Is Form Tackling Overrated?

I attended a Denver football clinic last year and the speaker, an ex college coach, brought up a very interesting point for youth football coaches.  How many times do you see a perfect form tackle in a high school, college or pro football games?  He proposed not very often, and you know what, I must agree.  I played football for 10 years from 8 years old to 18, and I think I made 10 perfect form tackles.  As an outside Linebacker, I was usually on the run, pushing through blockers and clinging to the runner to pull him down.  How many perfect form tackles have you seen or made?

I must agree that form tackling is overrated.  I think it is great to teach the form tackling technique to protect against neck injuries and how to drive your legs through the player, but most tackles are made spontaneously grabbing any part of the ball carrier to bring him down.  You don’t see a lot of NFL or NCAA players breaking down into a perfect form tackling stance before making the initial hit.  Everything is moving too quick.

So really, tackling is about bringing the ball carrier to the ground for youth football players and all defensive football players.

Good luck this season.  Play for fun and Winning is funner.


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  1. I completely disagree with the concept of form tackling being overrated. Sure you dont see it often in games, which is why all the best defenders are the ones that utilize their ability to tackle the right way. How many times have you seen defensive backs launch themselves at a runner, get beat on a move, then watch as the runner burns everyone for extra yards. Yes, defenders are going to tackle whichever way they can, but the fundamentals of proper tackling techniques need to be stressed.

  2. I’ll say this: You’re crazy if you don’t teach form tackling. In the concussion era a good volume of brain injuries can be prevented by tackling correctly. Understanding how to tackle correctly, begins with understanding how to properly execute the tackle, including how the helmet fits into this technique. At the HS varsity level we include a form tackle as part of our regular drill progression and we emphasize its important on game night as part of our pre-game defensive warm up.

    I’d say this: just because a college coach said it, doesn’t make it gospel. Plenty of ill informed guys get jobs at that level.

  3. I am currently coaching a team with no structure…How do I real back in the players but more importantly the coaches…We run plays like we just drew them in the dirt…Im very serious about coaching and need to one one or two simple offense formation

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