Tackling Wrestling Seminar for AFL Players

USP - Tackling wrestling seminar for AFL players

I was fortunate enough to be able to present to some of Australia’s most committed AFL coaches. As a strength and conditioning specialist, I pride myself on continuous ongoing personal and professional development. It was great to see 50+ AFL Coaches that share a similar philosophy in attendance at my Tackling and Wrestling for AFL players seminar at Metricon Stadium last weekend.

1. Tackling can be taught safely and effectively to anyone regardless of age, size, gender, height, weight or ability.

2. Historically speaking and through my experience with junior and semi-professional clubs there is very little if any specific tackling training done at training.

3a) This is due to the perception that tackling is dangerous.

3b) Or that coaches don’t actually know how to teach tackling.

3c) Or often coach education courses have little if any tackling component in them.

3d) No AFL Specific tackling resources available until I developed the Tackling and Wrestling for AFL players DVD series (Quick plug).

Tackling and Wrestling for Australian Rules Footballers DVD

5. As a strength and conditioning coach my role is to get athletes bigger fitter faster and stronger and prevent injury. You see I’d have big strong footballers in the gym that couldn’t tackle and guys that weren’t the biggest or strongest that were fantastic tacklers….

USP Athlete & Sydney Swans AFL Superstar Kurt Tippett’s Strength that does TRANSFER onto the football Field!

I wanted to get the transference of the strength from the gym onto the footy field. So it was blatantly obvious that there was specific technique involved for safe successful tackling.

The Coaches trial some of the Tackling Specific Strength Drills
The coaches trial the Kneeling Wrestle Tackle Drill

6. The most successful teams…those that were winning games and premierships were the best tacklers! Sydney Swans and Geelong during their premiership years had the highest number of tackles per game compared to any other clubs!!

7. There is a relationship between tackling and and premierships!

My theory was that if we implemented specific tackling drills during the teams and players I worked with, we’d experience 7 key benefits!

  1. Less Injuries-Head, shoulder, knee injuries
  2. Less Free kicks given away
  3. More confidence!
  4. More Intimidation!
  5. Better defensive skills!
  6. Legal way to hurt the opposition (Alan Jeans)
  7. Which should equate to More Wins!

Some of the successful teams that have implemented the Tackling and Wrestling Drills for Australian Rules Footballers.

Southport Sharks NEAFL Team back to back Premiers 2005 and 2006
Gold Coast Stingrays State AFL Champions!
Southport Sharks NEAFL Team back to back Premiers 2005 and 2006
PBC Sports Excellence High School AFL State Schools Champions!

Tackling training does not require fancy expensive equipment…

Does not require tackling bags…only requires footies and cones.

5 Keys to teaching tackle drills:

1. Proper Tackling Specific Warm Up.

2. The implementation of tackling specific strength drills to develop the physical qualities that are required during tackling.

3. Tackling rules for safety.

4. Proper tackling drill sequencing

QLD U/18 State AFL Rep, Sunsets Academy Captain and USP Athlete Georgia Brehmer Tackling St Kilda Superstar Mason Woods during one of High Performance Camp Training Sessions

5. Appropriate tackle drill progression for example, 1 on 1 drills vs. Skill and games fitness based drills.

Special Thanks to Michael Rischitelli and Andrew Raines from the Gold Coast Suns who helped assist the coaches during the seminar.

Gold Coast Suns Players Michael Rischitelli and Andrew Raines assisting with the tackling and wrestling seminar

In conclusion, your team and players will play exactly how you train them.

If you don’t perform any specific tackling at training, how do you expect  your players/team to be able to do it in a game?

The tackling drills should be progressive in nature to continually challenge the footballers.

Ideally, the tackling drills will develop all physical qualities required to play elite AFL, such as speed, acceleration, agility, evasion, decision making/game sense, ball control, endurance and repeat sprint ability!

For more information check out the store section of the website!

Use these tips and techniques to take your teams tackling ability to another level!

All the best,

Joey Hayes