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How do players lose the skill of kicking straight?


Mel Bourne

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Honestly, the single biggest thing they need to stop doing if they want to kick goals with their set shots is stop running out to the side.  Especially since the "Stand" rule came in, players have been compulsively running out on their kicking side to try to crib a few extra metres, whether they need the distance or not.  That simple act drastically lowers the accuracy of their kick.  They need to get back to basics, run directly at the centre of the goal mouth, and kick the ball directly ahead of themselves.  It's a basic, largely foolproof method which holds up under pressure.  

Edited by RalphiusMaximus
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Little off topic but watched the girls play Saturday. One thing that struck me is their preparedness to share the ball in the forward 50. Was fantastic.

That was a hallmark of our team in 2021. We have lost that. Number of times guys like Gawn, Petracca, Pickett and Fritta all have a low percentage ping from around 50 was disturbing.

Share the ball and better goal kicking will result.

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Part of it is definitely psychological. Not sure if it has ever been used in the AFL yet but elite sporting organisations in a range of sports in the U.S now use ‘artificial crowd and stadium noise’ to acclimatise their players to performing under those same conditions on game day. Major League Baseball clubs use it, NFL teams, NBA clubs and so on. I think even a few rugby league clubs in Australia have experimented with it recently. Something to consider.

https://broncoswire.usatoday.com/2020/08/29/denver-broncos-will-use-fake-crowd-noise-at-stadium-practice/

Edited by BaliDemon
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7 hours ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

Re set shot kicking, before every match some of us are in our position directly behind the goals for two hours before game time. We watch the warmups and on most occasions we see our players nail shot after shot, from every angle and from various distances, only to see the same players during the match miss what should be easy shots on goal. Clearly this speaks to the psychological aspect of lining up for goal. 

In a nutshell they are crapping their dacks. What happened during this finals series was all above the head in the important moments.

Seems like not alot of work went into this space on top of a drop off in fundamental skill based technique.

Does the club have a psychologist the players can approach during the season or have club tutorials every month to cover different aspects of a season that might pop up?

The winner of the Premiership every year tend to kick easy goals in predictable areas of the ground and everybody gets a lick of the Ice Cream that was not us at all.

I would be shocked and disappointed if this has been neglected and brushed off as a non issue.

This is a real problem now, 4 losing finals on our own patch, friggen unbelievable. 

Maxy take responsibility and get the players buying into this space.

 

Edited by YesitwasaWin4theAges
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1 minute ago, YesitwasaWin4theAges said:

In a nutshell they are crapping their dacks. What happened during this finals series was all above the head in the important moments.

Seems like not alot of work went into this space on top of a drop off in fundamental skill based technique.

Does the club have a psychologist the players can approach during the season or have club tutorials every month to cover different aspects of a season that might pop up?

 

The players have access to a psychologist 24/7 for personal issues. I don’t know about practical footy issues but you’d like to think the Club would have a sports psychologist for such. 

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14 minutes ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

The players have access to a psychologist 24/7 for personal issues. I don’t know about practical footy issues but you’d like to think the Club would have a sports psychologist for such. 

I should have made it clearer that i was referring to a Sports psychologist.

A psychologist for personal issues would be a given in today's climate and society.

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1 hour ago, Earl Hood said:

Just confirming did you see less emphasis on the goal kicking drills in the second half of the season, Kev?

The drills had a bit of evolution as the season progressed. 

Kicking is always a priority. 

Goal kicking, although less laissez-faire this season, seemed to fluctuate in style and type, definitely empathised.

Plenty of Goaling before leaving the field.

I didn't see the main training, more the recovery and review, training sessions.

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1 hour ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

The players have access to a psychologist 24/7 for personal issues. I don’t know about practical footy issues but you’d like to think the Club would have a sports psychologist for such. 

A psychologist can’t fix fundamental technical flaws and or a persons physical make up. No matter how good someone feels about themselves, certain situations will bring flaws to the front. They can only help maximise what you have. Max gawn will never be a great kick. He can improve but it’s not possible to make him a great kick because he isn’t built to be. Also, because someone missed a kick under pressure doesn’t mean they didn’t tick all the psychological boxes too. Sometimes your flaws just decide to show up because we all operate within a range. Fritsch, melksham, too etc have a tighter range than Oliver, Gawn, petracca etc. 

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2 hours ago, dee-tox said:

Little off topic but watched the girls play Saturday. One thing that struck me is their preparedness to share the ball in the forward 50. Was fantastic.

