Rocky and the chicken
In the first Rocky movie, the boxer had to chase a chicken around to improve his footwork. Replicate this to help your tacklers get closer to their target.
A balanced stance with the feet not too wide will help players get into a strong position to make a good tackle.
Start by demonstrating a boxer stance.
Put pairs with a ball inside each box.
Have the ball carrier move around the box (not too fast), with the chasing player following him in a boxer stance.
When you stay “go”, the ball carrier stops and the chasing player moves in close, wraps his arms around the player just below the shorts and lifts him no more than 1cm off the ground.
The better players will get themselves close to the ball carrier to start with.
Make sure the head goes behind or to the side of the carrier.
Develop the exercise by giving the chaser three seconds to complete the task, and then two.
Further develop by having the four pairs work in a bigger box, with the same constraints.
Get the feet close to the ball carrier (otherwise players won’t be able to lift him).
Tight grip and squeeze.
Dip at the hips before grabbing to increase power.
Keep the eyes open in the tackle.
About Mark Calverley
Mark Calverley is a RFU Level 3 and IRB Level 4 qualified coach, and owner of the NZRFU Practicum award - the highest coaching award in New Zealand