5. Elite Kicking - 90 degree, one-step kick
The last progression of the kicking phase; “1 step kicking to a teammate at 90 degrees” is the most difficult. Remember to only attempt this kick when all other kicking progression phases are mastered. This Elite Kick is very difficult to perform consistently. To showcase the elite kicking, Sherrin bought in a superstar of the game; Dustin Martin.
ELITE KICKING TECHNIQUE:
It’s important to get all of the basics of kicking correctly quickly with this phase (grip, feet, look at the target)
- Mark the ball
- Prepare to kick quickly
- Look for a target
- As you take one step, change the direction of your hips towards the target (the plant foot should point directly at the target)
- Step forward onto the plant foot and kick the ball
- Move your body weight forward and try to take at least one extra step towards your target (This will ensure the bodyweight continues the momentum through the ball to hit your target)
The number one error that occurs is when players try to kick leaning backward. At this level, players should be able to self-coach their technique and regularly practice for 10-15 minutes per training session.
This kick is to help break through a zone team defence.
ELITE KICKING – KICKING IN THE BUBBLE
Elite kickers need to block out all outside influences and always ensure they are successfully executing “The Basics of Kicking.” Eventually, these basics will become second nature. To develop this and shift the players' focus away from thinking through the basics of kicking each time, players need to practice various ways to start their kicks.
The drill below is an AFL Kicking drill and will challenge even the best players in the game -THE ELITE.
Ensure a player stays calm and doesn’t get too flustered or rushed when participating in this drill.
Begin by having players rapidly dancing their feet on the spot waiting on your instruction - then on the whistle/your call have them react & do the action described below.
They will gradually get better & better at handling the outside pressure of the various starting situations. Try 3 or 4 of each action, then move to the next.
Begin by trying to kick after:
- A handball receive
- A mark - or the player throws the ball to themselves then kicks
- A gather -ball coming towards the player
- A gather -ball rolling away
- A gather -ball rolling across the player’s path
- Facing 180 º away, then turning
- Faking a pass at 90 º then hitting a target the other way - A player getting off the ground, and gathering then kicking
- Ripping a ball off an opponent
- Bouncing the ball
- Closing eyes then open to quickly find a teammate
- Coming forward, then going back, then forward, then back, then kick
- Looking left, then right, then left, then kick
- Standing and kicking as quick as a player can - on command
- Having 5 balls quickly given to a player to hit 5 different targets in a circle, at various angles & distances
If at any time during this drill a player finds it too difficult, then encourage them to CALM DOWN & GO BACK TO THE BASICS OF KICKING.
This drill also allows players to have fun creating other difficult kicking situations.
As a player develops, keep decreasing the time and space they work with and increase the difficulty of the decision-making scenarios.