The Approach Drill is getting attention across the country as one of the top tackling drills in football. In the Approach Drill athletes learn how to track the near hip of a ball carrier and adjust to any moves by the ball carrier. This gives the tackler the ability to track a ball carrier over space and stay in a position to make a tackle regardless of what he does.
Practice Tracking the Near Hip with the Approach Drill
The setup of the drill is very easy. To setup the drill all you need is four cones spaced out in a 10 by 10 yard square. The players should align with the ball carrier on one cone and the tackler on the cone that is next to them. To execute the drill the ball carrier will run across the line towards the cone at about 50%. While the ball carrier is running at the cone across the square the defender should be closing in on him. The key is that the defender needs to stay within balance and keep his eyes on the near hip of the ball carrier. When he gets to the ball carrier he needs to tap off with two hands and finish the drill.
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After going once where the ball carrier is going on a straight line the coach can give the player the ability to add some complexity to the drill. As the ball carrier is jogging along the line he has the ability to drop his hip. If the ball carrier drops his hip at all the tackler must come to balance and stop his pursuit. This trains the tackler to watch the near hip of the defender and respond to any change. When the hip drops on a ball carrier, normally some sort of move is coming. By practicing tracking the near hip and coming to balance when it drops, the tackler is preparing to adjust to any moves from the tackler.
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The Approach Drill is a simple drill that allows tacklers to get their eyes fixed on the correct positions and respond to a limited stimulus. By working on this limited skill the player’s minds begin to focus on their specific task and what they need to do to maximize their skill set.