Hawk Tackling (a disruptive innovation)

Embrace Challenges (4)

The Seattle Seahawks, though they are having a down year this season, are known throughout the NFL as having a impressive, innovative defense. Anytime someone is exceptionally good at something, it’s worth looking at what they’re doing to innovate and excel at such a high level. The Seahawks are no different.

The Seahawks have adopted what they term “Hawk Tackling” for their defensive players. Essentially, their players tackle differently than those on nearly every other team in that they don’t lead head first; instead, they tackle like rugby players do (who play their intense game with no head protection).

Other coaches are starting to notice how disruptively innovative Hawk Tackling is. Here’s a brief video (30 seconds) that’s worth watching to get a sense of what Hawk Tackling is all about.

(Click here to read the article this video came from.)

NFL players (much to the detriment of their health it seems research is now showing) have tackled the same way for years and years. Introducing Hawk Tackling is certainly a disruptive innovation on football fields across America.

After seeing this, I’m left wondering what practices we have in place that might need to be reevaluated.

What are we doing that could have long term negative impacts on our students? What do we need to reconsider? What are those sacred topics–the ones we can’t touch for whatever (usually not that great of a) reason?

It’s worth our time to crack those ideas open so that we can make sure they pass a check with our vision for the students with whom we interact.

Before you drill down to the campus/classroom level, leave me a comment about the areas you think we as educators need to rethink. I’d love to see your perspective, and I’m sure it will push my thinking. I have a couple of ideas myself, but I’ll share those in the comments soon.

One Reply to “Hawk Tackling (a disruptive innovation)”

  1. I wonder if, in our big push for college and career readiness, we leave out options that might be life altering for our kids who will not be able to attend college for one reason or another.

    I actually thought about this more deeply yesterday when I shared the book When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill, which is a Bluebonnet nominee this year. DJ Kool Herc was able to diminish gang violence with the hip hop music and dances he created. Gang members began to dance battle instead of physical battle, what an amazing contribution to the streets of Harlem and the world!

    As I discussed this man’s life with students, I asked them what they thought DJ Kool Herc did to make his dream come true. He had not gone to college, yet he had achieved great things for himself and others. Passion. Commitment. Dedication. These three things were the pillars of his success.

    Part of teaching the whole child should include more experiences and exposure to these qualities which will benefit them for a life time whether they attend college or not.

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