Australian Football - Basic Skills
Posted on 16/01/2020

Skill adaptations are task specific, and in order to improve these they require practice. With a dedicated private coach we can enhance the level of learning and skill aquisition that we get from practice sessions. A private coach challenges the athlete to develop to new heights, giving guidance, direction and feedback along the way. Our coaches have all been trained to an AFL - accredited standard, bringing epertise and experience accross a range of skills. 

Gary Ablett Jnr (Geelong Cats) is a great example of someone who does the basics VERY well. He is one of the greatest ever footballers, yet he doesn't possess Lance Franklin's kick, Nat Fyfe's leap or any other special trait. One of the things that makes Ablett so great is his ability to consitently execute basic skills under all types of pressure. He rarely misses a kick or handpass and is always clean below his knees, tackles well and attacks the ball with intent. 

We've put together some focus areas for footballers wanting to develop a well rounded game (like Ablett). As well as some tips to get you started on your journey to greatness!


Ball Handling

Having good touch on the ball is highly desirebale for players of all positions. The ability to manipulate the ball to a desired angle and control the ball through space is important and very easy to practice. The easiest way to improve your tocuh is to get the footy in your hands as much as possible. Rumour has it, Cyril Rioli was never seen without a football - at school, in the backyard... everywhere he went! Whether you bounce the footy, handpass to yourself, kick to yourself, spin the ball on your palm, grip the ball, tuck it under your arm, everything you do with the ball, improves your awareness and control over it. Soon the footy will become an extension of you!



For key position players, marking ability is a non-negotiable. For midfielders and smaller players, strength overhead can be the weapon that sets your apart from your peers - think Nat Fyfe or Jeremy Howe. The ability to judge the flight of the ball comes naturally to some and not to others, either way it can ALWAYS be improved. One helpful trick for judging the flight of the ball as it descends is to try and locate a spot on the ball that you can fix your eyes on (it could be the word Sherrin, the laces, or a logo on the ball). This narrows your focus and increases the amount of sensory information that your brain can process, leaving you better prepared to launch at the ball).



Kicking goes far beyond the typical dominant leg drop punt. To develop strong kicking ability, a footballer should look to develop all types of kicks (snap, checkside, banana, torpdeo etc.), the more variety, the better the learning experience will be - i.e. practicing bananas will help your overall ball control and in turn, your drop punt kicking. The ability to kick on both left and right foot is also a valued skill when it comes to high level football. Under defensive pressure, the ability to choose the best foot to kick with opens up a much wider range of disposal options, in contrast to the limitations associated with single leg reliance. Think Sam Mitchell or Scott Pendlebury! For every kick you do on your favoured fleg, try to match it with two kicks on your non-dominant foot!



The second disposal skill after kicking, accurate handpassing is crucial for all players, midfielders especially. Similarly to kicking, it is important to not become one-dimensional with your handpassing. Once you have mastrered the classic rocket handpass (spinning backwards), try to master spinning the ball sideways (like a banana kick) off both hands. This technique opens up 360 degrees of disposal options, with greater control over the flight of the ball through controllied side spinners (it is better to control the spin differently than to not control the spin at all).



If you’re in need of a professional Australian football coach to help you train the basics, then register as a footballer at One on One Football today. Our dedicated football coaches can provide a tailored program to help their players take their game to the next level. Visit now.

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