Get your players used to making tackles from different starting positions
Divide your players into pairs, an attacker with a ball and a defender, and put each pair in a 5m square area.
Play a series of 1v1s inside the square, each time from a different starting position: Standing 1m apart facing each other, standing 1m apart with backs to each other, sitting back to back, or facing each other 1m apart in press up position.
When you shout “go”, the attacker aims to score over the line behind the defender. The defender aims to stop him by making a side-on tackle or a front-on tackle.
Keep swapping the starting positions for each pair and then mix up the pairs.
You will need
A 5m square area for each pair
1 ball per pair
Got more players?
Set up more 5m squares.
What to tell your players
“Get close to ball carrier”
“Get your head to the side of ball carrier, not in front”
“Drive with your legs to finish the tackle”
Lots of defence drills get the players in position to tackle, but not enough spend time on setting and then, crucially tackling, especially under fatigue conditions. Play heads up, real-life situations in training.
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Work on the roles and skills of the attackers and defenders closest to the tackle area in a tight space. This activity puts the players in game-like situations to look for solutions.
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If I were coaching tackling to kids for the first time, I wouldn't focus on low tackles. I think it's better to work on the choke tackle. It's safer and more effective.
As a professional rugby coach, people often say to me, “oh, but you've never coached an eleven-year-old before.” Well, a year and a half ago, before COVID, I not only coached my son’s U10s and U11s, but I coached the rest of the school’s A, B, and C teams, from U9s up to U12s. During this period, I taught them to choke tackle. MORE