Innovative Strategies to Inform Coaching Practices in Australian Football

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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Innovative strategies were used to inform coaching practices regarding the skill of set-shot goal kicking in Australian Football (AF). An action learning approach was adopted including planning, data gathering, analyses and dissemination phases. Three distinct approaches were used to inform AF coaches of evidence and strategies to guide implementation, a) applying statistical trend data, b) applying expert knowledge, and c) applying biomechanical principles. Trend data from a full AFL season consisting of over 4,000 set-shots was used to inform coaches on numerous performance related parameters (e.g., distance, angle). Expert insider perspectives were generated through in-depth interviews with eight retired AF goal kicking champions. The past players had all kicked over 500 goals at the elite level and four had obtained AFL Hall of Fame or AFL Legend status. The related analyses produced six primary themes (a) correct technique (b) incorrect technique, (c) pre-kick routine, (d) mental skills (e) challenges/choices and (h) training. Third, biomechanical principles were applied to set-shot kicking with accompanying images and drills provided to coaches. A two year follow-up indicated the results were highly transferable to training and competitions. Coaches in sports that include closed skills may benefit from transferring where applicable these strategies to their sports.

Marchant is with the College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. McLaugh¬lin is with the College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

International Sport Coaching Journal

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