Making the Tackle

A good defense is made up of great tacklers. No matter how great an athlete you are you must tackle well or you are a liability to the team. The good thing about tackling is that you can always improve your tackling ability. With some work on your technique and the right attitude you can become a very good tackler.

Safety: Never drop your head before a tackle. Always keep your head up and make sure that you see what you are hitting. You do not want your head to take the brunt of the hit. Keep your head up and to one side or the other of the ball carrier on impact. Never hit another player straight on with your head. The bones in the neck are not built for the impact generated by and impact like that.

Points for making good tackles:
1.Have good body positioning by starting with a good base. Stay low with your weight on the balls of your feet. You must be in a position to react quickly.
2.Focus on your target. You must not focus on the entire ball carrier. Focus on his belt buckle. This is important. If the ball carrier is twisting focus on his belt at the center of his body. Ball carriers can fake over a hundred different ways but if you tackle his belt buckle you will tackle him.
3.Do not take your eyes off your target.
4.Stay low, keep your head up, and keep your eyes on target. As you approach the ball carrier take smaller steps.
5.Lower your shoulders by bending at the knees (breaking down). Keep your back straight.
6.Angle your head in front of the ball carrier striking him with your shoulder, and the insides of your arms.
7.Wrap up the ball carrier by grabbing cloth with both hands.
8.The hit should stop the momentum of the ball carrier. In one quick motion use your strength and momentum to lift the ball carrier slightly. By lifting the ball carrier you take away the use of his legs because they are no longer touching the ground.
9.When the ball carrier looses the use of his legs you own him. Use your weight and strength to drag or slam him to the ground.
10.If you are not in a position to lift the ball carrier you must use your weight to pull him to the ground.
11.Always make a good wrap. The best tacklers not only deliver a hard hit but also finish the tackle with a good wrap.
12.To make a tackle you must do two things. Stop the momentum of the ball carrier a
nd eliminate his leg strength.

Sometimes you have to make a tackle any way you can. You may not be in good position to strike the ball carrier or lift him. In this case you must concentrate on making a good wrap up. Ball carriers rarely escape from good wraps. Always remember to keep your head up and tackle safely.