Being a forward in soccer means that you have to play within the offensive half of the pitch.
Also, the role comes with a lot of responsibilities, as you will be facing several scoring chances as opposed to your teammates.
So you have to be great in what you do, to lead your team into victory.
Do you want to know further?
Below we cover the roles of a soccer forward, must-have traits and tips to keep you on top of your completion.
Roles of a Soccer Forward
Forwards are popularly referred to as strikers.
They are mainly responsible for scoring goals.
Being a forward also means you get to handle penalty and corner kicks from time to time.
Also, they are the ones that start-off/kick-off at the start of every game and after half-time.
However, there are different types of forwards, and although their main roles are similar, they still have specific duties to fulfill.
And they include;
Second strikers are also known as support forwards.
Their main role is likened to a classic striker and a midfielder.
And it mainly includes cleverly making passes whenever they notice an opening, which helps central strikers achieve a perfect shot.
But whenever an opportunity presents itself, they also score goals.
In soccer, center forwards are the main strikers.
They are the ones assigned to mainly scoring goals, due to their impeccable skills.
And because of this, they are the major target of the offensive players, thus have to up their game in the pitch to meet the opponents’ standards.
Their role comes out strongly, especially whenever their team settles for a defensive game formation.
This means they have to be ready to attack the goal by themselves at any time and fighting hard to maintain ball possession to give room for their teammates to approach for a play.
The wingers’ mode of playing is flexible.
They can be found on either the left or right side of the pitch and as close as possible o the touchlines.
These players normally possess amazing dribbling skills and their main focus is to overpower their opponents’ full-backs and get the ball to the strikers, successfully.
But not every team includes wingers in their formation. Some decide to forego them, especially if they are dealing with a midfield narrow formation.
Traits of Good Soccer Forward
- Good Shot
The main task of forwards is to get the ball into their opponents’ goal; back of the net.
And for that, you should be able to shoot, perfectly.
Remember, all eyes in the field are on you. And your strike has the power of winning or losing.
So, you have to stay in control, keep running, while figuring out how to make that memorable shot.
Therefore, players should be aware of all types of acceptable soccer shots and make use of them whenever necessary.
Remember, there’s no one-fits-all style of playing, as each opponent comes with their own set of challenges.
And you should always be ready for them.
- Ability To Shield-Off Players
Most attention on a soccer pitch is normally directed to the strikers.
The opposition keeps track of their every movement and because of that, they are rarely by themselves, even when they receive a pass.
There’s always a defender nearby waiting to snatch their stardom and that means even winning a header doesn’t come on a silver plate.
Therefore, as a striker, you should exhibit an entitlement of strength and aggressiveness to achieve a perfect shield from both full-back defenders and little known ones.
The ability to shield the ball comes in handy when surrounded by defenders on both sides.
You should be able to outplay them and shine at the moment through an impressive pass.
So, if you haven’t been hitting the gym, or have been neglecting your membership charges for a while, it’s time to reconnect with your inner strength and bring it with you in the pitch, on your next match.
- A touch of Confidence
Many players confuse confidence with arrogance.
But the truth is, you can be confident and down to earth.
You see, a striker believes in themselves and puts their mind to score before the end of the game, chances are that they will definitely score.
Confidence gives forwards an upper hand. You know what you want and do anything to achieve it.
It pushes you to extra miles. And that could be longer gym sessions or overlooking the “insults” of opponents.
That also means, no room for negative self-talk. Because when you start believing that you’re a poor scorer, then chances are that you won’t put much effort into scoring.
You have to believe that you’re the best to be the best and for others to see you as such.
This refers to your capability to control the ball for as long as you need to.
It’s one of the most important traits every striker should possess.
This is because, more often than not, a forward has to go through the tough defense to score.
How good you’re at touch, is the thin line between a goal and a lost chance.
You can’t achieve perfect touch skills overnight, you have to practice and perfect your skills over time.
Below is a video to you give you a glimpse on how to perfect your “touch” moves;
If you’re a striker, then you must be aware of the importance of speed,
You simply can’t do without it because almost every move you make in the pitch requires fast moves.
And this doesn’t necessarily mean your ability to run, but rather your ability to apply the correct amount of “football speed” whenever necessary.
In summary, you should be able to run fast, get up quickly, move your legs fast, think and decide fast and lastly, examine your surroundings quickly and decide when and where to apply specific moves.
Tips for Soccer Forward
Whoever came with the saying that “practice makes perfect,” was absolutely right.
As a forward, you always have to keep upgrading your moves.
And that means possessing the ability to strike that ball without missing your target.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a slow learner, with consistent training, you will eventually master the concept and wow your fans within no time.
- Frustrate the Defenders’
Don’t let the defenders walk all over you and easily snatch the ball away from you.
Purpose to pressurize them into fearing you.
Doing this will throw them into confusion and they will only end-up clearing the ball for you.
It’s for your good and that of your team if they can’t seem to make a great pass.
- Learn From Others
No one was born knowing how to perfectly play.
They all had to learn along the way and most probably through observing others.
So why not try this tactic as well?
Take time to watch game fixtures, and gain a skill or two from the best players and then get practicing.
Remember to always take notes as it’s easy for you to forget once the excitement cools down.
There are several things you can learn from them, from the way they flexibly stretch their body, their quick feet movements and head tilting skills, among others.
It won’t be long before you turn out as good as them, or even better.
- Work on Your Physical Attributes
Playing soccer is tiring, mainly because it involves a lot of running from one end of the pitch to the other.
But it’s even more tiring when you have to tackle built defenders head-on.
That’s what forwards do most of the time, right?
And since quitting isn’t an option, you have to work on your physical strength.
Set time aside for some muscle-building gym sessions and let a professional instructor help you work on the perfect routine.
When this becomes a habit, you can easily push-aside defenders and gain more scoring chances.
Also, running through the field won’t seem as difficult as before. If anything it will be an enjoyable norm.
- Perfect Your Timing and Positioning
As a striker, you always have to take advantage of opportunities.
This means you get to notice them quickly and take advantage of them even before anyone else notices.
And for this o happen, you have to rightly position yourself at the correct time, to perfectly receive a pass.
The best way to do this is by intentionally confusing the defenders.
Skillfully move between them and the full-backs, achieving awkward positions while at it, so that they can’t tell your next move.
This will throw them into panic mode and your team gets to that advantage of the situation to advance.
- Stick Around the Other Striker
Some situations call for double strength.
Especially when the defenders are acting up smart.
By sticking together, helps you gain control of the situation by helping each other advance your moves.
You can easily overlap, support each other, making it easy to pass the ball.
The more options you have on the offense, the higher your chances of scoring.
- Make Use of Your Arm
Delicate situations call for smart solutions.
If a defender seems on to be on your trail all the time and can’t let you have a little space even after dribbling, then engage them using your arm.
Gently push them out of the way. But you have to be careful on this one not to hurt them as that can lead to a penalty.
If you’re fast enough, the referee won’t even notice!
As a forward, you need to clearly matter your roles and work on acquiring incredible traits that will help you stand-out.
Remember, nothing good in life comes easy. So you have to keep practicing to sharpen your skills.
And if you do everything right, then you will be on your way to stardom within no time.