Top 10 Most Difficult Positions To Play In All Of Sports

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For this list, we are focusing on the positions from a variety of sports that are difficult to play from both a physical and technical standpoint.

10. Center – (Basketball)

Difficult Positions in Sports
Some people believe that basketball isn’t a physical game, but anyone who’s ever played the center position will say otherwise. Also known as the five, centers require height, weight, and strength in order to be successful. They’re responsible for posting up down-low under the basket, and they take a lot of physical contact from defenders. They also need to be able to defend the rim on the defensive end while having the stamina to run up and down the court with the smaller, quicker players. In short, it’s tough for a team to succeed without a talented big man.

9. Wicket-Keeper – (Cricket)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Fielding the ball in cricket is incredibly difficult, but no one has it tougher than the wicket-keeper. This player stands behind the wicket and is responsible for catching any ball that has nicked the batsman’s bat, and for preventing runs being scored by stopping the ball if it gets by the batsman. Not only that, the wicket-keeper may also be tapped to bowl, making him the renaissance man on the team as well. This is one of the more physically demanding positions in the sport, as evidenced by the fact that the wicket-keeper is the only player on the field who can wear leg guards and gloves. This position requires incredible reflexes and a whole lot of courage.

8. Catcher – (Baseball)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Sticking with a similar theme, the catcher is responsible for catching the pitches delivered by the pitcher. What makes this position so tough is the number of different responsibilities that come with it. For example, the catcher typically “calls” the game, which means he has to know each batter’s strengths and weaknesses to call the right pitches at the right time. He’s responsible for preventing base runners from stealing bases, meaning he has to have a strong arm, and he typically aligns the defensive fielders. Oh, and he also has to catch a 100 mph fastball while remaining in a crouch position for 9 innings.

7. All Positions – (Water Polo)

Difficult Positions in Sports

While there are several different positions in water polo, we have included all water polo players for the number seven spot on our list. These players need to be exceptional swimmers as they play in a deep pool that limits or prevents them from standing. As such, they also need excellent stamina to be able to swim consistently. They also need to be coordinated enough to catch and shoot the ball with just one hand. And, although you may not be able to see it, there is a lot of physical contact that happens above and below the water.

6. Goalie – (Lacrosse)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Playing goalie seems easy enough – all you do is keep the ball out of the net. While it may be simple, it definitely isn’t easy. Lacrosse goalies need to be fearless, and not only because professional lacrosse players can shoot the ball at over 10mph. They also must have lightning fast reflexes and short memories, since many lacrosse games end with a ton of goals scored – to succeed, it’s best to forget these as quickly as possible and focus on your next move. Finally, lacrosse goalies have a larger crosse on their stick, which makes it easier to stop the ball, but makes it much harder to pass the ball to players on their team.

5. Scrum-Half – (Rugby)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Rugby is one of the most physically demanding sports there is, so all players on the field need physical strength and a lot of toughness and durability. The scrum-half or half back, however, needs to be able to control the game as well. They’re typically the first person to receive the ball from the “dummy-half”, and thus must make the important decision on which way to lead the attack. The scrum-half needs to be one of the most reliable players on the team who knows the ins and outs of their squad’s attack structure.

4. Pitcher – (Baseball)

Difficult Positions in Sports

The physical requirements of pitching alone make it one of the most difficult positions in sports. While they aren’t getting tackled, the repeated throwing motion the pitcher makes puts a significant amount of strain on their arm and elbow, particularly the ones who throw breaking pitches. In fact, one study showed that the shoulder rotation in pitching is the fastest motion of any human activity. Pitchers also need to have tremendous mental toughness – when they screw up, everyone in the stadium and watching on TV knows it.

3. Quarterback – (American Football)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Similar to pitching, throwing a football puts a tremendous amount of stress on the arm. Quarterbacks have to deal with a lot more than that, however. First, they need to be able to memorize the entire playbook and know the responsibilities of each player on the offense. They must also accurately read defenses and break down holes in coverage. Then, they have to deliver accurate passes that put their receivers in position to make plays after the catch. To top it off, they have to do all of this while several defenders are coming for them at full-speed.

2. Goalie – (Hockey)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Hockey goalies are known for being, well, a little quirky, to put it nicely. But, can you blame them? They have to put their bodies in front of 100 mph slap shots, and only in the last few decades have they started wearing masks! Of course, they also have to be able to skate and have the durability to stop 30+ shots a game. On top of that, they are typically the target of opposing teams’ fans, and if they let in a weak goal, they will immediately hear about it.

1. Goalkeeper – (Football)

Difficult Positions in Sports

Sure, soccer goalkeepers only face a handful of shots each game. They are responsible for defending an 8x24-foot net, however, which would be hard to defend for someone like Shaq let alone a regular sized human. You won’t see them wearing any protective gear despite the fact that players can kick the ball as fast as 70 mph. Plus, they’re also responsible for organizing their team’s defense due to the fact that they can see the entire field, and if they let in a bad goal, you can almost guarantee they will spend years on the blooper reel.

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Alex is a Norwich based music journalist and unapologetic pro-wrestling nerd. He can be found writing about gigs, games, and gutwrench suplexes.

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