Psychology of Tackling
The psychological aspect of tackling plays a vital role in the outcome of any competitive soccer game. A successful tackle in the game can install confidence not only for the challenging player, but to the team as a whole. It is estimated that each player will face approximately forty individual confrontations per game. The more these individual battles are won the greater success the team has.
The Block Tackle
The Non-kicking foot should be placed alongside the ball (approximately 10" to the side). The ankle joint of the tackling foot must be firm and locked. The knees should be bent to lower the center of gravity of the player. This will produce a compact and more powerful shape.
The head and upper body should be over the ball. The hands should be closed (make a fist). This will tighten the upper body.
Contact is made with the inside of the foot. Contact on the ball should be made through the horizontal mid-line and center of the ball. Quality tackling is as much an attitude as it is technique. Players must develop an aggressive attitude towards winning the ball.
The Slide Tackle
Approach the ball from a "Side - On" position. Keep the head steady and eye's fixed firmly on the ball.While turning sideways into the tackle, extend the closest arm to the ball and reach for the ground. This will help take the weight off the upper body as you slide to the ground. At the same time the player should collapse the leg closest to the ball to get to the ground quickly.
When the player is on the ground alongside the ball, the player should then extend the upper leg and using a sweeping action, attempt to win the ball.
If you cannot keep possession of the ball, then all attempts should be made to redirect the ball away from the player. The slide tackle should only be used as a last resort to dispossess a player. As you will be lying on the ground it will be a disadvantage should the tackle not be successful.
RESTRAINT WHEN DEFENDING
Knowing "When" and "When" not to tackle is a very important quality for smart defending. Good defenders will pick the right time to win the ball, knowing that the pressure is on the attacker to beat his man. Experienced defenders will look to slow down the attacker and eliminate the momentum the attacker may have. This allows time for teammates to recover back goal side of the ball.
Tips to Consider:
Approach the attacker cautiously if he has good possession of the ball. Slow down your approach speed on your last few steps. Don't stop too close to the defender. This is when you are at your most vulnerable, because the exact moment you plant your feet to transfer your weight, good forwards will play the ball past you. You can compensate by stopping approximately 2 yards away from the attacker, then slowly edge in for the tackle. Watch the ball. Cunning forwards will use a variety of body and head feints to throw you off balance. Players lie, but the ball does not.
TIMING OF THE TACKLE
Timing a tackle is an art in itself. You must assess the flight of the ball quickly. Does your opponent have good control over the ball or are they still trying to get the ball under control? If their eyes are fixed on the ball and still trying to secure it, this is a perfect time to catch your opponent unexpectedly. Should your opponent have the ball under good control, caution is your best option.
Tips to consider:
Watch your opponent’s head. Is their head down and looking at the ball or up and scanning the field of play? If it's down, go for the ball, if it's up, be patient. Wait until the attacker pushes the ball out of their feet to make your tackle. This is the point where the ball is furthest away from the body and harder to control. The longer you delay the attack, the more time it gives your teammate to recover goal-side of the ball. Don't dive into the tackle if you are the last defender. Stay on your feet. Use a slide tackle as a last resort.