Teaching tackling to your football team and seeing better results on game day will do more for your football team’s winning percentage than anything else you can do. After all, this game is still all about blocking and tackling. But the technique of tackling has come a long way in recent years.
Safety is critical in today’s game. We know the dangers of concussions. I’ve been focused on taking the helmet out of contact for a number of years. A huge step forward in that teaching was the popularization of the Hawk Tackling technique.
The Hawk Tackle technique is a variation on rugby style tackling. This keeps the head out of contact to keep your players on the field.
Hawk Tackling Technique
The great thing about teaching the Hawk Tackle, or rugby style tackling, is that it requires very little contact to get dramatic improvement in your tackling. And even if you’re not using Hawk Tackling (you should look into it), you can still get huge improvement without contact by focusing on approach angles.
The Hawk Tackle or rugby tackle changes traditional football tackling by contacting low on the body with the shoulder pad. The head stays out of contact. Since moving to this style, we’ve had significantly fewer concussions and fewer missed tackles.
The focus is on just a few simple coaching points. Everything comes back to the Coach Simple, Play Fast, Win approach. They key points to teach are…
- Eyes through the near thigh board
- Come to balance
- Squeeze the legs
- Drive for 5 yards through the tackle
It’s that simple. Nearly all tackling issues involve fixing one of these 4 points. You can stop screaming “WRAP UP!” and “HIT SOMEBODY!” on the sidelines now (please!).
Drills for Football Tackling
These football tackling drills don’t take any special equipment. I love the tackling wheels, but they’re expensive. Unless you can afford enough equipment to get your entire team moving, the drills in this podcast are going to be much more efficient. Shadowmen are cool too, but not many High School football teams can afford them.
You’ll start teaching tackling technique with a 3-step progression for contact. It starts with both knees, moves to 1 knee and then to 2 feet. The athletes are less than a yard apart at the start and never moving faster than a walking pace when they make contact.
Then the focus moves to the approach and balance before contact. This is the most critical part of great tackling technique. Just about any player on your team can tackle even the best ball carrier if they can step on his toes. Perfect this one aspect, and your tackling improves dramatically.
Listen to this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast to hear all about how to start teaching better football tackling using these non-contact football drills! Keep your players safe, take wear and tear off their bodies in practice, and win more games on Friday nights!
- Flat Orange Cones for tackling drills on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SPunZp [affiliate]
- Four Cone Drill video clip