Does Playing Different Positions Help Development?

coaches parents players Aug 28, 2023


Does playing in different positions help with development?

I’d say it does for all ages and levels based on my experience.

I was a striker until my early 20's and I only really understood the game from the perspective of scoring goals. I was pretty good at it but that's not the point; I only started to truly understand the game better when I moved to central midfield and then later in my career, to wingback.

The perspective you get as a defender is obviously completely different to that which you get as a forward or midfielder. You see different pictures, different patterns and experience different challenges. All of this helps you become a more intelligent player, I’m convinced of that.

It is especially helpful for young players.

It makes logical sense that the earlier you learn to understand and appreciate multiple roles/positions, the better it will serve you as you move up the levels and ages in the game.

Just like with languages; the earlier you learn, the more comfortable/confident you are. This is why it is important to have young players be exposed to multiple positions and multiple roles during training and games.

Yes, we all want to win and having our players in their 'best' positions gives you the most chance of winning games but we've got to put a priority on player development. As it happens, if you invest time in helping players understand multiple positions, over time they will be a better player, you'll actually end up winning more games in the long run, even if short-term you might suffer some L's.

Play the long game.

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