I Say, “Tackle Every Day.”


As you continue through the first half of your season, remember to continue working on fundamentals.

Successful coaches know this. Several years ago, I attended a practice at Bartram Trail High School with head coach Darrell Sutherland. It was week 14 and the middle of the playoffs. The offensive line started individuals working on footwork. 6” steps, 2 steps, zone step. I was impressed that even in the middle of playoff preparation they were still working on fundamentals.

Coach Sutherland has been at Bartram Trail High School for 13 years. He has built a successful program in part because he works fundamentals. As coaches, we sometimes get so involved with preparing for the next game that we forget to work fundamentals.  We must help our players improve every day.

Tackling is vital to winning. But even more import is the safety of your players. If we don’t work tackling every day, we are putting our players at risk. Our game is getting attacked every week with new studies coming out that tell parents to not let their kids play football. Some of these articles bring up good information but others are just looking for headlines.

I don’t believe our game is bad for players. I believe this is the greatest game. So many life lessons are taught as we grow boys to men. Do players get hurt? Yes. Do players of other sports get hurt? Yes. I fully understand the risk and that is why we MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE COACH.

We MUST get the head of the tackle. Growing up we played sandlot football 4-5 days a week. I don’t remember anyone ever getting a concussion. The main reason for this… We Didn’t Use Our Head To Tackle. We were smart enough to tackle with our shoulder and get low. Especially when we had to tackle the big boys.

There are so many drills that can be used every day and only take a few minutes to work. Using tools like Tackle Tube allows you to work tackling live, from different angles and speeds. If we cut down on the contact, we cut down the risk of not just concussions but other injuries. Just yesterday I spoke to a father who’s 11-year-old son broke his arm a couple of weeks ago getting tackled in practice. It’s his first year and doing live tackling with a player that doesn’t even know how to fall yet is not a good idea.

Whether you use Tackle Tube (the original) or tackle wheel, tackle ring or any other tackling tool, you need to know how to best use it. Just rolling it and letting the players hit it is not good enough. Take some time to study the different ways and techniques to use it. And there are many drills that you don’t need tools for. Non-contact drills that very quickly work the shoulder technique and work muscle memory. I’m happy to share these with you anytime.

I urge you to make a commitment to spend 15-20 minutes a day working different tackling drills. You will see the improvement in your players tackling and you will see the improvement in the safety of your players.


Steve Sloan


Tackle Tube USA, LLC.

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