AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The Rookie, Scott Still
IT’s been another great week with Storm. The other rookies and me replayed what we had done in the previous week whilst also learning about the fundamentals of tackling.
Starting in the sports hall, the coaches ensure that we do a full warm-up. This is essential to get the heart pumping and to get the muscles prepared for use. It also reduces the risk of injury.
Once warm, we then pair up for the start of our introduction of tackling session.
The idea with the tackle is to hit hard, close on the body, aggressively with arms wrapped around the player. This it to stop the player where he stands.
Unlike rugby, every yard counts, if you allow your opponent to gain additional yards after you have made contact, you won’t win a match. To do this, good contact and grip is essential to be able to lift the player off the ground and stop him in his tracks.
Tackling is very different to blocking in American football, as with blocking you are not allowed to hold the opponent. If caught you are penalised.
We started facing each other with a one-step drill. Then after that we went on to a three-four step, where both players walked at an angle to make the tackle. It took a few attempts to get used to being in the right position but we got there in the end.
After we had completed this, we made our way to the all-weather pitch to join the returners. Running a number of different plays the drills get us used to different game situations and scenarios.
In training we use the play cards which show each player their role for the specific play.
This was awesome, as our confidence grows the intensity grows, pushing and hitting a bit harder.
Come game day once the season starts we won’t have the play cards to look at and will need to know exactly what we need to do.
Next week, we move back to Swindon RFC and will be kitting-up for the first time. This is what we have trained for with the season only six weeks away.