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Although new approaches to teaching the sport understand that learning football tactics is essential for the athlete to perform well, most coaches invest in technique during training sessions. Exercises to exchange passes, mastery and finishing are common in the trainings.

The individual tactic in football is one of the concepts that is not so explored by coaches, and the result is nothing more than athletes with deficits in their positions

What is individual tactics in football?

Teaching individual tactics in football is nothing more than getting the player to understand and successfully accomplish all the moves his position demands. It’s worth noting that these actions involve moments with and without the ball – without the ball a player needs to know how to move and find the best space. Each position has its characteristics, which may vary according to the tactical scheme of the team.

The tactic, besides varying according to each player’s position, also differs at each moment of the game. The main difference occurs when the team has possession or not.

Why is it important?

The individual tactic is important for the athlete because it is what makes him/her complete. There is no point in a player having a powerful shot if he is never positioned in a place that is conducive to receiving the ball and executing the finish.

Likewise, it is of no use to be able to disarm efficiently if the positioning does not make him close to his opponent when he is in possession of the ball. The technique is added to the individual tactic so that a player can have several resources and can be an important part of the tactical scheme of the coach.

What are the individual tactics according to each football position?


The first tactical lesson for every defender or any athlete covering the defensive sector is in relation to position: he must always keep between the opponent and the goal.


The sides need to learn defensive and offensive tactics. In defence, this player needs to know what to do mainly in situations of covering a team-mate, or in a 1×1 direct marking move.


The midfielder is the player who plays close to the midfield and makes the progression from defense to attack, looking for the socks for a clear pass. For this function he needs to have a good vision of the game.


The striker is a moving player. He needs to have a good reading of the game, create spaces, occupy the sides and pull the mark. He’s an offensive player, responsible for setting up the attack moves.

Centre forward

The forward is the most advanced athlete of the team – he has as main function the finishing of the plays. This function requires a lot of technique to hit shots and headers. But besides that, this player needs to be very tactical. The attacking play is usually very fast, so he must have an agile movement to get rid of the marking and occupy an empty space, which gives conditions for the play to be completed successfully.

Knowing about football tactics and especially individual tactics in football allows the coach to train more effective players. There are some courses that have the purpose of teaching a little more about this subject, and this is an excellent way that the professionals in the area can use to be always updated.

Now you know that an athlete in a football team needs to know the tactical and technical elements in order to understand the tactical scheme of his team.