There comes a time in soccer when you have to tackle hard to make a statement. That's what "get stuck in" means.
Momentum is often led by goals and near goals, but a tough tackle can turn the tide and lift the team as well. And it's more about the intensity of the play, the tough tackle, that gets your team going and builds confidence. This is what "getting stuck in" is all about.
When the time is right, get stuck in and make a tough tackle to get your soccer team going. Older players on the team have to stick up for younger players if they're on the receiving end of a hard tackle. If one of your teammates suffers a hard challenge, you have to make sure that the other team knows they can't get away with that. They have to know that your team knows how to tackle hard too.
Also, the captain of the team has to set the tone and sort things out if the right tone’s not there. Sometimes this can be done with actions rather than words, and via getting stuck in - a hard tackle or challenge to lift the spirit of your team. Think about players like Roy Keane or Carlos Puyol, these are players who got stuck and demanded the best from their teammates.
Also, if one of your players suffers an unfair tackle, is pushed off the ball, or roughed up and the referee doesn’t call it, your team has to react, don’t let the other team intimidate you. This is true especially if one of your players is being targeted when they're playing well, say your team's skillful attacking midfielder, you have to snuff this out. Don’t put up with this. Show the other team that you can play tough but fair soccer. Don't let another team kick or tackle you're best players without getting some of that in return.
A tough tackle can steer the direction your team takes from the start of the game. Let the opposing team know you’re there to play by getting stuck in. This means winning any knockdowns or fifty-fifty balls and challenging any play - not letting the ball bounce but beaten the other team to the ball.
Show the opposing team that this soccer game isn’t going to be any stroll in the park. This is especially true if you're playing a team that's supposed to be better than your team say on paper, and who are used to waltzing through games as other teams lay down for them from the get go. Instead, work hard to win 50-50 balls and get stuck in when you need to.
I’m sure if you add up all the stats on this you’d find that the team that’s winning the winning the knockdowns or the fifty-fifty balls ends up winning the game. Players have to challenges balls in the air and win the ensuing flicks that come from these challenges. If one player is playing tough defense the other players need to read the play and see where and how they can win the ball. Watch Barcelona, and how they all fight to win the ball back when they lose it.
Don’t wildly rush in to win the ball or recklessly foul another player, but read the play and see where you’re needed. Strive to play level headed but with some toughness to your game when it's called for. Nobody needs to get a red card but sometimes a hard tackle and an ensuing yellow card is actually needed if you're teams being pushed around.
Some of these challenges in the video below might be deemed unfair, but the point is that sometimes you have to make a statement with a tough tackle. Still, the best kinds of tackles are ones that are fair but hard. You get most of the ball but maybe a bit of leg or body to let them know you're there. And, the best tackles are when you go in hard but fair and then you reach your hand out afterwards to help the player up. You know the play was a bit harsh but also just part of the game. Take a look at some of the tackles below.