Soccer Definitions - T PDF Print E-mail

Tackle
To steal the ball. Mostly done while standing (see "Shoulder Charge" & "Block Tackle"), but also see "Slide Tackle". (Also see "Fouls").

Tactical Foul
(aka "Professional Foul"). See "Professional Foul".

Tactics
See "Formations", "Creating Space", "Attacking" & "Defense".

Takeover
When a ballhandler moves in one direction but leaves (i.e., "drops") the ball for a teammate behind him who moves in a different direction. Too complicated for youth teams.

Target Player
The player who is "targeted" to receive the ball when attacking. Also, a forward whose job is to get as close as possible to the opponent's goal without being offside. Teammates will try to get this player the ball by passing or "through balls". Also, a potential receiver who gets in scoring position.

Techniques
Skills such as dribbling, shooting, passing, receiving, throw-ins, etc.

The Game is the best teacher
This is a frequently repeated statement & there is truth to it, but don't think it means that a coach isn't needed. I can't imagine a child who wouldn't benefit from being taught proper technique & basic soccer terms, concepts & rules. These aren't things a child will learn by themselves in the backyard. However, "over coaching" can be as bad as "under coaching", & that is what "The Game Is The Best Teacher" warns against. Thinking of yourself as a "teacher" & not as a "coach" may help you avoid the tendency to "over coach". Some coaches believe that the best way for players to learn to play is by playing or scrimmaging instead of practicing. This idea doesn't make any more sense for soccer than it does for basketball, hockey or any other sport. Scrimmaging is no substitute for practicing specific skills. Also, if you scrimmage a lot your players may be less excited about their real games. (See "Over Coaching" & "Small Sided").

Third Attacker
An attacker who is in scoring position or running with the attack but a long pass away from the First Attacker.(See "First Attacker", "Second Attacker", & "Third Man Running").

Third Man Running
(aka "Third Attacker). The concept that, when attacking, a teammate "off-the-play" (i.e., a third player other than the passer & receiver) should run to support the receiver. The "third man" can then become a receiver or an alternate receiver and the original passer can become the "third man" after he passes the ball. Good examples of this can be seen in professional games on TV where a "3 man line" will run toward goal on the attack; for example, the RF with the ball, the CF who is the likely receiver & running toward the near post and the LF who is running toward the far post. (See "Movement Off-The-Ball", "First Attacker", "Third Attacker", "Creating Space", & "Off The-Play").

Through Ball
(aka Through Pass). A pass between defenders into the open space between the fullbacks & the goalkeeper with the idea that a forward will beat the defenders to the ball. There are 2 types: a "Straight Through Ball" & a "Diagonal Through Ball"). (See "Pass To Space", "Leading Pass" & "Pass To Yourself"). This is a very important concept to teach & one that I think should be introduced by U-8 & definitely by U-10. By U-12 (& sometimes by U-10) defenders will be "pushing up" & it will become very difficult for attackers to dribble past the "Last Defender". "Through Balls", "Passing to Yourself", "Switching The Play" & "Wall Passes" become the keys to a successful offense. If the other team is having success with through balls, it may be because your defense if "flat" & doesn't have "depth". (See "Depth", "Zone Defense", "Push Up", "Last Defender", "Leading Pass", "Give & Go", "Pass To Space", "Diagonal Through Ball", "Styles of Play" & "Stretch The Field").

Throw In
Throw-ins are very important because each team will take 25 or more of them during a game. When the ball goes out of bounds over the side line ( i.e. the "touch line"), it is "out" on the team that last touched it before it crossed totally over the side line & the other team inbounds it by a "throw-in" For a throw-in to be legal: (a) the ball must be thrown from behind & over the head (b) it must be thrown using both hands (c) the thrower must face the field (d) at the instant the ball leaves the thrower's hands, some part of both feet must be on the ground, either on or outside the side line. If the thrown ball does not enter the field, the throw-in is retaken by the same team. The thrower may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. The penalty for an illegal throw-in is that your team loses the ball & the other team gets to take a throw-in from the same spot. A goal may not be scored on a direct throw-in (i.e., it doesn't count if it is thrown into the goal without another player touching it first). A player is not offside if he receives the ball direct from a throw-in. An opponent is guilty of unsporting behavior and should be given a yellow card if he unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower. When a throw-in is awarded the Assistant Referee will point the flag in the direction in which the attackers will advane (i.e. toward the goal of the team it is out on).

Toe Kick
Generally to be avoided because it is easy to mis-kick the ball with the toe (the inside of foot or instep is much larger & more reliable). However, if near the goal or to steal the ball, a "toe-poke" (as opposed to a kick) is perfectly acceptable. (See "Drive" & "Pass").

Toe Poke
A type of "tackle" that is usually made by poking the ball with the toes of the front foot. Also refers to a toe-kick that has a short backswing. (See "Tackle" & "Toe-Kick").

Total Soccer
A style of play that allows all players to come into the attack or to play defense. This was used successfully by the Dutch in the 1970's. It requires outstanding speed, stamina, skill and decision making. This style is not suitable for most teams and is rarely used today. It can leave a team without depth, width and field coverage.

Touch Line
Side line.

Tracking
When a defender stays with an attacker (i.e., marking him man-to-man) even though the attacker has run into another defender's zone. The alternative to this is to "pass on" the attacker to another defender. (See "Passing On").

Trailer
On the attack, the player behind the ballhandler should move up & stay open for a backward pass. Having a trailer is also a big advantage if you lose the ball, because he is in a good position to defend. A "trailer" is also used in basketball. (See "First Attacker").

Trap
There are occasions when a player should literally trap the ball; for example, if an "air ball" is coming at his feet, he can use the bottom of his foot to trap the ball against the ground. However, when someone uses the term "trap" or "trapping", they usually mean "receive" or "receiving". The terms trap & trapping are falling out of use in favor of "receive" & "receiving". Years ago, the objective was to "trap" the ball using the feet, chest, thigh, etc. Today, play is more sophisticated & the objective is usually not to "trap" the ball, but to receive the ball so it goes in the direction & the distance that is advantageous for the receiver (e.g., left, right, or forward and toward open space away from defenders).

Travel Soccer
(aka "Select Soccer"). See "Select Soccer" & "Recreational Soccer".

Triangles
Like basketball, triangles are an important part of attacking soccer. This means that at least 2 teammates should always be supporting the ballhandler & one of these should be a "trailer".

Turn the Defender
A misdirection play with the objective of causing a defender to turn by using a decoy run or a pass. Wall passes are a very good way to "turn the defender". (See "Commit The Defender" & "Channel" for the definition of turning the attacker).

Turns
The primary methods of turning are the "Pullback" (aka "Drag Back"), the "Hook" (aka the outside-of-foot hook), the "Cutback" (aka the inside-of-foot hook) and the "Stop/Turn". These are described herein and in "Techniques and Fancy Footwork", which is part of the Premium site.

Two Touch
When the ball is stopped & then passed so that it has been touched (Key Concept) 2 or more times it is called a two touch pass. (See "One Touch").

 
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