At the School of Kicking our aim is for you to become the best kicker you can be, no matter your age or ability. That’s why we regularly share the questions we’ve received and our answers so you can all benefit.
In this article, we mainly look at rugby kicking sessions including how many kicks per session, should your kicking session be before or after training and whether to have separate sessions for tee kicking and kicking out of hand. We also discuss high and low tees, and how to get more distance on your kicks.
Rugby Kicking Sessions
How many kicks per session do you advise?
We’d suggest kicking sessions are little and often 20 – 40 minutes long and as often as you can through the week. In that time, you can comfortably get through 50 – 80 kicks per session. Try and plan your session and stick to it so you’re accountable for all the kicks you make.
Pairing a kicking session with training, should you do it before or after ideally?
We’d recommend kicking before your session. However, if you’re going to kick after, only have a few shots. Quite often after a training session you’ll be slightly fatigued and find it harder to concentrate, so it’s the most likely time you’ll get frustrated and pick up bad habits.
Separate sessions for tee kicking and kicking out of hand, or all in one?
We’d suggest you vary your sessions; some would be purely punting / goal kicking etc, but don’t be afraid of doing a range of kicks within your session and creating those first shot opportunities. During a game you’d use a range of different kicks and every kick is likely to be different.
A typical goal kicking session plan example
Repair: Drop shunt
- 5 repetitions right foot and 5 repetitions left foot x 2 sets
- 5 shunts off a tee x 2 sets
- 5 repetitions kicks down a 5m channel (no posts) x 2 sets
- 5 repetitions kicking at posts from a narrow angle x 2 sets
- 5 shots under as close to match pressure as you can
- 5 Shunts off a tee
Total kicks: 60
The rubber prongs on my low Gilbert tee fell off, is the pure plastic one good as well?
The plastic ones can be a little hard, especially if you’re catching them when you kick, would suggest sticking with the rubber or softer prongs.
Any tips for transitioning from a high tee to a low tee?
We recommend kicking off a low tee. So if you’re transitioning that’s great. Just tee it up and have a go! Focus on good posture and getting weight to your target so following a long.
When to pick a target to aim for? Like when setting the ball up on the tee or after your prep…
Take aim at your target from the start of where your run begins, not from behind the ball. If you aim at a target from behind the ball then move out to the left (right footer), your original target then moves to just inside the left post, depending on how far out you are.
Getting more distance
How do I get more distance with my kicks?
Kick with your bodyweight not just your leg. Stay tall on impact and create a long leaver (which generates more power). Get your bodyweight moving forwards towards your target after the strike. Think of the J-shape.
How do kickers like Elliot Daly get so much distance on a kick without any follow through?
Daly has awesome timing! You’ll also find that although his follow through is not exaggerated, he does get his weight to shift forward through the ball.
Is a big follow through necessary?
Kicking with your bodyweight not just your leg is proven to generate more power as mentioned above. A follow through shouldn’t necessarily mean a big high leg swing but your foot and weight should travel in the direction you want the ball to go.
Lastly, spiral kicks, restarts and grubber kicks…
Why do you think the spiral kick is used less in the modern game?
Modern balls now fly a long way even with a drop punt (end over end) but we also believe, because it’s a harder kick to master, people don’t want to put the time into learning how to do it. We fell it’s an awesome kick to have in your armoury and it needs to make a come back!
Any tips on drop kicking off restarts?
The ball drop is the most important element. Make sure it lands on its end, not leaning in any direction. Make sure your posture is big over the ball and you stay tall. If you hunch, you won’t generate the same power.
How can I get grubber kicks to bounce higher over a short distance?
It’s very hard to completely control a grubbed kick. Work on keeping the ball in line with your kicking foot, point the nose of the ball slightly down and in the direction you want the ball to go as you drop dive through the back of the ball and follow along. That will help generate more power and hopefully a little more height when it pops up.