Question Time, Poor Kicking

Hi John, as a rookie coach of Young Saints in CWAFL still settling into the role. After the weekend’s game — where we kicked 3 goals 10 in the first quarter, I’m keen to improve the movement of the ball into the forwards in the second half of the year. Do you have any specific…

Hi John, as a rookie coach of Young Saints in CWAFL still settling into the role. After the weekend's game -- where we kicked 3 goals 10 in the first quarter, I'm keen to improve the movement of the ball into the forwards in the second half of the year. Do you have any specific drills or coaching techniques that will improve our conversion rate? and convince players they don't need to take shots outside of their range, and realize the importance of goal assists.

Thanks for your email. Yes bad kicking can be frustrating. The good thing is that you are having plenty of shots though so getting enough footy into your forward line is not the problem. With that in mind, I would suggest before you start implementing any drills, etc to improve your accuracy, take a game or 2 to plot where you are having your shots from.

This will help you to work out if you are missing set shots, shots in general play and also from what angles you are shooting for goal. One you have that data, you can then look at your style of ball movement because if you are having shots from too far out or too wide, you may have to do some work with your ball carriers to ensure that they are getting enough time and space with the footy to find options in the corridor. You may also be moving the ball too slow which allows opposition to get back into the hole.

That will force your kickers to look for wider options where the space will be. Working with your forwards to ensure they are creating space for each other with the aim to mark the ball in the ‘hot spot’ 30M out straight in front would also be a priority.

Some drills that you may like to try in your fwd line is having some game based training where you have 6 defenders on 6 attackers. Get the attackers to just chip the ball around until they find a loose player in the hot spot.

Skills to practice will be blocking for each other, weighting their kicks, timing leads, doubling back, pushing off their opponent, multiple leading, etc.

It may also be worth setting up an incentive board where the player that sets up the most scoring opportunities inside 50m receives recognition of some sort. Driving the importance of team and that ‘we don’t care who kicks them so long as we kick more than the opposition’ is the priority.

Hope that helps.
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