BEST TACKLING TECHNIQUES FOR YOUTH & HS FOOTBALL

A good concussion prevention program goes way beyond football helmets and protective equipment. We believe that in order to keep head injuries to a minimum, it is important to make sure that proper fundamentals are being taught and that the best methods of blocking & tackling are being adhered to.

Recent rule changes have had a positive effect as well as widespread adoption of USA Football’s “Heads Up Tackling” certifications for youth football coaches. We also find great value in the “Hawk Tackling” techniques being taught by Pete Carroll and his staff in Seattle.

As Authorized Distributors of XENITH Football equipment, we promote the ENLIGHTENED WARRIOR concept of injury prevention. Better head protection is just one component of a larger strategy that also includes emphasis on proper technique, rule enforcement and reducing exposures to risk. This also calls for proper injury recognition and management. By implementing the following rules, we can help keep players safe, healthy and strong.

 

 

TACKLING RULES FOR THE ENLIGHTENED WARRIOR:

ELIMINATE HEADFIRST CONTACT

  • Teach proper tackling technique
  • Prevent ball carriers from lowering their heads.
  • Teach players to block with their arms and shoulders, not their head.

INVEST IN THE BEST HEAD PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

  • Promote Xenith’s One Player, One Helmet® Program, which:
  • Creates a partnership approach to safety.
  • Benefits players, families and teams.

IMPROVE RECOGNITION AND MANAGEMENT OF INJURIES

  • Encourage the presence of Certified Athletic Trainers at sporting events
  • Locate a true expert in the management of head injuries.

REDUCE PLAYER EXPOSURES TO RISK

  • Consider reducing the number and length of live contact drills.
  • Eliminate dangerous drills.

REWARD OUTSTANDING PLAY AND OUTSTANDING CHARACTER

  • Focus on what’s important.
  • Don’t focus on big hits.

HAWK TACKLING

This is a concept we feel is worth sharing. We really hope that it works its way through both youth football and high school football to teach kids at an early age how to tackle, how to take care of themselves and how to play this game really fast & hard in absolutely the safest way possible. The philosophy takes the head out of the play and increases safety, all while maintaining the toughness and physicality that makes the game great.

NOTE: Like any athletic activity, no tackling technique can completely eliminate the risk of injury.

We now have Roll Tackle Rings!!

Coaching points:

TRACKING THE BALL CARRIER:

“We are a shoulder tackling team based on leverage. so we must own and maintain our leverage. To do this, we track the near hip of the ball carrier. Our hawk tackling system begins with tracking because we focus on shoulder tackling based on leverage. We focus on a technique called ‘run and gather,’ where a player tracks the near hip of the ball carrier as he closes in on the tackle” says Coach Carroll.  

COMPRESSION TACKLES:

Compression tackles are all about ‘OWNING THE HIP’. Owning your hip means dominating your leverage. You should hit with your leverage shoulder and keep the ball to your leverage side.

HAWK TACKLES:

  • “Eyes through the thighs”
  • Wrap and squeeze
  • “Drive for Five” (when necessary)

HAWK LIFT TACKLES:

  • Tackle ball carrier with leverage shoulder
  • Then lift near leg with off hand

PROFILE TACKLES:

  • Shoulder tackle targeting the near pec
  • Wrap
  • Drive for Five (when necessary)
  • “Shoulder Punch” point of emphasis

Thanks to Coach Pete Carroll for this great video tutorial on Seahawks Tackling.

USA FOOTBALL HEADS UP TACKLING

The USA Football Heads Up Tackling methodology is a safe and effective way to execute a basic football tackle.  The five main points of emphasis are as follows:

  1. Breakdown position
  2. Buzzing the Feet
  3. HIT Position
  4. The Shoot
  5. Rip

HEADS UP TACKLING FUNDAMENTALS

1

BREAKDOWN Position

The foundation starting point for all football movements.

2

BUZZING the Feet

Technique used to come into balance while regaining breakdown position prior to contacting the ball carrier.

3

HIT Position

Correct body posture at moment of impact makes for safer tackling. Head and eyes should be up as you use the front of shoulder as your point of contact.

4

The SHOOT

The opening of the hips to generate power and create an ascending blow to the ball carrier.

5

RIP

With your head to the side and away from contact, you should throw double uppercuts and grab cloth on the back of your opponents jersey to secure the tackle.

FOR COACHES: Learn about coaching with Heads Up Tackling techniques.

PARENTS OF YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYERS

Let your league organizer know you want your coaches to be USA Football certified!

For more information, visit USA Football Heads Up.

 

 

bill-snyderUSA Football is a wonderful avenue to help young people understand so many things, particularly the fundamentals of the game as it relates to staying healthy. For youth coaches to be able to go through USA Football certification is really significant and important. It’s a great asset to them and, obviously, a great asset to the families of young people who play the game.

Bill Snyder, Head Coach Kansas State (Big XII)

WARNING: Football is a dangerous, collision sport where injuries are common. There is no such thing as a concussion proof football helmet and football helmets can not completely prevent concussions. However, the right helmets, when properly fit, can help reduce the risk of more serious injuries. Football helmets are not designed as concussion prevention, but rather as protection against skull fractures, contusions, and lacerations.