Let’s take a look at five or six things that every right back should work on, whether training on their own or with their team. These are things that a right-sided defender will execute on a regular basis throughout a game and things they should focus on. Let’s say these are the fundamental aspects of playing the position of right back in soccer and if you’re someone who plays that position, these are things you’ll want to perfect.
For a right back, you’ll need to work on crossing the ball with your right foot, both bending balls in the air and then on the ground, and both to the near post and the back post. Ideally, you want to pick a player out, try to serve the ball to a certain player and not just a space or area. Strive to time your cross so the player you are aiming at doesn’t have to break stride. However, there will be times when you’re under pressure and might just need to whip the ball into the near or far post, and not be able to pick out a player with the cross. Send in at least ten balls to the near and far post, so 20 crosses total.
Also, work on cutting inside with your left foot to take a shot. Surprise your opponent by faking like you’re going to cross the ball with your right and then cut the ball inside and try to bend the ball into the far post with your left foot. Practice this ten times, dribbling hard down the line and bring your left back like you’re going to cross it, and cut inside to shot with your left foot. Do this near the goal box, and not too far down the line.
Work on distributing the ball out of the back with your right foot to a forward posting up or checking back to receive the ball – roughly twenty or thirty yards away. Practicing driving the ball into the forwards feet, chest or head. Again, always hit a moving ball, so have someone pass you the ball or just kick the ball ahead to yourself before you hit the ball. Imagine you’re receiving the ball from the keeper or another defender out of the back. Send in ten balls on the ground, driven balls, and then ten in the air. If you don’t have a partner then practice this against a wall. Do this at least ten times.
Work on receiving the ball and opening up to carry the ball down the line. Try playing the ball against a wall and then turning with the ball to face up field. Think about where you would play the ball and how you’d turn your body so the ball is on your right foot and you’re ready to make a pass or serve the ball long or into the feet of a teammate. The key is to get the ball out in front of you so you can get your head up and make the pass right away. If you take too many touches you’ll be closed down. The goal of the forward who’s pressuring you is to get your head down and make you go backwards.
Practice winning the ball in the air. On defense you want to head the ball not down, but in the air so your teammates have time to recover and read the play. You only head the ball down if you’re making a pass to a teammate. If you head the ball down you could play it right to an attacking player who could get a shot on goal. How many times have you seen a defender head the ball down and right to an attacker at the top of the box? Too many. With a partner, have them throw the ball to you in the air so you have to jump. Do this ten times.
Coerver Ball Work
It’s always good to get in some ball work, so some dribbling work, turns, cuts, moves and then some juggling. Spend some time working on your weaker foot as well. There's nothing better than some Coerver Coaching footwork drills.
Emulate a Great Player
What right back do you look up to and admire? Whose style of play would you like to emulate? Spend time watching this player, it’s easy to punch their name in and see highlight clips of their play on YouTube. Right Backs: Dani Alves of Barcelona; Maicon of Inter Milan; Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid.
Extra: For all players, develop a few favored moves, shots, passes, crosses, and skills. Perfect those two or three skills. Make them yours. This could be a step over, bending the ball, a powerful shot, develop some skills that set you apart from other players, no matter what position you play.
Check out these soccer training sessions for other positions: