The Punt Kick – A Snapshot of Nick Riewoldt
Welcome to the first Bulletin Board for 2011 season. Significantly,
the talk concerning kicking technique has already begun as it
has in all seasons going back to the year ‘dot’. One would suspect
this is because players are still using anecdotal information
gleaned from other players, coaches, or simply making an attempt
to analyse their own techniques without an empirical scientific
base. Having written the most researched and up‐to‐date book
yet on scientific principles, the authors are yet to receive
one request for technical assistance or collaboration. The organization
that should be producing this material with all the resources
at their disposal is the AFL, yet no significant document on
advanced kicking technique has been published. They remain strangely
quiet on this front. What are we to think?
So, what better way to open the new season than with the accompanying
photograph of Nick Riewoldt’s dynamic kicking action. While it
is a snapshot and represents only one phase of the skill it is
a photograph which should be on every fridge door, bedroom ‘cool’
board, and change room locker door around the country so that
it becomes tattooed on the brain of every aspiring player!
1. Look at the long final stride ‐ (with rolling heel strike)
to prime the muscles of the kicking leg.
2. The comfortable backward lean ‐ to activate the abdominal
muscles in preparation for impact and followthrough.
3. The classic ‘V’ position of the kicking leg ‐ which will maintain
rectus femoris in its primed ,position permitting it to deliver
an explosive impact.
4. The impeccable ball set and drop ‐ the slight backward angle
on the ball which will have it nestle comfortably into the foot
‘instep’ for maximum power and accuracy.
5. The left balancing arm ‐ held out to the side.
*Only here could we suggest improvement with a more dynamic stretch
position of the left arm above and behind the shoulder, little
finger pointing to the sky. This will tension the left side of
the body and act as a counter balance to the rear stretch of
the kicking leg.
Technical details on the 5 points listed above will be found
in ‘The Science of Kicking’, available through this website,
and at all good book shops including Melbourne Sports Books,
80 Flinders St., Melbourne.
In next month’s bulletin board we will analyse Nick Riewoldt’s
new ‘style’ which involves keeping his head down in an exaggerated
position as he drives through the ball. Some comment has been
made that if you keep the head down the rest of the kick will
look after itself. Such an over‐simplification denies the importance
of the key kicking elements that are the foundation to a successful
kick and instead, the focus changes to an exaggerated and questionable
head position. Are we putting the ‘cart before the horse?’