If you’re playing as a midfielder, turn your body at an angle when you check back to the soccer ball so you can connect with the forwards and the defenders. You can accomplish this by not having your back entirely to the forwards. Midfielders should try to be half-turned and facing one of the sidelines. This way they can view both the back line of defenders, if they are trying to make a pass to you, and the forwards and other midfielders to see where they are making runs.
When you play on the wing or in a wide position along the touchline, open yourself to the field, so you’re in a position to see the whole field and receive the ball. Again, instead of having your back facing the forwards you can turn your shoulder towards the outside touchline so you are open to the field.
If you watch players like Sergio Busquets or Xavi at Barcelona, they’re constantly looking over their shoulder before they receive the ball so they know if there’s a defender coming or if they can turn. They also rarely check back to the soccer ball with their back turned towards the rest of the field. Instead, they look over their shoulder before the ball comes and come to receive the ball almost half turned. Xavi is a master at scanning the soccer field and checking his shoulder to see who’s around him.
The half-turn is one of the most essential soccer skills for a midfielder. In order to successfully pull off the half-turn, you must be aware of the space behind you so you don’t turn into a defender. It is crucial to get in the habit of checking your shoulder! While you don’t need a ton of space to do the half turn it’s all about knowing where you are on the soccer field and how close the defender is to you. The half turn allows you to open up to the field and play the ball faster. You’ll see the field better and will have more options.