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D4Life

Forward entry at Training

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We get some great training reports from a few track watchers.

After poor delivery of the ball into the forward line against the Weagles, I’m interested to know what they do at training to improve this aspect of our game, and does it look like it’s working when they practice it?

If we improve this one aspect 10-20 percent we should increase number of goals kicked per game  by 2.5 - 6 plus, if we’re averaging 50-60 entries, that’s 5-6 extra shots at 10% and 10-12 shots at 20%.

 

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I don't know how they actually do this or even can practice it at training.  So let's see if I can get this right...

If we have T.Mac, Weid, Fritsch, Melksham, Kossie, and Bedford playing as forwards, then to get maximum match simulation we would place May, Lever, Hibberd, Jetta, Salem and Harmes on them.

Trouble is that we are now playing "half-court" ...i.e. it is all at one end of the ground.  And we know that the players don't stick in positions during the game.  So to overcome this at training , the forwards and backs get distributed to various other positions around the ground, not where they would normally play.  If we have essentially a full list training you can get 36 on the ground. ( last year this never happened)  But they are playing and kicking to players that they wouldn't normally be playing with and kicking to. 

So I would imagine the only way that we can actually get as close to match simulation is by using various players at FF, CHF, FP etc and then rotating others into the same roles. 

It probably gets even harder, when you have new players come to the club e.g. Tomlinson and Langdon.  They don't know instinctively where T.Mac or Weid or Fritsch will lead to .  They can be told this at briefing, but until you actually do it multiple times in real-life, it won't click.  I remember someone who had moved clubs, saying it took at least a year until they knew exactly what others would do and where they would go. 

It applies to the backs as well, and it is no surprise that the best functioning teams have played together as a team for a long time.  Richmond have had virtually no injuries for the past 2 years and that shows in their team efforts.  Very similar to the Hawthorn teams of the 80's and 90's.  They just knew where to go and what would happen before it actually did.

Back to the original question....I don't know the answer.  I don't know how the coaches teach it, if they can, other than telling players to do it. 

 

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Posted (edited)

A big game of Marker's Up with the kicker bombing it long from 80 into a forward line huddle of 30 players

Edited by John Demonic
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Posted (edited)

I noticed in R1 (fwiw) that our forwards regularly led up, only for the kick coming in to go over their head and into the arms of an Eagles defended. Even the TV commentators were onto it.

Surely it can't be rocket surgery to practice leading patterns at training over and over and over and over with kicks coming in that hit them flush? Footy is a pretty simple game, when it's all boiled down. We overcomplicate it and then panic when going i50, have been for the last few years 

Edited by Moonshadow
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13 hours ago, Moonshadow said:

Surely it can't be rocket surgery to practice leading patterns at training over and over and over and over with kicks coming in that hit them flush? Footy is a pretty simple game, when it's all boiled down. We overcomplicate it and then panic when going i50, have been for the last few years 

While it sounds simple in practice, defensive structures are now set up as a zone.  One on one football is a rarity these days, especially in the defensive area.  So a player with the ball cannot kick to space for a leading forward to run into.  There should always be a defender within range, to turn it into a contest. 

The other problem with the Eagles games was that WCE had 3 tall defenders.  We only had 2 tall forwards.  As well most teams, like them, drop the extra man in defence.  We did the same to them with Darling and Kennedy only getting a solitary goal between them.

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13 hours ago, Moonshadow said:

I noticed in R1 (fwiw) that our forwards regularly led up, only for the kick coming in to go over their head and into the arms of an Eagles defended. Even the TV commentators were onto it.

Surely it can't be rocket surgery to practice leading patterns at training over and over and over and over with kicks coming in that hit them flush? Footy is a pretty simple game, when it's all boiled down. We overcomplicate it and then panic when going i50, have been for the last few years 

Dead right. It is becoming a commitment thing - am I committed to making an effective play (by good disposal to a target on the move)?

 

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14 hours ago, John Demonic said:

A big game of Marker's Up with the kicker bombing it long from 80 into a forward line huddle of 30 players

Too accurate.

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One recurring problem is that our guys are kicking it OVER THE HEADS of our forwards. 
Compared to the WCE guys, esp. Gaff and Hurn , who calmly kick controlled passes to their targets, who have to run forward to take the ball on their chest.

It is particularly ineffective to kick it high to the forwards who are outnumbered by tall backs. Surely it would be better to kick grass cutter passes, if there are fast crumbers( like Pickett, Bedford and Spargo), buzzing around the legs of tall, comparatively slow, backs like Barass,McGov, and Hurn.  Tumble punts (“up-country mongrel finger breakers”) are also  more likely to be effective,causing chaos in the forward line, if there are no promising options ahead. We make sure  Hurn etc have easy marks, kicking them neat little drop punts,to their zone, well away from any Demon forwards.

