For hockey players to have successful matches, it is important to learn the different types of tackles, and for coaches to demonstrate them in the correct manner so that players understand their function in the game and how to correctly perform them.
The different types of tackles are:
- Marking Tackle
- Open Field Tackle
- Tackle from behind
- Sliding Tackle
- Left/Right Interception
- Double-handed Block Tackle
- One-handed Block Tackle
- Left/Right Jab
- Poke Tackle
- Flat or Indoor Tackle
- Sweep Tackle
- Stopping/Destroying Tackle
Coaches, it is important to teach your players to tackle correctly.
There are 5 key elements of a tackle:
- Footwork and weight distribution. This allows the player to move quickly in the field.
- Stick positioning. A player’s stick should be between the defender’s feet with head of stick on the ground.
- The player should be watching the ball rather than the opponent’s body movements.
- Body position. The player should approach an opponent in a shoulder to shoulder body position. This is vital when channelling an opponent or an attacker to their weaker side.
- Quick hands. The ability to move the stick speedily to either side of the body, leading with the left hand.
Make sure to watch your players’ centre of gravity, as a tackling player who is not balanced can easily be out manoeuvred by the opponent changing direction. Also explain to them when the best time to use a tackle is – the key to a successful tackle is timing.