They are used as synonyms, but they don’t. They can be confused because the limits are not clear.

Which are the differences? Why it’s so important to differentiate them well?

Photo: Behind The Athlete


Technique/Skills: Set of biomechanical and anatomic-functional models that movements of a specific sport have implicit to be performed with maximum efficiency. (Schmidt, R. 1991)

Tactics: It is the intelligent combination of technical motor resources, individually and collectively, to solve the situations of the game that appear from the competitive activity itself. (Sampedro, J. 1986)

If we leave the academic world

Take it to the field/court, we could say that:

Skills are the motor execution of a sport move. Tactics is the right choice of the right skill for specific game situation.

If we increase our skills without enhancing their application to the game by taking good decisions, we will be wasting our time, as long as the competition demands decisions.

“Skills are the motor execution of a sport move and the tactic is the right choice of the right skill for specific game situation”

That is why there are players with and incredible technique that they do not take any advantage during games. That is why there are players who, with a few technical resources, almost always make the right decisions and take advantage of their skills.

The strategy is the previous approach that should be made based on our technical and tactical resources (individual and collective).

The strategy is decided before the game situation. However, technique and tactics are carried out during the game situation.

“Strategy: the plan we drew before an action to carry it out”

If a player decides to stop a fast break with a foul because at the moment he considers that he does not want to give the advantage to the opponent, this is tactics, because he decides during the game situation.

If as a team we decide that any situation of clear advantage, mismatch or fast break will be denied and stopped with a foul, this is strategy, because obviously we need to recognize that action, but the approach and the instruction was already given before the game situation.

Knowing what is used in each moment is the key to becoming aware of what we can use in each situation to achieve the maximum level.

In summary…

Photo: Behind the Athlete