“The single most important thing I teach my players is that they are part of a Warrior Society and on the practice field they learn the lessons of the Warrior Code.” “This practice field will make you cry, make you bleed, and it will bring pain but in turn it will provide the lessons that you need to not only survive but thrive in the world we live in.”
Football is a Combat Sport martial arts –noun: any of the traditional forms of Oriental self-defense or combat that utilize physical skill and coordination without weapons, as karate, aikido, judo, or kung fu, often practiced as sport.thesport There is no other sport like football. It is a TEAM COMBAT SPORT that requires eleven players to attack the other team’s eleven players in a coordinated assault. You play it with a helmet and pads so you are not injured because it is a full speed violent game. Every player on the field is violently hitting another player or being hit by another player. Learning how to play this game requires you to learn specific skills: blocking, tackling, hitting, and avoiding how to be hit while also learning skills like handing off, carrying, catching, and passing the football. Football is a martial arts.
A Martial Arts Requires A Warrior We coach a combat sport! We teach a martial arts! We train players to be warriors! We train them to play through pain, control their emotions, and focus on the task at hand so that all eleven players accomplish a single task!
Warrior Code Warrior Ideals: teaching kids football, of any age, to believe in themselves and the team they play for is an important concept. I was a Marine for twelve years and I am lucky to be a part of that wonderful brotherhood. It reinforced ideals that my father, uncles, and my coaches taught me as a young player and athlete. They are engrained in my belief structure and when I coach they are an expression and an extension of how I coach. I truly believe that football is one of the last places in our society that young men can be taught these ideals. Because this sport is so violent it requires a level of courage and commitment not often found in kids nowadays. Every young man at some point dreams of being a warrior, a knight, a Spartan, a Trojan, a hero. It is in every young man's DNA and tapping into that can be a very positive tool for you as a coach. Your coaching staff needs to understand this and for me it is reflective in the nature of my coaching and how I approach players. Every player will be treated as a young man on the field. In turn they respect and trust me as a coach and a mentor. Even five year olds will appreciate this and you simply need to put it in context to their age. We will be tough, fair, and unyielding in practice but we will have fun as a team and we will learn how to be successful as a team of warriors.
Warrior Code 1.Physical Discipline: confident, aggressive, violent, able to overcome pain to achieve our objective as a player and a team. Our physical conditioning will push our players to the edge so that they physical, mentally, and emotionally tough. They will understand that this is a team combat sport and they must be finally tuned football players able to execute their role as quickly and as violently as possible. 2.Mental Discipline: focused on our positive, stance, assignments, and technique as well as our role each every play no matter the field conditions, physical conditions, emotional conditions, or what is happening off the field. I want every one of my players to understand that if they invest any sort of time in something, anything then to give 100% of their effort during those moments. That means on the field, in the classroom, and at home. Be competitive; strive to be the best at everything you do no matter what it is. Learning how to compete and win are important components to be a successful athlete and person. 3. Emotional Discipline: this is probably the toughest part of being a football player. It is easy to let external issues affect your play and we must get each of our players to focus on their duties and assignments during every practice so that it becomes a habit that when they step on the field everything else fades away for those two hours so that all that matters is being the best football player possible. Failure is part of being a football player every player needs to learn how to deal with failure in a positive manner so they can harness it in a meaningful way. Every player needs to learn how to deal with success as well both as a player and as a team. Each play is a new beginning and they must prove themselves once again. Each game is a new season and we must start again to prove our worth and value as players and as a team. 4. Character Discipline: General Robert H. Barrow said, “Success in battle is not a function of how many show up, but who they are.”To develop and reinforce character we must set the example as coaches. We must push players to make good choices on the field an off the field. Follow the rules on the field, in the classroom, in society, and be good players, students, and sons. Be respectful to those around them at all times. Strive to be the best student, best player, best person they can be. Developing a sense of purpose and mission, maturity, responsibility to the team and community, and self-discipline. Character development might be the most critical component that we teach each of these players as it provides them with tools that are necessary to be successful in life like maturity, judgment, and moral character.
