The punt or AFL kick is a complex skill to master as it involves kicking a moving ball whilst it is still in the air. Introduce around the age of 5-6 years with round, soft balls and don't expect children to master this skill until the age of 10 years or older.
Punting is a complex skill, and so when learning it, it is best broken down into segments. Introduce your child slowly to the dropping of the ball, stepping, and the kicking action. Use KIDDO vocabulary to reinforce correct technique when your child grows comfortable;
- Hold ball with laces facing forward
- Nose to toes (head over ball)
- Step & drop ball
- Kick with toes pointed (ballet dancer kicks)
Your child may not be ready to begin punting at this age, so instead be sure to provide plenty of opportunity to kick all types of balls in a variety of manners. When their balance and confidence with kicking is established,
As your child becomes comfortable with punting, use a full size AFL or rugby ball. Try kicking off 2, 3, 4 and 5 steps and then as children get the hang of this introduce kicking on the run.
- Practice kicking for accuracy in front of goals (visit your local field, use water bottles as goal posts in your backyard)
- Introduce different types of kicks
- Work on increasing the distance of the kick
- Encourage the child to guide the ball down with one hand
- Develop accuracy with Shrink and Grow or Kicksand
- Ball is thrown in the air rather than dropped on to the kicking foot
- Looking up rather than down at the ball
- Connecting with the wrong part of the ball - the ball should spin backward end over end if the foot is connection with the base of the ball