This is an excerpt from the Niagara X-Men Football Team Policy & Procedure. This is our lifeline, our doctrine, our ideology and philosophy that governs every word of what we teach and every decision we make. Every X-Men coach and every player must commit to these policies and procedure without compromise.
What is the most important position in football?
Not quarterback, not running back not wide receiver, not offensive live, not defensive line, not linebacker, not the secondary. The most important position in football is the half-squat position, referring to the mid-point of the squat.Â This is the strongest position on offense, defense, and special teams, the position we emphasize the most in our program for player safety and high-performance execution. The half-squat position is the key element in our curriculum for every skill involving physical contact including tackling, breaking tackles, blocking, beating blocks, bump & run, and run & bump.
One reason why I banned shoulder tackling in 1985 is because itâ€™s impossible to execute a shoulder tackle in the half-squat position. Shoulder tackles are executed in the flat-back position, where the back is parallel to the ground. A flat-back tackle is the biggest danger to player safety because:
(i) it exposes the head to potential impact.
(ii) the shoulder is a small, weak surface.
(iii) the flat-back position is a position of weakness.
(iv) a hip-roll is impossible.
(v) there is no maximum transfer of strength, power, and energy from lower body to upper body
(vi) itâ€™s impossible to naturally keep the head up and neck fully tense.
(vii) you canâ€™t see properly.
Contact made with the correct, half-squat position makes or breaks a play. It makes a tackle and breaks a tackle. It makes a block and breaks a block. I banned shoulder tackling in 1985 because a shoulder tackle does not incorporate the half-squat position. Shoulder tackles use flat-back, a position of weakness. A flat-back is not a position of strength. A back positioned parallel to the ground is one of the worst positions in football because it is a defenseless position, a position of weakness that prohibits full transfer of energy from legs to torso and worse, exposes the head to potential impact.
Tackling starts with the legs. The only way to use maximum strength and energy from the legs is to make contact in a half-squat position. The benefits of the half-squat position are:
- The head is upright, not in the line of fire.
- You can naturally see the strike zone.
- The legs are fully-positioned to be the primary source of energy and power.
- Upper body armour is built. The torso and neck are fully tense.
S/he who squats the most, wins the most. A flat-back at the point of impact is useless and dangerous because itâ€™s impossible to squat in the weight room in a flat-back position. Thatâ€™s why we banned shoulder tackling. We squat heavy in the weight room for a reason â€“ so we can use maximum leg strength and energy to tackle. Shoulder tackling with a flat-back wastes every squat rep performed in the weight room.
The half-squat position is more than knees-bent â€˜hittingâ€™ position. It is a technically precise position of strength built in the weight room. Itâ€™s impossible to fully develop the half-squat position on the practice field without specific full-controlled lifting reps. Ninety percent technical correctness is not enough. Only 100% half-squat technique is acceptable. Specific lifting builds the base of the half-squat position. Itâ€™s impossible to build the full-strength half-squat position without extensive relevant lifting reps.
The half-squat positon is the most powerful position in football because of maximum muscular tension that includes the neck, torso, and legs. The neck is not fully tense during a flat-back shoulder-tackle. The moment a tackler lowers his shoulder past the half-squat, he loses tension and strength. He becomes a tackling dummy.
Our lifting program is the heart and soul of our team, our program, our system, and our tackling curriculum. SWAT tackling technique starts in the weight room. We use the X Fitness Workout System that has developed thousands of players from scratch and has helped over 200 underdog, unrecruited players get recruited to the next level. We have the evidence to prove that SWAT tackling works and works out. It has worked and worked out since 1985. The entire X-Men system is centered in the weight room. Every football position has to master the most important position in football â€“ the half-squat position.
This excerpt is an example of the language used to communicate our beliefs, ideology, and philosophy. The writing style for our program Policies & Procedures has one purpose â€“ to prevent allegation of criminal or civil liability. We have a zero tolerance policy for violators. Nothing in our Policy & Procedures is compromised, ensuring the highest possible player protection, the highest level of player safety, and the highest level of criminal & civil liability. Questions and comments are welcome. Please email me through www.ginoarcaro.com
A preview for our SWAT Tackling is at:
Blessings and all good things to you and your players.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Natâ€™l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach â€“ Niagara X-Men Football
Owner â€“ X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca