IpswichTeamIn the current austere financial climate, a very generous and significant donation of £1,000 managed by Mr. Victor Fagence on behalf of the Electrical Contractor’s Association (ECA – representing the best in electrical engineering and building services in the UK (www.eca.co.uk) has enabled the Ipswich RFC Y&J to purchase a whole suite of Tackle Tubes and bags from Glen Remnant.

We met Glen at the BSE Festival at the beginning of the season when our U11s and U10s won their age groups Cups with the U13s winning the Plate Trophy. He gave a great demonstration of the use and fun that one could have with the Tackle Tube and the Y&J was determined to gain some to enhance and vary their Boys’ practice.

Having coached through the first years of contact at U9 and U10 and having spoken with those current age group coaches, it became apparent that the same problems afflicts every group; some players are naturally gifted tacklers and do it effectively and safely on a regular basis, there are those that relish it but get it wrong technically and there are those that do not like it at all.

Our goal with the introduction of the Tackle Tube was to support those Children with a fear of hurting or being hurt. In addition, we wanted to enthuse our smaller players or those slightly slower at aligning at speed the necessary body positions and thought processes needed to execute a safe tackle. As importantly we wanted to ensure that the element of fun was put back into the mix.

The Tackle Tube enable us to work with less confident players to show them how to complete the tackle; by engaging the Tackle Tube correctly we can practice bringing the opposition “player” to ground; our Boys are learning to get their head in the right place behind the ball carrier on contact, to hold on hard and tight, to remain in contact with the ball carrier until the tackle is completed, pop up to recover and go again. By varying the angle of the roll of the Tackle Tube and its speed, various exercises and games can be played and practiced to promote confidence and improvement.

For more accomplished players we have been able to introduce multiple player tackle exercises on an increasingly competitive basis to practice chasing down a runner, hitting head on, hitting side on, how to react to a turnover; we have been able to focus our Boys on keeping light on their feet before the contact, closing down the ball carrier’s space, tackling low and driving through the tackle.

All of the age groups that have engaged with the equipment (U9s, U10s & U11s) have really enjoyed their experience and within the eldest age group of U11s we have noticed a significant increase in the banter and laughter during these exercises; very importantly, a couple of these players have finally faced down their fears to accelerate forward in terms of performance and selection; what a wonderful and productive incredible investment in our Boys only made possible by the ECA’s generosity!