Tracking is a defensive term for guiding an attacker into a advantageous position for your tackle. It is key for giving you the best chance of making the tackle one on one.
Tracking assists in buying time for your team-mate to realign defensive strategies and create pressure towards the attack, while your team is under defensive pressure.
When defending one on one, you want to limit how vulnerable you are by taking away your oppositions options. Limiting these options should increase your confidence by putting you in a better position and allowing you to continually close space in a controlled manner, until you are in the best position to make a quality tackle.
Coaching Points on a Specific Tracking Defensive Example: Inside Shoulder Man on Man Defense.
- Stay on the balls of your feet at all times, like the battle stance we mentioned earlier.
- Invite the attacker to attack your outside channel, perhaps using the sideline as the indicator for the outside, while remaining on his inside to ensure the player can only go one way.
- Move only as fast as the attacker, as this will reduce the likelihood of you over chasing across the front of your opponent or ending up in a ‘chase angle’*.
- Take away the space by continuing to move towards the ball carrier.
*The Chase Angle: We use the term for over shooting called the ‘chase angle’ in defense. It means you’ve pushed up to much and have no option but to chase the defender from behind. This is NOT what we want! At this point, control of the attacker has been lost.