Your biggest football tackling technique issue is not, and has never been, that the players are scared to hit. Teenage males are loaded with way too much testosterone to be scared of contact.
Bad tackling in football comes down to just a few issues. It can be fixed. Tackling technique can actually be fixed in a short amount of time, too.
Better athletes will always be better at football tackling because a big part of the technique is getting to the ball carrier. Athletes have an easier time doing that. But there are a lot of other ways to fix bad tackling for your players.
Football Tackling is Confidence
- Make tackling simple. Clearly define your technique and coaching points. Teach football tackling using a progression to build confidence. Do it over and over again.
- Hawk Tackle is the current “best” method of tackling technique to teach. It is safe and it works.
- Never, ever sacrifice safety. Your #1 job as a coach is the safety of the players.
Numbers and Angles Are Critical Football Tackling Technique
- Get more players to the point of attack. Minimize 1 on 1 tackles in space with better reads, run fits and pursuit.
- Teach proper aiming points to leverage the ball carrier. Know where your help is and where the sideline is to be a better tackler.
- Tackling approach drills can be done with minimal contact all year long, and they make a huge difference. Players can work on tackling technique year-round without wearing out their bodies.
Tackling Drills To Improve Technique
- Tackling approach drills from all different angles. There is a great approach drill in the Hawk Tackle video from the Seahawks. Learn to transition the feet from sprint to lateral run to shuffle.
- 3-Man Pursuit Drill is a great drill and replaces the old full-team pursuit drill. Pods of 3 players can work this in many different situations.
- Work 10 yard approach tackling technique every day. The approach is more important than contact. If you can step on his toes, you can win.
- Open Field Tackling drills teach the down & dirty tackling technique. Start with a smaller 5 yard by 5 yard box with young players. Expand the box as players improve. The object is to get the opponent to the ground or out of the box (where help comes).
- Improve your key reads. Get more people to the point of attack by getting better at running to the right place. Blitzing and hoping is not a long term solution to anything.
- Coaching Football Tackling Technique with No Contact on Season 4, Episode 11 of The Football Coaching Podcast.
- Coach the Umbrella Principle to Get Perfect Run Fits for Your Defense to get better run fits and more consistent tackling by using leverage.
- How to Coach the Pursuit Drill for Better Tackling on YouTube shows the Pursuit Tackling drill. This is the whole team version, not the 3-man pursuit drill.