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Drills and Articles

Links to our collection of the latest coaching drills, tactics, strategies and developments in Australian rules football.

Coaching Articles

Benefits of Training Games in AFL  New!
- Lessons From Brazilian Soccer

Secrets of Kicking An AFL Drop Punt  New!
- With Brownlow medalist and triple Premiership player, Jason Akermanis.

Fitness Testing In AFL Football - What To Do At The Community Level  New!
- With Coach AFL's own David Johnson, based on his experiences in the WAFL and community football.

Are We Asking Our Players To Do The Right Thing?
By Guest Contributor, Jason Stevens – Senior Coach, White Hills Football Netball Club

Secrets of Winning Coaches Revealed
- With David Becker, Sought After High Performance Coach and Author.

How Port Melbourne Plotted Their 2011 VFL Premiership – And What They’re Doing In 2012 
- With Gary Ayres, Senior Coach at the Port Melbourne Football Club

Preseason Training Program Fundamentals In AFL Football  
- With Mitchell Cook, Development Coach with the Melbourne Storm in the NRL and specialist Strength and Conditioning Coach

The 5 Most Common Kicking Technique Errors In Junior Players - And How To Remedy Them
- With Coach AFL's own David "Johnno" Johnson, based on his experiences working with an elite group of Under 16's.

The Kicking Rainmaker: How A Seventy Year Old Queenslander Is Turning Kicking Coaching On Its Ear 
- Secrets behind Kick Builders elite kicking program. Includes 3 quick and easy ways you can improve your players kicking and 4 simple kicking drills players can practice at home.

What Makes A Great Footy Captain? Leadership Secrets From Brisbane Lion’s Superstar ‘Jonathan Brown’ 
- With Brisbane Lions inspirational captain, Jonathan Brown

It Takes 10 Hands To Score A Basket
- Insights on how to create winning teams from the great John Wooden, named “Coach of the 20th Century” by ESPN.

Secrets to Preseason Training Camps    
- With Ryan Doughty from the renowned "Summit" training camp in Victoria.

Insider Secrets To Developing Young Players: A Sneak Peak Behind Anthony Rock's New "SKINS AFL Career Transition Program" 
- With Anthony Rock, former AFL assistant coach with Melbourne, St Kilda and the Kangaroos

How To Attract More Players and Sponsors Through The Media  
 - With Award Winning Journalist, Luke Waters

The Secrets of Success In Football: What Champion Athletes Do To Succeed And What Sports Psychologists Are Teaching Players At The Highest Levels  
- With Sports Psychologist Glen Murdoch

Coaching Kids with Flair: How To Harness The Natural Flair In Your Young Players? 
- With Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley

Where To Start As A New Coach Of A Team And How To Plan For The Future 
- With Simon Goosey, Senior Coach at the Frankston Dolphins in the VFL

Training and Developing Youth
- With Gavin Bell, Development Coach at the West Coast Eagles

How The Great Gary Ayres Helped Turn The Fortunes of Port Melbourne in The VFL 
- with Australian rules football playing and coaching legend, Gary Ayres 

How Effective Sports Psychology Can Transform The Culture and Performance Of Your Football Team!
- With motivational guru Lee Harper-Penman. Includes 4 things you can "copy" to influence the culture and motivation at your club!

Confessions of a Collingwood Football Coach - Our No-Holds Barred interview with Collingwood Defensive Coach, Mark Neeld

How The Vic Metro Under 16 Squad Is Preparing For The National Championships
- With Andrew Johnston, Calder Cannons Development Manager and Coach of the Under 16s Vic Metro Team

How The Subiaco Football Club Coaches Their Forwards
With David Sierakowski, former player with the West Coast Eagles and Saint Kilda and Assistant / Forwards Coach with the Subiaco Football Club

Sprint Training For Australian Rules Football
With Mark Neates, Sprint Coach with the Fremantle Dockers (2008) and West Coast Eagles (1986-2000)

Invasion Sports and Game Sense - Their Relevance To Young Footballers
By Mark Neeld, Head Coach Western Jets FC (TAC Cup) and Coordinator of Health & Physical Education Geelong College Preparatory School

WAFL Secrets To Developing Juniors
With Andrew Lockyer, Former West Coast Eagles Player and Current Coach of the East Fremantle Colts

Rules and Philosophies For Defenders - What Are Coaches Teaching Defenders Nowadays?
With Dale Tapping, Assistant Coach Of The Western Jets in the TAC Cup and former Defensive Coach of Williamstown In the VFL.

Coaching Goal Kicking Technique
With Simon Goosey, Specialist Forward Coach with the Western Bulldogs.

Understanding The Coaching Issues Surrounding Young Players
By Trevor Potts, Assistant Coach of the South Adelaide Football Club (SANFL).

How to Develop a Killer Backline - With Mark "Bomber" Riley
Tips from the Melbourne Demons Defensive Coach on developing and training your backline.

Core Stability Training - With Dr Les Fabre
Importance of core stability training in Australian rules football, plus training exercises for both juniors and seniors.

Training Drills

Rebound and Angled Kicking   New!
- A running drill aimed at teaching players to switch play and rebound, while also practicing their angled kicking.

10 Stations   New!
- A running drill aimed at teaching players to create the overlap.

Go Again Forward
- A drill designed to provide forwards the opportunity to practice their leading patterns.

Switch, Split and Break
- A drill aimed at teaching defenders how to switch play and create space.

