes to soccer, it may sometimes seem like the goal scorers get all the glory, but a strong defense is just as important. Players who want to know how to defend in soccer can do several things to build their defensive abilities.
The key to how to defend in football is to close down the attacker quickly. The longer a player has on the ball, the more time that player has to pass, score a goal or create a play. This is all about putting pressure on the player. From about three yards away, a defensive player should use short quick steps to slow down and get into jockey position. This helps to put the defender in control of the situation.
One common mistake that defenders make is lacking the patience for jockeying and instead diving in too soon to get the ball. This can actually have the opposite effect by putting the defender off-balance and allowing the attacker to easily glide past. An important aspect of how to defend in football is knowing how to wait for the attacker to make a mistake or lose control of the ball for even an instant. This is all the time that it takes to slip in and make the tackle.
Attackers have a lot of tricks and feints that make defenders think they are going to move in a different direction or at a different speed. As another part of how to defend in football, players should be aware of these feints and try not to be taken in by them.