Tackling drills

Here is a selection of tackling drills and a game to help your soccer team when out of possession.

Click on the headings for in-depth instructions on how to implement the tackling drills.

1. Block tackle

This tackling drill emphasises the importance of getting in range before making a challenge. A poorly executed tackle can mean conceding a free-kick, a yellow or red card, or injuring a member of the opposition. When making a block tackle, players must understand the importance of timing.

2. Slide tackle

Another common way of winning the ball back is by using the slide tackle. This is often used when the attacker is running at the defender and threatening to take the ball beyond them. This drill shows players how to make the sliding tackle from the side and across the path of the opponent.

3. Poke tackle

This 1v1 defending drill encourages players to get a toe on the ball so it either goes out of play or wins possession back for their team. It can be highly effective when an opponent is running at one of your players or attempting to shield the ball from them. Make sure players practise using their right foot then their left foot.

4. Intercepting

This drill is all about anticipating the opposition, and getting your players into a position where they can cut out passes. Remaining goal and ball side and staying within touching distance with a slightly sideways-on body position are key when trying to intercept the ball

5. Game to improve tackling technique

This article contains a three-step diagram and focuses on improving players’ overall tackling technique. You must split your squad into four, with each group having a goal to defend. One player from each group takes to the field and must defend their goal. As soon as they concede, they lose a life. The team with the last player on the pitch wins.

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