I think our guys forget they’re “pumped-up “ ,in the pressure of competition, and kick it too hard and fast.     In practice conditions, they can pass accurately.  Somehow we’ve got to play the way we practise.

Also, would it be practicable to introduce a rule....”NEVER kick short to a 50:50 situation.? Surely it’s better to kick LONG to  50:50, if no good option is on offer.

 

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I’m still interested to hear from someone who goes to training on what they practice, and level of execution?

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There was one point in the eagles match the commentators noticed McDonald was caught between leading towards the ball carrier or moving back. Just screams our lack of “connection”. 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, D4Life said:

I’m still interested to hear from someone who goes to training on what they practice, and level of execution?

I knocked on the doors of a couple of our players, but they wouldn't let me in as they said they are social distancing and isolating. 

I did however manage to find out that depending on the layout of the house, goal kicking from the pocket is being improved by taking the kick in the hallway from near the front door and attempting to get it into different rooms leading off either side of said hallway, without touching the woodwork. 

Hope that helps.

Edited by hardtack
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3 hours ago, george_on_the_outer said:

While it sounds simple in practice, defensive structures are now set up as a zone.  One on one football is a rarity these days, especially in the defensive area.  So a player with the ball cannot kick to space for a leading forward to run into.  There should always be a defender within range, to turn it into a contest. 

The other problem with the Eagles games was that WCE had 3 tall defenders.  We only had 2 tall forwards.  As well most teams, like them, drop the extra man in defence.  We did the same to them with Darling and Kennedy only getting a solitary goal between them.

Spot on George.

And the modern zone set up a all teams employ (and I reckon the eagles have close to the best, perhaps just behind the tigers, though rance not there brings them close) places an even greater premium on kicking skills and decision making.

The zone means players need to be able to more with their kicks these days. Twenty years ago the best kicks were those that could drill a low 40 metre bullet to a neita or a Dunstall. Still an important skill.

But the best kicks now have to weight their kicks to advantage, pop it into a hole, checkside, kick long enough to get over a press etc etc. Good decision making is just as important. When to use which kick, who to kick to, who not to, when to go backwards and reset etc etc

Players like hill  pendlebury and suckling have the skill set and decision making.

We have very few playears with these skills. Or decision making skill for that matter. And as i have said for years  it is our biggest issue.

And a player like Hibberd has only one kick in his toolkit. A left foot helicopter. Combine that with woeful decision making and an an inability to kick on his right and he is the very last plsyer who should be kicking it inside 50. I was really disappointed he took so many against wc. Goodwin should have made it clear he was not to. If he did we have another problem.

 

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3 hours ago, george_on_the_outer said:

While it sounds simple in practice, defensive structures are now set up as a zone.  One on one football is a rarity these days, especially in the defensive area.  So a player with the ball cannot kick to space for a leading forward to run into.  There should always be a defender within range, to turn it into a contest. 

The other problem with the Eagles games was that WCE had 3 tall defenders.  We only had 2 tall forwards.  As well most teams, like them, drop the extra man in defence.  We did the same to them with Darling and Kennedy only getting a solitary goal between them.

The zone just means forwards have to work and run harder. Ours are mostly stationary, especially the smalls,  and when they do lead it is usually just in a straight line for about 10 metres. 

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 The players up the ground need to lower their eyes and only 'bomb' it when under extreme pressure or no one leading. We can't have the likes of TMac leading into a good position for him to see the ball continually going over his head. Lower your eyes Backs and Mids please. I would also add that if they do lower their eyes and pass to someone leading even if the pass is crap and runs along ground at least it gives the forwards a 50/50 chance. No chance sailing over their heads

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It'd help if our midfielders kicked more goals themselves. Throws a cat among the pigeons if they storm to fifty and bang it through a few times.

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3 hours ago, hardtack said:

I knocked on the doors of a couple of our players, but they wouldn't let me in as they said they are social distancing and isolating. 

I did however manage to find out that depending on the layout of the house, goal kicking from the pocket is being improved by taking the kick in the hallway from near the front door and attempting to get it into different rooms leading off either side of said hallway, without touching the woodwork. 

Hope that helps.

Thank you, I’m sure the forward line at training is very open at present! As probably only allowed two players on each end of the ground!

Rephrasing my question to get a more definitive response! Not that I don’t appreciate your creativity!

Over preseason did any of the track watchers (K Martin, Saty etc.) notice what we were practicing in regards to improving entry to the forward line! 

 

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Honestly, I think we'd benefit from a bit of Mick Malthouse.  Maybe get him to consult? 

