Technique And Tactics In Sport: Why Are They Important?

You have certainly heard of technique and tactics in sports, but do you know what exactly these two concepts refer to? They are both very important for performing well and achieving the desired results. 
Technique and tactics in sport: why are they important?

Technique and tactics are two central concepts in every sporting practice. Despite this, they are often confused and we end up losing their true meaning, as well as the vital importance they have for individual and collective performance. Below we deepen the basic characteristics of these two concepts.

These are words also used in other areas, such as business or military. It is common to hear about it even in the media. This frequency, however, does not prevent us from mistaking their meaning or interpreting them incorrectly.

Technique and tactics: definitions

The first aspect to consider is that it is important to be clear about the boundaries of these two concepts, as they both converge and mutually enhance each other at a certain point in sporting practice. By technique and tactics in sports we mean the following.


The technique is linked to the motor learning of the single person; it consists in the execution of movements and in the dexterity necessary to carry out a sport.

Unlike the tactic, the technique does not take into account the opposition of the rival. On the contrary, it is inherent in the sportsman; it depends only on himself, in fact, to obtain a good technique and to be able to shape it during a race.


Tactics in sport can be individual or collective; in both cases, opposition from the opponent is a necessary element to define it. In a nutshell, it consists in the resolution of the game actions, before the match or during its execution, starting from the individual technical conditions and the combination of group actions.

Each team or individual athlete competing in a sport establishes a tactic in advance. Typically, precise workouts are also held to refine the moves that will be adopted.

Soccer team that decides the tactics to be adopted

Despite this, it is equally necessary to consider that the technique always requires a good observation, as the circumstances of a sports match can change and, therefore, it will be necessary to “improvise” to deal with them. Injuries, impacts, expulsions and other unforeseen events can alter the course of a match.

Why are technique and tactics important in sport?

Ultimately, technique is the set of interventions that make a sportsman mediocre, good, excellent or excellent. It is the ability to shape in concrete actions what is required by a game action and what the protagonist’s mind plans and decides. It is therefore evident that this is an indispensable element for sporting success. The purpose of the technique is to ensure the right effectiveness to resolve situations in the best possible way.

On the other hand, tactics are also central, as it aims to achieve good results in a match : scoring goals, winning a cup or medal and adapting to the circumstances of a specific moment. The latter enhances the technique because it allows an athlete to fill the position or function that suits him most according to his characteristics.

To demonstrate the validity of this statement, it is enough to observe how the performance of a sportsman to whom the technical director assigns a role for which he is not technically prepared decreases. In the case of football, for example, it is common for this to occur when the coach asks a defender to play offense. Although he can play well in some games, his lack of technique will certainly be evident if he leads, negotiates and shoots in a hurry.

Tennis match

Tactics and strategy are not synonymous

According to Sampedro (1999), strategy is similar to technique in advance planning, but it encompasses many aspects that go beyond the immediacy of the match.

For example, the strategy concerns concepts such as training planning, nutrition, choice of athletes, etc. It therefore pursues a broader goal, and often does not only concern sports results, but also a greater performance of the individual athlete or team.

Finally, we can distinguish different techniques: individual (one-on-one sport), collective, defensive, offensive, etc. The issue is that all of them must contemplate the technical possibilities of sportsmen and, in all cases, equip them with the necessary resources to make the right decisions according to the circumstances.

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