Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tackling Technique

I don't care what level you coach tackling is more than a technique, but an attitude. I coached an 8th grader early in my career that could just hit people, and I did not teach him this. He was about 130 lbs and could smash people 50 pounds heavier. Conversely, I saw 200 lbs+ people get run over by similar players. Whats the difference? Is it technique or just sheer attitude. Both play a role. Tackling is a matter of the physics of leveraging your body in a position to deliver maximum force into the ball carrier.

You play the game in football position, which is 3 joints bent: hips, knees, and ankles; on contact you uncoil your joints upwards and deliver a hit at maximum impact. If done correctly, the ball carrier should fall backwards unless they make contact with a lower pad level or slide step and force the defender to make contact on half their body. Both methods can weaken a defenders hit impact. As coaches we don't plan for such gifted runners (with the aid of pursuit). We plan to just form up and deliver good hits that put the ball carrier into the ground. The video I have linked is an example of the SS from TCU Tyler Luttrell a converted wide receiver delivers during the kickoff. This is an example of how a coach can teach proper technique to player even during their first year of defense of major division I football. (The commentary is a little off the wall, but the hit is none the less impressive.)

Look at the technique and force shown in this hit.

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