Coaches corner: Tackling

2012-07-17T14:30:00Z 2012-07-25T12:11:24Z Coaches corner: Tackling stltoday.com
July 17, 2012 2:30 pm

MIKE BELLERS – SUMMIT HIGH

91-89 record (18 years at Summit)

Bellers has 24 years of football coaching experience, which includes nine district titles, 10 playoff appearances and four state quarterfinal appearances. Coach Bellers has been the only varsity head football coach in Summit Falcon history.

Purpose: To emphasize good tackling fundamentals.

Coaching pointers:

• Always bull your neck during contact. Use the muscle pad in the back of your neck to absorb the blow.

• Never align the spine. Never be looking at the ground when you try to make a tackle.

• If possible, get into a good hit position prior to contact. Roll your hips and use your legs to drive him back.

• Always tackle through the ball carrier; otherwise, you’ll absorb most of the blow.

• Wrap your arms around the ball carrier's legs or buttocks. In order to wrap them well, you have to get deep into the ball carrier’s body.

• Once the ball carrier is on his back, the tackler should work to pin the ball carrier's shoulders to the ground; finish the tackle.

Set-up and instruction:

Pair up the defensive linemen and have them face each other approximately a yard apart. Have one be the ball carrier, the other the tackler. Conduct this drill at half speed. Tell the ball carriers to approach the tackler with a moderate forward lean and to drape themselves over the tackler’s shoulders at contact. Tell the tacklers to get into good hit positions, bull their necks, face up to the ball carrier, drive their shoulders into the ball carrier’s midsection and wrap their arms and lift, driving them onto their back. Once on their back the tackler works to pin their shoulder to the ground.

Check for all the above coaching pointers as well as some of your own and make a lot of corrections, emphasizing a bulled neck and every other safety precaution you can think of. This is an important early season drill. A lot of time should be devoted to teaching the proper fundamentals. Nothing in football causes more injuries than a poorly executed tackle. (From “Drills for Winning Football”- Michael D. Koehler)

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