Tag Archives: tackling fundamentals

Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit – Youth Football Drill

Tackle Ring DrillWhen 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.

Tackle Ring Tackle Drill Youth Football

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.

Coaching Points:

  1. Keep fast pace so everyone is winded
  2. Focus on Breaking Down, staying Low and most importantly wrapping up during the tackle
  3. Make sure players hit bags like its 100% live
  4. They should carry / drive bag 3 steps and roll 2 (wheels)
  5. Players must wrap up with two hands and not let go during the tackle roll
  6. 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.

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Here is the drill live at one of our practices.

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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

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Staying low while tackling in pee wee football

lw8_89_tackleA friend of mine called me last night.  He said his 12U team is not tackling low.  They are tackling pretty good but some are having trouble breaking down and staying low to make tackles.  We talked about not all tackles will be low since they might be open field pursuit tackles when a player just needs to save a big yardage gain.  He explained that his team is tackling good he just needs some more practice staying low to work on a few players fundamentals and keep everyone fundamentally sound.

I told him we use our tackling bags and with a red tape line around them representing a players belt and have our players break down and tackle below the red line on the tackling bag.  We also do the close quarters SeaHawk angle tackling drill where players are just arms length apart already broken down and one step into a near thigh low shoulder roll tackle. Lastly we do a two line drill where we are close quarters again and one player jumps up and the tackler wraps and holds up the jumped player to make sure we have wrapped up and we also do a grab cloth drill from two lines.  One players turns and acts like a running back and the tackler grabs his jersey “Cloth” and the runner takes off.  This helps us make sure we know we can grab cloth and help will come soon.  Heck grab anything to save the tackle.

I have written an article on form tackling before, you can find it here, Is From Tackling Overrated.  Each and every season, I teach proper mechanics of form tackling, especially the Seakawk Tackling System, but I am big on making tackles not worried about what they look like.  That does not mean I do not like the fundamentals, I just know in most game situations a “true” form tackle is not always able to be applied because the ball carrier has other intentions.  We also teach the Seahawk Pec tackle for open field tackling situations.  Sometimes a high tackle is required or last ditch must move on a “jitter bug” running back.  But I will agree with my friend, staying low, both in tackling and blocking to gain leverage is a basic football fundamental and must be taught and perfected by every player to be successful.

Here are some more drills to stay low….

King Size Sheet Low Board

Coach Casey has a few more videos I like on blocking but this old sheet drill to stay low is perfect for all.  Just use an old king sized sheet as a low pole board drill.

 

Basketball Break Down

I’ve used a similar drill to this drill but used a basketball with youth football players versus a yoga ball with these bigger players.  You can also use a smaller tennis ball and scoop with two hands and then have them tackle a dummy bag.

 

SeaHawk Tackling and Drills

I love the Seahawk Tackling system.  This is very similar to what I was taught in high school.  Plus, I played Rugby a season.  I am very big on the shoulder roll tackles.

 

Low Pad Hits @ 1:23

I have never used this drill but I will this week.  I really like this to get across some muscle memory about hitting low.

 

Staying Low using a Tackle Wheel @:20 @:35

A friend of mine made me two tackle wheels and they are great.  This open tackle drill at 20 and 35 seconds are awesome drills to get your players tackling low.

 

I hope these drills and suggestions help you coach your team to get low during tackling and blocking.  Let me know if you have a few drills that you use to help your team stay low.

Remember to Play For fun and Winning is Funner!

Thanks
Coach Parker
Keller, TX / Fort Worth, Texas
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Heads Up Tackling fundamentals – Youth Football Tackling

I just got an email from USA Football with a link to this video about youth football tackling.  This is a really nice youth football tackle fundamental video.

Enjoy,
Coach Parker
Keller, TX / Fort Worth / DFW Texas

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