That was a hallmark of our team in 2021. We have lost that. Number of times guys like Gawn, Petracca, Pickett and Fritta all have a low percentage ping from around 50 was disturbing.

Share the ball and better goal kicking will result.

Well said 

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It drives me nuts seeing a player, well within range, not run in a straight line from the mark to the centre of the goal line. It's what we were taught from a young age, run straight at your target.

Running in an arc is only acceptable in two cases

1) Your name is Lance Franklin

2) You are kicking beyond your normal range so you need distance and ideally the ball as it travels will swing out but then back in. Incredibly hard to do for almost all players. However running in an arc is more accurate than a torpedo kick 

The reality is no matter how much coaching you can have not all players are good at set shots. Max is not good at this and never will be

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Young kid comes to the club, just wants to be an AFL player, plays on natural talent, expectations are non existent and kicks the goal.

5 years later

The 'kid' has had 5 different coaches, been instructed where to run and how to kick, there are negative posts on social media (DL), body is sore, expectations are extreme and the kid knows it, and kicks a.......

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On 9/19/2023 at 8:57 PM, BaliDemon said:

Part of it is definitely psychological. Not sure if it has ever been used in the AFL yet but elite sporting organisations in a range of sports in the U.S now use ‘artificial crowd and stadium noise’ to acclimatise their players to performing under those same conditions on game day. Major League Baseball clubs use it, NFL teams, NBA clubs and so on. I think even a few rugby league clubs in Australia have experimented with it recently. Something to consider.

https://broncoswire.usatoday.com/2020/08/29/denver-broncos-will-use-fake-crowd-noise-at-stadium-practice/

There was some press about us practising with the Collingwood chant back before King's Birthday, but nothing mentioned in the second half of the season.

Being in the crowd for both the Pies and Carlton semi finals, I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed by the sound in the Pies game in the third quarter so would be unsurprised by the players being spooked too.  Although as a professional club we should address that...

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13 hours ago, Demonsone said:

Perhaps the players poor skill execution of field kicking & shots on goals were impacted by our lack of fitness?  When you are fatigued your skill execution drops ofd.

What if they  kick 2 goals 5 in the first quarter ( with 2 out on the full)?

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1 hour ago, Jontee said:

Young kid comes to the club, just wants to be an AFL player, plays on natural talent, expectations are non existent and kicks the goal.

5 years later

The 'kid' has had 5 different coaches, been instructed where to run and how to kick, there are negative posts on social media (DL), body is sore, expectations are extreme and the kid knows it, and kicks a.......

Unless young kid is Jamie Elliot.  After Port game where he iced another match winner and asked how he did it.  “Walk 5, run 5 and kick”. 

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For some of them they couldn't kick well in the first place. They may have come in to the club and really got to work on honing their routine and aspects of the skill but this may have just papered over some cracks with their base level technique and then once the whips were cracking they reverted to the old habits. 

Then you look at all the work Mark Williams did with the guys over the off season. They were binning them from everywhere and Max was really focussed on his new routine and more straight line movement and trying to account for his right to left. He wasn’t perfect but his routine looked so much more assured. Fast forward to the halfway mark of the season onwards and he’s back to the running outwards and raking across it, ending up with shanks that don’t stand a chance like we saw on Friday. 

When we are drafting kids we need to focus a bit more on their base level of technique in kicking, both for goal and field kicking. It’s time to put some value back in to the most basic fundamental skill of the sport. 
 

Edited by layzie
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54 minutes ago, Watson11 said:

Unless young kid is Jamie Elliot.  After Port game where he iced another match winner and asked how he did it.  “Walk 5, run 5 and kick”. 

QI have thought for a while some of our guys run ups are too long and rigid. Too many steps. Adds to nerves and likeyhood of getting unbalanced. 

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It really is a simple as this.

if a player can kick the goal in training, then it means they have the biomechanical and technique means to do so in the game (taking out environmental factors such as wind and rain).

the only thing that changes in game day setting is ‘meaning’ and context about the person that of what does it mean if they fail to kick it. If it is evaluated as a threat, then the brain will ‘change’ the biomechanical and technique responses ‘on the fly’/during the action to have the athlete remain ‘safe’. 

In sports, understanding "meaning" and "context" is pivotal. Athletes excel during training, mastering their biomechanics and techniques for goal kicks. However, on game day, the dynamics shift. Increased pressure and the significance of the moment can alter an athlete's focus. Embracing their emotions rather than resisting them, athletes can stay present and committed to their values and goals, reducing external pressures. This approach enables them to maintain their skills, even when faced with an uncomfortable kick. 

