The Score Tackling Drill for Linebackers

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.

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.

Coaching Points

  • 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.

Related Drill: The 'M' Drill for Defense

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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.

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