The concept of tactics in soccer (and all the terms used to describe it) clearly is complex. Is there another soccer topic that lends itself so well to arguing and philosophizing? Understanding tactics is an important component of success in the game. It is not easy defining such a general term in a practical way that we can understand and use.
The importance of tactics for players and spectators
Tactics are what allow players to make full use of their technical skills, their creativity, their intelligence and their unique personal characteristics. Tactics are the methods or strategies with which players employ their skills. Choosing whether to pass or keep the ball and initiative a 1 v. 1 is a tactical decision.
For spectators, soccer is athletic theater. Spectators do not just observe the actions of the players; they also predict outcomes, envision potential successful game sequences and analyze results, especially if they have some personal experience in the game. A strong appeal of the game lies in comparing the products of one's own imagination with the real events unfolding on the field. For the big games, objective criticism and evaluation provides a pastime for millions of people, sometimes for days afterwards, and it adds to the aura of the sport. Tactics are the key to the dramatic composition of the game; they create an atmosphere of suspense and excitement between players and spectators.
The importance of tactics for coaches
In the "theater" of soccer, the coach is like a director. Tactics give coaches a chance to play a role in the welfare of their teams, at least indirectly, through their ideas and strategies. The importance of tactics for individual coaches depends largely on their attitudes and expectations. Those who favor a "tactically refined" playing style look for a calculating tactical intelligence in their players, and they expect even younger players to maintain at least some degree of tactical discipline on the field. Other coaches believe that soccer is primarily a competitive physical contact sport, and that players need assertiveness, aggressiveness, good condition, strength of will, a willingness to get involved and an appreciation of the game in conjunction with technical skills in order to succeed on the soccer field. In defining your own relationship to tactics and tactics training, you should consider the following instruction: