Thanksgiving is tomorrow. For many men in America, Thanksgiving Day not only means eating turkey and stuffing, it also means playing a pick-up game of football in the morning with friends and family. Last year, we covered how to throw a perfect football spiral. This year we look at how to tackle. Sure, most Turkey Bowl games start out as touch-football matches, but if your buddies are like mine, those friendly games quickly morph into full-contact showdowns. To help you with your D-Fence!, we put together this illustrated guide on how to tackle like a pro with advice from NFL player Mychal Kendricks. He’s a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and took some time out of his busy schedule to share these tips with us. Enjoy!
- It’s 95% mental. You have to always think, “Get the guy down no matter what.” Don’t let anything keep you from getting him down.
- Always watch the hips of the player you’re trying to tackle. The head, shoulders, and legs can fool and juke you, but the hips never lie.
- Your strength comes from your foundation; core, hips, legs. Don’t tackle with just your arms unless you’re being outrun and have to dive.
- To tackle; aim for your opponent’s waist and explode with your hips. Wrap your arms around your opponent’s waist with your shoulder firmly planted into their body. Keep your head up. Drive them to the ground by keeping your legs always moving. Momentum is crucial.
- Always keep safety in mind. Never aim for the head.
- You’re a gentleman. Give the fellow a hand up after you’ve hurled him into the ground.