The End-Over-End Kick
Who doesn’t love kicking the ball around? For wingers, fullbacks and number 10’s its part of the job description, but front five forwards I’ve seen you at training giving the ball a hoof around whilst you should be doing your work-ons! This right here is a good video from former USA Eagles international and Coach Matt Sherman who teaches us the fundamentals of an end-over-end kick out of hand.
The video does take perhaps a tad longer than it could do, but amidst the waffle there are some key pointers to take on board. Firstly for beginners, it correctly highlights a really key issue; dropping the ball. Because of its odd shape you can’t boot a rugby ball in the same way as a goalkeeper in football. If you don’t release the ball accurately over you kicking foot, you don’t stand much chance of producing an accurate kick!! Often people don’t even realise their lifting the ball slightly at the point of release, instead of simply dropping it straight so if you’re having trouble with your kicking, get a mate to video you because this has to be the most common error.
For those already confident in their kicking technique, use this as a perfect modal for a cross-field kick, or your standard penalty kick to touch where accuracy is more important than distance. By ‘snaping’ the foot as explained, you can get a much flatter cross kick, which might be to your advantage if your winger is in a lot of space a needs the ball quickly. It always depends on the circumstances but it’s good to have it in your arsenal.
The other point about keeping you head, hips, core and kicking foot pointing in the direction of the ball is also crucial, if you get that right, then all you need to do is practice the timing. Practice, Practice, Practice.
Video Credit: CollegeRugbyUSA