Youth Football - Tackling Techniques | Drive Nation

Teaching Safe Tackling Technique in Youth Football

Youth Football Players engaged during play

Teaching Safe Tackling Technique in Youth Football

As we learn more about the potential risks of injuries in youth football play there has been a focus on teaching proper and safe tackling techniques beginning with the very first football leagues. Nothing contributes to a proper and safe game than drilling youth football players on how to keep both them and the ball carrier safe through correct tackling form. Today, Drive Nation’s blog would like to discuss the shoulder-tackle method, why it is the safest method, and how to instruct your youth football players correctly. Keeping reading below to learn more!

How to Tackle With Proper Technique

Tackling successfully and safely requires that the player learn and practice the correct method many times until it feels natural. Follow these steps to ensure your tackling form is as safe as possible while still being effective.

  • Approach the ball carrier, quickly chop your feet to get your momentum under control. When you break down, it is imperative to keep your feet moving so as to not get caught flat-footed.
  • Keep your center of mass low, sink your hips, and bend your knees. While doing this keep your eyes on the belt of the ball carrier. Sinking your hips and keeping your head up allows you to explode through the tackle while keeping sight of the opponent.
  • When you tackle you want to aim “through” the ball carrier. Keep your head up and make contact with your shoulder pads. While exploding through the ball carrier keep your feet active and underneath you. Shoot your hands up and around the ball carrier and grab the jersey.
  • Keep your head across the body of the ball carrier, with the shoulder pad in the midsection or chest of the ball carrier. Drive through the tackle, making sure to keep your feet moving.

Youth Football Tackling Drills

Teaching the right form does not happen immediately. Installing proper tackling drills for your youth football team and dedicating a section of every practice is needed until proper technique is used every time. The following drills are best for teaching technique:

  • Tackling dummies – This is great for drilling tackling without creating unnecessary live contact in practice.
  • Pursuit drill – This simulates gameplay more than a dummy, have a coach take be the ball carrier while the entire defense swarms to his position. Once the players get to the ball carrier, have them break down while chopping their feet in a breakdown form. This helps to teach team tackling and the breakdown before contact.
  • Oklahoma drill – This is a simple 3-on-3 drill with 2 defensive linemen and 1 linebacker versus 2 offensive linemen and a running back. This helps to teach defenders to shed blocks and wrap up in traffic.

Contact Drive Nation for Youth Football Training

At Drive Nation, we have the experts and programs to help your youth football player or team to prepare for their season. Our program will teach your players to use proper form while staying safe and promoting good sportsmanship. Contact Drive Nation today to learn about our programs at 972-891-9516.