“If we have a kid that is not understanding the tackling techniques, I cut him,” Nance said. “I tell the parents the first meeting we have that if your kid keeps putting his head down or he isn’t getting it, I have to cut him. We have safety cuts here, and that’s a safety cut. I don’t care if he’s the best player. If he’s putting his head down, he’s a safety risk for himself and the other players.”
That quote is from Ted Nance of Oakmont High School in California. Placer County in California is teaching its youth how to tackle, and they obviously take it seriously. This is likely not the only place doing such a good job of setting examples, but Robbie Enos of the Gold Country News Service published a report on this in Granite Bay.
Making changes to the way players observe the game at the highest level, the NFL, is very difficult but the coaches in the story are doing their best to make “cultural” changes, one small step at a time.
“The guys who lead with their heads are doing it wrong,” Reyes said. “I don’t think you’ll ever find a coach who said that’s how to tackle. Your helmet is there to protect you. It is not a weapon, and if you use it like one, you won’t play.”