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How to teach my child how to tackle?

How to teach my child how to tackle?

Tackling can be scary. It can be scary for the child attempting the tackle, and it can be scary for the parent in the stand watching their kid throw their body in the way of a player considerably bigger than them and running at full speed. Here at Tackle Smart, we understand that natural fear and have developed programs to teach safe, effective, and sound tackle techniques to kids just taking up the game of tackle football and those who need tackle football coaching to refine the rough edges of their tackling.

Here are a few things to consider when you want to teach your child how to tackle correctly so that you can both have less fear on game day.

Complimentary Sports

The best tackle football coaches will understand and promote the benefits of your child playing complementary sports alongside tackle football. While any sport will have techniques that can be transferred over, some sports are perfect for tackle football players to try as they will result in a safer tackle technique.

  • Wrestling/Jiu-Jitsu – A clean football tackle is the same as a double-legged takedown. Getting your kid involved in wrestling and/or Jiu-Jitsu will teach them about power and leverage and show them the correct way to tackle in a small space without players having a 20-yard runup at them. This technique transfers seamlessly to the gridiron.
  • Rugby – If your kid has a habit of tackling helmet first, you must get them into rugby immediately.  A growing game at the high school level, rugby is played without helmets, thus teaching kids that tackling with their faces isn’t a great idea. Rugby tackles are the safest out there, and you will be amazed at how effective their tackling quickly becomes.

Shoulder Technique

There was a time when football tackling was all about driving your head and neck through an opponent to force a dominant tackle. With the science we have now – and even the logic that should have been applied back then – it is wild to think this was ever seen as a good idea. Coaching the tackle has completely changed, and the idea of the shoulder technique is how the game has gone.

This tackle style – where a defender drives his shoulder through the opponent while keeping their head and neck completely out of contact – is safe and effective. It works for front-on and side-on tackles, allowing a defender to target the legs or upper body when making the hit. Teach this – perhaps using a mattress or some other padding on the ground to prevent practice injuries – for optimal safety in contact.

Correct Pad Level

If your kid is undersized but wants to play tackle football, this coaching point should be driven home. You don’t have to be the bigger player to win in contact. Instead, the player with the lowest pad level usually wins the battle. Teaching leverage, getting low, and cutting down a larger player with the correct shoulder tackle technique is something your kid will learn to use countless times over their tackle football career. 

Ensure they keep their head up and eyes on their opponent as they get low to perform a tackle, driving through the contact point with their legs to bring them down. Some kids will never be big enough to perform a dominant hit. Still, they can make themselves invaluable to the team by being a tackling machine that coaches can always rely on to make a perfectly executed form tackle with their knowledge of pad level and leverage.

Tackle Smart

We here at Tackle Smart know what we are doing regarding tackling. Our coaches have over 30 years of experience and we use football and rugby coaching techniques to teach kids how to be safe and effective tacklers. We are backed by science, and our programs increase in challenge and intensity over time to maximize your child’s learning potential and help them become the best tackler they can be. We have locations in North Texas, but our coach’s packages are available nationwide. We believe in our product and want to teach other coaches what we know to make football safer.

Beware of Online ‘Certifications’

While we at Tackle Smart are upfront about what we offer, there are other sites and individuals out there that are not. If someone claims to have an online certification in tackle safety, do a little research into them before signing your kid up for work with that coach/coaches. While there are countless coaches out there doing this the right way and making tackle football safer for everyone, there are some tackle football coaches just looking to make a quick buck without the proper training to coach what they claim they can. You are always better safe than sorry in this regard, especially with the health of your child on the line.

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