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  1. #1
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    A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    This article is from the April 12 issue of The Age Digital Edition.


    The Western Bulldogs have a goal to nail their problem. Or put differently, they have a goal problem they can’t nail.

    The Bulldogs sit only ahead of the winless Port Adelaide for goal accuracy. They have converted just 40 per cent of their shots at goal this year. For comparison, the Swans, the top-ranked team after four rounds, have kicked goals from 60 per cent of shots.

    One of the issues for the Dogs is that two of their gun midfielders have yet to make a mark on the scoreboard. Bailey Smith has had seven shots at goal for no goals. Josh Dunkley has had six shots, also for no return.

    The loss to Richmond was a low point. They booted 7.15 from 29 shots (including those that went out of bounds) for an accuracy rate of just 24.1 per cent.

    ‘‘ Frustrating is probably the obvious word. The last few weeks we’ve kicked way too many points,’’ coach Luke Beveridge said after the game.

    The counter-point to the Dogs was West Coast on Saturday. They booted 14.3 to beat Collingwood who had seven more scoring shots. Again. That is efficient football.

    Historically, Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling are two of the most accurate shots at goal in the AFL. On Saturday, Kennedy only had five kicks, but he kicked three goals. Between Kennedy (three) Willie Rioli (three) and two each for Liam Ryan and Jack Darling, the Eagles’ forwards kicked 10 goals and none of them missed a shot.

    Long-term AFL assistant coach David Wheadon has just released a book called The Art of Goal Kicking.

    In it he makes several critical points about individual and team goal-kicking accuracy. The first is obvious – that teams are more accurate kicking from the corridor. Set shots, despite being comparatively more difficult , mentally, are more accurate than shots in open play.

    The second point is players are significantly more accurate using a snap set shot, kicking the ball across the body at 90 degrees even when right in front of goal, than they are using a drop punt.

    Wheadon says the standard line of inquiry when a team kicks poorly is to ask how much time players are working on goal-kicking at training. ‘‘ For some players you might just be putting repetition into inaccuracy – go out and practice my slice,’’ Wheadon said.

    So, the aim must be to make sure the technique is effective. Kick the ball higher and with more rotations to get a more accurate kick.

    Some players routinely kick unerringly in practice. But there are not 50,000 people in the stands at practice sweating on the kick.

    The player at training is also not shouldering the cumulative pressure of his teammates’ missed shots with the opposition seemingly kicking them at will.

    So goal-kicking is about routine that works, visualisation, relaxation and momentum.

    ‘‘ Picture in your mind what you are aiming at – small target, small miss,’’ Wheadon said. ‘‘ Josh Kennedy picks the corner of a letter on the stadium and kicks to that point. Not even a letter, the corner of a letter. The smallest possible target you can get.

    ‘‘ The most common mistake in set-shot goal kicking technically is to run off-line . Some players will run off-line from 30 metres out so, it’s not about trying to get distance. Watch the great ones, Kennedy, Darling, Ben Brown, Luke Breust: they all run straight.

    ‘‘ If you run straight, drop the ball straight, and swing your leg straight, it’s more likely to go straight. If you run off-line and swing your leg across your body, it’s more likely to go off-line .

    ‘‘ Four things can happen: you hit the outside of the ball and hook it, you swing your leg across the inside of your body and you slice it, you kick it where you want and it goes dead straight, or you hit it well and it goes the way you are running – and you miss. Then it’s about momentum transfer.

    ‘‘ Why do lawn bowlers crouch down and walk straight after a bowl? It’s body weight transfer and momentum.

    ‘‘ Jimmy Bartel was fantastic. Peter McKenna used to keep running at the man on the mark after he kicked it. They are body kickers rather than leg kickers, who slow up and rotate the leg quickly to get power.

    ‘‘ Tommy Hawkins jumps, and it’s very hard to jump sideways when you are kicking, so he jumps in a straight line.’’

    Momentum is true not just of the kick but the impact it has on the team. Nothing lifts momentum more than kicking the goal. Nothing deflates it more than missing and the opposition scoring.


    Copyright © 2022 The Age
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  3. #2
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Doesn’t the stated fact that players snapping direct shots across their body are more accurate than traditional drop punts, render the rest of the article false?
    The Angels have the phone box. Don't blink!

  4. #3
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by Before I Die View Post
    Doesn’t the stated fact that players snapping direct shots across their body are more accurate than traditional drop punts, render the rest of the article false?
    EXACTLY my question - I had to re-read it several times to be sure.

    Basically the article - which is nevertheless interesting - says "there are two ways to kick a goal. One has significantly higher accuracy. Now here's a lot of content about the second one."

    Assuming the Age journo hasn't made an error (not unlikely), the takeaway should be that the AFL establishment is conservative and hidebound and prefers sizzle to steak.

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  6. #4
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by Before I Die View Post
    Doesn’t the stated fact that players snapping direct shots across their body are more accurate than traditional drop punts, render the rest of the article false?
    Give it a rest.
    Two different skills.
    The point of the article is that fairies in the brain stuff up set shot routines, with snaps less so.
    Set shot routines work if practised and understood:
    "“The most common mistake in set-shot goal kicking technically is to run off-line. Some players will run off-line from 30 metres out so, it’s not about trying to get distance. Watch the great ones, Kennedy, Darling, Ben Brown, Luke Breust: they all run straight.

    “If you run straight, drop the ball straight, and swing your leg straight, it’s more likely to go straight. If you run off-line and swing your leg across your body, it’s more likely to go off-line.
    Then it’s about momentum transfer. Why do lawn bowlers crouch down and walk straight after a bowl? It’s body weight transfer and momentum, said Wheadon.

