Tackling is one of the most important skills in all of football. Improper arm tackling can lead to injuries broken tackles, and lost games. It’s important to teach correct technique the first time around to prevent bad habits from forming. Football is a very physically demanding sport and requires you to be both strong, have good flexibility as well as good agility. Not only do you have to be able to hit someone properly but you also have to know how to take a hit properly so that you don’t end up injuring yourself or getting called out by the referee. If you are going to be doing these drills it is important to make sure that you are wearing full football equipment so that you don’t hurt yourself or hurt someone else. It is also important to remember that you will be practicing with your teammates because you will want to go a bit easier on them than you will when you are going against your actual opponents. During the length of a football game your team is going to get tackled countless times and therefore it is one of the most important aspects of the game.
Partner Tackling Technique Drill
For this first drill, the point of the drill is to get down the football tackling technique so that no one on the team gets injured. Get each person on the team to line up against someone who is the same weight as them and stand on either side of the sideline. Pick one side of the line to tackle and pick one side of the line to receive the tackle. In order to get everyone tackling properly start at one side of the line up and go one at a time down the ling. Make sure that the person who is doing the tackling aims for the inside hip of the person receiving the tackle. Make sure that the contact is made with the shoulder pads and not the persons head and make sure that the person doing the tackling wraps their arms fully around the receiver and that they grab cloth once they wrap their arms around. Make sure that the receiver of the tackle keeps their feet planted wide and in a staggered stance so that they can better absorb the impact. This drill is great for practicing technique and pointing out potential flaws that could cause someone to get injured. If someone has never tackled before it is a good idea to put them with someone with more experience as even the person being tackled can generally tell if it is being done properly and effectively.
Three on Three
The next drill that you should try involves making a bit of a box or a ring in order for your players to practice in. This drill involves team work as well as strength. In this drill you line up three against three and try to overpower your opponents. The nice thing about this drill is that you can have one judge and have the successful group move onto the next group; meaning that they are more tired and less likely to be successful. It is a good idea as a coach to match up a weaker player with two stronger ones so that they are more likely to proceed to a further round and get more tackling practice in. The nice thing about this drill is that it requires team work and good communication from your other teammates so that you know which player you should attempt to take down.
Tackling a Moving Target
If you need to practice tackling someone who is moving then this is a great way to practice both your running plays, cuts and moves. In this drill you have your defence line up and have your receivers start with the ball and attempt to make their way past the defenders simply by their own means. It is a good idea to have your offense run with the football so that you can blow the whistle down just like a real game if they happen to drop the ball. This drill is a real challenge for your offense but is also a great way to get your defense agile and in good shape. This is also a great way to improve the communication of your defense and get them to work together as one unit rather than have them work individually.
One on One Open Field Tackling Drill
One really good drill that you can do in order to improve your team’s ability to tackle other players is to put the smaller kids on your team up against the larger kids on your team and have the smaller kids attempt to take down the larger players. With practice a good football tackler will be able to take down any player regardless of the size difference and you never know how big of a team you are going to be up against so it is important to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. It is important to make sure that your team knows you aren’t picking on the smaller people on the team when doing this drill, you are simply getting them prepared for real gameplay.
Offensive vs Defense Line Drill
This next drill is a great way to increase your defense’s ability to be able to withstand a lineup of other defenders and simulates an actual game. Simply have your defensive lineman line up against four other opposing team members and have them try to hold back the other team. If the other team is capable of getting through the defenders, make the team try again and give them tips as to how to improve. This is a great way to tell if someone is tackling improperly and it is a much safer way to practice tackling when you are doing it against your own teammates compared to when you are tackling in a real game where a win is on the line. This drill is great for helping to improve communication as it allows each person to pick their target and also line up with the person that they feel most comfortable beside. As a coach this can help to give you a good idea as to who might have good chemistry while out on the field.
Hopefully after reading this article you have a better idea as to what it takes to be able to tackle properly. Hopefully some of these drills have given you some ideas in order to both improve your tackling techniques as well as improve your overall performance. It is important to make sure that you are wearing the proper safety equipment and it is important to make sure that you teach each player individually how to hit someone properly as well as how to take a hit properly. It is so easy to get injured in the game of football and all it takes is one bad hit where someone was unprepared in order to have an injury that lasts for a lifetime. Best of luck learning to tackle properly and good luck in your football games!
If you are looking for more drills not mentioned in this article, check out this list of 11 tackling drills.