Honor, Courage, Commitment Honor, Courage, Commitment (Core Values of our team): Players must understand that to be a football player on this team you must do what is right in the face of overwhelming adversity. To understand how to do what is right they are taught about ethics and our core values during practice using the situations that come up. These values make up the bedrock of a what I expect from my players. During off-season camps, pre-season, and season they are taught these core values and the plethora of others traits, such as integrity, discipline, teamwork, duty and esprit de corps. Honor: Our players are held to the highest standards, ethically, and morally. Respect for others is essential. Our players are expected to act responsibly in a manner befitting the title they have earned as football players. This is a part of the warrior code. Honor requires each player to exemplify the ultimate standard in ethical and moral conduct. Honor is many things; honor requires many things. You must expect every player to never lie, never cheat, never steal, but that is not enough. Much more is required as we must keep the standard high in a warrior society. Each player must cling to an uncompromising code of personal integrity, accountable for his actions and holding his teammates accountable for theirs. And, above all, honor mandates that a player never sully the reputation of his team or teammates. This is powerful tool for us as a staff as it creates a foundation for tradition within the team. The ability for the players to self-police themselves on and off the field; when your team can self-police and start to take the reins of leadership from the coaching staff you know you are on the right track. I have seen eight year olds step to the front and command respect from their team. Courage: Simply stated, courage is honor in action -- and more. Courage is moral strength, the will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will to do what is right regardless of the conduct of others. It is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard. Courage means willingness to take a stand for what is right in spite of adverse consequences. This courage, throughout history is what has sustained some of the greatest warriors during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat. And each day, it enables a warrior to look in the mirror -- and smile. That is our goal with our young players is for them to look in the mirror satisfied with what they have learned and what they have become so that when they say I play football for "your team" they beam with pride knowing what it means to say that. Commitment: Total dedication to God, Family, School, and Team. Teamwork for the sake of the team. All for one, one for all. By whatever name or cliché, commitment is a combination of (1) selfless determination and (2) a relentless dedication to excellence. Our players never give up, never give in, never willingly accept second best. Excellence is always the goal. And, when their football days are over, Our players will remember these core values that are engrained in them. Commitment never dies (The vast majority of the Warrior Ideals was taken from several Marine Corps Manuals on Leadership and notes I made from various speakers at Mess Nights, and Career Courses while in the Marine Corps and I simply rewrote the material for my football teams when I was young man.)
The Path for Your Team To make your players stronger! – Physically stronger – Emotionally stronger – Mentally stronger – Spiritually stronger Being a true warrior, or “champion,” requires an understanding and appreciation of the connectivity between our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual commitment. We are preparing our players to succeed on the field and handle the physical, mental, and emotional rigors of this sport. We are preparing our players for the very same lessons in life as well. Young men want to be held to a higher standard. They want to be pushed. They want to be important in the eyes of their seniors.
Your Staff Guidelines For the Players It is the player's team not the coaches. We are mentors and teachers; the team is theirs they own it we guide them. Every player will have a position and role on this team. It is our job to find out what every kid is good at and amplify that strength as a positive for our team. Find that one thing he is good at and nurture it! Playing time is earned not given. Even when we have minimum play rules that still applies. If a player is not showing up to practice, not giving his best effort, is disruptive he loses the right to play. Being a football player is not a right it is a privilege on our team. We push every kid mentally, emotionally, and physically on this team. Every player must be challenged to improve. Practices must be intense. Don't waste practice time chattering or explaining. Teach it, show it, rep it and rep it a lot in the allotted time given. Correct mistakes on the fly with specific positive instruction but expect them to get better. No exceptions to this. When we condition we condition with the mindset to not only physically push them but to mentally and emotionally push them. We push them hard so that practices are much more intense then the games ever will be so that come game time the exercise of playing a game is easy. They must fail on the practice field and learn how to deal with it on the practice field so that they know how to deal with it on the game field. Success is often something players will need to learn how to deal with has well (respect and honor). We expect our players to give 100% we must give 100% as well to set the example. Player welfare/Goal Accomplishment are the priorities of the coaching staff!
Safety & Contact It is every coaches' job to ensure their players are as safe as realistically possible on the football field at all times! – Proper training in wearing protective equipment. (helmet fit, shoulder pad fit, lower body pads) – Proper training in keeping the head out of contact. (concussion injury) – Proper training in keeping the head up/eyes up. (spinal injury) – Proper care and up keep of mouth guards. (concussion injury/dental/tongue) – Protecting player’s joints. (keep them bent/don’t lock out) – Compliance with Safety Rules and Sportsmanship on the field Coaches can control amount of force and danger of a drill by: – Making sure you pair up players evenly considering biological maturity, experience, athletic ability, size, and aggressiveness. – The closer the distance the safer the drill. The farther apart the players are the more force they can both generate (acceleration). – If you increase distance use obstacles and start/stop situations to reduce force. – When doing gang tackling drills and turnover drills use close proximity. – Fast whistle when you need to. – Keep players above the waist. No tackling our players below the waist. Bit the Hip on dummies only and in scrimmages against other teams only.
