Tackling drills are the single most important part of your training; it’s vital that you prepare your players to tackle safely. These tackling drills are tried, tested and proven to be the most effective ways to introduce and develop tackling skills.

How to target the ball through tackling 2

Target ball

in Defence, Practice plans, Tackling

There are currently two fashionable tackles: The chop, where the tackler “chops” the legs of the ball carrier and a ball tackle, where the tackler aims to put his shoulder and/or arms on the ball, thus preventing an offload. This is sometimes known as the “choke” as well. It requires a different set of footwork, because the angle of attack is upwards, rather than horizontal. MORE

4 tackling footwork activities

in Rugby drills, Tackling

Getting close to the ball carrier is a key technique to be able to make an effective tackle. But chasing games don’t help build up the game skills replicated in the game. Try out these four ideas instead. MORE

How to finish off tackles 2

Finishing the tackle

in Practice plans, Tackling

A tackle is completed when the tackler has done everything they can legally to prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball. Ultimately, the defender can do this by getting to his feet to challenge for the ball, but even if they can’t challenge, they can prevent the attacker placing the ball back quickly. MORE

Finish is key to the tackle

in Tackling

Because ball carriers make every effort to avoid being tackled, a defender might find themselves struggling to tackle them…to begin with. It’s how you finish that matters, according to Les Kiss, head coach at London Irish. Dan Cottrell explains… A lot of tackle coaching can be static. The key points are head position, shoulder contact,... MORE

Build up to tackling

in Tackling

For the first few years of contact rugby, you will be introducing or re-introducing tackling. Your approach is a key part of maintaining your players’ learning momentum and desire to become better tacklers. Here’s a graduated approach. MORE

Surprise tackles for different challenges

in Rugby drills, Tackling

I’ve been talking tackling to plenty of coaches in the last few weeks. That’s not unusual. Therefore, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite tackling “drills”: High pressure tackling reactions. I say drill because it’s a 1 v 1 exercise. MORE

High pressure tackling reactions

in Tackling

Get your players used to making side-on or front-on tackles with this high-octane exercise. The tempo will keep the players moving quickly into position and making choices on which tackle to employ. MORE

Block and tackle

in Practice plans, Tackling

Individual defenders have to react quickly to changes in potential ball carriers. This is because attacking teams use “blockers” and dummy runners to fool defences. A “blocker” runs flat and sometimes in front of the pass. This session develops a defender’s ability to slide on to the ball carrier, sometimes at the last moment. MORE

Side-on tackling

in Rugby drills, Tackling

Even the top teams recognise they don’t practise side-on tackling enough. Use this session to work on quick-to-ground tackling, against a dynamic attacker. MORE

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