Tackling: essential skill in American Football

Developing effective and safe tackling skills is one of the major tasks of defensive coaches in American football. The most reliable help in this type of exercises is proper equipment, including Pop Up Dummy and Tackle Donut.


While Pop-ups have been known and used in European football for a long time as a successful complement of many exercises, Tackle Donut is slowly becoming popular outside the area of US, convincing more and more clubs and coaches.

The most popular exercise with Tackling Donut : The aim of this exercise is to simulate the feasible situations on the field, as precisely as possible. To do this exercise you will need one Tackling Donut, one coach and one player. In the first part of this activity, the coach stands before the defensive player (Defensive Lineman about 4 yards, Linebacker about 6 yards, Defensive Back about 8 or more) The player is in the starting position specified by the coach (2 point stance, 3 point stance or one of the variations of quick feet staying in one place). The coach pushes the Tackle Donut without a prior signal in any direction (90 degrees, 45 degrees, 20 degrees). The player's task is to turn in the Tackle Donut's direction and the correct stop, tackle. In the second part of this exercise, the coach stands in a straight line with the player and the Tackle Donut is being pushed behind the player's back on the signal. The player's task is to do one quick exercise (jumping, pumping, turning on the ground) and adjusting the proper angle of attack after a failed stop on the first line. As in the first part, the position of Tackle Donut depends on the trainer and on what kind of run or type of run he would like to simulate.

The goal of this exercise from coach's point of view is to observe the progress of the reaction to the movement simulating the individual plays on the court - inside, outside run, off-tackle, pursuit drill etc. Not only does the player have the chance to improve tackling performance in a safe way, but also to develop the effective techniques of instant response in the arbitrary directions.





Klaudiusz Cholewinski

Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Line Coach

From 2017 for Brussels Black Angels (Belgian national champion 2017, 9-0)

Belgian National Team Coach, former Polish National Team Coach

Multiple division and national champion of Poland, Germany and Belgium.

Bartosz Splocharski