Make Practice Fun! That doesn’t mean pandering to every child’s desire to being the center of attention. That doesn’t mean you should play fun games that offer nothing to the development of your players, team, or schemes you teach. It means that your practice should be fast paced. It means that everything you do should have meaningful value to the development of your players as a person, athlete, and football player. It means the vast majority of your practice should be competitive and allow your players to be aggressive and violent in the context of your drills to foster competition and a desire to succeed and become better players! Players will adapt to the nature of the practice as long as you make it up beat, positive, and get the best out of them while fostering an atmosphere of sportsmanship and teamwork. Give positive feedback to all of your players when they do something right. When they do something wrong – explain what they did wrong, explain how they need to do it right, rep it again. Be positive – positive/negative/positive when you can!
Develop of Sense of Knowing The front side of your practices should always be the same. This allows players to know exactly what will occur when they get to practice. It gives them the ability to focus on becoming better athletes and football players. It allows them to emotionally and mentally warm up as they physically warm up for practice. Vary the back end of your practice but use drills and variations of drills that the players already know. Push them to the edge at various points in your practice mentally, emotionally, and physically. Once they realize that every practice will be tough they will start to adapt and they will start to have fun. “Make the easy seem hard and the hard seem easy” :Dave Potter. Use drills that are both competitive and aggressive in nature.
Confidence + Competitiveness + Experience= Aggressiveness Players need to have fun. It promotes a positive experience and that promotes a positive attitude. Make being competitive and aggressive fun and important as player! Everything you do should have a competitive component built in to it or should progress into a competitive phase as technical mastery occurs. Mental + Emotional + Physical Toughness are essential to being a warrior/football player.
The Chain of Confidence Develop Confidence in the coaching staff. (Trust in ability to teach the game and keep them safe) Develop Confidence in their equipment to protect them. Develop Confidence in their teammates and the team to achieve success on the field. Develop Confidence in themselves to achieve anything on the field. The is forms the nucleus of pride and self worth in a football player and the team.
The Chain of Success Development of Confidence Once you achieve a confident player his desire to compete will grow. Encourage competition at all times within your team. The use of competitive drills is important to foster this growth at every practice. Set them up to succeed and to deal with success and failure. The practice field is used to develop experience that they can use on the game field. Every practice should bring a positive experience that they can learn from. That doesn’t mean they have to succeed it simply means they have to learn something positive from it. Whether it be success or failure. Confidence + Competition + Experience (Positive) = Aggressiveness
Competitive Spirit Breeds Aggressiveness Show me a player that wants to succeed and I will show you a player that is aggressive. A player that wants to be successful will attack a drill with all out effort. That is the natural aggressiveness we are looking for in our players. Teach a player that his equipment keeps him safe and the techniques you are teaching him will keep him safe and he will stop thinking about his “safety” and start thinking about succeeding and he will start competiting. Passive players have a greater chance of getting hurt. Aggressive players have less chance of getting hurt.
Four Phases of Contact (Safety Instruction) 1 st Week to end of season Safety Briefs (continuous reminders) – Instruct players on how to wear equipment and maintain equipment so that it keeps them safe; helmet, shoulder pads, body pads, and shoes as well as mouth pieces. – Instruct players on keeping all their joints bent so that if contact is made they will bend naturally and reduce the chance of injury. – Instruct players to keep their heads up and out of contact to reduce concussion injuries and spinal injures. There must not be any allowance for the head dropping or being part of contact. Pull players from drills and provide additional reinforcement. Don’t be afraid to send a player home for disobeying this rule. – This is on going and these reminders should be given at every drill and at every phase of teaching.
Four Phases of Contact (Technical Instruction) Week 1 (2 to 6 practices) Teaching basic techniques of blocking and tackling (LEG progression for us). Close quarters to reduce force on contact. Walk through to ½ speed when doing player on player. ½ to full speed when doing player on dummy. Achieve as many well executed reps as possible. At first reps will look ugly. Keep fixing the biggest problems first. (stance, get off, LEG technique, all out effort) Do lots of non-contact aggression drills to foster confidence and positive experiences while being aggressive.
