Mickie Bowen's Soccer Skills

Originally featured in MEHSTG
Vol. 2 Issue 10 - November 1999

Hi. Iím Mickie Bowen and this is my soccer skills programme.  Today, weíre going to look at tackling.  But first, hereís my best mate, Jimmy Callagher, to show you how to score own goals and donít worry, subtitles are provided.

Hello. The important thing about scoring own goals, like a lot of things in football is timing.  You have to get your run right and aim to get there as the ball arrives.  Be aware of where the man you are supposed to be marking is and get good speed up to ensure you are able to get in front of him.  Then comes the hard part - beating the keeper.  Itís all about the element of surprise.  Luckily, he will be watching the opponent, so you have more of a chance of scoring as the last thing he will be expecting is for you to put the ball past him.  So, remember.  Donít let the forwards take all the glory - get in before them and you can make your own headlines !! 

Thanks Jimmy. Now back to tackling.  Yes, even forwards have to do it sometimes and Iím going to show you different ways of getting your foot in.  Nobody goes on the pitch with the intention of deliberately hurting an opponent, but it doesnít hurt to do so once you get out there.  There are lots of ways you can do this.


1         The late tackle
As a forward, nobody will expect you to tackle properly, so you can get away with all sorts on the pitch. When going towards an opponent, just make sure you get your timing right.  Arrive just that split second too late and leave your foot in the tackle.  If you can do this with your studs showing, all the better.

2         The nudge off balance
When running alongside a defender, put all of your weight on one foot and lean into him as he is about to play the ball.  He will start to fall and kick the ball into touch or into orbit, while you look innocently away making out he must have slipped.

3         The two-footed tackle
Always a good one this.  When preparing for this type of tackle, make sure you have built up enough speed to get both feet off the floor and that you will be almost parallel with the ground when you are in flight.  This is one of the hardest tackles to perfect, but donít worry if you donít get it right first time, the end result will probably still be the same.  Technically, this is one that the Italians have perfected and we must aim to meet their high tackling standards.  When you can do this tackle well, it will make you feel like you can fly and the recipient of your tackle will also be airborne - on a stretcher.

Now, watch as I practice some of these skills on some small children.  Donít forget, you wonít get these right straight away, so keep doing them.  Youíll be surprised what you can get away with !!

Mickie Bowen

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