Forget what you thought you knew about taking down a ball carrier in a game of two-hand touch football. This new tackling technique will revolutionize the way defense is played in Turkey Bowl games for years to come.
Thanks to USA Football and its Heads Up Tackling initiative, which is teaching youth and high school football players proper tackling mechanics to reduce the number of helmet-to-helmet contacts in the sport.
Not only is this step-by-step protocol helping to reduce head and neck injuries, it’s a more effective form of tackling.
Before we get into the fundamentals, remember: we’re teaching you how to apply the steps of the Heads Up Tackling protocol to improve your two-hand touch technique, not so you can blow up your opponent with a bone-jarring tackle. Keep it clean out there, kids!
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades back and down.
- Sink your knees, bend your waist and lean forward at a 45-degree angle.
- Bring your hands to the front of your body while keeping your head and eyes up.
Buzzing Your Feet
- Widen your base and control your footwork when closing in on the ball carrier.
- Control your footwork while continuing to gain ground by buzzing forward in a heel-to-toe pattern.
- Take a downhill power step with your lead foot toward the center of the ball carrier.
- Keep your back foot directly under your hip in a staggered stance while maintaining a deep bend in both knees.
Shoot and Rip
- Shoot your hips forward to drive up from the staggered stance.
- Rip your arms forward and up as if to deliver a double uppercut.
- Shoot your hands toward the ball carrier’s hips to deliver the perfect two-hand touch.
Photo: Fairfax Times