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DumCoach
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August 8, 2019 12:28 am  

WARNING!  LONG POST:

I think most youth coaches are required today to teach (or at least watch USA's video) to become certified as coaches.  The problem with the video is that it is too complicated.  You can't even learn them all yourself let alone teach it.  As a result I think most youth coaches will teach to tackle as follows:

1) Eyes on near hip.
2) lead with near foot.
3) Head to backside.
4) Wrap the thighs
5) and either roll away or not.

Most all USA tackles are some version of this.  I broke it down as per above because I teach my running backs how to break tackles and, when everybody teaches the same tackling form, your runner is always presented with the same solution over and over again, game after game.  So why not coach him to beat it?

Some coaches might also coach a "chest plate rip":

You won't see any NFL team use this but it was actually the first tackle USA came up with although the actual inventor of this tackle used it from the side and not from the front.  To be used from the front the runner and defender need to be of the same weight or else a smaller defender will lose.  If you watch any rip (jack the arms) chest plate tackling drill on YouTube the defender is ALWAYS the same size as the runner.  He has to be because he's tackling ALL the runner instead of HALF the runner.  Unless you want to get RUN OVER, always tackle HALF A MAN. 

And then the coach running the drill is giving very important instructions to the runner:

1) Do not stiff arm
2) Do not lower the shoulder pads.

The coach that posted the video above claimed he was abiding by the rules: Don't lead with your head.  Except his defender does.  If the runner lowers his pads at the same time the defender cocks his arms back, watch what happens.  The defender's next step is to jack his arms up and go "Eyes to the sky".  This exposes the defender's chin to the runner's shoulder pad.  If you want to see a defender get cold cocked just tell him to lead with his chin. 

Now this coach did mention the runner might lower his pads but didn't say one word about what happens if he does

Again, youth coaches will want to simplify the tackle and 95% will skip "buzz feet".  But why is the defender "buzzing feet"?  It's in case the runner cuts left or right.  You buzz feet to reduce speed and gain direction control.  Skipping "buzzing feet" may simplify but it comes with a price.

So let's review what both tackles share in common:

1) Both move the helmet out of the runner's way, either to the side or "eyes to the sky"
2) The lead foot is the same as the running back's near foot.  So, if the defender is coming straight at the runner, his left foot is aimed for the runner's right foot.  And, if the defender is coming from the runner's right, his right foot is aiming for the runner's right foot AND, if the defender is coming from the runner's left, his left foot is aimed for the runner's left foot. Either way, defender's near foot always aims for runner's near foot.  That's it!  Trying to coach more than this is pretty much a lost cause.  Because, if you find yourself reviewing a USA tackling video more than twice, you are already over your player's heads. 

I coach my kids to win.  While everyone says it doesn't matter where you finish, it does.  Winning becomes a habit.  You want to teach your players winning habits.  They are:

1) In drills, every player needs to make his partner a better player.  That's teamwork.
2) On the field be the best you can be.  In practice always challenge someone better than you.  That's how you get better.
3) Players who do both 1 & 2 above learn to expect to win.  The difference between players who expect to win and who expect to lose is the distance between here and Africa.  It's WINNING ATTITUDE versus LOSING ATTITUDE.

Winning players can take this with them into the workforce.  If you're on the bottom of the totem pole at Walmart, be the best you can be.  You'll be the first to be promoted.  Once promoted, teach everyone below you the teamwork to become better too.  Train all of them to get your job.  With that many good workers (your team) they're going to make you look good and you'll get promoted again.  Not only will you get promoted but someone below you on your winning team will be promoted to your spot.  He wins too by being a team player.  And we're talking Walmart employees.  That's one step above MacDonald's!  If you can teach your players winning attitudes they will take them to the next level in life.  Never coach to lose.  If winning wasn't important we wouldn't keep score.

And this is where USA missed the ball.  USA tackling is not for winners.  It's about preventing concussion.  Mind you, that's a great idea.  We should prevent concussions.  That's a given.  The parents give us their kids in one piece.  We owe it to them to return them the same way.