Four Phases of Contact (Technical Mastery) Week 2 (3 to 10 practices) Fine tuning basic techniques of blocking and tackling (LEG progression for us). Increase distance to increase force on contact. ½ speed to full speed when doing player on player. Working on technique still so short whistle to control drill. Full speed when doing player on dummy. Achieve as many well executed reps as possible. Technique for the vast majority of players should look clean. Keep fixing the minor mistakes and work on players that are not up to speed.
Four Phases of Contact Unleashing the Horde Week 3 (6 to 15 practices) Always review stance and progression prior to full contact/full speed reps. All players are expected to hit at full speed, violently as possible so that they defeat the player in front of them. Whether you are a tackler, blocker, or ball carrier. Control the drills with the whistle. Constantly check for proper stance, form and execution. Player Safety is #1 Priority!
Non-Contact Competition/Aggression Drills Tire War Tug of War Dummy Flip Competition Dummy Lateral Pursuit Drill Dummy Tackling Competition
Tire War 5 yds Why: To teach players how to use their aggression and compete against other players in a non- contact drill. How: Place four cones far enough apart in square so that when you lay a 13” to 15” tire down in the center that each player with their head near the tire and hands on tire that their feet are at least one yard apart. On the coaches GO they all attempt to pull the tire towards their cone so they can touch their cone with any part of their body. First one to touch wins. You can have the winner of each competition square off in a play off. You can also add some additional pressure to each player by having the viewing players pick who will win and the ones that lose their bet must do 10 push ups. Variations: 3 and 2 man variations (3 cones/2 cones)
Tug of War Why: To teach players how to use their aggression and compete against other players in a non-contact team oriented drill. How: Take a rope that is 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick and long enough so that it has at least six extra feet after you have five players double arms length apart on each side and 6 feet between the two teams. Place two cones on each end of the six foot barrier and place a marker on the rope in the dead center. Every player will place their feet near the rope and face out board on their chest. On GO every player will spin around and grab the rope and pull. The faster they spin around and pull the quicker they can win the game. Once they get around and grab each side should quickly coordinate themselves to pull and reset/pull and reset until either side pulls the marker across their cone. They win. Winners of each competition will go into a playoff. You can also add some additional pressure to each player by having the viewing players pick who will win and the ones that lose their bet must do 10 push ups.
Dummy Flip Competition Why: To teach players how to use their aggression and compete against other players in a non-contact drill that allows them to use their LEG progression and explode through a target. It is a great conditioning tool as well (mental/physical/emotional). How: Take 5 to 10 heavy dummies (25lbs or heavier). First set is the LEG-BLOCK, second set is the LEG-ROLL, third set is the LEG-DRIVE, fourth set is the BEAR HUG, Fifth set is the BEAR THROW. You can replace on of the set or add a LEG-TACKLE set. On GO they all execute the first rep going the set distance and back (20/50/100). When they finish the first set they start the next set and keep going until they are done. This is a competitive drill and often the first and second place players can drop out. The remaining players must repeat the sequence. Great way to push players mentally while also developing their aggression even in a state of fatigue. Variations: You can do relays with each player in the team doing a specific SET.
Single Side Lateral Pursuit Drill Why: Teach the defender how to take a proper angle on the runner as he attack the perimeter and to make a safe and aggressive tackle prior to or as he passes the dummy. How: The coach will use two dummies and two cones. One dummy will be placed on the LOS as a barrier between the runner and the defender with a cone two to four yards from the barrier dummy and a dummy (simulating a runner) six to ten yards away. The runner cone will be five to seven yards from the barrier dummy. On GO the runner will cross over step and sprint past the runner dummy and go vertical up field and the defender must maintain inside leverage and stay square and mirror the depth of the runner. The tackle must tackle the dummy before the runner gets by it. Note: This drill is set up to teach an aggressive inside leverage pursuit to our MIKE backer and to defend coming down hill from the inside to attack the ball. It is a great lateral pursuit drill that teaches defenders to attack down hill and make a good BIT THE PIT/HIP tackle. You can immediately see who will make that tackle on the ball.