Often, it is the uncomfortable kicking action in these moments,  that is the ‘correct’ kick.

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1 hour ago, Engorged Onion said:

It really is a simple as this.

if a player can kick the goal in training, then it means they have the biomechanical and technique means to do so in the game (taking out environmental factors such as wind and rain).

the only thing that changes in game day setting is ‘meaning’ and context about the person that of what does it mean if they fail to kick it. If it is evaluated as a threat, then the brain will ‘change’ the biomechanical and technique responses ‘on the fly’/during the action to have the athlete remain ‘safe’. 

In sports, understanding "meaning" and "context" is pivotal. Athletes excel during training, mastering their biomechanics and techniques for goal kicks. However, on game day, the dynamics shift. Increased pressure and the significance of the moment can alter an athlete's focus. Embracing their emotions rather than resisting them, athletes can stay present and committed to their values and goals, reducing external pressures. This approach enables them to maintain their skills, even when faced with an uncomfortable kick. 

Often, it is the uncomfortable kicking action in these moments,  that is the ‘correct’ kick.

EngorgedO, if that is your ‘simple’ explanation I shudder to think what your complex analysis might be 😆

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3 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

It really is a simple as this.

if a player can kick the goal in training, then it means they have the biomechanical and technique means to do so in the game (taking out environmental factors such as wind and rain).

the only thing that changes in game day setting is ‘meaning’ and context about the person that of what does it mean if they fail to kick it. If it is evaluated as a threat, then the brain will ‘change’ the biomechanical and technique responses ‘on the fly’/during the action to have the athlete remain ‘safe’. 

In sports, understanding "meaning" and "context" is pivotal. Athletes excel during training, mastering their biomechanics and techniques for goal kicks. However, on game day, the dynamics shift. Increased pressure and the significance of the moment can alter an athlete's focus. Embracing their emotions rather than resisting them, athletes can stay present and committed to their values and goals, reducing external pressures. This approach enables them to maintain their skills, even when faced with an uncomfortable kick. 

Often, it is the uncomfortable kicking action in these moments,  that is the ‘correct’ kick.

Is it really that simple? Greg Norman had a technique that nailed shot after shot on the driving range and in normal tournaments, but everyone knew it did not stand up well to pressure where everything moved a bit faster (ie back 9 on grand slams) where he became prone to pushing right and snap hooks. Maybe we can say it’s all psychological and he needed to learn to look inward and relax etc etc, but another way is to sort out your technique so it has more margin for error.  Better technique (and more practice) gives you more confidence and more ability to relax, and methods to relax reinforce confidence in your technique.

Max running at right angles, Tracc walking in to kick and leaning back, Kossie changing his routine every kick all have no margin for error and just tiny mistakes from the pressure produces inconsistent results.  

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@Watson11 sport isn’t a place to relax 

its a place to have stress and discomfort and still execute.

id never ask a client to relax. That’s not helpful and if you interpret any of my posts over the years that anyone needs to relax then you are misinterpreting me.

The problem Is the NEEd to feel relaxed/comfortable/whatever because as soon as you don’t have it - you chase short term comfort (change in technique) at the expense of what’s useful

if you’re relaxed, fan[censored]tastic. If you’re not - have the discomfort and execute anyway. 
 

Perfect consistent practice doesn’t exist it doesn’t replicate game day stressors, so yes, look inward, get to know your own stories as to why you tighten up and change your technique and then do some good work in that space. 
 

all your examples alude to what goes on, the brain shifts it’s attention from task to fix issues that don’t actually matter in the moment. From an outsiders perspective it looks like technique - ball drop, bent too far over, spinning ball - theyre all versions of something called experiential avoidance. The desire to avoid unwanted internal experiences - thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. 

that’s the space  the psychs and the athlete do their best work in.

have the discomfort and kick ‘as you would’ anyway - and then lo and behold - If you kick a goal - you feel good (confidence) and then it comes easier the next time… 

knowing that your brain won’t ever shut up about how much it hurts when you fail or [censored] up or let team mates down or just in case you may embarrass yourself in front of 4 million people watching on tv with this shot you take 25 metres out on a slight angle that any person should kick, but the context of the game means it’s reaaaaaaaaaallllly important -  that’s the pressure stuff right there.

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