Coach Development Archives - Vida Footy
Vince 0417 581 117 Office 9457 7248 [email protected]
How Can I Use Grids at Footy Training?

How Can I Use Grids at Footy Training?

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.

Footy grids


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

– Defending

– Tackling


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.




Sporting Clubs In Victoria Encouraged To Apply For Grants

Sporting Clubs In Victoria Encouraged To Apply For Grants

Sporting clubs from across Victoria are being urged to apply for funding to boost their equipment, skills and administration expertise.

Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence announced that applications are now open for the latest round of the Victorian Government’s 2020-21 Sporting Club Grants Program. The grants provide clubs with up to $1,000 for new uniforms and equipment, up to $5,000 for the training of coaches, officials and volunteers and up to $5,000 to improve club operational effectiveness.

The funding will help people of all ages and abilities take part in grassroots sport, no matter where they live, and is a great boost for clubs during the coronavirus pandemic. The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the Government’s commitment to make sport more accessible and inclusive, build sustainable sport and recreation, and increase local participation. The Government has provided more than 4,300 sporting club grants across the state, totaling more than $5.9 million.

For more information on the grants and how to apply – CLICK HERE

This grant opportunity could be used towards the upskilling of workshops for coaches, promotional material, strategy, and more.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence.

“Restrictions have had a heavy impact on participation in community sport but that hasn’t stopped the people behind our clubs from continuing to work for their communities.”

“We’re making sure that clubs have the resources they need to invest in new equipment and uniforms, to train their people and to plan for a strong future.”

“I encourage all local clubs to take this opportunity for the benefit of players, supporters and volunteers across the state.”

What is Transition Football?

What is Transition Football?

Transition football

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.

Clean Hands with Matthew Rowell

Clean Hands with Matthew Rowell

Key points around Ground Ball 

  • Cleans hands ( 1 touch ) 
  • Always look to get low using your legs 
  • Spread fingers and get dirt in your fingernails when picking up the ball  
  • Eyes always on the ball   
  • Footwork, always adjusting feet prior to picking the ball up 
  • Create challenges how many effective ground balls eg 1TOUCH and handballs can you do without error in 60sec

Start Point 

  • 1.5 meter apart  Rowell to pick GB up and HB back while partner rolls ball left to right continuous effort after 60sec swap over  
  • Working on footwork and continuous movement  ( EFFORT ) 
  • When you HB back keep alternating hands and feet 
  • Increase the length and speed of drill  

Progression 1

  • Start behind the cone while your partner rolls the ball out for you to run towards once you receive GB and then HB back you must backpedal around the cone going the other way 
  • Increase the speed adding in more pressure ( EFFORT ) 
  • Keep a focus with your footwork eg Right HB = LF Left HB = RF 
  • Increase the length of handball when comfortable 

Progression 2

  • Two balls required  – Clean hands ( 1 TOUCH ) 
  • One handballs the other hits the ball back with the footy making it challenging 
  • Alternate hands and increase the speed as you become comfortable 
  • Footwork really important always be on your toes  
  • Increase the speed and  length of handball when comfortable ( EFFORT ) 

Progression 3

  • One Ball required – Rowell starts with ball 
  • HB to your partner who then taps the ball to an area making you work to pick the GB up 
  • The player tapping the ball must look to challenge their EFFORT and change of  direction to work on agility 
  • Requires a high work rate in a small area ( EFFORT )
How to improve your kicking technique in the off-season

How to improve your kicking technique in the off-season

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.

Main focus

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:
  • Grip
  • Alignment
  • 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.

Suggested Activities

*These videos are available for members only, for more info and how to get access to the videos click here

Want to reach your full potential?

Want to reach your full potential?

Reaching Your Full Potential in Football  – a mental training guide for athletes and coaches – with Damien Lafont from Vida Mind. 

Many athletes and coaches have heard of the world “mental toughness”. Most people assume that mental toughness is about using the mind to be become physically tough; but it’s so much more than just being tough.

What is mental toughness?

Mental Toughness isn’t about using all your brawn and muscle and having the reckless attitude to use it in an extreme way. Though a good hard tackle and the ability to hold your own in a pack are great and noble traits for football, we also have seen many recklessness footballers that have a lot of muscle and very little know-how. Strength and the ability to “go in hard” will never go out of style in such an athletic sport as Aussie Rules; however there is much more to “making it” at the top level than physical prowess.

When does it make a difference?

There comes a time in all sport that talent, strength and fitness MUST meet a mindset equipped for sport. If an athlete or team do not have a mind that is trained and equipped for the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride that we call sport, then they will discover that those emotional highs and lows became difficult to deal with. Soon enough, mental training becomes a necessary component in all elite sport.


Imagine you have two teams – both physically strong, both supremely fit, both with top level skill and impeccable talent; however only one of them has trained their mind for the encounter.

We all know that it’s the team who is mentally equipped for the challenge that will win. And, we’ve all seem times when the less-skilled team beats the more-skilled team through sheer determination and persistence.

There will always be tough opponents, that’s the nature of sport—but there’s always a large majority of these opponents who aren’t mentally equipped for the game. They simply have never utilised mental skills in their sport, they expect everything to happen by miracle. It’s quite strange in a way because these same athletes have spent endless hours kicking the footy, taking shots at goals, balking tackles, building strength and agility, training at the gym, stretching, watching replays….the list goes on. Many athletes are dedicated to their sport and spend countless hours perfecting their skills—but many neglect to train their mental skills. Those that do, are fully equipped and ready to play regardless of the circumstance.

“To be mentally tough isn’t only what you do on the field; it’s how you are off the field too.”

Mental Toughness is a whole new attitude to life. Mental toughness is not what you think it is. Its definition is the same as persistence “the ability to continue to do something despite the obstacles”. It does not suggest that there won’t be any obstacles, in fact it suggests that obstacles are guaranteed– to expect them. But its greater suggestion is: that YOU will continue regardless of these. This is in fact is a mental ability and a much over-looked one at that.

Why is this simple trait a mental ability?

Because once the physical is spent, once the body is exhausted and the skill level drops, you can’t rely on them to be the best part of you. They may be an ability but they are one that is declining and under exhaustion. It is here you can rely on a mental ability to drive your physical one. If you remember what true toughness is, what true persistence is (the ability to continue to do something despite obstacles) then you will have a deeper ability to NOT expect your physical to be the ultimate edge, but to use the mental edge to power the physical. Between two exhausted players or two exhausted teams; the one that uses the mental ability will over-power the one who doesn’t. It can be soul-destroying when you know your opponent will never give up regardless of what you dish out.

Teams that train toughness the right way gain an unseen edge and have a secret and noble cause. They cease to panic and become nervous because the outcome isn’t an important as the effort and endurance. However, of course if you focus on effort, the outcome steers largely in your favour. It’s a win/win proposition.

Mental Toughness is an attitude, a silent and noble one

The “underdog” is the example of it and we all secretly applaud this type of character because he or she is digging deep and using all his/her inner resources against the odds. When the external resources are reliable, the inner resources become the defining point. It’s often true in any life endeavour, not just on the footy field.

There is more to read about mental toughness in the members section of the website.   If you want to have access to the rest of this resource and much more please contact us for more information.