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Shoulder-Led Tackle Certification

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1 Football programs across the country share a common challenge: concerns over safety leading to fewer players available to play the game. Safety is on the mind of players, parents and coaches and in the news. In an effort to make the sport safer, Atavus teaches a shoulder-led technique designed to increase a tackler's power and control, but also take the head out of the tackle altogether. Rex Norris, a football coach with decades of experience, personally saw attrition impact his teams and knew something had to give. When Norris, now head of football at Atavus, joined the company, he was tasked with developing a shoulder-led tackle that would keep contact as an important part of the game, but would also improve player safety. After months of research and meetings, conversations with athletes, medical professionals and coaches, one thing was for sure: the football world was ready to lead with the shoulder instead of the helmet. "After the research, we created a coaching philosophy for football. In August 2015, we decided Atavus would not be just about drills. Crucial to our approach is giving coaches the ability to implement techniques and ideas around a coaching curriculum," Norris said. Atavus knew players could pick up this new type of tackle faster than coaches — if only due to the fact that they had fewer years in the sport than coaches. Out of that knowledge and the discovery process of Norris' research, the Atavus Tackle System was born. "Coaches are at the center of everything we do. We started by identifying areas where coaches were struggling the most. We shaped our system around those concepts and how to present them," Norris said. It boils down to a few simple concepts: 1. Habits. Coaches have habits. They are based on years of experience playing and coaching the sport. But the game is changing, so coaching behavior and tactics need to also change. 2. Drills. The experience of coaching and learning the tackle needs the proper drills to create new habits and reinforce the knowledge both in coaches and players. 3. Contact Type. Teaching the proper type and method of contact will create a systemic approach to the tackle and teaching how to safely and properly do a shoulder-led tackle. It is a "safer and more effective way to teach the athlete to go into contact — which is the goal of the Atavus Tackle System," Norris said. The end goal of the Atavus Tackle System isn't just safety — it is creating a behavior change in coaches and players alike. At the end of the day, the goal is to influence coach development, whether that coach is brand new or has decades of experience in order to improve safety in the sport. SHOULDER-LED TACKLE CERTIFICATION: HOW FOOTBALL COACHES WILL OVERCOME ATTRITION AND INCREASE PLAYER SAFETY SPONSORED CONTENT | © 2019 Atavus

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