Safe Tackling

Why Teach Safe Tackling?

The Safe Contact tackling technique creates fundamentally sound tacklers which is a critical element of football. This technique emphasizes making contact with the chest and front shoulder while the primary technique taught in Safe Contact carries over to all situational tackles. The technique also increases defensive turnovers.

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What is Safe Tackling?

This technique teaches tacklers to keep their head up and initiate contact using the chest and front of the shoulder pads. It emphasizes using the hips and hands to generate power through the tackle. The posture as well as angle of the ball carrier will determine which approach the tackler takes towards the ball carrier.

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How is Safe Tackling taught?

Safe Tackling teaches the skill of tackling through a reverse progression module. The skill is broken down into four components that are taught from least complex to most complex. Each stage of the progression model is also taught using a whole-part-whole method meaning that the whole skill is first demonstrated before being broken down into its individual elements. Following working on the individual elements of the movement separately, the whole technique is then put back together.

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The pre-contact position is the first step in the tackling progression. It is the final position a tackler assumes right before making contact with a ball carrier.


The approach phase is the technique used by the tackler to attack the ball carrier based on the situation and the surface presented by the ball carrier. The two most common types of approaches are profile and shimmy.

This post is also available in: French