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Auskick in the heartland - an Aussie volunteer's perspective

  • Friday, August 10 2007 @ 12:05 am ACST
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G'day. Just thought I would make my first post / story. I know I am not overseas, so this is from Australia. I'd like to chat about my local Auskick clinic in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne.

We had a local Auskick coaching clinic last Saturday the 4th of August. About 200 kids turned up and 5 different Auskick clubs; my club is Sorrento, we set up in different position's on the ground and each club takes the kids through a different skill drill about Australian Football. Our club took the kids through handball and goal kicking. All the kids were split up into different age groups from 5 to 6 yo to 11 to 12 yo, they all got to have a go at each drill from playing a game, to running and bouncing to bending down and rolling the ball, exercises, plays and tactics, goal shooting etc.

We started off with groups of 15 to 20, split them into two and off we went. I have a couple of training tools that I use and one of these is a footy on a string, where I attach a wrist band that has an elastic rope attached to the footy. I line the kids up in single file and stand about 8 to 10 feet away (3 metres) and I explain to the kids that I want them to try and catch the ball with a one grab mark or a chest mark, just keep your eyes on the ball and your hands will do the rest, hand eye co-ordination is a great thing. They love it and it is a great deal of fun as well as learning how to one grab the footy.

First off we explain how to clench your fist for a handball (there is a right and a wrong way) and how to hold the ball, then we hand pass the ball towards them and they try to mark it, of course I have control of the ball and make it go to them or pull back a little so they just miss it, they get one shot and run back to the end of line - we can get them to do this about 20 times each in 10 mins.

It is amazing to see the different skills the boys and girls have and they all get to grab the ball in one hit. As we move through the drill we try overhead shots and left and right shots and bounce passes.

After that we have a go at target handball where they get to handpass through a hole, a tried and proven favourite. There are many drills you can perform with hand passing and handpassing is a pretty important aspect of Australian Football.

I find that to get the 5 to 6 to 7 yo to practise there handpassing skill's is a great way for them to learn how to control the football.

Other handpassing drills you can perform are, get the kids in a line and where they can handpass to each other get them to receive the handpass from the coach and then get them to hand pass through the target, and so on and so on. It does not matter where you come from if you start off handling an Australian Football from a young age then the ability to handle the footy will come automatically.

Always make sure the kids have a footy in their hands as much as possible.

I hope this little post was interesting for some.