Rugby is a physical sport that requires a lot of strength, speed, and agility. One of the most important skills for any rugby player is tackling. Tackling is the act of bringing down an opposing player who has the ball, and it's a crucial part of the game. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to improve your rugby tackling technique and provide you with four drills to help you tackle better.

The Importance of Rugby Tackling Technique:

A solid rugby tackling technique is crucial for various reasons:

  1. Player safety: Proper tackling technique reduces the risk of injuries for both the tackler and the ball carrier.
  2. Defensive strength: Effective tackling prevents the opposition from gaining ground and can lead to turnovers.
  3. Confidence: Knowing how to tackle properly gives players the confidence to commit to tackles without hesitation.

Improving Your Rugby Tackling Technique:

Tackling in rugby is a complex skill that requires a combination of physical and mental abilities. Here are some tips to help you improve your rugby tackling technique:

  1. Get in the right position: Before you tackle, you need to get in the right position. This means getting low and keeping your head up. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your knees should be slightly bent. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, and keep your eyes on the player you're tackling.
  2. Use your arms: Your arms are an important part of your tackling technique. Use them to wrap around the player you're tackling and bring them down. Your arms should be strong and firm, but not rigid. Keep your elbows in and your hands open.
  3. Hit with your shoulder: Your shoulder is the most powerful part of your body when it comes to tackling. Use it to hit the player you're tackling, but make sure you keep your head up and your eyes on the player. Don't lead with your head, as this can result in serious injury.
  4. Follow through: Once you've made contact with the player you're tackling, follow through with your body. This means driving your legs and hips forward to bring the player down.

4 Drills to Help You Tackle Better:

  1. Tackle Bags: Tackle bags are a great way to practice your tackling technique. Set up a series of tackle bags and practice hitting them with your shoulder and wrapping your arms around them. Make sure you're getting low and keeping your head up.
  2. The One-on-One Tackle Drill: This drill helps players practice their tackling technique in a game-like situation. Players pair up, with one player acting as the ball carrier and the other as the tackler. The ball carrier runs towards the tackler, who must use proper technique to bring them to the ground. 
  3. The Tracking Drill: This drill focuses on head placement and tracking the ball carrier's movements. Players line up in a single file, with one player acting as the ball carrier. The rest of the players take turns attempting to tackle the ball carrier, focusing on keeping their head to the side and tracking the carrier's movements. 
  4. The Double Tackle Drill: This drill helps players practice their tackling technique in a situation where multiple tacklers are required. Two tacklers work together to bring down a single ball carrier, focusing on maintaining proper technique and communication.

In each of these drills, it’s important to have a coach or teammate to watch the tackles, to provide insight into how each person is tackling. Remember the 4 components, Position, Arms, Shoulders & Follow through, and comment on each aspect.


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