This Week's Mercenaries Training

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As you can see from a basic install of the above, we can pretty much put a defensive  product on the field dependant on down and distance, (obviously we flesh this out, which I will get into over the coming weeks).  But from the limited film we had of our recent game we had three head/helmet penalties, (face masking etc) this was caused by tackling too high! So I decided we would run through a full practise to correct this.

First there was the buisness of the last game, 78 yards on 12 penalties, and 6 fumbles of which 3 were recoverd by the opposing team, which equates to 78 yards in wind sprints and 10 pressups per fumble. Once these were repaid we got straight into the drills! As mentioned I wanted us to rectify the issue of tackling too high, so we ran a number of drills listed below.

Scrape Drill

This drill is a combination drill, where we are looking for correct contact technique and to improve footwork.

We line up 5 cones then one line of players, designated as “tacklers”, then another line designated as “runners”. We set a runner, running parallel to the line of cones, with the tackler scraping along. Once the runner commits to a “hole”, the tackler must step into the hole and execute proper tackling technique. We stress not over pursuing the runner from defensive standpoint.

Knocking Box

This drill really is all about low pad level contact and intensity.

We line up a 4 x 4 yard box then have a player stand in the box. We then send the rest of the players to attack the player in the box (one at a time). The defender in the box must make three points of contact, (pad, right & left hands and shed the player). First to the right, then the left, emphasizing good stance, technique and  leverage.

Gauntlet Drill

With this drill we up the tempo  and run full speed looking for good tackling technique, (low pad level, head up, quick gunslinger hands, with feet shoulder width apart and feet driving!).

We arrange three “boxes”, (using cones) then place 3 tacklers (one in each box) with a runner, who then has to run through each box until the end, with each tackler making a fit form tackle. Again rotating each player through all three boxes.

Finally we ran angle tackle drills. With this done we went through what worked, what didn’t and player feed back (remember apart from 4 players every one was new), so it was important to get feed back in both how they felt and what we did. Finally we ran through the basic base, solid & tuff plays from the first game.

Next week we will be implementing 3 more defensive plays for the solid formation to add to the 3 base defensive plays. I will also have an interview with a British player to get their perspective!

Thanks for reading.

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