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BLOG: The best tips for goal-kicking in rugby

Sam attempts a penalty for Bath at Kingsholm

Sam attempts a penalty for Bath at Kingsholm

Goal-kicking in rugby lends itself to all sorts of weird and wonderful routines, writes Sam Vesty.

England Jonny Wilkinson’s cupped hands captured the imagination of rugby players all over the world after he helped his team win the 2003 World Cup.

If it works for him, it must work for me, right? Well…not necessarily.

As a fly-half and goal-kicker during a decade at my home town club of Leicester Tigers, I didn’t add much to the technique side of goal-kicking I am afraid.

My style was more ‘put the ball down, walk backwards and then kick it’!

I found out that if I kept it simple, no other thoughts could clog my mind.

Personal preferences

When it comes down to it, goal-kicking really is all about personal preferences. My advice would be to find out what works for you and stick to it.

Whether that means you look like you are trying out some strange new dance craze or, like me, putting the ball down and kicking it, it’s your routine.

It’s a process and you have to go through the same process every time you kick the ball.

Whatever routine you end up with, there are some things that should remain constant.

Sam’s top tips for goal-kicking

  • Relax – a deep breath before you approach the ball is a good idea.
  • Easy tempo into the ball – don’t rush your approach or you can snatch your kick.
  • At the point of impact, be as big and tall as you possibly can be – it will help your balance and stop you falling over.
  • Have a positive connection with the ball – particularly dangerous with close-range kicks. Don’t just push it. Hit it.
  • Keep your body-weight going through the ball towards your target – this will help your kick to go where it is intended.
  • Listen for applause. Don’t look up for it – this will help you keep your eyes down.


Like this? Try this: Kicking – Body Weight Transfer

Like this? Try this: The box-kick

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