OSU Tackles Player Safety in Youth Football

posted by Lori Schmidt -

Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer hired Alex Grinch in January. About two weeks after naming Grinch the team's co-defensive coordinator, Meyer informed him that he would be in charge of a safe-tackling clinic during the offseason. 

"Coach Meyer was emphatic about doing something, you know, pay it forward," said Grinch. "It's the greatest sport that ever was, but we have to make sure that it continues to be." 

Key to that will be keeping the athletes who play healthy. 

However, as Grinch repeatedly mentioned to the around 200 youth coaches who showed up to learn from him this week, plays tend to "end with a tackle." 

So tackling correctly is crucial. 

"A lot of times what happens is we all default to how we were coached, and the game has changed over the last five to ten years. It has," Grinch said. 

Making it easier for youth coaches to keep up with the changes, Grinch gave an energetic presentation that relied heavily on video to show various drills and successfully executed tackles. 

He ended with a question-and-answer period, by which time he had already worked up a sweat. 

"You got coached like a Buckeye!" exclaimed Buckeye executive director for football relations Tim Hinton in praise of Grinch's intensity after Grinch finished speaking. 

"I thought he was going to tackle the entire first row," said youth coach Jay Sycks. 

There's a reason for Grinch's passion. His son is starting to consider playing the game himself. 

"With an eight-year-old son, it got real," he said

Hear more from Grinch, including his offseason agenda for making the Buckeyes better tacklers here: 

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