Getting the younger and first year players used to contact is a time consuming affair. Once the kids start to adjust to the physical nature of football, I immediately start teaching the proper blocking and tackling techniques.
Below is a great technique used by a fellow coach who has had nothing but success with his youth defenses.
For years, I have struggled to teach tackling. Because breakdown is such a huge part of tackling, it’s tough to get the athletes to associate the marriage between breakdown, momentum, control, and form. Here is a drill i started doing and has huge impact on how we approach ball carriers.
Progression Tackling Drill
Here is a drill I started doing and has huge impact on how we approach ball carriers.
Step One: Setting up the drill
Take 4 Tackling Bags and make one strait long line, having them touching on the end.
Step Two: Building of muscle & mind memory in the athlete.
Start everyone at the end start of the bags and begin in footfire, traveling down the bags, keeping but down, head up and bag between legs. Takes 20 seconds to travel the distance of 4 bags. Use fingers and have them call out numbers to ensure they are not watching their feet.
Step Three: Incorporate Form Tackling
Make 2 lines of athletes, one at each end facing each other. Line A the tackler and Line B the ball carrier. Have first athlete in line A start footfire down the line, when they get the the start of the last bag, have the ball carrier run down the line keeping the bag between his feet. Have Athlete A wrap and thrust up, carrying the ball carrier back to the place he started.
Step 4: Pick up the pace
Now have them execute the same drill but running the first bag, on second bag, start the decent into the tackling position, while foot firing. When athlete A gets to the second bag, have athlete B start running at him. Have athlete A form fit, thrust and drive athlete b back to starting position.
Step 5: Be creative
I even incorporated angle tackles with this technique and it works beautifully. They learn quick, and really build the muscle and memory needed to be a proficient tackle.
It takes time, but the time is well spent teaching tackling using these tips.