Linebackers have a tough job on the football field. They are often asked to make open-field tackles, make quick decisions and save a big play from crippling a defensive stand.
This drill, provided by the Youth Football Coaches Association, teaches linebacker movement and direction change before making a tackle. If done right, this drill will simulate a linebacker preventing the ball-carrier from slipping through a hole and getting positive yardage.
For a printable .pdf of this drill and others, visit the YFBCA website.
A diagram of the drill.
- Place 5 bags on the ground, two yards apart, parallel to each other.
- Ball carriers and linebackers align on opposite sides of the middle bag.
- Ball carrier begins the drill by running back-and-forth between the outside bags. The linebacker mirrors the ball carrier's movements.
- On the coach's command of "score", the ball carrier runs up the nearest alley between two of the bags and attempts to get across to the linebacker's side.
- The linebacker reacts by filling the hole to tackle the ball carrier. He squares up, attacks, and drives the ball carrier back.
- Ball carrier has the option to fake the linebacker while running between the bags.
- Linebackers keeps his feet moving laterally to square up with the ball carrier.
- Linebacker learns to change direction based on the ball carrier's tempo.
The founder of Youth Football Coaches Association and current director is Joe Bouffard. Bouffard, affectionately known as Coach Bouf, is a veteran of 16 years of coaching experience at various levels that include youth, high school and college. While at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, Coach Bouf employed a passing attack offense that has led to 2007 and 2008 Class MM State Championships. Currently, Coach Bouf serves as offensive coordinator at Fairfield Warde High School in Connecticut.