Bill Walsh won three Superbowls with the San Francisco 49ers. When he took over as head coach in 1979 they were arguably the worst team in American football history. Within two years they were the best. This sympathetic and honest book, published after Walsh’s death in 2007, but largely in his own words, explains in detail the methods he used to achieve extraordinary success. MORE
Tackle session builder
Session builders take you from one player to a unit to work on their skills piece by piece. The second in our series looks at the defender in the defensive system.
By Dan Cottrell
Warm up the shoulders, core and develop quick reactions.
A player starts lying on their front holding a ruck pad. They roll over with the pad, over a ball and then finish on the pad before jumping to their feet to retrieve the ball.
Put two players on their fronts, with their left shoulders in line. They should be about 1m apart. Put a ball in front of one of the players.
The player with the ball gets to their feet to touch the ball down between the cones to the left and behind the tackler. The other player aims to make a low tackle.
They swap and repeat. Then they swap shoulder alignments and repeat. You then swap around pairs.
Put two players at one end of a 5m box with a ball.
A defender stands in the middle of the other end.
The two players pass the ball back and forth until you shout go. The current ball carrier aims to score on the outside of the defender.
Develop by having the attacker able to offload in the tackle, so the tackler makes a decision whether to tackle low and hard or man-and-ball.
Also, allow the attacker to step inside if they want.
As above, but add another defender. The box is wider.
Set up a 10m area, with a ruck pad about 4m from the defenders’ end.
Put a feeder by the ruck pad with a ball, an attacker behind the feeder and another attacker about 3m from the feeder. Put two defenders on the other side of the ruck pad.
The feeder can run, run and pass or just pass to one of the attackers.
The attackers aim to get to the end of the box.