Summary: Tackling is a lethal defensive move that can impede the flow of your opponent’s game.
Learning how to play good defense in soccer is a task that involves a multitude of commitments. For one, you need to be mentally prepared and confident in your abilities. Secondly, you need to be physically able to keep up with your opponents to apply the necessary pressure. Here are some tips that’ll help you bring your game to the next level.
Pressuring Your Opponent
Whomever you decide to model your game after, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind: always keep the ball in front of you. Standing a player up and keeping them in front of you at all times is the key to a turnover or a missed shot. Don’t try and dive in and win the ball immediately to score brownie points with your coach, it’ll likely end with you getting left in the dust. Solid defense emphasizes blocking your opponent’s passing lanes and forcing them to make poor decisions. It’s also important that you don’t get sucked in when playing tight defense, which is what many tactical players like to do with good defenders.
Your Equipment Won’t Change the Game
This is a pretty obvious one, but something that’s worth mentioning. Whether you’re wearing the latest soccer shoes or some discount soccer cleats that you purchased from a flea market, your game doesn’t depend on the apparel that you wear. Although there may be some discomfort involved, purchasing the most expensive equipment isn’t going to make you a transcendent player overnight, no matter what the manufacturers say. It’s all about comfort and personal preference. Play your game in equipment that feels right.
Model Your Game After a Player
As a kid, you’ve probably watched a certain team and admired a specific player. Well, have you ever tried modeling your game after him or her? Find defensive players that have a trademark style and try to pinpoint what he or she does to get the opponent reeling. Each player understands his or her strengths and utilizes them to win the ball. It can be something as small as breaking up the play before it even starts.
It’s important to always remain a student of the game. Your own style will eventually come through consistent playing and development.
Tackling is a defensive maneuver that involves technique and practice. Soccer Garage, a premiere soccer establishment, recommends that you start with the fundamentals of tackling. Keep the offensive player in front of your and try and slow him or her down until you have space. Then, you’ll want to start pushing the player towards the side and shuffle backwards until you force them into another player or the sideline. Then, it’s time for you to win the ball and make a solid tackle. There are two ways that you can proceed here: poke the ball away or win the possession. Either play yields a positive result for your team so make a solid judgment call and take what the offense is giving you.