We can divide tactical skills into 2 different phases: being aware of the environment (1) and the decision making (2). Both of these aspects determine whether a player has tactical skills or not. After awareness and the decision making phase, a players tries to execute the chosen game action. Whether this succeeds or not is mostly due to physical and/or technical qualities, but also because of tactical qualities. So you can divide tactical skills into 3 parts. This is the broad definition of tactical football skills.
Awareness in football
Tactical awareness is the ability to know where you are at the field, but also know where your teammates (possible help and chances) and opponents (possible threats) are. You also have to be aware of what match situation is happening or can happen and what the ball circumstances are (ready to play, open passline, et cetera). Read more about tactical awareness in this article.
As a player you have thousands of choices to make in each match. Are you going to dribble (which direction and speed), pass (short, long, width or central), choose position (outside or inside of the field), approach to your opponent or just step off. These are some examples of decisions you have to make in each match. If you manage to know what decisions you have and instant take the right ones, you’ll make a better impact in the game. But what are the best decisions? Your individual performance coach knows.
Executions of game actions
When you make a decision, you start to do an execution of a game action. For example: you choose to approach your opponent. The game action is ‘approaching’ and we look at the ‘how’-questions. Why you are running at that speed, direction, body movement, et cetera. Every game action has aspects to judge when doing game action executions.
Example of tactical skills
You – as a centre back – have two opponents in your zone (match situation). The passlines are open and both opponents are ready to receive the ball (ball circumstances). You have to make a decision: approaching (when the ball is being played), stepping off from the situation or stay in your zone (decision making). When you choose to step off you should be aware of some executions like for example body movement and positioning.
Thank you for reading this blog about the definition of tactical football skills. Want to know more about individual football, check out our football blog and service.
Tactical Base (founded in 2021) is a company that guides professional football players and clubs in various national- and international competitions (MLS, Bundesliga, Premier League, Champions League, f.e.) worldwide. Nowadays, the company also trains scouts and analysts to improve their impact.