How to Mark a Player who is Faster than you

How do you defend an attacker who is faster than you?

If you're a defender than it a lot of cases you're going to come up against players who are faster than you. Generally, the quicker players in the team are put in attacking positions so it's just part of the game that you have to deal with. So what can you do to combat this?

Always remain goal side!

Don't let your player get in between you and the goal, you want to make sure that you're always between him and the goal. When you have this position, this means that he still has to get around you before taking a shot or getting himself into a goal scoring position. Of course, this is easier said than done but it's something to definitely focus on during a game. Always be aware of where your player is on the pitch and don't let him run in behind you.

Give him extra space!

Don't dive in to a tackle! This is a common mistake that many defenders make because they feel they need to win the ball back as soon as possible. Have patience, realise that your first job is just to slow the attacker down whilst your teammates get back into position. Giving him extra space means when he receives the ball, he still has to beat you 1 on 1.

If you stick touch tight to him, he can easily turn past you or make a quick run in behind to put himself in a goal scoring position. As he is faster than you, it will be impossible for you to keep up with him if you stick too close.  

When defending against a fast player, focus on always staying goal side and give him that extra bit of space and force him to dribble in the direction you want him to go. If you implement this in to a game you'll find that you're able to diffuse more attacking situations and win the ball back for your team more often.

Thanks for reading,

Chris Toovey