Tips for Tackling Better in Football
By Erik Neilson
, last updated January 5, 2012
Anyone who is new to playing football can do themselves a great deal of good by learning how to tackle more effectively. Tackling is often considered to be the most difficult part of the game, especially for beginners. Just because an effective tackle can be difficult to perfect, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things that you can do to work towards it. More often than not, those who have become adept at tackling have spent countless hours practicing their technique, as improvement does not typically happen overnight. By taking the following tips into consideration, however, you can get yourself on the fast-track to perfecting the tackle.
Find the Technique That Works For You
There are a variety of different techniques that can be used in order to effectively tackle an opponent in football. Head-on tackling is one of the most popular techniques in the game, and as it’s name suggests involves tackling the individual by running straight towards them as they approach. Horizontal tackling differs from the head-on technique in that it involves cutting off your opponent as they attempt to pass you, knocking them down from the side instead of taking a direct approach. The combination of these two techniques is known as angle tackling, in which you approach the opponent from an angle as they run towards you. While it’s wise to attempt to master each one of these tackling techniques, many people find that one is more suitable for their playing style than another. As a result, it can be helpful to determine which of these techniques is most effective for you and focus on it entirely for the time being.
Practice Agility Drills
In order to effectively tackle opponents on a consistent basis, you need to do everything possible in order to improve your agility. After all, tackling opponents is all about speed and coordination, without which your tackle will fail to measure up. Agility drills can be very effective in such a case, and can also help to improve other aspects of your game. There are a variety of drills that focus specifically on sprints and quick turns, such as figure runs, box drills and lateral shuffles. Often practiced by receivers, these drills are ideal for those who wish to work on their footwork and thus become more effective at tackling. The more speed and agility you can get out of your performance, the better your chances of taking down opponents as they try to move past you on the field.
Keep Your Eye on the Runner
The most important thing you can do when in the heat of the action is to keep your eye directly on the receiver once they have caught the ball and began running it. There are a great deal of potential distractions on the field at all times, especially when the ball is being run. By focusing only on the person with the ball, you can dramatically increase your chances of being able to intercept them as they attempt to pass you, which can result in an effective tackle.