    “Jimmy Bartel was fantastic. Peter McKenna used to keep running at the man on the mark after he kicked it,“he said. “They are body kickers rather than leg kickers, who slow up and rotate the leg quickly to get power.

    “Tommy Hawkins jumps, and it’s very hard to jump sideways when you are kicking, so he jumps in a straight line.”

    Momentum is true not just of the kick but the impact it has on the team. Nothing lifts momentum more than kicking the goal. Noting deflates it more than missing and the opposition scoring."

    This works, has always worked best since I learnt this in the 1960s.
    I learnt it from Ted Whitten.
    Goal kicking has strong parallels with the goal swing: you can have some success with idiosyncratic swings but the classic taught swing stands supreme as the best. Don't fark with it!

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  8. #5
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by Before I Die View Post
    Doesn’t the stated fact that players snapping direct shots across their body are more accurate than traditional drop punts, render the rest of the article false?
    Give it a rest.
    Two different skills.
    The point of the article is that fairies in the brain stuff up set shot routines, with snaps less so.
    Set shot routines work if practised and understood:
    "“The most common mistake in set-shot goal kicking technically is to run off-line. Some players will run off-line from 30 metres out so, it’s not about trying to get distance. Watch the great ones, Kennedy, Darling, Ben Brown, Luke Breust: they all run straight.

    “If you run straight, drop the ball straight, and swing your leg straight, it’s more likely to go straight. If you run off-line and swing your leg across your body, it’s more likely to go off-line.
    Then it’s about momentum transfer. Why do lawn bowlers crouch down and walk straight after a bowl? It’s body weight transfer and momentum, said Wheadon.

    “Jimmy Bartel was fantastic. Peter McKenna used to keep running at the man on the mark after he kicked it,“he said. “They are body kickers rather than leg kickers, who slow up and rotate the leg quickly to get power.

    “Tommy Hawkins jumps, and it’s very hard to jump sideways when you are kicking, so he jumps in a straight line.”

    Momentum is true not just of the kick but the impact it has on the team. Nothing lifts momentum more than kicking the goal. Noting deflates it more than missing and the opposition scoring."
    This works, has always worked best since I learnt this in the 1960s.
    I learnt it from Ted Whitten.
    Goal kicking has strong parallels with the goal swing: you can have some success with idiosyncratic swings but the classic taught swing stands supreme as the best. Don't fark with it!

  9. #6
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    My post was serious, if around the corner is more successful, then that is the way forward. If the article is about kicking goals successfully then it has to also talk about the mechanics, or psychology, if that is the secret, of snapping goals from set shots. I’m old school, but the article makes a nonsense of itself. I suspect this is the fault of the journalist rather than Wheadon.

    Kicking around the corner has solved Harry Mackay’s kicking issues.
    The Angels have the phone box. Don't blink!

  10. #7
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    B4ID
    Around the corner is more accurate in general play not from a set shot.
    It is not the motion that works but the lack of deliberation which allows fear to come in.
    Tennis apart from the serve is less deliberate, more reactionary, like a footy snap.
    Footy set shots being deliberate are more like golf shot: difficult because of deliberation, yet very teachable and very learnable.

  11. #8
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by Before I Die View Post
    My post was serious, if around the corner is more successful, then that is the way forward.
    It's worth just for the way it sends the pearl clutching traditionalists into conniptions.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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  13. #9
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Pearl clutching traditionalist you say.
    ay.
    Off hand facetious comment.

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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    It's worth just for the way it sends the pearl clutching traditionalists into conniptions.
    Pearl clutching traditionalist you say.
    ay.
    Off hand facetious comment.

  15. #11
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    It's worth just for the way it sends the pearl clutching traditionalists into conniptions.
    Who's touching my pearls?
    Retired from match day thread - Sep 2021

  16. #12
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by BornInDroopSt'54 View Post
    Pearl clutching traditionalist you say.
    ay.
    Off hand facetious comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by BornInDroopSt'54 View Post
    Pearl clutching traditionalist you say.
    ay.
    Off hand facetious comment.
    Oh sorry BIDS that wasn't aimed at you - I'm enjoying reading an actual discussion around it - I was referring to the commentary team and how it always rustles someone's jimmies.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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  18. #13
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Oh sorry BIDS that wasn't aimed at you - I'm enjoying reading an actual discussion around it - I was referring to the commentary team and how it always rustles someone's jimmies.
    The fact it's more accurate is an indictment on the current skill level and over stretch of the talent pool created by the 18 sides.
    Do they count all the shots where idiots hit the middle of the ball and it goes the opposite way and stays in play?

    I hate it personally.

    Also:

    Retired from match day thread - Sep 2021

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  20. #14
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Quote Originally Posted by BornInDroopSt'54 View Post
    B4ID
    Around the corner is more accurate in general play not from a set shot.
    It is not the motion that works but the lack of deliberation which allows fear to come in.
    Tennis apart from the serve is less deliberate, more reactionary, like a footy snap.
    Footy set shots being deliberate are more like golf shot: difficult because of deliberation, yet very teachable and very learnable.
    Hi BID54, as stated earlier I am a traditionalist and struggle with the concepts of set shots being taken as snaps around the body. However the article clearly states that ‘set shot snaps are significantly more successful than traditional set shots’, (not a precise quote). The article then makes no further reference to this. I’d love to see the actual data. If it is true, and I’m a bit sceptical, then it should be pursued. Harry Mackay was a crap kick at goal until he changed to using the snap. This really could be the answer for players like Naighton and Vandemeer. I think Dunkley is beyond hope whatever technique he tried.
    The Angels have the phone box. Don't blink!

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  22. #15
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    Re: A take on our GoalKicking (sorry I mean point kicking)

    Well, according to Caleb's presser we did 5min here and there extra goal kicking practice this week. So, you know... at least we're prioritising it.

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