At Vida Footy, we use grids regularly in our sessions and holiday programs because they teach players at all levels fundamentals that directly help with real game situations. Grids can be employed at all levels, including tackers! Make sure you modify the grid so that they work and watch your players improve their tactics and game awareness.
Different types of Grids
There are many types of grids with many variations you can use to work on different parts of the game. Let’s start with the size of the area. If you want to work on handballing, use grids sizes from 5×5 to 10×20 meters. Kicking grids can also vary, obviously depending on what you need to work on. Grids can have defenders too. You can make it where there is less defenders than attackers, and visa versa. Make sure you have a clear focus on the desired output of your grid and modify the rules and size to match.
What do you learn from grids?
Grids are a way to teach your players the fundamental tactics and movement patterns of the game. You can use groups to reinforce technical skills, but ultimately you are working on the following aspects
– Passing on a 45
– Blocking for team mates
– Constant movement
– Creating space
– Quick hands or kicks under pressure
– Leading to the correct areas
– Decision making
One of the most important skills to pass on to your players is where to move to within the grid. This will be something to look out for throughout your use of the grids.
Tackers coaches and coaches of young teams, please try and incorporate small handball grids into your training as we have seen over the years, players as young as 7 really benefiting from these activities.
Coaches of older teams, remember grids are used by AFL clubs, so make sure you try and incorporate them into your training schedule.
Transitioning out of defence is one of the most important parts of your tactics on game day. Not only does it get you out of defence, but it can, if done quickly, move the ball into the forward line fast.
One of the best ways to use this defensive to attacking tactic is when the ball is intercepted or possession gained on one side of the ground, the player with the ball quickly switches the play to the other side of the ground.
The reason why this can work is:
– Most players will be on the side of the ground where the ball was previously, opening up space to the transition side.
– Because the defending team was previously attacking forward, they may not be manned up on their player, leaving the attacking team open to transition the ball forward.
– Opens the field up, making room for fast play
How to practice and Implement this strategy.
First of all keep using the term “in one way out the other”. This will remind your players to scan the field when they are in this position to potentially use it. Get your players to swivel their heads to scan for options every-time they get the ball. Therefore if a player gets the ball, they have an option to kick the ball down the line. They can also transition the play across the ground, or into the middle (only if a player is well and truly open).
Kicking the ball down the line should be encouraged only when there are no options left, or the player feels that is the best tactic to use in that particular situation. Maybe their best marking player has a mismatch, or you are winding the clock down and kick it close to the boundary line, looking for a stoppage.
This article will go over some of the best activities to use when trying to develop your forwards. Furthermore, in doing these activities you will also be working on your defenders’ techniques and positions. Most of these activities require both attackers and defenders.
Remember to always rotate your players back and forth between being attackers and defenders as the overall development of the player is extremely important. A lot of AFL players get drafted to play certain position and are converted to another during their first few years.
Most of these activities have small numbers and can be implemented differently into your training times. You could have multiple groups doing the same activity all around the ground. You can use it as one of your rotations along with other activities in a circuit.
Links to activity videos for Vida members:
Front and Centre Goal Kicking – CLICK HERE
Double Effort Handball and Mark – CLICK HERE
Marking Square Plus Body – CLICK HERE
Roll and Hit Up Target – CLICK HERE
Push and Lead – CLICK HERE
Grid then Hit Up Forwards – CLICK HERE
Click the links above to view the videos.
Remember, you are logged in, click activity videos, and then you can filter your searches from the right hand side bar.
With the AFL season and trade period finished, it’s time to focus on the draft. Many picks and players have been exchanged over the next few weeks as teams prepare to put themselves in the best possible position for next season. Whilst first round draft picks are highly sought after, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to find value with later selections in both the National Draft and even some from the Rookie Draft. We thought it would be interesting to look at ten of the biggest steals from this decade. These current players; who were overlooked by many clubs; turned out to provide value far beyond their original draft selection.
