Basics you need to know about kicking a rugby ball
If you’re just starting to focus more on your kicking game, there are a few basics you need to know about before you start kicking a rugby ball that will help you get more out of your training.
Ball size and pressure
When choosing to buy a rugby ball, like most things you get what you pay for. If you’re going to spend time working on your kicking, it’s worth paying a little more for a decent ball. The key consideration is to make sure you get the right size ball relevant to your age, so if you’re supposed to be using a size 4 ball, use that to help avoid getting injured.
When it comes to ball pressure, it’s important that the ball isn’t too hard. In this video, Dave Alred explains how to make sure the ball pressure is correct before getting ready to kick.
Tip: Test the ball pressure - you should be able to push the end of the ball in and there should be a feel of bounce.
Ball placement on the tee and where to aim
We’ve been asked a few times about ball placement and whether it’s better to stand the ball upright or tilted on the tee. We prefer to have the ball a little more upright so you can strike the sweeter part of the ball higher up. In terms of aim, we'd recommend starting with the seam and valve facing your target. If you're right footed, then just inside the seam on the back half way between the midline and the bottom of the ball. Hitting slightly higher will allow you to make contact with a sweeter par of the ball.
Holding the ball
If you're kicking with your right foot, place your right hand on the bottom third of the ball on the right-hand side of it. This will enable you to hold the part of the ball next to the impact position. If you're kicking with your left foot, place your left hand on the bottom third of the ball on the left-hand side. Use the other hand on the middle of the ball, to guide it to your foot.
Connecting with the ball
When kicking the ball, don’t sacrifice technique for power. Try to stay really fluid and balanced throughout your kick. You should be aiming to make contact around 2 inches up from the knuckle of your big toe, this will be the best for power and control.
In the above video, Dave Alred also shares his advice on choosing the best footwear.
Tip: When it comes to choosing boots, try to get a pair that has some grip on top to better grip the ball, allowing it to spin a lot easier.