Read the other posts in this college soccer recruiting series on Defensive Center Midfielders, Goalkeepers, Center Backs, Outside Backs, Strikers, Wingers, and Attacking Center Midfielders.
The primary purpose of a defensive center midfielder is to shield and defend. DCMs are not always involved in the razzle-dazzle plays, but they are critical to winning the game.
Creating highlight video for this position is more challenging than other positions because it can be tempting to send video showing the same skill multiple times, like knocking the ball in behind.
“When it comes to creating a playlist for a defensive center midfielder, it’s important to showcase a variety of skills,” states Trace Head Coach Tim Bennett.
“We think the #6 has to be this real hard, get-into-tackles type of player, but that’s not the case.”
Key things to include when sending your defensive center midfielder highlight video to college coaches
- Reading the game. What decisions are you making as the team is building out of the back? What decisions are you making as the other team is countering? What decisions are you making when you’re trying to overload out wide? You should know when to tackle vs. when to contain the opposition; you don’t want to tackle every time because you’ll get beat or give away unnecessary fouls. Demonstrate in your highlights how to read the play and have an awareness of the weak side of the field.
- Regaining possession. Show that you can intercept balls (and connect a first pass quickly), that you can play out of the tackle, that you can begin possession with a clean first touch, that you can regain possession in 1 v 1, and that you can begin the counter.
- Spatial awareness. How do you anticipate where the space is when building out and when closing down? Show that you can create space and solutions for your teammates.
- Balancing long and short range distribution. You have to know when to speed things up and slow things down. If you give your team the time to set up for a counter-attack, your actions decide whether they have a goal-scoring opportunity. Possession and control are important in this position because your position on the field.
- Prove that you are a vital link. This position is critical to linking the backs to that attacking group depending on the midfield formation.
- Ability in the air. You are the shield. Show you can win balls in the air.
Watch a Sample Defensive Center Midfielder Highlight
What the Trace moment above shows college coaches: In this Trace moment, the outside back gets the ball. The defensive center midfielder pulls away just a little bit and creates a space. He reads the play and starts his transition before the ball is played, closes the ground, steps in, and wins the tackle. But the best is when he starts the counter attack, realizes the goal keeper is off the line, and then finishes from 45 yards out. This is an awesome demonstration of closing ground, creating a counter, and having the intelligence to finish a goal.