[PODCAST] Keith Grabowski, Andy Ryland talk with Vinny DiGaetano about the Advanced Tackling System

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 11/20/2018

This week in the Deliberate Practice series, Keith Grabowski and Andy Ryland talk with coach Vinny DiGaetano about his adaptation in a very fast coaching move. The coaches discuss how he kept laser focus with a five day turn around after accepting a head coaching job. Coach DiGaetano discusses building the culture, having vision and the 5 Fights Philosophy. Coach DiGaetano describes how he works contact and tackling into his practices to better his players.


:00 Advanced Tackling System

02:30 Laser focus for coach DiGaetano

04:30 Family

05:00 Staffing and vision

06:00 Keeping familiarity for the players

06:50 Reaching out to the players

07:20 Learning the operation

08:00 Enhancing the experience for the players

08:18 Parents

09:10 Being a principal and coach

10:00 Program core values

10:40 W.A.R.F.A.C.E

11:52 Getting specific with tackling drills

12:30 5 Fights Philosophy on T-shirts

Front of shirt

Back of shirt

13:40 Making the players apart of the learning

14:10 Constant reinforcement of the philosophy

15:25 Andy’s thoughts on the 5 Fights Philosophy T-shirts

16:05 Makes the coaches learn and teach

17:00 The players like the reinforcement

17:45 Players writing the practice plan

18:25 What are their core fundamentals? What needs teaching?

20:35 Coach DiGaetano working fundamentals in conditioning

21:45 DiGaetano working with strength and conditioning staff

22:45 Strength coaches must have input

24:10 4th quarter drill

25:55 Player surveys in season

27:00 Three team goals

27:50 Accountability for the coaches

28:30 Using the feedback

Google doc 1

Google doc 2

Google Doc 3

29:12 Assistant coach of the week building moral

32:30 Balancing teaching, installing, correcting and preparation

33:15 Reversing the contact model

34:25 Working body movement

34:55 Working it into scheme

36:30 Evaluation and development of younger players

38:00 Getting the players involved in scheme

38:45 It’s about working together to get the right answer

39:45 Continue to recruit the players you have on the roster

41:15 Grouping kids by ability to service them

41:55 Working with the coaches too

42:20 Gradually introducing the 5 fights

42:40 Being passionate about it

43:33 Look at the opponent

45:40 Tackling drill adjustment


47:26 Team tackling drill

49:25 Learning from the unpredictable

50:10 Andy summary and breakdown

52:25 Being creative and keeping players excited

53:05 Having fun

54:44 Coach DiGaetano at National Conference

55:30 National Conference

56:10 Contact the coaches ...


Your defense is only as good as each tackler. Equip your staff with a common language, a systematic teaching progression and evaluation tools to coach better tacklers.