How to Tackle in Football

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The most important part of a tackle in football is to understand how to place the head on the football with the face up and how to thrust with the arms. Learn about locking up when tackling in football with help from a former NFL football player in this free video on playing football and football techniques.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play Football
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Gary Reasons, former NFL linebacker, and this topic is about how to tackle properly. Well, I did it for a long time in the National Football League for nine years, so I think I know how to do this just about right. The most important thing you have to do as a defensive player making a tackle is make sure that you understand where your head and your arms need to be placed around the offensive player carrying the football. Let me demonstrate for you here. The first thing that you need to do is you need to place your head, basically, at the...on the football. Your target should be the football. You should always have your head up. You never want to put your head down and hit with the crown of your head, because that can cause injury, and you're going to miss the tackle, too. But, what you really want to do is keep that head up. And you want to target your face in the front on the ball carrier and at the football. And as you do so, you want to bring the arms, and you want to thrust with the arms. So I'm going to bring my arms and tackle, and I'm going to lock up. So if Nick was moving forward here, I would step across and get in front of him. I do not want my head to go behind, because he's going to be able to elude me, and use a stiff arm and get away. So, most important, head placement, head up, put it on the football, thrust with the arms and lock up. That's the proper way to make a nice, clean tackle.

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