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Tackling Drills

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by EatSleepDrinkRuck, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. EatSleepDrinkRuck Larry Dwyer (12)

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    Besides belting a tackle bag over and over - does anyone have any drills or other resources that might help me improve my tackling skill?

    I'm riding the bench behind someone who's tackling is suspect; so if I can improve mine I might see a bit more game time.

    Any tips (or banter) would be greatly appreciated.
  2. terry j Ron Walden (29)

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    how to improve your tackle?

    plenty of ads around in the back of certain magazines.

    (at least you said banter, hoping to get that in on the technicality)
    Highlander35, Dan54, Scoey and 2 others like this.
  3. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Throw away the tackling bags,get a mate and some cones make grid and go nuts.
  4. fatprop Jason Little (69)

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    Tackling is all timing and attitude.

    Smash'em (hit as hard as you can, I found you got hurt less going hard than you ever did trying to preserve your good looks), get up (be fit and suck it up) and get back in the game.
  5. USARugger John Thornett (49)

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    I'll start warming the oil, you bring the Bacardi, alright?
  6. EatSleepDrinkRuck Larry Dwyer (12)

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    Yeah I have mastered disregarding my own handsomeness safety, its that timing that I'm not getting just right.

    I don't miss many, I just want to get the footwork and timing right so I can get more dominant tackles. I feel like I plant my feet a little too early and allow outside backs too much stepping room, which results in a tackle where I have dragged them to ground rather than the Brian Lima smash I envisage.

    Saying: 'don't plant your feet too early' to myself doesn't seem to help - hence the request for drills or techniques.



    Re: Improving tackle - my hot tip is to trim around the base :D
  7. Scoey Tony Shaw (54)

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    What @fatprop said. A mate and a grid. Tackle, get up, repeat. I never played juniors and only discovered Rugby as a senior (my life's biggest regret but that's another story). As a result, I was never 'taught' to tackle, as it was expected that by the time I got to seniors I would already know how to do it. Thankfully being a big bloke players would nearly always run at the guy next to me, but one on one I would get smoked every time. Finally I convinced my coach that someone would actually have to 'teach' me how to tackle.

    The one thing that got it sorted though was "one on one's" in a grid. Over and over and fucking over again. I don't think my technique changed as much as my attitude to tackling did. Your technique is probably fine, but you want it ingrained in your muscle memory so you're not in your head when that outside back is trying to gas you on the outside, you just get up in his space and lay the fucker out.
    EatSleepDrinkRuck likes this.
  8. EatSleepDrinkRuck Larry Dwyer (12)

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    Thanks Guys - I'll try it at training
  9. Tip Bob Loudon (25)

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    Hold your two hands together and infront of your face, just like you are taught to catch the ball. This helps you "sight" the target.

    Take shorter steps before contact, ensuring that your feet remain under you. (Helps you avoid getting stepped and grasping nothing but air)

    When the opposition is close enough (1-2m), "dip" i.e. lower your body height (bend at the knees, keep your back straight) whilst more importantly, ensure that your leading tackle foot is placed within half a metre of the opposition.

    Once your leading foot lands, shoot your hands&arms towards the enemy, follow the sight of your hands ( generally aimed at the opp player's hips / stomach etc) accelerate into the contact, drive up and END THE F*CKER

    Always keep your head up as well
    Dan54, RugbyReg, Scoey and 1 other person like this.
  10. EatSleepDrinkRuck Larry Dwyer (12)

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  11. Scoey Tony Shaw (54)

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    Great post!

    For me, this was always the hardest part of the 'process' for want of better expression. Something I could only get right at full speed. ie can't 'learn' the technique on a 'walk through'. Being a tall bloke (6'6") and being told I should be aiming at the thighs of the ball carrier, it is counter intuitive to place my lead foot that close to the ball carrier. My intuition always told me to launch from a distance to achieve the correct height. The problem then is that I'm driving down essentially. That front foot is so critical to getting any lift in the tackle and being able to drive up. This is what stops the ball carriers forward momentum.
  12. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    You good Sir are probably the first of many similar victims of the nanny state, increasing urbanisation, stranger danger, aspirational lifestyles.

    Large families (No real effective birth control before the mid 60s'), big back yards were ideal situation to perfect rugby tackling skills. The lower down the pecking order the child was, the better tackler they had to be. Up against your bigger brothers and all their mates (the neighbours also didn't have birth control either), tackling skills were developed organically as per the Charles Darwin model evolutionary development.

    Schools had playgrounds that kids could actually play footy on unsurpervised, frequently about 45 aside footy as well. There were no OH&S nazis were lurking behind every bush with their risk registers sucking the fun out of experiential learning. You learned to avoid doing things that hurt by working out that by learning what "hurt" felt like, not by reading about what "hurt" was in a book, or by having the aforesaid killjoy nazi just say that it would hurt and banning the activity for your own good.