Read & Lateral Pursuit Drill Why: Teach the defender how to read the ball and take a proper angle on the runner as he attacks the perimeter and to make a safe and aggressive tackle prior to or as the runner passes the dummy. How: The coach will use three dummies and four cones. Two dummies will be placed on the LOS as a barrier between the runner and the defender with a cone two to four yards from the barrier dummy on each side and a dummy (simulating a runner) six to ten yards away on each side The runner cone will be five to seven yards from the barrier dummy. On GO the runner will cross over step and sprint past the runner dummy on either side and go vertical up field and the defender must maintain inside leverage and stay square and mirror the depth of the runner. The tackler must read and flow down hill and tackle the dummy before the runner gets by it. Note: This drill is set up to teach an aggressive inside leverage pursuit to our MIKE backer once he determines flow and to defend the perimeter coming down hill from the inside to attack the ball. It is a great lateral pursuit drill that teaches defenders to attack down hill and make a good BIT THE PIT/HIP tackle. You can immediately see who will make that tackle on the ball.
Dummy Tackling Competition Why: to reinforce good BGO and Tackling techniques as well as being able to change directions, buzz feet, and make a good aggressive tackle. This is very competitive drill that allows players to be aggressive as well against bags. How: Coaches align two players facing two bags each that are 5 yards apart and being held by players. There is one additional bag behind each pair that is 10 yards deep. On GO from a 3 point stance both players will BGO and at the players approach the bags the coach will point left or right to indicate which bag the players will break towards, buzz feet, and tackle. They will immediately recover, get up, and attack the last bag and make a tackle. First to get to both bags wins. Variations: You can do 3 bags on the first level. You can add an obstacle course of cones and bags to get over and around before approaching first tackle target. You can add a obstacle course on the back side. You can add a shed component for each of them with a player using a shield that the player must rip/swim through first. C
Contact/Aggression Drills With or Without Gear: – Who’s Ball is It (2 and 3 man variations) – Push/Pull Competition – The Fight Circle Drill Full Gear – Blocking Fit Live – Tackle Fit Live – Defensive Shed Fit Live – Double Team Shed Drill – Half Line Pull/Wall Side Drills – Gang Tackling Dummy Drill Progression – Tackling Drills – Turnover Drills
Who’s Ball is It (Dave Potter) Why: To teach the mental and physical aspect of football. To teach each player that the football is theirs at all times on the field and to teach players how to be physical until the echo of the whistle. How: The first time the coach runs this play he should explain that at all times the ball is to be consider ours. Whenever the ball leaves the opponent’s hands as an entire team we must attempt to recover, protect, and retain possession of that ball. The drill is intended to teach players that it doesn’t matter who gets their hands on it first it matters who has it at the echo of the whistle. The players must not hit, punch, scratch, claw, pinch, bite, or kick the opposing player. He must attempt to get the ball out of the other player’s hands by pulling, tugging, and getting position on the ball. The coach will stand between the two players and ask them if each who’s ball it is by name; they should say it is their ball. Then the coach will walk behind them and then toss the ball up in the air about 5 yards in front of them. As soon as they see the ball they should attack it and the other player should make every attempt to regain possession of the ball. The coach or a pair of coaches will trail the players telling each player to get the ball and encouraging the players in any way they can that they must recover that football. At any time either player can tap out if it becomes too physical. Once one player has possession and it is obvious the other player will not regain possession or if both players are tied and there is no movement for a small amount of time call it. Make sure you acknowledge the good job they did and repeat with the next group. After a while you can let winners or even specific players call out other players and put those players on the spot. This is supposed to be a physical drill and initially you should match up players by size. You can also do three man as well as place obstacles like dummies they have to go over to get the ball (Robert Ferre).
