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CoachRJ
(@rjohns99)
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Now that the season has wrapped up, I am getting started on my to-do list for next year.  At the top of the list is becoming a better tackling team as this was our biggest flaw this year, particularly open field tackling.

The team we beat in the championship was a very good tackling team, gave up 5 ppg in regular season, so I have a good picture of what can be done.  I just need to figure out how to best get there.  By contrast, his offense had 1 formation and 3 plays so I expect he spent most of his time tackling.

Our league is pushing heads up so I have the progression as a base and we taught a condensed version of it this year.  For drills I used mainly angle form, tee-time, something I called big shot which is basically 3 slot with a OL v DL in each slot and a LB, and 1v1 / 2v2 / 3v3 open field in 5yd x 10 yd lanes. Late in the season I added a punch and flow drill.

For those of you who produce good tacklers, how much time do you spend on tackling and what is the ratio of form vs drill?  What drills do you find produce the most bang for the buck?

RJ

"There's no system of play that substitutes for knocking an opponent down.  When you hit, hit hard." - Pop Warner


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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We form tackled every day 30min 3 stations

One on the one man tackle sled
One with focus on hips and rip
One with angles

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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Shamrocks
(@shamrocks)
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We are know as the best tackling in my league and when coachingteh All Star team I see why.  Even the studs from the other teams did not have a solid foundation or technique for tackling, forget about the kids who made teh team who wasn't the stud.  The 2 coaches on my staff after the second day said to me, "No wonder with less kids and talent than these towns we can compete, THEY CAN'T TACKLE", which ended up hurting us in the All Star game, lol.

After warm ups we break into form tackling, pair up and we have to make sure we get perfect fits from each group before moving on.  In August this can take some time, as the season winds down, we do 5 perfect ones and then rotate 5 perfect ones for the other kids. Then we break into small groups of angle tackling, stop, make corrections as needed and when the coaches are happy, we move on.  Once they get it, we do 5 rapid angle tackles from one side, than flip the cone to the other side.

We do this after every warm up for practice and games and when we did this for our All Star team, WOW, did we notice who can tackle.  In August we start out with our progression, first on the knees, then on bags, then the spaltter stuff and then we go live.

During the season we may break out some tackling circuts and we play tons of tackle baseball, but as the season goes on, we do the same drills but don't take them to the ground, mainly because we usually dress only 15 kids, so we cannot afford any injuries. 


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CoachRJ
(@rjohns99)
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Topic starter  

We are know as the best tackling in my league and when coachingteh All Star team I see why.  Even the studs from the other teams did not have a solid foundation or technique for tackling, forget about the kids who made teh team who wasn't the stud.  The 2 coaches on my staff after the second day said to me, "No wonder with less kids and talent than these towns we can compete, THEY CAN'T TACKLE", which ended up hurting us in the All Star game, lol.

After warm ups we break into form tackling, pair up and we have to make sure we get perfect fits from each group before moving on.  In August this can take some time, as the season winds down, we do 5 perfect ones and then rotate 5 perfect ones for the other kids. Then we break into small groups of angle tackling, stop, make corrections as needed and when the coaches are happy, we move on.  Once they get it, we do 5 rapid angle tackles from one side, than flip the cone to the other side.

We do this after every warm up for practice and games and when we did this for our All Star team, WOW, did we notice who can tackle.  In August we start out with our progression, first on the knees, then on bags, then the spaltter stuff and then we go live.

During the season we may break out some tackling circuts and we play tons of tackle baseball, but as the season goes on, we do the same drills but don't take them to the ground, mainly because we usually dress only 15 kids, so we cannot afford any injuries.

S - Thanks for the feedback. 

How much time do you allocate to tackling each practice?  Your drills do not sound so different from what I did but I know now that I did not spend enough time on it during the season.  I don’t think I gave form enough focus either.
Do you stop at fit for form tackling or go to the ground?  By rotate after 5 perfect ones do you mean you have one pair at a time doing the drill?  Is angle tackling done to fit or to the ground?

RJ

"There's no system of play that substitutes for knocking an opponent down.  When you hit, hit hard." - Pop Warner


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coachgregory
(@coachgregory)
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Now that the season has wrapped up, I am getting started on my to-do list for next year.  At the top of the list is becoming a better tackling team as this was our biggest flaw this year, particularly open field tackling.

The team we beat in the championship was a very good tackling team, gave up 5 ppg in regular season, so I have a good picture of what can be done.  I just need to figure out how to best get there.  By contrast, his offense had 1 formation and 3 plays so I expect he spent most of his time tackling.

Our league is pushing heads up so I have the progression as a base and we taught a condensed version of it this year.  For drills I used mainly angle form, tee-time, something I called big shot which is basically 3 slot with a OL v DL in each slot and a LB, and 1v1 / 2v2 / 3v3 open field in 5yd x 10 yd lanes. Late in the season I added a punch and flow drill.

For those of you who produce good tacklers, how much time do you spend on tackling and what is the ratio of form vs drill?  What drills do you find produce the most bang for the buck?

RJ

Pre-season we spend a 50% of our time on Fundamental football.... Stances, Get off,  Blocking, Ball Handling, Pursuit, Tackling, Turnover creation, Finshing plays (confidence, competitive/aggressive behavior development).

In-season for tackling we do 5 minutes of tackling warm ups, 10 minutes of chute tackling every day (form and finish) and we spend 10 minutes every practice on some form of tackling drill that works multiple skill sets for those defenders (shed laterally and tackle, shed vertically and tackle, zone drop - cover - tackle and so on).

Pre-game - we do the same 5 minute of tackling warm ups at full speed/violent contact.

