Rugby coaching drill for the goal kick

Goal kicking is an odd aspect of a rugby team game because 15 players can do everything in their power to score tries, but one player can win it by slotting his penalties.

The goal kicker should practise, practise, practise. The coach's role is to make sure he is practising perfectly.

The rugby coach needs to be the person who "stands" with the kicker – their rock to lean on if they are feeling wobbly. It's a mental game and he needs to feel he is not alone.

The session

What you tell your players the session is about:

Improving conversion and penalty kicking accuracy and distance.

What you tell your players to do:

Concentrate on striking the ball on the “sweet spot”.

Follow through with the kick to the target.

The "sweet spot"

The best place to strike the ball with the foot is about a third of the way up the ball on a seam. The shape of the ball fits the foot.

Your players need to experiment to find out what point feels most comfortable. They must keep their eyes focused on this point in their run up.

What you get your players to do:

Put a ball on tee or cone. Aim a seam towards the target. Place the non-kicking foot next to the ball and step a couple of paces backwards and to the side.

Look at the sweet spot, then the target. Breathe in and then out. Jog towards the ball, keeping your eyes on it. Plant the non-kicking foot in line with the ball. Keep the arm on the side of the non-kicking foot horizontal for balance. Kick through the ball towards the target.

Practice 1: Put a rucking bag or tackle pad one metre in front of the kicking tee. The kicker practises hitting kicks into the pad to improve rhythm.

Practice 2: The kicker stands on the try line, facing one post. They aim to hit it from various distances.

Developing the session

A game situation

The session can be developed by playing the “goal kick competition.” The first player puts the ball next to the kicking tee. He then runs around the posts and has 45 seconds to tee up, step back and kick the goal. Repeat for each player, recording the times and scores.

Development: For conversion type kicks, have a defending player try to charge down the kick. Have another player 10 metres away shouting at the kicker to put extra pressure on the kicker.

This article is from the Coaching Rugby manual, specially created for coaching core skills. Click here to find out more or to order a copy.

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