How to Keep a Low Center of Gravity in Football

Football player crouching

Many coaches tell their football players that the "low man wins." This refers to the importance of keeping a low center of gravity during the play. The low stance while blocking or tackling provides a strategic advantage over a higher player. A low center of gravity keeps a player's torque potential, or the chance that he can be spun around by another player, small. But if a player is standing up, his center of gravity is higher. The farther it is from his feet, the more likely he is to succumb to being spun around and tackled.

Squat down so that your hips go down and back to about knee level, keeping your knees above your toes.

Lean forward slightly to rest on the balls of your feet with your heels lifted 1 inch or less.

Hold your back straight with your head up. Let your arms hang in front of your or place one on the ground. This is the basic low stance in football, which keeps your center of gravity, usually found near your navel, close to the ground. The position allows for explosive moves as you launch upward to tackle an opponent; the upward momentum creates more force for your tackle.

Move to each side using a shuffle, maintaining your low center of gravity during play. Stay on the balls of your feet and hold your low, squatting body position as you push off on your outside leg and land on your inside leg, shuffling to the side. Keep your head up and back straight. Don't cross your feet in this move.

Push forward and up toward the chest of an opponent to tackle without straightening your knees completely. Keep the knees bent slightly and hips back while you move on the balls of your feet to push an opponent off balance. When hit slightly off center, this low-tackle move causes the opponent to spin and lose forward momentum.