One of the top open field tackling drills is the Open Field Combo Youth Football Tackling Drill. It is one of my go to youth football open field tackling drills that I run each season to find out who are the best open field tacklers on the team. The Open Field Combo Tackling Drill helps me narrow down my defensive linebackers and secondary corner backs and free safety.
I do not run this open field tackling drill more than about 5 to 6 times a season since there is so much space between the ball carriers and tacklers. I do not have linemen participate in this drill. The large amount of open space creates a ton of speed / force and players will and do get hurt running this drill. We usually run this drill at THUD speed, which is full speed but the tacklers will not take the ball carriers to the ground. I will run full speed only once or twice to manage potential injuries.
Open Field Tackling Drills
Direct link to the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWumsUGKm7U
In this open field tackling drill I am watching to see which youth football players can track the ball carrier, break down and tackle the ball carriers. I am looking for the best head hunters that can stop the running back through a good form tackle, push out of bounds or doing whatever it takes to slow down and stop the running back. If a tackler whiffs the ball carriers several times I know that player will not be a good open field tackler in space.
Purpose: Work on open field talking, finding the football and reading the backfield. Work on quick approach, getting under control and then breaking down before contact.
Set up: Use 3 large blocking bags or agility bags and set up a mid-line cut lane for the running back. Then also set up sweep lanes about 15 yards outside the Center. The Tackling station is about 10 yards from the mid lane station. See diagram for layout. Either a QB can hand off or pitch to the ball carrier or a coach can do this.
Drill Process: Drill starts on the football movement and the ball carrier will either Sweep outside or run a mid line Dive. The Tackler must break on ball carrier and pursue them for a thud or touch tackle. We do not run this full speed but once or twice a season.
Coaching Points: Must work on tackler quickly attacking ball carrier then gaining control for a sure tackle. I do not mind high Pec shoulder tackles in open field, but I still want tackler getting under control and having the correct leverage.
Extras: You can add CBs to outside and have all the other DBs and LBs working on open field tackling and pursuit.
I hope you enjoyed one of the top youth football open field tackling drills; Open Field Combo Tackling Drill.
Let me know I would love to hear from you. Contact me anytime. I love to talk coaching youth football and new open field tackling drills.
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Good Luck this Season,
Keller, Texas, DFW, Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas
PS: Stay Safe!!