Keep Your Head UP and Stay IN the Game:  A Guide to “Heads Up Tackling”

Fall season is upon us and most are welcoming the cooler weather and of course, football.  In the past several years increased awareness to the potential injuries of football have been highlighted and brought to the public eye like never before.  In particular, concussion and spinal injuries are at the forefront of this heightened concern.  Whether you are a player or a parent of a player, a thorough understanding of safe tackling techniques can minimize the risk of significant injury.

It is essential to assure a proper fitting helmet and shoulder pads.  This is paramount and must occur on an individual basis with trained coaching staff and equipment fitters.

#1. Breakdown Position
–  Feet should be shoulder width apart.
–  Knees bent in an athletic position.
–  45 Degree forward lean at the hips with eyes and head up looking forward.

#2. Buzz (chop) Feet Prior to Impact
–  Widen base
–  Chop feet to close the distance and to optimize balance.
–  Continue to keep eyes and head up and on the target.

#3. Hit Position
–  Maintain 45 degree lean with wide base with head and eyes up and on target.

#4. The Shoot
–  Explode up with hip extension and hit with shoulder pad keeping eyes and head up to hit with a rising blow.
–  Do not strike opponent with helmet as this can lead to severe even catastrophic injuries.

#5. Rip to Tackle
–  Make double uppercuts around opponent and grab jersey while exploding hips up and through opponent to secure tackle.

Please click on this link from USA Football for further explanation of this important and potentially lifesaving tackling technique!!!!