When the tackle wheels / tackle rings came out I knew I had to have one. But they were about double / triple what I wanted to pay for one, especially since I am just a youth football coach. My wife is already on me for buying just about everything else, although equipment under $100 is much easier to explain vs $200 to $300.
So when a friend of mine offered to make me two tackle rings I was stoked. I really can’t thank Coach Steve Mason enough. Coach Steve researched how to make the tackle wheels and decided to make 4. He says he was able to get the parts at reasonable prices off Amazon but the real issue was with sewing and assembly. When I listened to him talk about the project, I thought it would be easier to buy one. But you guys might be more crafty like Coach Steve with your sewing skills than I am. Coach Steve says he will post an instruction video soon and when he does I will link it up.
If you can’t afford the Tackle Rings / Wheels, I found that Yoga / Exercise balls work almost as good. You can get the yoga balls on Amazon for around $15. I also added a medicine ball to the mix and you can also get them over on Amazon.
When I was helping Coach Steve with his team earlier this year. He was doing the tackle wheel drill with the four tackle wheels. I liked the concept. It must have worked because his Mustang Panther team beat 2 Southlake teams to win their Super Bowl last Fall. His team were great tacklers. He says
Overall, the wheels (last season) turned my:
Great tacklers -> Super Stars
Good tacklers -> Great
Lesser tacklers -> Contributors
Since we were struggling all season this Spring tackling a few weeks ago, I instituted the Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit to increase tackling reps and teach proper tackling fundamentals. Since I am trying to get at least 50 tackling reps each practice per player I did not want to use a live hitting drill for safety / injury reasons. This drills comes close to live simulation. Coach Steve calls it batting practice for tacklers. I must agree. Our defense and tackling have greatly improved over the last several weeks.
Here’s how the drill breaks down.
Purpose: To develop good tackling techniques; break down, stay low, wrap up and drive / roll in a non-hitting session. We will usually do a live angle tackle drill right after this drill.
Set Up: 5 Tackling Lines; 2 Wheels & 3 Yoga Balls Coaches / Helper Dads / Players roll balls wheels as described above. Try to keep lines less than 3 players, to get as many reps for each player. Do at least 3 to 5 sets in a very fast pace.
- Keep fast pace so everyone is winded
- Focus on Breaking Down, staying Low and most importantly wrapping up during the tackle
- Make sure players hit bags like its 100% live
- They should carry / drive bag 3 steps and roll 2 (wheels)
- Players must wrap up with two hands and not let go during the tackle roll
- Make sure players are staying aggressive even though this is against bags.
If you dont want to read the drill info here is the video.
Here is the drill live at one of our practices.
Next season, I will not wait to implement this drill mid season. We are starting out with this drill and this will be our main tackling drill. The drill builds great muscle memory and is also a good conditioning drill if you keep the lines short and go at a fast pace. I did add the medicine ball in the practice video which I will keep in the drill.
I hope you enjoy the Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit youth football tackle drill. It is working for our team and others and you should consider adding it to your practices.
Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
~ Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas / Keller