But we can still coach winning habits and when the defense is told by rule how to tackle then that immediately creates the opportunity to take advantage of the rule.  We want to either force the defender to make a one arm tackle (helmet to runner's backside) or with his lights out ("Eyes to the sky."). Either way we win. 

Because USA forces youth coaches to simplify, if the defender is coming from the side, our runner knows the defender will put his helmet to his backside, hip high.  For your FB the solution is simple.  Lower the shoulder pad.  If the Hit Score of your FB exceeds the Hit Score of the defender, your FB will still be going.  If they're equal, probably both are down and next time use a stiffarm.  USA actually lets you practice this hit.  They show you how.  Put the defender in practice on his knees to the side of the FB and walk the FB at him.  Just before the defender puts his head backside and wraps, FB lowers his pad at WALKING SPEED or stiffarms his helmet.

You should note that, when the FB lowers his pads to a helmet aimed to his backside, he will connect with 100% (all) of the defender.  Normally this is not a good plan.  You want to hit half a defender.  To get away from a stunned defender after hitting ALL of him, spin towards him and keep going after the hit.

For the WB and HB, you would want to use the "jump cut" against a defender aiming his helmet to outside hip.  The reason tacklers were taught to put their helmets across the front of the runner was to prevent an cut away.  Today's technique with helmet backside prevents a cutback (The runner runs into the defender's helmet if cutting towards him.).

When I did my RUNNING DVD I was still in "old school" football thinking.  A runner back then would always cut OUTSIDE of the angling defender and AWAY from his helmet to the inside. But if the HB/WB makes his first jump step OUTSIDE against a USA tackler, the tackler is likely to lean in that direction because he's not BUZZING FEET.  The moment he does, the runner jump cuts INSIDE which forces the defender into a one armed tackle.  Add a stiff arm to the defender's helmet and your back should be running into next week.  Complicating this even more for the defender, his foot is FORWARD to the cut side, making it almost impossible to follow the cut. 

Sadly, the defender is doing exactly as USA and his coach instructed him to do.  🙁

Comments?

 

 

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."


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DREagle
(@coyouthcoach)
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August 8, 2019 8:21 am  

I had an assistant get really pissed off at me when he watched me working with RB's after practice one night last season.  I brought out an old helmet and had them stiff arming if it was low and seeing how far they could launch it with a shoulder pad if it was high. It is really effective against the USA Football trained tacklers if you've got a bruising FB.

On the defensive side though; while I did teach USA's rugby tackling (didn't use their methods though b/c they are horrible) I also taught KOTS tackling which was really effective against DCWT type FB's.


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Seabass
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August 8, 2019 10:47 am  

1) I am in 100% agreement with tracking a body part that can't lie to you. Basketball defender's are coached to keep eye's on belly button or waist. All other body parts can give the defender a false read and cause them to get beat. When approaching a ball carrier from the side that body part is the hip.

2) lead with near foot...it's actually near foot AND near shoulder. That makes a ton of sense. If you are opposite foot and opposite shoulder your upper half and lower half are crossed up. You don't want your upper half fighting your lower half. That leaves you susceptible to getting cut back on...or as the kid's say, "getting your ankles took."

3) the head behind on the profile tackle is a byproduct of the lead foot/shoulder relationship. Try leading with the same foot/same shoulder and putting your head in front of the ball carrier on a profile tackle...pretty awkward.

4) "buzzing" the feet is just a crappy word for being under control. I don't believe they even use that terminology anymore. They call it gather which, IMO, is more descriptive for the intent of the movement.

There are a couple things I wish hadn't happened.

1) USA football hadn't been so quick to come out with this stuff. The original version was terrible. The new version barely resembles the original but they are now synonymous.

2) The new approach got labeled as "Hawk" tackling before USA Football threw the rest of their shit out. It shouldn't even be call Hawk tackling. The rugby folks are the originators of 90% of this new approach to tackling and I rarely hear coaches bash rugby player's and their tackling.

The gap between when I played, only played 2 years anyway, to when I started coaching. Twenty years is too long for me to remember the "golden" years of football when player's never missed a tackle because the technique was so much better than now.

