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Kicking skills



Place kick

The place kick is used when teams have the opportunity to kick for points at goal.

There are two scenarios when they can do this - for penalties (three points) and conversions (two points).

A good place kicker can be the difference between winning and losing a match.

Often, if no tries have been scored, the place kicker can be the only person putting points on the board.

So if you are the team kicker, it is important you make the big kicks when they matter, especially in pressure situations.

STEP ONE

Place kick

Use a kicking tee or sand to build a mound for the ball, or dig a divot in the ground with your heel and place the ball, tilting the ball so it is aiming straight towards the intended direction.

Lean the ball forwards slightly to expose the "sweet spot".

This is the area of the ball where you will get the best distance - about a third of the way up the ball.

STEP TWO

Place kick

Before pacing out your run-up, stand over the ball in the kicking position to make sure it is in the right place to strike.

Measure out a run up and concentrate on the sweet spot.

The length of the run up is entirely down to you, just as long as you feel comfortable.

Relax and focus on the job at hand - think positively - think of the ball going straight through the posts.

Wilkinson practises by aiming not just at the stands - but a particular seat in the stands!

STEP THREE

Place kick

Run up to the ball in an arc with your body turned 45 degrees.

Turn your non-kicking shoulder side on to the target.

Place your supporting foot as near to the ball as possible for stability.

Keep your body weight forward and over the ball.

STEP FOUR

Place kick

Swing through the strike zone, making contact with the instep of your foot.

Make sure you follow through with your toes pointing in the direction of the ball, bringing your leg up high.



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