Whenever we think of soccer, we think of kicks and goals being scored. Therefore, it is often surprising to hear that there is more involved in soccer than just kicking the ball. For example, players are allowed to tackle each other in order to make their team improve their odds of scoring. There are three basic kinds of tackles in soccer: the side tackle, the slide tackle, and the block tackle.
What Is a Slide Tackle in Soccer?
Since a slide tackle is one of the most prevalent attacks in soccer, it is commonly used. However, it is also one of the riskiest tackles since it can cause injuries if done incorrectly. The slide tackle involves taking the ball with an extended leg as a player slides on his other, bent leg.
How Do You Slide Tackle Someone in Soccer?
A slide tackle can be a great way to change the game and get your team back on track. Therefore, it is beneficial to practice your slide tackle whenever you can. Here are the steps to performing a successful slide tackle.
Run Next to an Opponent
Since tackling someone from behind isn't allowed in soccer, you must run alongside the other player.
Stay Focused on the Ball
In order to succeed at your slide tackle, you will need to steal the ball from the opposing player. Therefore, be sure to remain focused on the ball so that you'll be able to know when the ball has either gone a little out of the other player's reach or closer towards you.
Consider Your Game Plan
Suppose your slide tackle is successful; what is the plan after you have possession of the ball? Of course, if your only objective is getting the ball away from the opposing player, your foot placement matters less. However, if you intend to keep possession of the ball, you'll need to consider your future steps.
Check Out Your Position on the Field
Slide tackles are most effective when there is assistance nearby. So attempting a side tackle in the middle of the field with no players around might not be the best time.
Start Bending Your Leg That Is Closest to the Other Player
If you bend your leg while doing a slide tackle, you not only minimize the risk of injury but also shorten the time it'll take you to get back up again after the tackle.
Extend Your Other Leg Into the Slide
It is best to use your stronger leg here because it will be easier to control the ball with your more dominant leg. A good slide tackle happens in a swift and fluid movement. The player quickly bends the leg, extends the other, slides to the ground, and gets control over the ball.
Position Yourself on Your Extended Leg’s Hip
If your bottom ends up being parallel to the ground, you lose leverage, balance, and control. Therefore, keep yourself angled so that you land on your extended leg's hip.
Avoid Hitting Your Opponent With Your Cleats
Slide tackles often result in injury because soccer players don't keep their cleats down when they tackle. If your cleat isn't down and you hit the opposing player, you can hurt the player and receive a penalty/foul.
Touch the Ball With Your Cleat
A slide tackle will only be allowed if a player made contact with the ball before touching the other player. Therefore, aim to touch the ball with your foot as soon as you can.
Move Your Leg to Get Control of the Ball
If you simply want to knock the ball away, you might just need to move your leg slightly. However, if you choose to hook the ball, you will need to swing your leg outward so that the swinging motion moves the ball away from your opponent.
Get Back on Your Feet
The faster you can get up after a slide tackle, the better. The most considerable risk of your slide tackle comes now since you still need to rise to be able to control the ball entirely.
Pick Up Speed by Dribbling the Ball
Now that you have the ball, you want to decrease the odds of the opponent regaining control of the ball. Do so by quickening your pace and dribble the ball. Then you can continue with your game plan.
What Should You Remember When Slide Tackling?
The game of soccer is highly entertaining, fun, and challenging. A slide tackle is an example of this. However, there are some factors that you should keep in mind to reduce the odds of injury and earning a penalty. Always keep these tips in mind when slide tackling an opposing player.
Never Tackle a Player From Behind
This is never allowed. In fact, it is considered so dangerous that it usually results in a red card.
Keep Your Cleats Down
Your cleats can do some severe damage. Therefore, keep the risk low by keeping your cleats down during your slide tackle.
Judge the Ball’s Position
It is best to weigh up the distance of the ball in relation to where you are. If you attempt a slide tackle when the ball is out of reach, you'll unnecessarily risk injuring yourself and the opposing player.
Look at Your Teammates’ Positions
If your teammates aren't in the correct positions to carry the game plan through, your slide tackle will result in a failed attempt. Therefore, it is best to attempt it when they are ready to help you.
Consider Whether a Slide Tackle Is Needed
If there is another way to gain control of the ball, it is best to use a different method.
Weigh Up Other Tackles
No one can deny that slide tackles look phenomenal. However, other tackles might be able to give you the same results without the risks.
Tackle With Confidence
Once you have decided to do a slide tackle, commit to the tackle with confidence. Don't make a half-hearted attempt. Instead, give it your all.
Soccer can bring people together. A team grows together as the sport challenges the players and brings out their strengths. So enjoy the game, play responsibly, and work on your slide tackle.