Jack

Exsisto Fortis, Exsisto Validus


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Shamrocks
(@shamrocks)
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S - Thanks for the feedback. 

How much time do you allocate to tackling each practice?  Your drills do not sound so different from what I did but I know now that I did not spend enough time on it during the season.  I don’t think I gave form enough focus either.
Do you stop at fit for form tackling or go to the ground?  By rotate after 5 perfect ones do you mean you have one pair at a time doing the drill?  Is angle tackling done to fit or to the ground?

RJ

We leave about an half hour for warmups and our tackling drills at the start of practice in August and adjust it as the days go on and by the time the season starts, we are finished with warmups and tackling within 10 minutes, 15 tops if the kids get lazy.  The key is, we break them into small groups with a coach in each group to correct and poor techniques or placements, then we will rotate the kids to a different coach for a different look until the coaches are in agreement that the kids can tackle properly and safely.  Once the season gets moving, we have our D Line coach roaming through the lines pulling kids out as needed as we move at a very fast pace.

The first week is all fitting and being correct, the next few weeks we take to the ground AFTER they all been through our tackling progression.  As the season goes on, we don't take them to the ground due the fact we are short on numbers and don't want anyone hurt in practice during the season, sucks, I know, but it is what it is although we do bend for a tackle baseball game here or there to the ground. 

In August, we go until the coaches, there are 4-5 of us, confirm that each kid did 5 perfect form tackles and 5 perfect angle tackles on each side.  It is a pain but we do this so that as the season begins the kids and fly through these drills and we have to just casually monitor them.


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Shamrocks
(@shamrocks)
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Pre-game - we do the same 5 minute of tackling warm ups at full speed/violent contact.

Jack

Coach,

By violent tackling do you mean very physical, full speed but do NOT take them to the ground?


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CoachJohn
(@coachj)
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We spent about 20 mins every practice tackling, three stations, 6-7 minutes a station.  My Tackling circuit normally consisted of an angle tackle, shed and tackle (with a lead blocker) and a long pursuit tackle. The Circuit is ran early in practice, immediately after warms ups and form running.

Pre-season is when we would teach form, fit and approach along with use of drills such as splatter tackling to get them used to contact.  In season it is mostly correcting and coaching on the fly.  Reps are about 5-6 seconds each.

We would also use a 1-on-3 form and fit drill (left, right, center) used by Virginia Tech. Dave Potter calls it the "Machine Gun" drill.

Lastly we would do some form of team exercise at the end of practice that utilizes tackling (i.e. 10 yard fight, Sharks and Minnows, etc)

Pre-game we would angle tackle to the ground, both to the left and right.

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity." - Albert Schweitzer


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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S

I love your approach, if more Youth coaches spent more time on tackling then scheme their teams would do much better.

We do our tackling circuit everyday, at the start of the season it takes us 20-30 minutes, by the second week we are done to 12 minutes, by the 4 th week we are at 8. We have also incorporated punch & strip drills into our circuit. I just believe that continuing to work on tackling makes us a better team.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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CoachJohn
(@coachj)
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Coach,
... and to answer your question my approach to tackling is the mindset we want the ball, we don't hit and tackle to end the play, we hit to get the ball back (whether that is by a forced fumble or 3/4 and out).

Tackling violently is not necessarily meant to hurt, but to intimidate (cause doubt, hesitation, lessen the will of the ball carrier) along with making solid contact on the ball carrier.

I have also found that teaching violent tackling with an aggressive (and safe) approach will cut down on injuries.

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity." - Albert Schweitzer


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Michael
(@michael)
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When I coached little dudes we had a tackling coach.

We did 30 minutes of defense every day, and kids would rotate over to him for 10-minute sessions, so if we had 21 kids, each group would be seven of them.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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We would also use a 1-on-3 form and fit drill (left, right, center) used by Virginia Tech. Dave Potter calls it the "Machine Gun" drill.

--We've found that getting more reps in quickly does more to whet the appetite for tackling, than getting one try and then going back to the end of the line.

Tackling violently is not necessarily meant to hurt

--No?  Why not?  We've found that "tackling to hurt" not only causes doubt, hesitation, lessens the will of the ball carrier, but also causes turnovers.  How many times do you see a ball-carrier who is still lying on the ground after coughing up the football?

--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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CoachJohn
(@coachj)
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--No?  Why not?  We've found that "tackling to hurt" not only causes doubt, hesitation, lessens the will of the ball carrier, but also causes turnovers.  How many times do you see a ball-carrier who is still lying on the ground after coughing up the football?

Dave it is a wording on my behalf ... and I know you have pointed this out before.  By hurt I meant to injure.  I do want my guys to make a impact on the ball carrier. I want the tackle felt.  If the Tackle does not hurt to some degree fear, doubt or hesitation can not be instilled.

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity." - Albert Schweitzer


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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By hurt I meant to injure.

Okay.  Gotcha. 

Not trying to be combative but to show newbies that it is okay to have the opinion and approach to teach "hit to hurt."  "Hit to injure" is not a part of our approach.

--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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CoachRJ
(@rjohns99)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the great input, it gives me some good perspective.  Looking back, I rushed some things early on this season out of fear of not getting all the pieces in place before game 1.  This was due to a lack of experience.

I am 100% on board with hit to hurt (not injure).  I didn't sell it too hard to the 1st graders but I intend to make it part of the culture on both sides of the ball starting next year.

I looked through my files and I don't have anything on the 3 on 1 / machine gun drill.  Dave do you have a power point on that one?

RJ

"There's no system of play that substitutes for knocking an opponent down.  When you hit, hit hard." - Pop Warner


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