Bulletin 21
The Punt Kick – Delivering the “Oomph”!

Hi Coaches

Why is Buddy Franklin’s kicking style so effective you might ask when other players appear to choke at the crucial moment perhaps only 30 metres out from goal?

Part of the answer lies in the accompanying photograph which demonstrates all too clearly the way an elite player delivers that final ‘Oomph’ to the ball. While not possessing a significant muscle bulk Buddy seems to bring to bear a particular summation of forces an instant before impact. That summation is delivered by using his body mass in the most effective way, thereby the principle of  ‘effective mass’ (see ‘The Science of Kicking’, p 52).

We have all known players who appear to kick a ball with great rhythm and timing and yet the ball does not seem to travel as far as it should. In the same way, we have been witness to players of small stature who kick the ball ‘a country mile’. All of these players may demonstrate high leg speed just before impact, but just before or during the impact phase, something seems to go awry.


The ‘effective mass’ principle emphasizes bracing the lower leg and ankle of the kicking leg just prior to impact, ensuring that the foot overcomes, and dominates the ball. Tennis players use a similar strategy, grunting audibly just prior to ball contact. It serves to remind them to brace the arm and shoulder just before impact with the ball. Elite rugby union footballers such as Israel Dagg of the New Zealand ‘All Blacks’, when performing a ‘full-blooded’ kick for distance, clenches his hands and forearms just before impact. This is an attempt to pass the tension message to the lower leg and ankle, and to ensure it is not forgotten. 


One notes the setting of the jaw confirmed in the photograph by the powerfully contracting PLATYSMA visible at the side of the neck. Note also the tension in the extension compartment of his forearm with fingers splayed and the hunched posture under the influence of his powerful abdominals; the set of his quadriceps in the right thigh. It is a tension which is positive to the kick and not as it may appear, debilitating.


The ball set and drop is perfection, and the ‘V’ of the kicking leg has just been released as the knee of the kicking leg reaches then passes the support leg in a flowing motion which is only then capped with an instantaneous summation of all core muscles an instant before impact. His ‘effective mass’ has been accessed then delivered without affecting the fluidity of preceding segments. Enjoy the ‘off’ season, concentrate on your core musculature and be in prime condition for 2012.


 

 

Happy Kicking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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