Training to learn as Bombers open their doors
As part of their one week stay, the Essendon Bombers hosted a Player and Coaches Clinic at their Pacific Bay Training Base last Saturday.
It was well attended as 55 players and 28 coaches registered from far and wide to learn from the expertise of the coaching staff.
Some left at 5am and travelled for 6 hours to be exposed to high level coaching, as the camp was not only attended by AFL North Coast players and coaches, but also those from Newcastle, Inverell and the Summerland League, up north.
Assistant Coaches, Alan Richardson, Gary O'Donnell, Adrian Hickmott and David Calthorpe, all previous VFL/AFL players with extensive experience and numerous premierships between them, set the players and coaches through their paces during the 3 hour clinic.
Important things they touched on that could be valuable lessons for those wishing to further their skills as players/coaches, include:
- Timing body contact in marking contests and protecting space;
- The importance of ball control and vision in elite competition;
- The need to close down the space of opposition to give them less time. Big steps but also nimble feet and balance will allow a tackler to move either way.
- When tackling, aim to wrap the middle of the body, with the tackle best executed inside the forearms of the attacker;
- The benefit of short organising steps when kicking. Also the kicker should transfer their weight forward and lean towards the target, with little follow through after the kick;
- In AFL competition, the character and the individuals ability to be a team player helps round off physical and skill attributes. All are important components in making recruitment and selection decisions in the AFL.
- For coaches, the focus should be on the above characteristics/skills, and making drills skill/sport specific to improve conditioning, eg. handball games;
- Drills should also focus on when "we" have the ball, when "they" have the ball, and when the ball is "in dispute."
For more pictures of the Clinic, click on Photos section of the website.
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