Something that’s always amazed me is how poor players can be kicking any sort of ball, let alone a rugby ball. I suppose I often think that they practise this enough before training. Here’s a session containing some simple tips on striking the “sweet spot” of the ball to get your players punting the ball accurately.
1. Organise players into groups of four with a ball. Tell them to kick the ball to each other, making sure they use the correct part of the foot (bony) and strike the ball in the “sweet spot”.
2. When players are confident in their kicking, mark out an area about 40m x 30m. Split each group of four into two pairs and position the pairs so that they’re facing each other across the area.
3. Use cones to mark out a 5m circular target zone about 5m in front of each pair. Players take it in turns to kick across the area into the target zone – get them challenging each other to see who can be most consistent in terms of distance kicked and accuracy.
4. If your players are consistent and accurate with their kicking, the next stage is kicking for a wide player who runs and tries to catch the ball. Have a player kicking towards a target zone and another player running from distance to reach the target zone and catch the ball. Again, you are looking for accuracy and distance control.
5. A tackle tube can be added into the target areas to create a bit of pressure on the catcher.