Luke Parker (Sydney), Pick 40 – 2010
Parker; the substitute in the Swans’ 2012 premiership team; has become one of Sydney’s most prolific players since that game. Parker won Bob Skilton medals for Sydney’s best and fairest in both 2014 and 2017. Parker placed second in 2018. In 2016, he was runner-up to Patrick Dangerfield in the Brownlow Medal with 2016 votes, a season in which he earned All Australian honours. In 2019 Parker was named a co-captain for the Swans.
Jeremy McGovern (West Coast), Pick 44 Rookie Draft – 2011
McGovern endured a difficult start to his career. He was overlooked in the national draft, before spending two years on the rookie list before finally being elevated in 2013. Around the time of his elevation, he was banished from training with the main group for weight issues. What followed this was a change in attitude for McGovern, which translated to four All Australian selections in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. McGovern was also one of the Eagle’s best performers in their 2018 premiership.
Dane Rampe (Sydney), Pick 37 Rookie Draft – 2013
Alongside Luke Parker, Rampe is the co-captain for the Swans. The medium-sized defender is one of the most dangerous backmen in the game. Parker earned All Australian selection in 2016, whilst he was also a member of the 40-man squad in 2019. This year, Rampe also won his first Bob Skilton medal. Rampe played in losing Grand Final sides in 2014 and 2016.
Ben Brown (North Melbourne), Pick 47 – 2013
The 200cm full-forward was overlooked three years in a row before finally being taken by the Kangaroos as a 21-year-old. Brown has won North Melbourne’s goal kicking award every year since 2016, with returns of 41, 63, 61 and 64 goals. He has also been a member of the 40-man All-Australian squad in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
James Sicily (Hawthorn), Pick 56 – 2013
The hot-tempered swingman divides opinions, however, there is no denying his talent on-field. As a defender, Sicily earned a nomination in the 40-man All-Australian squad in 2019. He has three top-ten best and fairest finishes in the past three years. Sicily is the leader of Hawthorn’s backline and is close to their most valued player.
Harris Andrews (Brisbane), Pick 61 – 2014
At 22 years of age, Andrews already holds the title of vice-captain the Brisbane Lions. After a potential All-Australian year in 2018 was cruelled by a broken jaw, he came back an even better player this season to earn his first selection in the team of the year. Andrews has been a vital reason behind the Lions’ surge up the ladder in 2019 and will be integral to their future success, with the potential to become the best defender in the league for the next decade.
Tom Phillips (Collingwood), Pick 56 – 2015
Lightning quick Phillips has been one of the league’s biggest improvers in the last two years. During a breakout 2018 season that included a Grand Final appearance, the wingman averaged 25.5 disposals at just 22 years of age. 2019 was another solid year, as Phillips averaged 23.8 disposals and kicked 12 goals.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Essendon), Pick 22 Rookie Draft – 2016
After the suspension of 12 senior Bombers for the 2016 season, McDonald-Tipungwuti was elevated straight off the rookie list as a 23-year-old first-year player. He made his debut in Round 1 of that year and went on to play 21 games in his first season. After the return of the suspended players the following season, AMT remained a first-choice selection and has now played 89 games, kicking 100 goals and averaging almost four tackles per game across four seasons.
Tom Stewart (Geelong), Pick 40 – 2016
In 2015, Stewart was playing local footy in the Geelong league, before getting an opportunity with the Cats’ VFL side. He was finally drafted as a 23 year old after dominating at VFL level. Stewart earned his first All Australian selection in just his second season. This was followed in 2019 by a second All-Australian selection, helping the Cats to a preliminary final, all well before reaching his 100 game milestone.
James Worpel (Hawthorn), Pick 45 – 2017
Worpel won his first Best and Fairest award this season at 20 years of age. He enjoyed a stellar 2019 season, averaging 26.5 disposals and 4.9 tackles a game as the star midfielder in the absence of Tom Mitchell. It is evident already that he is on his way to becoming one of the premier midfielders in the competition. The Worpedo will be vital to the Hawks’ chances of becoming a premiership contender in the coming years.
At our recent holiday program, we had special guests Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Trent Bianco attend to help teach the kids a few things.The kids really enjoyed learning from some of the future stars of the AFL. We just wanted to thank the boys for giving up their time and would like to wish them well in the upcoming AFL draft. Good luck boys! (more…)