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Sunday, January 21, 2018

PRE-SEASON TRAINING DO'S #23 - TESTING KICKING EFFICIENCY

Doing a sprint session with some teammates yesterday and we had a bit of a kick afterwards.

Being big on skill development I decided to run a kicking test with the boys for shits and giggles.

The kicking test is probably the skill test mostly looked at by recruiters for the AFL and even at local/amateur levels, it is what will determine games won and games lost at all levels.

In some of my previous PS posts I've mentioned that skill work is performed but rarely, if ever, actually improved upon and the best way to demand improvement is to test it.

Yesterday we did a bastardised version of the real test as there was just 3 of us and 1 half pumped up footy.

We had 7 cones that formed pretty much an oval with 3 per side and 1 straight down the middle.

Firstly the marking player would select a hat while the kicker has his back turned to him so he wouldn't know which one to kick to.

Then the ball roller delivers the ball and the kicker must pick it up, turn, local the hat with the marking player on it, then kick it to him, all before crossing the kicking line which is about 2 - 3m from pick up to line.

The kicker turns his back, the marker selects a different hast and repeat for all 6 hats.

The AFL have a 5 point scoring system if I'm remember correctly where a pin point kick where the marker doesn't have to move being 5 and 5 is a very bad miss.

Not knowing where the kick has to go in a brand new stimulus for most players as we always kick from cone to cone, from this player to this player and so on so reaction and decision making, 2 critical components of skill development, are not taken into account and left untrained.

You can have players on all cones as per the test if you have the numbers.

I would definitely try and do this 1 per week and there's a progression of sorts you could roll with.

#1 - Kick to player on the cone who calls for it with all kicks performed on your good side with 1 player on a single cone.

#2 - Kick to player on the cone who does not call for it with all kicks performed on your good side with 1 player on a single cone.

#3 - Kick to a player on a single cone who calls for it with kicks being performed on the each side of the body (left foot kicks to left side of drill etc).

#4 - Kick to a player on a single cone who dos not call for it with kicks being performed on each side of the body (left foot kicks to left side of drill etc)

From there you can add more players in as players now need to locate the option that is calling for it.

Alternatively the ball roller could call out "left/middle" or to direct where the kick needs to go with the call being made just as they are picking the ball up and again you'd work through the dominant and non- dominant kicking leg progression from above.

If you wanted to get anal on the scoring you could score on how fast the kick gets there, how much or far the marking player has to move to mark the ball or any other specific you'd like.

Above all what testing kicking will do is to ensure that "all kicks are meaningful" as there is a scoring system and that should get players concentrating far more on getting the ball to a target with a specific intent rather then kicking long and high where players just stand under the ball to mark it, which would rarely happen in a game without getting some knees in the back of your had.


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