Forward Crumbing 
A simple goal kicking drill that teaches players how to crumb the ball while providing your key forwards with some much needed marking practice.

Lloyd Clean Hands Test
This is a test used to test a player's ability to gather the ball cleanly and deliver quick accurate handballs using both preferred and non-preferred hands. It was developed by Essendon great Matthew Lloyd whilst at the AIS Football Academy, for use at the AFL Draft Camp. 

Working The Ball Forward
A drill teaching team play with an emphasis on patience for attacking players and defensive pressure skills for defenders.

Running Goal Kicking Drill   
This is a goal kicking drill that allows players to practice their running kicking at goal while under game-simulated pressure. At the time of publishing this drill, the Adelaide Crows regularly performed this drill during their pre-game warm ups.

Angled Kick and Follow  
A kicking drill that teaches players to kick on angles and push up to receive another possession. It’s proven to be a good skill drill to practice kicking.

Muddy's Switch Drill 
This drill has been designed to teach players how to “switch the play” in the backline to open up the fat side of the ground and work the ball to the forwards.

Grid Handball Game
This simple drill that teaches players how to create space, decision making, speed of handball (loop vs bullet), drawing opponents and the art of quick hands/release.

Hunting In Packs
This is a drill that teaches players to gain possessions through teamwork by protecting the ball winner and to release the ball to an outside running player to clear the contest area.

Switch of Play 
A handy drill that teaches players to create the loose man, push hard to the opposite side of the ground and run and carry the ball.

Fast Offensive Running Drill
A great running drill for fitness that also teaches players how to create the loose man, run in support and work the ball through the corridor.

Funnel
A great drill that teaches players how to play corridor football.

Frawley's Full Oval Drill
This is a fantastic drill – designed by former Richmond Coach Danny Frawley – that provides specialized training for all players involved.

Kurt's Tackle and Hit Drill
This is a great fitness drill that also works on your players’ kicking skills under pressure. Players train their tackling and finish with a kick to a leading player. A good one for preseason.

Reaction Drills
These are two drills designed to develop your players’ reaction and decision-making skills, fitness and sheparding. They are also good preseason drills and have been thankfully provided by Jamie McGinley from the AFL ACT league.

Cut and Lead on Angle
This drill is a warm up drill designed to practice leading correctly and kicking to a moving target. It teaches players to lead correctly and not be one-dimensional. It also teaches the kicker to weight the kick properly and position the ball out in front of the leading player.

Corridor Full Oval Drill
This is a drill that teaches “front and square” set up, hard inside running in numbers and long accurate kicking.

Odd Man Rebound
A transition drill from defence to attack that also incorporates important practice of centre ball ups for midfielders.

Break Away
A game-based training drill refining player's skills at the stoppages.

Goosey Goal Kicking Drill
A drill designed specifically to improve player’s set shots for goal.

Contest and Crumb
A great drill to teach players the art of crumbing a contest

Reading Off Hands
Another good crumbing drill.

Cover The Rebound
Teaches players to how to 1) run into space to rebound the ball from defense, and 2) apply pressure to defend against the opposition’s rebound.

Holding Ground
Encourages players to attack the ball and work together. Great warm up drill!

Cue Kicking
Kicking drill that replicates various kicks during a game of football.

Kicking to Spot
Another warm up drill. Teaches players to execute a measured kick to a laterally lead.

T-Drill
This is a drill aimed to enhance the decision-making ability of players whilst practicing kicking or handballing skills.

Game Day Tactics

Blocking
Discusses some of the finer details of blocking to free up players and create mismatches. Strategies from basketball.

Goal Kicking in General Play - With David Wheadon
Special report by Richmond's assistant coach on goal kicking strategies during different game situations.

Boundary Throw-In in Defensive Half
This is a boundary throw-in set up that is simple to follow and allows a team to surround the stoppage.

Other Articles

Coaching Australian Rules Football In Outback Indigenous Communities – The Challenges and the Future!   New!
Have you ever thought about how hard it may be for Indigeneous players to get to the AFL from their outback roots? Then check this report out!

The Challenges of Coaching Australian Rules Football Overseas – The US Footy Experience New!
Lacking inspiration? Think you have it tough as a coach here in Australia? Then you’ll be blown away by what’s going on in US Footy.

The Stats That Matter
By David Johnson, Level 3 Coach with Coach AFL. A look at some of the stats that matter in football, and what grassroots coaches should be keeping.

Teaching Those Who Have Never Played The Game - The American Experiment  
By David Johnson, Level 3 Coach. Outlines how an experiment with American university students run by Coach AFL and US Footy.

Playing, Coaching and Life After The AFL
With Jason McCartney, former AFL Player and boundary rider with Channel 9, and now National Youth Coordinator with the AFL!

How to Develop a Winning Football Culture - With Simon Eastaugh
Articleon how this former Docker and Essendon player planned to develop awinning football culture at the Perth Football Club in the WAFL.

Preparing Representative Sides - With Gerard McNeil
Lessons learned by former Dockers Football Manager and East Perth Football ClubCoach, Gerard mcNeil when preparing the Western Australia U/18s stateside.

Getting That Next Coaching Job
This article outlines 4 powerful tips to improving your chances of securing that new coaching job.

The Success Secrets of Essendon Keilor College’s Elite Football Program
With Special Comments From Andrew Welsh, Essendon Football Club

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