Better tacklers read and anticipate the attackers’ movements. Improve your players’ anticipation skills by focusing on the ball carrier’s core. MORE
Get the tackle X-factor
If the tackler can win the first part of the impact, they can manipulate the ball carrier – slowing down possession or even winning the ball back. Here are four ways to make a bigger impact…
1 SAME FOOT, SAME SHOULDER
- The tackler should step into the tackle.
- His closest foot to the ball carrier should be the same as the shoulder used to make the impact.
- This helps him chase his feet after the tackle, giving him more control of the situation.
2 BANG BELOW THE BELLY BUTTON
- The carrier’s centre of gravity is around the belly button.
- He may also lean forward before contact.
- If the tackler drives up at the ball, he may simply knock the carrier upwards.
- But if the tackler impacts below the centre of gravity, he encourages the carrier to the ground as he’s already off balance.
- A low tackle also helps the tackler avoid a potential fend.
3 THE BODY FOLLOWS THE HEAD
- Top tacklers keep their eyes open throughout the tackle.
- This makes sense because wherever the head goes, the body follows.
- If the tackler has his eyes open, he can see where to place his head, using it as a “third arm” to drive through and lock onto the ball carrier.
4 THE BRUCE LEE PUNCH
- The most important part of the impact is the last inch.
- Martial arts legend Bruce Lee could knock a man to the floor from one inch.
- He drove through his punch and so should the tackler.
- Every sinew must explode and smash into the carrier.
- Keep the tackle going through the target.