Sports Science: Clint Youlden reckons he can have you kicking longer in an instant

The Cannonball – “Instantly ad metres to your kick”

by Clint Youlden

If you are a right-hander (and presumably a right foot kick) and I asked you which leg is your strongest leg, most of you would answer “my right leg `cause I kick with it”, you would however, be incorrect.

Most people believe that the power generated from a football kick comes from the leg that actually kicks the ball, but in actual fact, if you are a right-footer, your left leg is the stronger leg! Think about it this way, when you go up for a one-foot jump, which foot, do you jump off? Nearly all of you will answer your left. This is because it is a natural coordination pattern when you reach up with your right hand and because your left is the strongest leg- and the only reason you actually do kick with your right foot. Here’s why:

All the power generated for a football kick must be developed from the ground first. Without the proper ground support to push through, your kicking motion will collapse. This will result in your plant (ground) leg transferring hardly any force to the football, and producing a significantly shorter kick than you are capable of. The reason why you use your strong leg for this motion is because it doesn’t collapse as much as your weak leg does as you attempt to kick the ball. I understand it is hard to explain this without the use of a video or pictures, but try and take note of how extended your ground leg is when you kick on either foot. You will notice that your left leg is straighter and can hold you up easier than if you are attempting to do the same thing with your other foot. This also highlights the main distance differences between your left and right foot kicks and this is determined by how bent your grounded leg is at the moment of impact with the football.

So how to improve it. Well instead of concentrating on generating the power from the leg you kick with, concentrate on stomping your opposite foot into the ground, pushing hard and extending it as you kick with your right leg. You will find that you get higher up on your toes after you follow through with the kick and will produce significantly greater distances right away. Your accuracy will suffer initially because you have kicked a certain way for a long time, but over time, it will become automatic and you will have a stronger, longer and more penetrating kick.

Concentrating on your plant leg is also the best way to improve your opposite foot kicking. In nearly all players, the collapse of the right leg is the main reason why their left-foot kick is significantly shorter than their right. Go out and practice this for 15 minutes, concentrating hard on keeping that plant leg strong and extended, and you will blow yourself away with how fast you will improve.

As a final thought, I would also like to ask the question, is something as simple as this being explained to the current AFL players during kicking practice, and if not, why not? Or is it as simple as the people responsible just don’t know about the biomechanics of kicking or know how to teach it? It would be unwise to assume that just because the AFL is the pinnacle of the playing level that they automatically have people who understand the finer points of skill acquisition.

Clint Youlden is a High Performance Sports Scientist who specializes in the biomechanics/coaching and training of speed and is also the inventor (and patent holder) of a training method that simultaneously increases all aspects of athletic performance. He deals with skill acquisition, training, nutrition, supplementation, and recovery of athletes. You can contact him on 0402 498 798 or at cannonballspeedunit@hotmail.com

About Clint Youlden

Clint Youlden is a High Performance Sports Scientist that specializes in the biomechanics/coaching and training of speed and is also the inventor (and patent holder) of a training method that simultaneously increases all aspects of athletic performance. He deals with skill acquisition, training, nutrition, supplementation, and recovery of athletes. You can contact him on 0402 498 798 or at cannonballspeedunit@hotmail.com

Comments

  1. Does it come in a nasal delivery pack?

  2. The Cannonball says:

    Dips, My tips for kicking the football don’t actually come with a nasal delivery system, although you might see end results (kicks) as being longer and harder!

  3. Cannonball – sorry about that, my humour is appalling.

  4. The Cannonball says:

    Dips, your humour is fine! Keep the jokes coming… My next tip comes in a football shaped blue pill and makes you ‘harder’ at the ball!

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