VIDEO: Chop tackle tech and drive

Help players develop their skills around completing a low “chop” tackle. Once the contact is made, the tackler has to recover and contest for the space over the ball.

The activity is clearly introduced with the key points, a demonstration and then the use of micro-coaching from the players to build a clearer understanding of their roles. It finishes with a small contact decision around jackling or competing for space.



  1. Player 2 lies on the ground between two coloured cones. There’s low tackle bag (or tube) about 2m in front of them.
  2. Player 3 stands behind the bag, holding a pad in two hands.
  3. Player 1 will act as the micro coach, encouraging player 2 to focus on the key skills.

  1. Call out a coloured cone.
  2. The prone player gets to their feet and touches that cone.

  1. That player then tackles the pad.
  2. Note that both feet are on the ground, there is a clear shoulder contact.
  3. The lower the contact the better.

  1. The tackler then recovers their feet (“speed to feet”) and drives into the oncoming pad holder.
  2. Ideally, the tackler would be lower, bending at the knees.
  3. The micro coach can also encourage “leg drive”, where the tackler keeps driving forward with powerful steps.
  4. The pad holder can lean forward, so the tackler has to drive up through the pad holder’s chest.


The pad holder either

  1. Doesn’t engage with the tackler. The tackler now has to stop at the end of the bag and then lift it as if they are going for the ball.
  2. Engages as they did in the original activity. Notice in the picture that the pad holder is leaning forward, forcing the tackler to get lower.


  • Get the feet close into the bag.
  • “Speed to feet”. Get back into the game quickly.
  • Squeeze the tackle pad. Don’t push with the arms and hands.


  1. Simple, energised and clear instructions on what to do.
  2. A demonstration, which includes a coaching point.
  3. During the exercise, repetition of the key points, along with praise.
  4. Fault correction to the whole group.
  5. One development.
  6. Also, lots of emphasis on the “micro” coaches. This peer coaching is very powerful because it is individual as well as focusing that micro-coach on their own skills.
  7. This is an energised activity. The players are breathing hard. After the activity, use questions to check for understanding.
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