3 Step “Form” Tackle

Objective: to teach young players how to properly make a tackle.
Tackling is the ultimate skill in defense but young players sometimes have a natural fear of contact and tackling. Tackling should be introduced gradually through progression. Defensive players should practice tackling every practice. Offensive as well as special team players should participate in tackling drills once or twice a week.

Players partner – up (size & ability); In two straight lines, partners face each other one yard apart. Coach designates tackling line & “tackling” shoulder;

On the first count –
Tackler takes a short step with foot opposite the “tackling” shoulder to get proper alignment, assumes hitting position, same as ready position except coiled to explode into the ball carrier on second step.

Second count –
Tackler takes a short step with rear foot, maintaining coiled position, aiming facemask at the ball (head up & eyes open). Once the step hits the ground, player quickly explodes off the step driving the “hitting” shoulder through the ball carrier’s mid section and up into the chest. Tackler “bites the ball”, simultaneously shooting the arms & hands from the hips, wrapping up the ball carrier

Third count –
Tackler quickly brings rear foot forward and makes a powerful foot plant, maintaining a wide base, rolls the hips forward and up (attempting to lift the ball carrier). The back remains straight with the chest fitted to the opponent’s chest, hands grabbing cloth as high as possible.

Finish –
Tackle should finish with strong driving steps through the ball carrier.

Coaches Point
Put tackler in the fit position in “Second Count” before the full 3 Step drill is executed. Progress slowly so technique is understood and fear of tackling is reduced. Note: The head should NEVER make primary contact with opponent!

Tackler assumes breakdown position-good balance, knees flexed, back straight, low pad level, elbows back, hands at hips, head up & eyes looking at target. Ball carrierprovides target.-ball or towel in designated arm (high & tight).

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