When it comes to practicing their tackles, young football players generally have two options: tackle their teammates and risk one of them getting injured, or go after an inanimate tackle sled. The Shadowman Junior, however, offers another choice – it's still not a person who could get hurt, but it presents a more realistic moving target.
The device stands 4 feet 9 inches tall (150 cm) and has a vaguely humanoid shape. It sits on top of a separate tire-like base that's dragged across the turf by a coach or another player using an attached strap/harness, as players are trying to tackle it.
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It's made from heavy-duty PVC, and can be inflated within 60 seconds using an included pump – its round bottom section also gets filled with water, giving it a total weight of 25.5 lb (11.5 kg) and a low center of gravity. Three numbered target zones on its body additionally allow coaches to instruct players as to where they should hit it.
The Shadowman Junior is available now, with prices starting at US$2,250 for a bundle of three. It's designed for players aged 6 to 14 years old, and can be seen in use in the following video. Players of the adult variety can go with the existing Pro model, which starts at $2,400 for three.
Source: Shadowman SportsView gallery - 3 images