How to Be a Good Wing Player in Soccer

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It takes a special player to play up against the touch line in soccer. If you're on the wing, you have three directions to go instead of four, you'll often have to play standing right up against or on the line, sometimes you'll have to make things happen with your back to the field and you have to rely on creativity. It takes hard work to be a good wing player, but if you can pull it off, you'll be one of the best players out there every game.

  • Moves. You have to be creative and elusive if you're going to make your living at the touchline. Having quick feet, being able to make split-second decisions and faking a defender–sometimes two–out are all imperative tasks when creating space on the touchline.

  • Quick decisions. To be on the wing, you have to be a good passer. That's true of any midfielder or forward, but the difference on the wing is that you'll have to do it quick. In general, when you get the ball on the wing, you should already know if you're going to pass or dribble, where you're going to pass or dribble and which foot you're going to use.

  • Don't be afraid to attack. On the wing, you will be called upon several times a game to make runs, crosses, attack the back line and go to goal . You need to think forward when playing on the wing. Rarely is a goal scored in soccer, where a wing player is not involved in the play or the set-up. Using width is an important part of the game today and in order to win, you have to use your players on the touchline.

  • Be an outlet. As if it's not hard enough on the wing with the ball, you'll need to have constant motion without it. You will often be an outlet for a player on the other side of the field trying to switch the ball, a defender or midfielder in trouble or an attacker that needs to pass backwards. On the wing you will always be the “down line” options, as teammates try to set you up with runs down the flank, overlaps and square balls. Be in position all the time when on the wing because if you get there late, your team will end up losing the ball.

  • Crosses and switches. On the wing, when you do everything you're supposed to do, you end up working very hard all the way up the field for one thing--a cross. You need to be able to kick the ball–line drives, long lobs and low drives–all the way across the field. Sometimes a full 45 or 50 yards. Practice your long passes and set pieces as much as you can and you can really make a difference when up against the touchline.

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