Decision-making in the tackle

The type of tackle a defender might use depends on the space either side of him. Practise this activity to work on the defender’s decision-making in the set-up, footwork and tackle execution.

No tackler should be square on to the carrier until the last moment. He should approach from the inside or outside – forcing the carrier into a position where the tackler can close him down without being stepped on the inside.

  1. Put a ball carrier and defender in the 5m channel, about 5-10m apart.
  2. The defender runs to the edge of the channel and as soon as he has reached it, the carrier comes forward.
  3. The tackler aims to make a shoulder contact on the side of the carrier, ideally with the “same foot, same shoulder”.

  1. Run through four times on each side and then repeat in the wider box.

  1. Finally, merge the channels and play 2 v 2, using a feeder for the attack.
  2. The defenders have to choose whether to go from out-to-in or in-to-out to cover the attackers.


  • Move sideways before the ball carrier is able to move forward and then come from the angle to make the tackle.
  • Keep balanced as you move forward l In the narrow area, come forward quicker.
  • In the wider area, be ready to give up ground to intercept the ball carrier.
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