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Defending the on-side kick  

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cjl103
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May 17, 2015 3:06 am  

I am looking for the best way to defend against the "line drive" type of on-side kick? We faced a team last year that kicked low screaming line drives at one player and then had their gunners light him up a second after the ball got there.


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mahonz
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May 17, 2015 9:11 am  

We teach the front line to get out of the way when the ball is coming hot and light up the opponent trying to light them up. A hot ball will easily make to your second line.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Bob Goodman
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May 17, 2015 9:37 am  

I am looking for the best way to defend against the "line drive" type of on-side kick? We faced a team last year that kicked low screaming line drives at one player and then had their gunners light him up a second after the ball got there.

Were they aiming for that particular player?  Easy remedy: Get him out of the front line.

If they're aiming for just any front line player, have the players nearest the kicker dance left & right as the kicker approaches the ball, giving him a moving target.

Also, make sure your front line is not playing too close to their restraining line.  I see many youth teams crowding the line for no good reason.


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davecisar
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May 18, 2015 6:28 am  

I am looking for the best way to defend against the "line drive" type of on-side kick? We faced a team last year that kicked low screaming line drives at one player and then had their gunners light him up a second after the ball got there.

The rule for the players being kicked at: hinge away from the ball
You have to practice it AND its pretty tough drilling it into those outside players without the ball going out of bounds

Start with personell- with kids with good feet and good decision making skills on the inside, line 1
Then rep it

That is a very effective kick against kids with poor feet, we have been beaten by it a few times- once where the ball hit one of our kids square in the chest and ball bounced right back to the D- about 7-8 yards.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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CoachMattC
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May 18, 2015 6:35 am  

We teach the front line to get out of the way when the ball is coming hot and light up the opponent trying to light them up. A hot ball will easily make to your second line.

Yup. We call these kids Terminators. They get out of the way and do not go after the ball for any reason. They block for the second line who are backs and receivers. They do the attacking when we onside kick so they see it a lot in practice. It's one of the few full contact drills we still do.

‎"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin


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Bob Goodman
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May 18, 2015 8:25 am  

The rule for the players being kicked at: hinge away from the ball
You have to practice it AND its pretty tough drilling it into those outside players without the ball going out of bounds

What's wrong w the ball's going OOB?


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davecisar
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May 18, 2015 8:35 am  

Nothing
My point was most hard line drive kicks arent aimed at the outside kids

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Bob Goodman
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May 18, 2015 1:08 pm  

Nothing
My point was most hard line drive kicks arent aimed at the outside kids

Oh, I get it now, you were saying how tough it was for the kicking team, so they'd be less likely to do it there.  "Drilling it" meaning the ball.  I'd thought you meant "drilling it into those outside players" as for them to learn hinging away from it.


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davecisar
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May 18, 2015 1:10 pm  

NW

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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cjl103
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May 18, 2015 4:59 pm  

Thanks for the help. We usually run a 5-4-2 kick return and the team was drilling it a the No. 2 man from the end. We lost 2 kicks in a game with one kick bouncing off the chest and right into the arms of the kick off team. Dave when you say "hinge", do you basically mean for them to get out of the way? and how far back off the line do you recommend the first line line up 


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davecisar
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May 19, 2015 4:30 am  

Hinge, yes get out of the way by pivoting on one foot and turning sideways to avoid the ball

We align a half yard behind the line- however if all you are worried about are the drilled kicks- it could/should be a tad deeper

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Bob Goodman
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May 19, 2015 7:16 pm  

We align a half yard behind the line

I'm shocked that you routinely have them that shallow.  Why?


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davecisar
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May 20, 2015 3:14 am  

Many teams routinely onside kick on the ground short- first line

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Bob Goodman
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May 20, 2015 8:11 pm  

Many teams routinely onside kick on the ground short- first line

OK, but then what's the advantage to the R team having players so close to their line?  I do see lots of teams do this, but I can't stand it.

I look at playing your front line forward like having your infield in in baseball.  But in football there's no bunting -- the kickoff has to go forward 10 yards for team K to regain possession, unless team R touches the ball 1st.

It's not only to defend against the deliberate line drive kickoff that I think disadvantages R players playing so close.  A lot of those line drives are produced accidentally by someone trying to kick deep.  A little more distance in having your "infield" back 2.5-3 yds. from their line gives them the extra time to react to one of those shots, even if just by hinging out of the way, bullfighter style.

Anyway, team K has to cover at least 10 yards to recover the onside kick unless you help them by touching it 1st.  The absolute best chance to recover the ball by K would be if it just barely got to that 10 yards as their players got there, and usually that's going to mean angling the kick sideways.  You don't think your front line players can cover 2.5-3 yards in the time it takes the opponents to cover 10, even if the opponents get a running start?  And that's just if team K gets the ideal kick.  In reality, the ball's almost always going to go a few yards beyond R's restraining line before K players get to it, which means they're going even farther, and R's players have to go down or to the side more than forward.  Sometimes the front line players will have to go for a ball that winds up a little behind them, which is harder, so there's no reason to increase that distance by having your front line players farther forward.  The pros commonly have their front line about 5 yards behind their restraining line.  I don't expect kids to react as well as players at a high level, but also the kicks aren't going to be coming as fast, so "midway between the stripes", or 2.5 yds., is my compromise.

On a slow rolling or too sharply angled kickoff, sometimes produced by a really bad kick, my instruction for team R front line players is not to advance past their restraining line at all unless it looks like it's going to get at least halfway to that line.  Let it roll dead in the neutral zone or go out of bounds there rather than taking the chance on touching the ball & letting K recover.


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Ronin
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May 21, 2015 5:58 am  

Bob, great advice!  I have never considered starting behind the restraining line.  Makes perfect sense to me.  Talk about a 'duh' moment.  I'm learning something new every day on this site...


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