Push/Pull Contest Why: to teach the DL (any player) how to execute a push/pull in a competitive arena How: Two defenders will grasp each others arm pits and on GO both DL men will attempt to push/pull their opponent on to the ground. First defender to put their opponent on the ground wins. You can have several pairs going at a time as long as you have one coach managing each pair. C 1 C 2 C 3
The Fight Circle Why: to teach players how to be aggressive and to work towards a common cause as team. How: Two groups of players will face off in a circle or square big enough so that they have limited amount of room to maneuver in. On the coaches GO both groups will attempt to drag, push, toss, or force the other team’s players out of the area. Any part of any player that touches outside of the area is out. If two opponents fall out the one that falls out first is out and the other one can go back in. Variation: If two or more people fall out and touch they are all out. Use landscape paint to mark the area if you can it makes it easier to identify who goes out. No punching/kicking/biting/scratching – removed. C C C C
Blocking Fits Coach 1)STANCE/LOAD/LOAD EXPLODE by the numbers 2)STANCE/LEG ½ speed/LEG full speed 3)Full speed + violent contact + aggressive drive 4)Match up size and ability along the line for pairs. Odd man can alternate in with one pair. 5)Can be a single coach or staff can break into sections of 3 to 6 pairs correcting one mistake quickly prior to next rep. 2 nd Phase of CHUTE DRILL
Tackling Drill #4 Tackle Fit Why: To teach the defender how to fit into the ball carrier and to aim his face mask at the landmark to protect his head. How: Pair up all players into even pairs. Odd man will pair up with a similar pair of players. One side will be defenders and the other side will be ball carriers and they will switch roles every other rep. On DOWN the ball carriers will grab cloth and get ready to run through the defender. The defender will get into his position stance. When the coach says go and the ball carrier moves the defender will BGO, buzz feet, and LEG tackle the ball carrier and drive him back. Check for FIT. NOTE: Explain to the players that they must BIT the far arm pit or in the case of a head up tackle the ball side arm pit. Then FIT one side into the ball carrier to explain what biting the pit means. Do both sides twice and check them and do this each day the first week of practice prior to starting the FITS. Note: This is part of our Dynamic Warm Up routine. Athletic Movements, Block Fit, Tackle Fit, Defensive Shed Fit Notes: Once the players are good at tackling a head up ball carrier let the ball carrier juke to the immediate left or right (stay in a space no bigger than one arm length away) so that the defender must buzz, mirror, and attack. Latter you can have the ball carrier spin as well in the same space. ½ SPEED (THUD) at first and then go to full speed both sides should be violent. C C Ball Carrier – grab jersey with either hand to simulate the ball 2 nd Phase of CHUTE DRILL
Defensive Shed Fit Why: To teach the defender how to shed a blocker using the prescribed techniques. How: Pair up all players into even pairs. Odd man will pair up with a similar pair of players. One side will be defenders and the other side will be blocker and they will switch roles every other rep. On DOWN the blocker will get into a 3 point stance (OL) and the defender will get into his base stance. On GO the blocker s will execute an aggressive and violent LEG block and the defender must execute a defensive shed. (Initially the blocker will be static as we teach the tech). NOTE: 1 st SPEED RIP, RIP/CLUB (wrist/elbow/shoulder), PULL/SWIM, BULL RUSH, BULL & SPIN, Note: This is part of our Dynamic Warm Up routine. Athletic Movements, Block Fit, Tackle Fit, Defensive Shed Fit Notes: Once the players are good at shedding a LEG blocker you can add pass protection and LEG-TURN (PIN). C C Defender
Split the Double Why: to teach our defensive linemen how to split a double team and penetrate beyond their heels or drop the double team at the LOS if they get contact. The OLB must realize that he is free man and must get through his gap and locate the near hip of the QB. How: Coach will signal a IN/OUT/SPLIT and on his snap count the TE/T will double team the DT and the OG/CTR will double team the DG. They must BGO and attempt to get behind the heels of the oline, square their shoulder, and locate the ball. If they get caught by the double team they must latch on to the near arm pit (cloth under arm pit) or lock both blocker’s tricep in (arm lock) into your chest and drive one knee down as they pull down on both arm pits/arms and drive the double team into the ground at the LOS creating a barrier. They must do this as soon as they realize they will not penetrate past the heels. The OLB must quickly get into his gap before the OLINE can come off their block and make a play and get to the coach. Notes: you can use advanced calls as well in this drill as you move on into the season. CC C
Wall Side Coach AIR Coach ODD BEAR or EAGLE EVEN COMPRESSED
Tackling Drill #11 Gang Tackling Why: To teach players how to work together to gang tackle a ball carrier. How: The coach will place three dummies that are 3 yards apart from each other in a straight line. You can have players hold the dummies in place if you need too. Have the defender form three lines behind the dummies five yards apart. On GO from a hitting position (or three point stance) the defenders will attack the dummy the coach points to and gang tackle it. The first defender will always make a form tackle, the second defender will make contact with the defender just outside of the shoulder of the form tackle while the last defender will close down on the dummy and make the tackle however he can (drive his teammates, go high, go low, mesh with the next tackle). They need to learn how to work as a unit and drive the runner to the ground as quickly as possible. If you are having a player hold the dummy have him offer some resistance as first contact his made. As soon as the second defender makes contact the holder should release the dummy.