Skillful players can read or anticipate an opponent’s moves during play. Being able to read a player’s intentions is essential in order to execute a proper defensive tackle. Failing to do so, can result in moving out of position and allowing your opponent to proceed, or worse, getting a yellow card. Here are three main defensive tackle techniques:
The block tackle is the most basic tackle in soccer. First anchor your supporting foot to maintain stability. Then use the arch of your other foot to block your opponent when he touches the ball. If executed properly, the opponent will lose the ball or stumble over your outstretched leg.
Then there is the poke tackle. This tackle requires timing and some level of skill as you have to stab the ball away from your opponent using the foot that is closest to the ball. The typical poke tackle is done while moving and requires excellent timing.
Lastly, there is the slide tackle. This tackle looks spectacular but should be a last resort. Most slide tackles are used in desperation when a player is about to pass or when you are away from your goal. Players even slide tackle when opponents are running down the sideline and/or dribbling.
Tackling is an effective tool for any player to use during a game. It does come with its own share of risks, as a poorly timed tackle can result in a foul and injury to either player. Tackle only when necessary and only as a last resort.