A player who can use the ball by foot at an elite level is a precious commodity to coaches – especially a player who can break the game open with one penetrating kick.
DraftStar’s head coach Ben Dixon advises young players to work on their technique at a young age, to ensure that as they mature, their kicking becomes an asset.
“That’s something I really push at the camps - making sure the athletes come away with advice on how to improve their kicking.”
DraftStar kicking analysis is a four-point process with the young footballers being judged on their balance, ball drop, penetration and accuracy, all key elements of an elite kick.
With the introduction of the Buckley Kicking Test at the AFL Draft Combine it’s no secret that AFL recruiters and coaches are placing a huge emphasis on players being able to use the ball well by foot.
This emphasis is emulated by the coaches at DraftStar, who not only put the athletes through the Buckley Kicking Test but all of the AFL Combine tests, as well as specific kicking drills.
One of the most important elements of an elite kick is penetration - being able to find a way through full ground zones can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
“Penetrating kicks tend to be thought of as long kicks but in actual fact, it’s more about the ability to be able to hit the risky kicks quicker. The speed of ball movement is what breaks down zones”, says ex Hawk Premiership ruckman and DraftStar co-founder Robbie Campbell.
While having an accurate and penetrating kick comes down to practice and technique, there are also some physiological aspects that can aid young players to develop a penetrating kick.
“Flexibility is really important - flexibility of the hips and the legs muscles can really give you that extra bit of speed through your kicking leg,” explains Campbell.
If you feel that learning these key skills will help your footy, come along to a DraftStar camp in July and get the coaching to help improve your game.
Visit www.draftstar.com.au to find out more.