When you first start to play soccer, coaches usually give importance to basic skills like passing, dribbling, and shooting. However, one very essential skill in soccer is often overlooked–and that’s tackling. Possession makes the biggest difference between a team that wins and a team that loses. The team with the most possession has the greater advantage since they have more control over the game. And tackling, is the main arsenal in taking away the opponent’s possession.

Tackling is a little hard to train because it should involve real game scenarios. You can’t really learn to tackle by your own. That’s why it is important for coaches to incorporate tackling training during their mini games in practices.

If you are already playing and are just starting out to learn tackling, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you better understand how to tackle.


First and foremost is your mindset. Be determined, tough, and aggressive. Tackling is mostly instinctual so don’t second guess yourself. If you decide to tackle, then go for it. Failed tackles are a result of you doubting yourself.

Basics of Defense

Second, when you decide to tackle, keep in mind the basics of defense. Do not stab for the ball right away. The key to defense is containment. Force the opponent to an area where he can no longer dribble and pass to a teammate, making him lose control of the ball. This is when you tackle–you wait for them to make a mistake. The key to tackling is patience and determination.

Different Kinds of Tackling

There are different kinds of tackling. The block tackle is when you position yourself in front of the player and tackle the ball as he is coming to you. The side tackle is when you pressure the opponent at his side while he is dribbling the ball. The poke tackle is when you don’t really steal the ball but you “poke” it, making him lose control of the ball. This is best done when one of your teammates is nearby so he can help you steal the ball. The slide tackle is usually done as a last resort and this is when you slide for the ball, which can be very risky for fouls.

Practice makes perfect, so make sure you practice these different types of tackling as much as you can in practice game and you will find that it comes normally when you play in real game. Thank you for reading. Make sure you leave a comment and let us know about anything else we did not talk about.


Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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