Your Letters & Pictures

(More about) Slide Tackles in Youth Soccer

Dear Readers and soccer lovers,

When, sometimes, I take some an unconventional position in my weekly news letter, it is because I receive this kind of emails:


Hi Coach,

I have been reading your articles with great interest over the last couple of months, and felt compelled to respond regarding slide tackles. I am at this moment nursing my 13 year old son through a broken collar bone as a result of a slide tackle that threw him in the air, and, well, the rest is as they say history. At this age, and maybe any age, players just do not "get" this technique, and I feel it is entirely too dangerous. My son will be out of the season for the next two months as a result of another player being trained to do the very thing that took my son out. Sure he got a yellow card and a talking to, but my son got a trip to the emergency room and 2 months to figure out what to do with himself.

Thanks for sharing your opinion on this subject, as I think play at this level appears to me to be a lot of "rugby style" and not enough finesse, and I am a former women's rugby player, so I know from where I speak. Keep up the great articles. I don't always agree with you, but you always provide me with food for thought. My only hope is that my son's injury does not have long lasting psychological effects.


I took away the name because there is no need, but it is something that really moved me emotionally and daily reminds me that when I send out my opinions, my point of view, to more than 3,300 soccer lovers in San Francisco and the Bay Area, of all age and sex, I have an enormous responsibility. This gives me great satisfaction, but at the same time, I'm worried. People, at any age, get badly injured, and it is not always about having some fun if we permit behavior that is potentially dangerous.

I know that many leagues of youth players or over 40 and 50, already forbid slide tackle. It's my hope that very soon all the leagues in the middle will do the same. As I said in the article, the beautiful game will only be more beautiful without taking away any of it's fascination.

Coach Gianni

Posted on 06 Jun 2006 by coachgianni
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