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Position Guide: How to Play the Right Back Position


Good positioning is crucial for a right back in soccer as it helps the team maintain defensive shape, provides options for the player in possession, and can prevent opponents from creating scoring opportunities.

In addition to marking your opponent, you also need to be aware of your position in relation to the other defenders. A right back must be constantly monitoring the offside line and the movements of the opposition forwards. By doing so, the right back can position themselves in a way that makes it difficult for the opposing forwards to get behind the defense and create scoring opportunities.

Furthermore, good positioning can also be beneficial in the attacking phase of play. As noted by Brendan Donohue, by positioning themselves in a better and closer angle of support, the right back provides an option for the player in possession to play through that they may not have had otherwise. By doing so, the right back can help their team maintain possession and create scoring opportunities.


Communication is crucial in soccer, and it is particularly important for the right back position. This is because the right back must communicate with both the players in front of and behind them. Effective communication also means staying organized on the soccer field. Make sure that you are aware of your teammates' positions and know who is responsible for covering which areas of the field.

A study on the impact of soccer communication on performance evaluated the results at the team level, but they are also relevant for individuals. Communication with the right-back can help the attacking team by providing them with more options and by keeping the defense in check. On the defensive end, communication with the right-back can help to keep the team compact and prevent gaps in the defense.

1v1 Defensive Skills

Defending 1v1 is an important skill for any player in soccer, but particularly for a right back. As a right back, it is important to maintain a proper distance between yourself and the attacking player to avoid giving them too much space. Jockeying, or shadowing the movements of the attacker, is one way to maintain this distance and keep the attacker from getting past you.

A strong tackle can be a great way to stop an attacker in their tracks, but it is important to time the tackle properly and avoid committing a foul. When marking an opposing player, a right back should stay close enough to disrupt their play but not so close as to give them an easy path to the goal.

Overall, mastering 1v1 defending is crucial for a right back in soccer. It requires a combination of physical and mental skills, as well as good communication with teammates.

Strong Technical Ability

While defense is a key part of playing right back, you also need to be able to contribute to the attack. As a right back, you will often find yourself in a position to provide crosses into the box or make overlapping runs to create scoring opportunities.

A right back with good technical ability is more likely to figure their way out of tight positions during defensive phases of the game. This can result in maintaining possession and potentially creating a counter-attacking opportunity. For this reason, it is important for a right back to be proficient in passing the ball with both feet, especially while under pressure. They need to be able to make short and long passes accurately.

High Fitness Levels

Soccer is a demanding sport that requires superior stamina, and the right-back position is no exception. The right-back needs to cover a large area on the pitch, both in defense and attack. A proper right back requires good all-round fitness, being strong and agile is essential for a right-back to maintain their performance throughout the game.

in the attacking phases of play, a right-back can use their stamina to join the attack and create overload opportunities.

If you're finding yourself tired at the end of games, you should focus on running and conditioning exercises in your training routine. You should also work on your agility and speed, as these skills will help you make quick movements on the field.

Mental Toughness

As a right back, a player must be switched on and concentrated throughout the game. Retaining concentration will help a right back keep the communication lines open with the rest of the defense line. The full back positions are oftentimes isolated with quick wingers or large strikers. Having the confidence to come out of the duels successfully is one of the most underrated assets of great full backs. In my opinion, a synonymous term for this mindset is "front-footedness".

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