    There was time and space in back yards and local parks and schoolgrounds at lunchtimes to play footy and perfect footy skills. 40 aside Bullrush/British Bulldog/Bulldog/Scrag was played and the Teachers didn't mind. Parents didn't mind if Johnny was away from dawn to dusk at the local park, or in a variety of neighboiurs back yards, doing unstructured and unsupervised activities. They were confident that the community would look after its own, and kids were given time to be kids.

    Jim was your mate James, not some place you went to to look at yourself in mirrors while you hump iron. Gym was a place where the nimble little buggers went to to practice Gymnastics. The waits in the Gym were limited to lining up behing the kid in front while they used the finished their routing on the mat or the vaulting horse - no other weights there. You walked. ran or rode your bike everywhere . because you could and it was safe. There were a lot less vehicles on the roads to "eat" kids. You got fit in the same way that Kenya produces great long distance runners, not by following some S&C programme from a book. You just did it. Did I mention that it was always warm, never rained, and we never wore shoes, helmets or seatbelts in the car either.:)

    None of this rant will help the present situation facing @EatSleepDrinkRuck. Clearly you weren't the youngest brother in an large family from quiet outer surburban or rural location surrounded by other large families of boys, attending a school that had a couple of hectares of land as a playground, or was located next to a (non dog walking) council park.

    As ILTW and others have said, you have to replicate that rose coloured view of the "olden days" by just getting a couple of mates, some cones, crash pads and just doing it until you can do it no more, then do it some more. People get good at things by doing things. Until your muscles and reflexes are instinctively doing it, keep practicing it. The reason why some people are good at things is that they have done it more. It ain't luck.

    It has been stated many times by many athletes somewhat ironically when some inane journo hack observes that they were lucky to <insert one of the following: win, make the put, shoot the basket, score the try, catch the wave, etc> that the more they practice, the luckier they get.

    If you want to get better at something, there are no shortcuts, no magic formula in a book or on youtube. You can't buy it in a pill at the chemist. The Tooth Fairy can't help, and if you are of that ilk the Supreme Deity is not interested in helping you either. You learn through sweat and time.

    There are plenty of tackling drills on the ARU Coachiing Resource website, and available via Google. Most work. You just have to get doen to the park with your mates and do them again and again and again.

    Good Luck, and remember that in the modern game, knocking the smarmy prick with the ball off his feet isn't enough. The job isn't done and the tackle doesn't finish until you are on your feet contesting for the ball, having released the tackled player as you get to your feet.

    The last sentence is what separates a good tackler from a rider of the pine bench.
  13. EatSleepDrinkRuck Larry Dwyer (12)

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    Thanks Hugh Jarse,

    Clearly some stuff you needed to get off your chest and I'm glad I could provide the thread to facilitate that.

    My childhood (gee, this is starting to feel like GaGR group therapy) included plenty of Mass Bullrush and Mugby but due to growing up faster than everyone else I got used to belting people sans technique.

    Through Colts and Uni rugby I've always found my technique to be adequate -but what I'm really searching for here is mastery. I'm searching for that really high skill level so I can be in a position to pinch the ball more often as you emphasise at the end of your post.

    I've roped in a mate to meet me at training early so I can drill the technique over and over. I'm combining it with ladder footwork drills - will report back with results, or maybe I'll be too busy signing my Top14 contract, who knows.
    Scoey likes this.
  14. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Do not take my rant as just another old fart having a go at the youth of today as if it is all their fault. The nanny state with its political correctness, and fun sucking thought police that the youngu'ns of today grow up under has been manufactured entirely, and perpetuated by those of my generation. It is our fault. We whinge about it but do nothing to change the situation that we are in charge of.

    A very strong core is required. Not a pretty boy "look at my six pack" core but a farm boy/brickies labourer core that is used to repeated heavy lifting and twisting of your body.

    A big fella like you has probably been done no favours in junior development, where it sounds as if your coaches have simply used your bulk as a battering ram and never taught you the skills and finesse needed to compete at the higher level once the runts catch up and are no longer intimidated by your relative bulk. That is another of my favourite rants.
    EatSleepDrinkRuck likes this.
  15. TSR John Thornett (49)

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    Try these -



    I'm guessing that your problem is all in your tracking, rather than your tackling and both these clips give some pretty good info on those.

    Just do it over and over (and over and over). Start slow and really think about your set up - hands up, tracking the hips, late dip and get your lead foot close. Get your tracking right and I'd guess you'll have no problems with the rest.

    I would only use tackle bags for fitness and to improve your 'post tackle' ie instinctively getting back to your feet or rolling out of the contact. If you are doing heavy contact, my preference is to use a shield or contact suit.

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