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It’s important that kids learn to tackle in a fun environment to build confidence. So the key is to build the tackling drill into a game and the best game starts with a Bear Hug.

Why does a Bear Hug help a Kid Learn Tackling?

Stop for a minute and think of what a bear hug is. It consists on one person squeezing another tightly, either to stop them from escaping or to lift them off the ground, right? So what does that have to do with a tackle?

Every bear hug holds the secret of a good tackle. In order to do a good bear hug and lift someone off the ground you have to do the following:
1. Get close
2. Get low
3. Squeeze tightly


Now does that sound familiar? They are the basis of a good tackle, the only thing i would add is that the squeeze should be around BOTH legs.

Here’s how you introduce the Bear Hug Tackle into your training session

1. Tell your players to find a partner about the same size and stand facing each other
2. Tell them to put their hands on each others shoulders
3. Explain to them that you will tell them to start and when they here you call start they should try and lift the partner off the ground and the winner will be the one who does it first.

One thing I always include is to tell them they aren’t allowed to lift below the waist. This stops them all going for the legs, which we will talk about later.

Give them the instructions and let them wrestle for a few minutes. Stop them and make them swap partners a couple of times.

Once they have swapped partners a few times then ask them the following reflective questions;
1. Can you Bear Hug someone from far away? The answer should be no.
So where can you Bear Hug someone from? Close should be the answer.
2. To lift them off the ground where should you lift them, from high or low? Answer should be low.
3. How should you squeeze them? The answer should be tight.

By following this process you have introduced the 3 main concepts of an effective tackle, now all you have to do is get them to tackle around the legs.

Bear Hug Tackle Game

After using the Bear Hug to explain the 3 main components of the tackle you have to introduce the concept of doing the same thing around the legs. If you were to tell the kids to go off and start doing that around players legs they will look at you sideways and begin to grab the next players jersey. They still don’t have the confidence to tackle the legs.

Here’s How You Introduce the Leg Tackle

Mark out s small box about 5ms by 5ms, make it small too much space will make it hard for the tacklers. Then explain to them the following rules;

1. No one can go outside the square
2. The game will start with 2 tacklers on their knees who will try to Bear Hug tackle the moving players
3. A Bear Hug tackle consists of a tight squeeze of both legs, causing the moving player to fall to the ground. If the tackle grabs one leg that doesn’t count and the moving player can resume moving.
4. Once a moving player is tackled effectively they join the tacklers on the ground
5. This is repeated until there are no players left standing and then you can start again.

Kids love this game and it is the best way to teach players how to do good leg tackles.

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Jason Grier | Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Comments ((Disabled)) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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