My reasoning here is that his great strength as a coach was in having his team insanely well-drilled and disciplined.  Every player on the ground knew exactly where they had to be at any given moment.  Have a look at the kick-outs they did at Collingwood under him.  There was a designated player to mark the ball.  There was a runner going past them for the handball.  If that wasn't on they knew to instantly wheel and hit the switch kick where there was a teammate waiting for the uncontested mark.  Compare that to our play.  We throw numbers at the ball and then bash it forwards and hope that weight of numbers will win the day.  How often do we see our players get to half-foward and then not know what to do next?  Imagine if we could get that quick contested ball out and the players know exactly where their teammates are going to be and what they need to do with the ball next. 

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12 hours ago, RalphiusMaximus said:

There was a designated player to mark the ball.  There was a runner going past them for the handball.  If that wasn't on they knew to instantly wheel and hit the switch kick where there was a teammate waiting for the uncontested mark.  Compare that to our play.  We throw numbers at the ball and then bash it forwards and hope that weight of numbers will win the day.  How often do we see our players get to half-foward and then not know what to do next?  Imagine if we could get that quick contested ball out and the players know exactly where their teammates are going

Some very useful points, and at home on the 'G, we have the flanking advantage in this. We chase; we should be chased.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/5/2020 at 9:20 AM, george_on_the_outer said:

While it sounds simple in practice, defensive structures are now set up as a zone.  One on one football is a rarity these days, especially in the defensive area.  So a player with the ball cannot kick to space for a leading forward to run into.  There should always be a defender within range, to turn it into a contest. 

The other problem with the Eagles games was that WCE had 3 tall defenders.  We only had 2 tall forwards.  As well most teams, like them, drop the extra man in defence.  We did the same to them with Darling and Kennedy only getting a solitary goal between them.

IMO it has nothing to do with the numbers, it is just poor kicking and decision making.

If a forward leads, you kick the ball short, so he can run onto it, not over his head to the guy behind.

Also, when you look up and see say Fritsch on 2 big backs, you don't kick it up high in the air, you kick it wide, to allow him to run to it and at least create a contest, which then also allows a small forward to come in and help.

Edited by Redleg

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The coaches say "improve your forward 50 entries!" and the players say "okay, got it!" Then they run another set of 100m sprints.

 

23 hours ago, hardtack said:

I did however manage to find out that depending on the layout of the house, goal kicking from the pocket is being improved by taking the kick in the hallway from near the front door and attempting to get it into different rooms leading off either side of said hallway, without touching the woodwork. 

And if you  score with the ball ricocheting off two walls, everyone takes a drink

 

13 hours ago, RalphiusMaximus said:

Honestly, I think we'd benefit from a bit of Mick Malthouse.  Maybe get him to consult? 

I heard a rumour that we did get an experienced AFL coach, well regarded in the industry in spite of not having tangible results on the scoreboard, who was expected to help with all kinds of coaching issues. An extra set of eyes and ears, if you will. Whatever happened to him?

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53 minutes ago, Mazer Rackham said:

The coaches say "improve your forward 50 entries!" and the players say "okay, got it!" Then they run another set of 100m sprints.

 

And if you  score with the ball ricocheting off two walls, everyone takes a drink

 

I heard a rumour that we did get an experienced AFL coach, well regarded in the industry in spite of not having tangible results on the scoreboard, who was expected to help with all kinds of coaching issues. An extra set of eyes and ears, if you will. Whatever happened to him?

McCartney?

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20 minutes ago, jnrmac said:

McCartney?

More recent that that ... Ricko .. Richo ... Richards ... something like that

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with the soft salary cap likely to be reduced by a big number we may need to rely on less to improve our skills.

Will be interesting to see which areas are cut and how.

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On 4/5/2020 at 4:20 PM, D4Life said:

Thank you, I’m sure the forward line at training is very open at present! As probably only allowed two players on each end of the ground!

Rephrasing my question to get a more definitive response! Not that I don’t appreciate your creativity!

Over preseason did any of the track watchers (K Martin, Saty etc.) notice what we were practicing in regards to improving entry to the forward line! 

 

Of course it was practiced, it was practiced nearly every session

Unfortunately the practice didn't equate into the first real game

It had been good in both Marsh games and the North practice match, I also thought it got a bit better in the last 2 qtrs against West Coast 

With all the cost cutting  I am sure the Club would look at some of the coaching experts on here popping down voluntarily to teach the players

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15 minutes ago, Satyriconhome said:

Of course it was practiced, it was practiced nearly every session

Unfortunately the practice didn't equate into the first real game

It had been good in both Marsh games and the North practice match, I also thought it got a bit better in the last 2 qtrs against West Coast 

With all the cost cutting  I am sure the Club would look at some of the coaching experts on here popping down voluntarily to teach the players

so it is a big fail by the coaching staff as their teaching failed to be followed by players when under pressure.

We had almost the first twenty minutes of that game with forward dominance and could not meaningfully convert. They went up and kicked four quick goals...game over.

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