What is tactical awareness in football?
Tactical awareness is the ability from a football player to know what is (possibly) going to happen. When a player is aware of what is going to happen he is able to make better choices and respons faster to situations. This is a very big quality. The best players think two steps ahead opposite to their opponents and have a bigger impact on the game.
How to improve tactical awareness?
Well, this is the hardest part. Let’s start with the hardest option. You can try to analyze the best football players in the world. Most of them have reached these levels because of their technical, physical and/or tactical skills (learn more about the definition of tactical skills). But we have to be honest. Even the best players in international football are making big mistakes when it comes to tactical football. This has nothing to do with their coach’s plan. This has to do with the smallest of details in different game actions. Later more. There is a better option to work on your tactical awareness: working together with your personal individual tactical coach.
What to improve?
When you want to work on your tactical awareness you have to be aware on different aspects of the game. It all starts with awareness in match situations. This is the ability to recognize where the ball is, where the opponent is, what the ball circumstances are, where the space is and where other teammates and opponents are. If you are aware of the most important factors, your decision making will improve. For example: when the opponent is running down the flanks with the ball. He stop’s the ball because he has time and space. That’s when you – as a centre back – have to be aware of possible cross/depth play. So, when do you scan? How do you scan? Where do you scan? What is your next choice (decision making): game action?
Improving game actions
After you’re being more aware of what is going to happen, you will be able to make faster and better decision making. And after being able to make better decisions you start working on the execution of your decisions (actions). That’s when you make an ever bigger impact to your game. Do you want to start with individual tactical analysis? Or do you – as a coach or scout – want to improve your skills? Start with the scouting course from Tactical Base.
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.