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Tackling nerves - I coach 10 year old boys. Some boys?

Tackling nerves - I coach 10 year old boys. Some are very nervous about being hurt when tackling opponents although the same guys are like lions with the ball in hand. As a result our defence suffers. We have tried hammering home the correct technique to give confidence but to no avail. Can anyone suggest any psychology or drills I might try?

put them in the forwards[maybe not all at once]. Closer ,slower tackling.

Whilst I agree with the previous post, get the technique right through drills, bulding them up (front, back, side tackling; from kneeling, crouching, standing, wlaking, jogging, running) my experience is that this answers only half the battle. You also need to build confidence and remove fear in a controlled environment. I do this by specifically taking the drill to match intensity for short periods. So thats my answer, build up slowly, but practice at match speeds in drills before yuo get on the park.

I had the same few years back with an u13 team.Got them to wrestle as a warm up to tackle practice,(in pairs,one player on their knees and hands,other player beside them ontheir knees with arms wraped around their partners tummy.first player has to get out of the hold with out getting on their feet in 30 seconds then swap).After a few goes get them in groups of 5. one standing with the ball, the others kneeling in a single file 3 or 5 meters apart.start the players walking go in to the kneeling player the player tackles then regains feet and regathers ball and walkes to the next player on so on....back to the wrestling then back to tackling at joging pace,...back to wrestiling then again back to tackling at 75 -80 percent speed and so on.....I found that it works but need probably afew more coaches and dont stick to one for too long otherwise they get bored......good luck

With that age group, what you need to avoid is the old drills where one kid grabs the ball and runs straight at another kid. When a kid misses a tackle in that drill, he's singled out and starts to have poor associations with the skill. That transfers over to the game. I would use schoolyard games they are more than likely comfortable with. Games like Red Rover, Sharks and Minnows, (not sure what you call them in IRE) allow attention to be deflected throughout the group and give them time to practice the skill with less pressure. Bottom line is that singling kids out verbally or organizationally during a drill is not a good idea.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans