Bulletin 16
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?’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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