Welcome to Drill of the Week, a series on ACTIVEkids.com that explains individual and team drills for parents and coaches to help kids improve at the sports they love.
This week's drill on how to tackle safely and effectively is brought to you by CoachUp.com.
Today, we're back with Larry Anam, former New England Patriots defensive back and CoachUp coach, as he shares tips for proper tackling technique.
Check out his tutorial in the video above or here.
Tackling drills for kids should focus on safe methods above all else. Using good technique not only keeps the defender's head and neck safe, but also prevents injuring the opponent being tackled. The first step towards consistent tackling is to get yourself into a position with good leverage. To do so, squat down while keeping your back straight and head up so you can see exactly where you'll hit your opponent.
Now that you're in position, straighten your knees and propel your body forward. It's important to sink your hips while paying attention to the target's hips, as this will always tell you where they're headed. Ultimately, the goal is to make contact with the opponent's hips, wrap your arms around their torso, squeeze, and bring them down. The right positioning, forward momentum, and force of impact work together to finish the tackle. At all cost, do not strike with your head as this is the easiest way to hurt an opponent, yourself, or even sustain a concussion.
More: Forcing Fumbles in Football
Once you've nailed the proper stance and technique, then you can start using drills and put it to practice. As a warmup, have players practice their form and stop at the point of contact. You can also practice the hug and hold technique in order to teach the consistent wrapping of the opposition without dangerous force behind it. This time, don't stop at the point of contact, but don't drive through your partner either -- just stop once you've fully controlled his or her movement. At the end of the day, we must stress, no matter what drill you're running, don't lead with your head as those short-term benefits are never worth the potential health injuries!