Vol.2, No.3

5 tips for high school defensive tackles

tips on high school defensive tackles the position and plays

A defensive tackle at the line
Photo Credit: Matt Matthews
Tips for defensive tackles in high school must include both the position and the plays.

First there is the position. In high school there is a defensive and an offensive tackle on each side of the line. Therefore there are a total of four tackles. Two are on the offensive line and two are on the defensive line. This piece will center on the defensive tackles.

Number one. Know your position. A good defensive tackle will study his position till the cows come home. Learn from history. Learn from the person who played the position before you. Also you can learn a lot by reading sports books and books by former coaches. Therein lies a lot of information on the position. Such as what type of stance is best, where to line up on the ball, and whether or not there is a quick tackle and a strong tackle. A quick tackle lines up on the end where there is no tight end. The quick tackle is usually more agile than the strong tackle and is sent on more running or screen plays. The strong tackle lines up on the side where there is a tight end. Together these two make a formidable blocking team and are used for power running plays. If you know this as a defensive tackle you can read the play before it develops and make a good tackle.

Number Two. Know your technique. Will you use power or finesse to defeat the best block you possibly can. Know how to defeat pass protection. There are methods of footwork that help with this. Will you double team or single team the blocker.?

Number Three. Use the swim technique. This is a finesse and quickness move against a pass blocker that is too strong for you to bull rush. Once inside his defense run as fast as you can to the quarterback and strike him before he passes the ball.

Number Four. Learn to hit low. If you hit a strong player high you may lose ground or may even get injured. The weakest player on the team can bring down the strongest opponent with good technique and hitting the person low--at the knees.

Number Five. Hit first and hit hardest. If you do that you will not get hurt. It is the other fellow who feels the point of impact. Football is a contact sport so you might as well be the one making the first contact.

And always follow the rules. Always wear protective gear. Listen to you coach. And play clean. If everyone played clean there would be far less injuries. Listen for the referees whistle. When you hear that stop hitting or blocking.

Never hit with you head bent low. Never hit with your arm. Never hit with a fist. All of these infractions can cause injury to you or another player. High school football should be fun. It should be played for the pride of your school. And if you are going to tackle someone on the other team make sure it is done with this in mind.