Kicking Activities for Match Day

Australian Football players will be faced with match-day situations that will require them to implement a wide variety of kicks during a match.

Therefore, once the critical elements of the kicking technique have been developed, players should start practising the many different kicks they will need to use. Practising these kicks in a progression of situations from easy to more difficult will ensure a player maintains the critical elements.

Assist players to practice various types of kicks and prepare them to produce these kicks under pressure on match day with these individual and small group activities.

Download individual activities and small group activities - part 1
Download individual activities and small group activities - part 2 

The following are some common kicking scenarios that require a player to adapt:

Static Field Kicking

A ‘static kick’, which is a closed skill, is defined as a kick without physical pressure, such as a set shot, kick out or kick after a mark or free kick. All the critical elements of kicking apply.

Dynamic Field Kicking
(running at pace and kicking in a straight line)

Dynamic kicking (open skill) occurs when a player is kicking with external pressure, such as in general play or on the run. When performing this kick, the player needs to consider the speed at which the skill has to be executed, the importance of straightening towards the target, which may be moving, and keeping balanced throughout the kick. When running at high speed, the player may also need to guide the ball down further away from the body, so their momentum does not cause the ball to drop too close to their body. De-acceleration or taking a steadying step is often needed to allow the body to perform the kick effectively.

Penetrating Kick

A penetrating kick is defined as a kick where the ball travels over a long distance with little ‘hang time’ in the air. A player who can kick with penetration is extremely valuable to a team. These players have an extremely efficient kicking technique and are able to generate excellent foot speed when kicking.

Weighted Kick

The weighted kick is used to give the ball more ‘hang time’ to make it drop where a teammate is either already positioned or preferably can run on to it. The weighted kick is more about ‘touch’ than power. The player receiving the ball should be able to run to the position where the ball will drop and mark it without losing momentum. Players aim for a position on the ground to land the ball, which is sometimes referred to as kicking to grass.

Kicking to Advantage

The aim of ‘kicking to advantage’ is to provide every opportunity for your teammate to win possession of the ball. Kicking to advantage is not about pinpointing a pass; it is essentially about providing advantage to a teammate who is being defended closely in a marking contest.

When kicking to advantage, the player kicks the ball to the side of the contest their teammate is on. The kick is to be weighted and given some ‘hang time’, and aimed around three to four metres to the teammate’s side of the contest.

Placing the kick this distance from the contest will allow the teammate to hold their ground, protect where the ball will land, push off their opponent at the last moment and move to the ball. If completed effectively, this will give the defender no opportunity to spoil.

Kicking Around Corners 

Kicking around a corner is sometimes used by players who find themselves in high-pressure contested situations. A player’s core or trunk (hips and shoulders) may be facing one way, but the player is looking to dispose of the ball quickly to a teammate positioned in a different direction.

When players are trying to kick on an angle like this, the critical elements of the kicking technique at impact—a firm foot, good lower leg acceleration and a controlled ball drop— are still needed.

Kicking Off One Step

Although kicking off one step is generally not recommended, especially in a static kick situation, sometimes it is necessary or advantageous to dispose of the ball quickly.

When kicking the ball off one step, the player must be able to generate forward momentum quickly. This can be done by leaning forward more than usual and taking a small step.

The player must also swing their leg in an arc to allow the hips to generate greater foot speed. A player will be unable to kick the ball as far off one step, compared with taking a short run up, but must learn to adapt to this situation.

Dribble Kick

The dribble kick is used to get the ball from one player to another along the ground or when a player is attempting to kick a goal from a narrow angle.

If a player intends the dribble kick to go directly forward, the ball is held vertically, and kicked so the ball hits the ground immediately.

In all dribble kicks, the ball is kicked ‘end over end’ so it spins forward unlike airborne kicks. Players attempting to dribble a ball ‘around corners’, or move the ball from right to left or vice versa, must grip the ball similarly to either a banana kick or snap kick.

If a right-footed player wants the ball to run left to right along the ground, they should use the snap kick technique, ensuring the ball hits the ground immediately after it leaves the foot.

If a right-footed player wants the ball to run right to left along the ground, they should use the banana kick technique, again ensuring that the ball hits the ground immediately after the ball leaves the foot.

Dribble kicks provide a great opportunity for players to experiment with different grips, as some grips may suit some players more than others.

 

Assist players to practice various types of kicks and prepare them to produce these kicks under pressure on match day with these individual and small group activities.

Download individual activities and small group activities - part 1
Download individual activities and small group activities - part 2 

Each activity includes:

  • The objective of the kicking activity
  • Description of the kicking activity
  • Volume of kicks required for the kicking activity
  • Coaching emphasis for the kicking activity
  • Key questions players should ask themselves to reinforce the learning outcomes for the kicking activity
  • Drill extensions for the kicking activity
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