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TackleReady

The 2022 Hunter Junior Rugby League season will see the introduction of the TackleReady program across the Under 6s age group. This page helps to answer some of the most common questions raised from the introduction of the program and provides insights in to how it will be implemented across our Association.

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What is TackleReady?

TackleReady is a six session program provided  to all Under 6 participants by accredited deliverers. The program allows participants to learn safe and correct techniques, preparing them for the tackle version of the game. All clubs will be assigned a deliverer who will work closely with coaches to guide the players through a series of games and activities, culminating in a modified tackle game of Rugby League.

Why do we need TackleReady?

Research shows TackleReady competitions will provide a more appealing proposition for families with children of the age, and who have an interest in Rugby League but who are not yet playing. TackleReady competitions create the opportunity for the game to deliver a dedicated program designed to improve every child’s ability to tackle and be tackled. This program will instil more confidence and more competence in more kids in an aspect of the game that can often be seen as a barrier to playing.

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How will the TackleReady program be rolled out?

The Tackle Ready program will be delivered through the Club networks by TackleReady Deliverers and Educators. The Deliverers and Educators will be engaged by the game and will work with U6’s coaches to deliver the program.

A key aspect of the program will be the mentoring and support of coaches through the aid of professional coaches including NRL employed development staff. It is envisaged early on the ground mentoring at clubs will lift the standard of coaching across the game and build retention long term.

What will my child learn during TackleReady program?

The program focuses on three key technical skill areas:
› Safe landing
› Making a tackle
› Running into a tackle
Each of these skill areas are taught using terminology and buzzwords that provide simple and effective instruction that is easy for the children to understand.

An information flyer outlining the session breakdown for the program can be downloaded here.

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What if my child played last year and knows how to tackle?

It’s important all children are given the opportunity to learn development techniques through the TackleReady program. In instances where players are confident in tackling, coaches will encourage peer to peer learning where confident tacklers can act as positive role models for their teammates. This aims to build team spirit whilst helping their friends become Rugby League ready.

Emphasis, repetition and reinforcement of safe tackling techniques and bracing for contact are paramount throughout a player’s rugby league journey. This builds confidence and competence which in turn helps to retain players as long term participants.

How does this affect my child's season?

For the first 6 weeks, Under 6 participants will undergo the TackleReady program whilst playing the Tag format of the game. At the conclusion of the program, participants will graduate in to the tackle format for the remaining weeks of the season.

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Why play Tag instead of Touch?

Tags present a visual target which encourages positive habits relating to body position for when children
progress into contact versions and make a tackle. One of the most challenging yet important skills in teaching defence is keeping your eyes open and having your hands in a favourable position when effecting a tackle. Making a Tag encourages positive development of both these skills.

Are children allowed to play if they register after TackleReady has concluded?

Yes. We will not be recommending any clubs turn away or prevent players from registering or participating after the program is complete.

However, based on historical registration patterns in the 4, 5 and 6 year age groups, the timing allows effective TackleReady delivery and learning through Tag to reach approximately 98% of participants. If a coach needs assistance to nurture a new player, they can contact a deliverer or development officer post program.

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Has the program been effective elsewhere?

Since 2019, the TackleReady program has been delivered across Queensland and Victorian Leagues in both the Under 6 and Under 7 age groups. Some of the findings from research on these participants are listed here.

For further information and research findings, visit the PRL TackleReady webpage.