The last thing I will say is that the coach who was hired by Pete Carroll, back in his USC days (when this actually started) said, said he adopted the rugby tackling because it was more effective. The "safety" aspect of it was purely coincidental. He claims his players only cared about making tackles. They didn't give 2 shits about safety.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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August 9, 2019 10:23 am  

The reason tacklers were taught to put their helmets across the front of the runner was to prevent an inside cut.

I thought it was mostly to:

  • get more of your body mass across the runner's path, and
  • get a better shot at the ball on the side he's holding it to protect it from you.

The USA Footballers will tell you the near side tackle gets the tackler's force vector closer to the runner's center of mass.  That's true, but it's only half the picture.  The tackler's trying to apply force to the runner, but what about the runner's application of force to the tackler?  The runner doesn't want to get slowed down by having to do that, and if you put your body across his path, even if your body is dead weight hanging in the air with no cleats on the ground, your inertia is formidable in helping to stop him.

#2 is a fringe benefit, as is the insurance against a cutback.


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Seabass
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August 9, 2019 10:44 am  

Try putting your head in front and tell me if your striking shoulder and lead foot are matched up or is it left shoulder and right foot or vice versa and then tell me where your hips are in relation to your feet.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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August 9, 2019 10:46 am  

Try putting your head in front and tell me if your striking shoulder and lead foot are matched up or is it left shoulder and right foot or vice versa and then tell me where your hips are in relation to your feet.

^ This.

—Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Seabass
(@seabass)
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August 9, 2019 11:13 am  

^ This.

—Dave

I’m going to make a short video to illustrate my point. I think the rugby guys are spot on with this part.


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Seabass
(@seabass)
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August 9, 2019 11:16 am  

Your lead foot and shoulder have to be married in order to keep your hips from being closed to a change of direction by the ball carrier...if you are going to do that you have no choice but to put your head on the backside.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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August 9, 2019 11:19 am  

I also taught KOTS

What is KOTS and where could I learn more about it?

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
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August 9, 2019 12:27 pm  

What is KOTS and where could I learn more about it?

http://www.dumcoach.com/index.php?topic=28334.0


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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August 9, 2019 1:15 pm  

USA Football is a money grub. I only say this because they have not been consistent.

125K youth teams....3 -5 coaches per at $25 a whack.

Then you have the HS Coaches....at least in my State.

If they just stuck with Concussion Protocols / Heat Stoke like the CDC that would be fine. The whole tackling thing should be all Hawk Tacking. Used to be you could learn that for free. Now they are getting into the blocking business. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Seabass
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August 9, 2019 1:26 pm  

USA Football is a money grub. I only say this because they have not been consistent.

125K youth teams....3 -5 coaches per at $25 a whack.

Then you have the HS Coaches....at least in my State.

If they just stuck with Concussion Protocols / Heat Stoke like the CDC that would be fine. The whole tackling thing should be all Hawk Tacking. Used to be you could learn that for free. Now they are getting into the blocking business.

All of the new USA football stuf IS HAWK TACKLING!


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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August 9, 2019 1:29 pm  

What is KOTS and where could I learn more about it?

"Kick Out the Stilts."  A tackling technique that I developed about 15 years ago for smaller players in order for them to be successful; especially when taking on larger ball-carriers.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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August 9, 2019 1:31 pm  

USA Football is a money grub. I only say this because they have not been consistent.

They have been consistently inconsistent.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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August 9, 2019 1:49 pm  

I searched on the internet for some of USA Football's early tackling videos.  I can't find them anymore.  Really bad stuff.  Well produced and quite slick-looking, but the info and the way it was presented was pretty bad.  Almost as bad as my "Marvin Lewis on Tackling" video, which is about as bad as it gets.  USA Football says they've talked the experts, but they don't identify who the experts are.  I know Rocky Seto had something to do with the later iterations and I listened to him clinic in Orlando a couple years ago.  But, like a lot of things in football that come straight from "the experts," I take much of what they say with a grain of salt.  Or less.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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