Taking head shots out of the game means catching it before it starts. In this episode, we talk about the three phases of evaluation that go into pre-contact, and how to track them.

Much of the discussion lately on tackling has revolved around “taking the head out of the game.” However, we feel that the evaluation process really starts before contact is even made. 

This is reflected in our philosophy on tracking, which entails various elements with the goal of maximizing shoulder contact. 

Effective tracking turns good tacklers into dominant tacklers. It's a sequential process, where each element works off each other. Tracking is broken up into three specific zones: 

Evaluation Zone — This is the point where the defender begins to close space towards the ball carrier and becomes a tackler. The element of closing space is emphasized throughout our system because it put athletes in a position to succeed as tacklers. 

Decision-Making Zone — This is where the tackler must focus on establishing and maintaining leverage. The Decision-Making Zone forces tacklers to “problem solve” through reacting to visual cues and mimicking of the runner’s movement. 

Action Zone — This is one of the most under-coached and overlooked elements in tackling. In the Action Zone, tacklers must focus on having effective footwork and strike timing into contact. We believe proper footwork as the bridge between effective tracking and making dominant contact.

In this episode, we take an in-depth look at tracking by focusing on all our pre-contact elements. There will be multiple visual examples that will help you create a universal language within your program, and a sample tackle progression highlighting Atavus tackle drills.

Start coaching better tackling today by incorporating this tracking system into your program. Log in to your account and get started.