What is tackling in football?
We explore what tackling is, why it matters and how you can help your team develop this essential skill.
Tackling is about winning the ball from an opponent. In the past, this required players to impose themselves and dominate confrontational situations. Today, this is less of a priority.
That doesn’t mean the desire to win possession has disappeared. It’s just that, as football has evolved, challenging for the ball has become more technical.
Nowadays, to win the ball successfully, players must be skilful defenders. They need to:
- know how to dominate 1v1s when their opponent has the ball
- read patterns of play and postural cues to anticipate and intercept
- understand how to press and cover
- be able to change speed and direction quickly
- use their body to manoeuvre opponents off the ball
- make good contact on the ball at the right time
- be able to win the ball cleanly and as early as possible.
To see players challenging for the ball, take a look at the video below.