Okay im getting real tired of having to answer the same general questions about football. Here I will answer the usual questions that always seem to creep up.
Listed below is a link to each topic for quicker viewing/searching.
Increasing Speed/40 Yard Dash
Choosing a Position (Offense)
Choosing a Position (Defense & Special Teams)
Anyone that needs help with speed, stretching,strength,power,diets,etc.. Ask Away
First and foremost, it?€™s all about confidence. The only way to lay somebody out is to be absolutely fearless. You will not win the battle thinking "damn this guy is big. I hope he doesn?€™t run me over." if you play with confidence and balls--hell even arrogance--good things will happen and people will respect you.
This, in my opinion, is the most important part of the tackle. Every single missed tackle/broken ankle is a result of a bad approach. The first part to the approach is speed, aggressiveness, and control. If you look at any highlight film, all of the big hits are from people running full out without fear. When playing, especially at linebacker, you need to be aggressive and come up to make the play, but still be under control. You cannot be passive when it comes to making a tackle. One thing that really helps to stay in control is what is known as "breaking down" which essentially involves dropping your hips and chopping your feet. One way to get into the habit of this is by ending every drill by breaking down. You run through the bags, run a couple extra yards, and break down. Go down the line hitting the sled, and break down.
When making the tackle head-on in a hole, it?€™s all about being low and (here it comes again) aggressive. Exact head position is not that important. I wear a butterfly collar and have a pretty strong neck so for me, its no biggy putting my facemask right into their chest. Most people put their head to the ball side.
Tackling from an angle is basically the same thing as a face-to-face tackle with the exception that overall body position and form is VERY important. This is your most common tackle as it is pretty much all DB?€™s see and what you will see in the open field and taking pursuit. When coming up, you want to meet them at an angle (hence the name angle tackle), preferably at a point behind or at the line of scrimmage. When you read that they are trying to beat you to the sidelines, the key is to shuffle?€”not run. The second you turn your hips and run, the runner will cut back and make you look like a fool. When doing this (pursuit), you want to keep to the inside of them, typically between their shoulder and eye. If you do not do this, 2 things can and will happen. The first is you will over-persue and the runner will cutback. The other possibility is you are actually head up on them and that gives the runner tons of options on which way to go, instead of forcing their play. While shuffling, you want to get closer to the runner thus closing the gap between you and him. Then the last second before contact you bring your head across to the ballside (runner will carry the ball with the outside hand 90% of the time). The reason for doing this is and attacking with your inside shoulder forces the runner back into your teammates in the event of a missed tackle.
Something to keep in mind is that you always want to force their play. You cannot always predict what they will do when it comes to cutbacks and what not, but you can force them a certain direction by positioning yourself on either the left or right depending on the situation. If you run straight ahead, all it will do is allow them more places to run.
As everybody will tell you, the most important thing to remember is to keep your head up and your butt and shoulder pads low. A good hitting position is basically a quarter eagle stance like what you would use during a power clean, a linebacker stance, ready position in tennis, or playing defense/boxing out in basketball. If you still have no idea what im talking about it is basically having your chest out, knees bent, butt low, and back straight. You don?€™t want to be hunched over as this will make your head drop and won?€™t give you the power you need to make the tackle.
The last instant before the tackle you want to have your inside foot forward (like hitting the sled) and have your head and body across their body on the ball side. From here, explode off of your inside leg and through the hips. You want to continue the explosion through their body keeping your feet moving?€”essentially running through the other person. You want your shoulder pads to be between their chest and thigh pads.
After initial contact is made is when you wrap up. The hands are supposed to shoot forward and up. You don?€™t want them to cock back, wind up, or get wide. Any of this will not only force your head and shoulders to point down, but it will use up that small amount of time that will decide whether or not they break the tackle. Once you get the physical wrap (either around the upper leg or lower back), you want to grab cloth. This will ensure the tackle, or at least keep them from going any further if for some reason they break the tackle. Finally you want to take their hips away from them. This is basically bear-hugging the **** out of their lower body. It brings their hips closer to yours. It basically throws them off balance and makes it easier to drive them into the ground. Remember to keep your feet going throughout the whole process. If you get the chance, try to swat/punch/rip the ball out?€”especially when going for a sack or tackling from behind.
More to come?€?