During the off-season is the best time to work on your fundamentals before next season. The following article will go through the main steps in working on your kicking technique.
If you would like further help with your kicking and other skills for that matter, why not come and try our Skills Sessions this term or holiday programs?
For all the information about the program, click here.
How to improve your kicking technique
Kicking needs to be worked on throughout all levels of Junior Footy. After watching some local senior footy on the weekend I was again surprised to see so many adults kicking with bad technique. The main problems I saw were;
- Two hand ball drop
- High Ball Drop
- Tossing the ball up slightly to kick
- Kicking across the line of the ball
- Ball not spinning properly
These issues can all be fixed throughout the junior development stage, and as coaches one of your goals should be to leave players with better skills than what they can into to the year with.
The biggest thing we need to work on with our players is the ball drop. The ball drop accounts for most players ability to be a good kick or not.
The ball drop is made up of:
- Ball drop height
- Ball drop position
Holding the ball correctly is important as it assists in getting the rest of the kick right. Players want to make sure they hold the ball with their hands on the outside of the ball. Then you want to tell your players to point the end of the ball to the ground (a lot of players will point it to where they want to kick it).
Ensure you align the ball predominantly on their preferred kick side, trying to avoid swaying from left to right.
Ball drop height & position
The ball drop should be below the players hips, with their fingers pointing to the ground. The opposite arm then goes out to the side to assist in balancing. Getting your players to really understand the ball drop with significantly help their kicking.
How to add technique work into a session
During the warm-up phase of the session you can add some simple kicking (2 players one ball) to ensure plenty of volume. You can then go around to every player and asses their kick. Get players to try and hit a particular goal of kicking and marking 10 in a row, or count how many kicks they have had.
Additionally, before the session starts, players must do 100 kicks to themselves on each footy before training starts.
Throughout the training session, you can separate the group into smaller groups, and have one of those be a technique group. Remember, this is not limited to really young players, as a lot of players even up to the age of colts need to work on kicking technique.
*These videos are available for members only, for more info and how to get access to the videos click here
Again, there are plenty more on the website. Simply tick kicking in the search options and go from there.
Our resident kicking specialist, Sav Rocca had an article published by the Herald Sun by reporter Jay Clark talking about the importance of specialized skills training in footy. At Vida footy, we belive in doing the extra work in making sure skills are developed at a young age. When Sav came on board, we continued our weekly Skills Sessions with great results.
Despite the increased professionalism in the game, Champion Data statistics reveal set shot goal kicking accuracy has got worse over the last decade.
But Rocca, currently working at the Blues this year, is adamant proper goal kicking coaching would improve a team’s scoring by about two goals a game.
“It’s only a couple of little things you need to tweak here and there and you can really get a huge benefit out of it,” Rocca told the Herald Sun.
“But it’s getting someone who can really pinpoint what’s going on when players are missing goals and really fine tune.
“I’m talking mainly set shots.
To read the whole article click here.
Throughout the year, players should be encouraged to kick on both sides of their body. A player who can do has a significant advantage when it comes to playing at a higher level. Even if your player’s goals is not to play AFL, it is still important to teach both sides as it is a key skill in modern football at all levels.
If you are a coach or a parent who wants to help their child develop, it would be a good idea to try and implement the following either at training, or the back yard.
Throughout the week you should be encouraging your players to kick on their opposite side throughout your activities, especially when pushed to that non-preferred side. Developing this tool will make that player so much better as a whole.
Think about players such as Sam Mitchel, who can get out of trouble from either side. They can also attack from either side of his body, making him a great player even if he may give away some six and speed than some other AFL Footballers.
During a Game
You may not necessarily want to set KPI’s for this as the occurrence may vary. However, you would want to let your players know that they should keep their own tally of opposite foot or even opposite hands handballs. Your players will know when they should be using their non-preferred side, therefore try to get them to tell you after the game how many times they did so when they had the chance.
After the game, have a discussion about why it is important to develop this skill and therefore try to get your players to understand the “why”. You can then use this feedback to take into your training session throughout the week, and reiterate the important of the opposite side.
In the upcoming School Holidays, we will have a Master Skill Development Program which will have a heavy focus on kicking skill development. If you want your child to improve their kicking, check out the link below to learn about the program and how it could improve the kicking of juniors.
Extra handball work
Over term four 2018, we ran some programs for most junior levels and abilities. One of the takeaways from them was that a high number (not all) players were not hand-balling the ball very well. The main concern is that players were throwing and punching the ball out of the air and hurting their wrists, therefore they didn’t want to handball over long distances.
As coaches, we need to make sure one of the simplest skills is up to scratch.
From experience is running footy camps, weekly programs and doing private footy lessons, players should be able to handball the ball properly even at a tackers level.
Spending extra time in your session dedicated to skill acquisition with all levels and ages will see your players improve at a much faster rate. Below there are some suggested activities to implement more handballing. If you have any further questions please contact us and we can help. Have a great week!
The following technical points are crucial to enable your players to handball effectively. As your players progress, you can choose more of these points to work on.
– Hand under the ball
– End of the ball pointing slightly up
– Punch the ball with a downward motion of the back top of the ball
– Contact arm should be bent, almost to a 90-degree angle
– Punching hand to finish in holding hand
– Step forward with opposite foot when contacting the ball
– Swings arms forward to promote momentum
– The ball must spin backward!
Suggested Activities (On our member-only website)