This is probably my favorite tackling drill. In this drill, we use four cones to create holes, and the tackler doesn’t know where he is going. He is working on his ability to just “react” and adjust on the move.
Note: Without shoulder pads, you want to run this drill at half speed. With shoulder pads, you can run this drill live at full speed.
Breaking Down the Linebacker Hole Tackling Drill
Set up four cones, and the tackler will have a choice to run between any of the three openings. (Once your players get used to this drill, you can let them run to the outside of the cones as well.)
We are simulating an I-formation tailback, and the linebacker is going to slide and pick the hole, driving the ball carrier with good form.
The player will run to the inside of a cone, and later, when we have gotten really good at this, we will add the cutback.
When you make contact, you want to try to get a little bit of lift.
Once the players have gotten relatively good at the angle tackle portion, you can move onto the inside-out relationship, by adding the cutback. So the tackler will head for the whole, and then the ball carrier will cut back. The tackler then redirects his course and comes across the face, changing his angle.
You can also use this to teach pursuit angles, and staying a little more inside. If you get too far to the outside where you are working the opponents outside hip, he is going to be able to cutback on you and you are really going to have to work to make that tackle.
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