LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – A Pulaski County High School is now the first in the state to give their football team special equipment that promotes proper tackling.
The goal is to prevent concussions and to cut down on injuries during practice.
Teaching tackling just got a whole lot different for Robinson High School Football players.
“We needed a way to practice full speed tackling drills without banging up our players in practice every day,” said head football coach, Todd Eskola.
The Senators bought three of these tackling dummies from the Irish company, Shadowman Sports.
“There’s a simulation of a life like target,” said Eskola.
The total cost for this equipment was about $2,400.The team used fundraising money to pay for them.
“You don’t put a price on player safety.”
Eskola says this past spring, four players got concussions in practice. The year before that, 9 players.
“Most of the high schools in Arkansas don’t have the depth to beat up their own players in practice.”
Junior Nikolaus Harper knows the importance of tackling properly. In 6th grade, he suffered a severe concussion.
“What was that like? I don’t remember.”
And making and taking that hit is something coaches want their players to remember.
“If you’re practicing it the wrong way you’re going to do it the wrong way in games.”
Eskola says practice makes permanent.
“They’ve practiced it all week long going full speed with the correct fundamentals and our hope is that it’s going to carry over into the game.”
“When you go to the player it’s kind of much easier cause you know alright I got to do it this way,” said Blake Burks, Senior Linebacker.
And doing it this way is what’s going to get them to where they want to go.
“Robinson is going number 1 this year,” said Burks.