The NFL Way to Play

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack knows how to execute the perfect tackle. Every. Single. Time.

Proper tackling technique makes a huge difference on the field. That’s why the NFL is committed to promoting proper playing technique across all levels of football.

The NFL Way to Play initiative is one of the league’s many efforts to share best practices intended to improve player health and safety. Resources include video demonstrations of proper technique, advice on how to coach each position on the field, and a playbook for youth coaches that outlines the fundamentals of the game.

Way to Play also recognizes the best examples of good tackling plays to encourage excellent technique. Every week of the NFL regular season and playoffs, a distinguished panel of NFL Legends selects the player who positively impacted the game through proper technique. The recipient is announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.

Beginning this season, the NFL will also recognize high school football players for using proper playing technique in partnership with Hudl. The school of the chosen play will also receive a $1,500 equipment grant through USA Football.

To learn more about Way to Play, please visit https://operations.nfl.com/football-ops/nfl-way-to-play/.

Football Technology

In addition to providing players and coaches with comprehensive educational resources, the league is also harnessing the power of technology to help players perfect the fundamentals of proper tackling.

From the NFL down to high school, players are now using self-righting mobile tackling dummies. Controlled remotely and powered by a motor, it’s an innovative training partner that can move at the speed of one’s opponent.

Players can practice tackling, blocking, pursuing, evading and throwing at a mobile target, without the impact and fatigue associated with athlete-on-athlete training.

Sharing Information

All of these exciting resources intended to highlight the importance of proper tackling technique are part of the NFL’s larger efforts to share applicable information and best practices across all levels of football.

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, supported by the NFL Foundation, awarded nearly $2 million in resources to benefit youth athletes in 2018, including new equipment, uniforms and other supplies. Additionally, the NFL Foundation established a matching grant program designed to help NFL teams increase access to athletic trainers in their communities. To date, 22 NFL clubs have used this grant to support local schools and leagues.

Most recently, in June, the NFL and NCAA hosted a joint meeting that brought together medical staff from schools across the country, the NCAA Sport Science Institute, and NFL Player Health & Safety to discuss a range of health and safety topics including concussion prevention and treatment; injury reduction plans; mental health and wellness; equipment innovation; and opportunities for further collaboration. The session focused on collaborating to share best practices, research, and innovation strategies to try to keep players and student-athletes safe.

“Through sharing the changes we’ve made on and off the field to enhance player safety, we find continued opportunity to advance health and safety at all levels of the game,” said Dr. Allen Sills, NFL Chief Medical Officer.

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