Updated: Nov 23
As any AFL footballer knows, having excellent kicking skills is essential for success on the field. But what happens when you want to improve your kicking but have no one to kick with?
This is where solo practice comes in.
Practicing kicking on your own can be just as effective as working with a coach or training partner, especially when combined with online coaching resources like those provided by me!
In this post, I'll provide some effective kicking drills that you can do on your own to improve your AFL kicking technique.
If you're anything like me you love kicking the footy whenever you can, even when you're by yourself.
As a kid I grew up on a farm and my older brother was away at boarding school, so I had to get very creative with my kicking drills. Some things I used to do was kick the footy onto the slanted roof of our house. It would then roll back down so I could kick it again while also practicing my overhead marking. I turned my trampoline on its side and would kick low flat kicks into that, it would rebound back so I could also work on my ground balls.
These are things that helped me get an edge on my opponent. I wasn't the most talented player, but doing extra drills like this on my own definitely helped take my game to a higher level to ultimately get selected by the GWS Giants.
Benefits of Solo Practice
Before we get into the specific drills, let's first discuss the benefits of practicing on your own.
Solo practice allows you to develop self-reliance, build consistency, and improve your focus and concentration. It's also a great way to get more reps in and hone your skills when you can't practice with a mate, coach or with your team.
Simple AFL Kicking Drills for the Basic Drop Punt
Let's start with some basic kicking drills suitable for all skill levels that focus on the drop punt.
Obviously, the drop punt the most common kicks in AFL, so it's important to master this technique.
Try these drills to improve your drop punt:
Solo Kicks: This will help you to get a feel for the proper connection on your foot.
Ball Grip to Guide: This is a great drill to speed up getting the ball into position to kick
Post Drill: This will hone in the straightness of your kicking
See below how I improved this players kicking with simple drills that he could do on his own.
AFL Kicking Drills for On the Run Kicking, Kicking for Distance, and Opposite Foot Kicking
Once you've mastered the basic drop punt drills, it's time to move on to some intermediate level kicking drills for 'on the run' kicking, kicking for distance, and using your opposite foot.
Try these drills to improve your intermediate level kicking skills:
Follow-up Kick: This drill can be done on your own, by simply chasing after the ball you just kicked. Using at least 2 balls would be ideal, but 1 works too.
Stability Leg Swings: This will improve your core strength at contact so you don't collapse through the kick and lose power.
Kicking into a Net: This will allow you to get a lot of reps in focusing on the process to develop stronger coordination on your opposite side. You could use a soccer net.
Advanced AFL Kicking Exercises for Greater Power & Penetration
If you're an experienced player looking to take your kicking to the next level, try these advanced resistance exercises that will add more power and penetration to your kicks:
Plate Snatch Hip Locks: These will develop the stability in your glutes and abs as well as the power in your hips and quads.
BB Rack Pulls: This will develop the strength and power in your legs without putting too much strain through your back
Split Position Vertical Jumps: These will develop the single leg power in your lower body
The great thing about these exercises is that they will also improve your strength and power to jump higher, sprint faster and be stronger in contests.
Take Your Kicking To A Higher Level
Now that you have seen that there are multiple ways to improve your kicking on your own, no matter where you live; there are no excuses.
And if you want to be guided by an expert kicking coach to gain more confidence in your kicking and become a more damaging player, then download my comprehensive AFL Kicking Guide.
It has tips, drills, and insights that I have discovered through my experience in the AFL, as an American Football Punter, Sports Scientist and expert Kicking Coach.
Click the link below to learn more and see why people all over the world are taking their kicking to a higher level with this amazing product.
The Kicking Consultant aka Josh Growden is a High Performance Manager & expert kicking coach, making elite-level coaching accessible and affordable to all - not just the professionals. He holds a Masters degree in High Performance Sport from the University of Technology Sydney, a Bachelors degree in Sports Science from Louisiana State University, and is an ASCA accredited Strength & Conditioning coach.