Article by Tom Green…
In preparation for the Highland Wildcats and HACL 2016 seasons the organization held its annual skills clinic at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall on Sunday the 13th December 2015. 65 players in total from around the 6 high school teams and the Junior Highland Wildcats turned up for the three hour event assisted by 12 coaches and 5 other volunteer staff.
The largest turnout from any of the HACL teams was 14 players from last year’s HACL finalists the Charleston Academy Knights who made up the second largest group at the clinic behind the Junior Highland Wildcats. As an added bonus every HACL team present at the clinic brought at least 5 players which is a huge success in itself.
During the clinic head coach Robbie Paulin introduced a new tackling technique for the 2016 season called Hawk tackling. The technique used in the NFL and by current BUCS Champions the Stirling Clansmen removes the head from American football tackling in order to reduce concussions which brings the sport more in line with the style of tackling used in Rugby Union. In order to train the players in the new techniques the Wildcats brought along two Shadowman tackling aids which gave the players the opportunity to practice tackling in a safe and enjoyable way alongside other drills.
Some of the Wildcats and HACL players trying out the new Shadowman Tackling Dummies. We also introduced Hawk Tackling for the first time. Still got a lot of work to do with the technique but the Shadowman is definitely helping!
Posted by Highland Wildcats on Monday, 14 December 2015
As well as the introduction of Hawk Tackling the players were put through their paces in a range of positional based drills in order to give those new to the sport an idea of where they would like to play in the upcoming season.