8 Non-Contact Tackling Progressions

Sep 23, 2018 | Tackling, Defense, Fundamentals

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar



mequitehsUsing circuit-tackling progressions provides for higher player involvement and less contact time. These drills not only teach the fundamentals of contact points but also stress the footwork necessary to get players into the position to make contact, which can be one of the more underrated coaching techniques associated with tackling. In this report, we segmented our research into the following categories:

  • Footwork Tackle Progressions: These drills emphasize the pre-contact footwork necessary to put defenders in position to make tackles.
  • Shield Tackle Progressions: These drills replace bodies with shields in an emphasis to teach the proper contact points without taking any one to the Ground.
  • Angle Tackle Progressions: These drills teach defenders the proper angles to make contact on ball carriers.

Footwork Tackle Drill Progressions

Form Tackle Progression: Ryan Porter, Mesquite High School (TX) 


Coaching points:

  • On command tackler starts to sprint toward bag.
  • Upon reaching bag tackler begins to regrow base and sink hips (come to balance).
  • After coming to balance over bags tackler runs feet and grows “wings” (elbows high in back forcing hips to sink).
  • On command tackler will step with proper foot and get into a hitting position.
  • On “hit” tackler will throw elbows violently to sky as tight as possible to tackling dummy causing hips to explode through and launching body through the dummy.

To see film of this form tackle progression, click on the video below: