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The best kickers in the game have a rock-solid technique crafted from thousands of hours of practice. While we can't put the hard yards in for you, Pro:Direct Rugby have enlisted the help of one of the best in the business, Leigh Halfpenny to dish out some essential tips to help you rack up the points and improve your kicking game.

‘The Scarlets, Wales and British and Irish Lions fullback has amassed over 700 points for his country and certainly knows his way around a kicking tee so read or watch to learn his process.

Step 1: Preparation

Ensuring your calves, hamstrings and hips are warm is essential to avoiding injuries from the repetitive and explosive action of kicking drills. A foam roller for 20 to 30 seconds is perfect for loosening the calves and hamstrings while Leigh recommends resistance bands for hip flexor exercises.

Step 2: Placement

Once warm, you need to be placing the ball on the tee in a way that works for you. It might seem pretty obvious, but you could make big improvements with a few tweaks, as Wales’ third-highest scorer explains,

“For a right-footed kicker, I align the seam to the right-hand post. I tend to just draw it in a fraction or so just by offsetting the seam, just off middle, allows for that draw.”

While lining the ball up straight towards the posts might seem like the best method if you’re starting out, consider how the ball moves after leaving your foot and try adjusting the placement on the tee to see if it delivers a truer flight.

Step 3: Approaching the ball

Approaching the ball correctly can be the difference between making and missing kicks. Start from the tee and take a few steps back until you’re comfortable of the distance between you and the ball.

Then choose your angle, pick a line and head straight towards the ball, keeping upright as you enter the kicking stage.

When coming to make contact with the ball, place your non-kicking foot parallel with the tee about a shoulder width apart. This ensures that you approach the ball in a natural, straight and upright position that will give your kicking foot the best chance of a clean strike. It’s all about getting the timings right.

Step 4: Striking the ball

When in the kicking motion it’s important to strike with the inside of the foot, ensuring the ball connects with the largest, flattest area possible. The bigger the striking area the better chance you have of the ball going between the posts. Try to avoid pointing the toes down because that will limit the size of the ideal strike zone, aim to kick in a side-footed motion.

Step 5: Weight through the ball

On impact make sure your weight goes right through the ball. This helps to avoid any rotation of the body and gives the best chance of a good, clean connection.

“That’s where you get your power, that’s where you get your accuracy, by going right through the ball beyond the tee so that the ball goes where you want it to go,” Leigh explains.

Halfpenny has racked up thousands of points with the boot so before you head out to your next training session you really should watch his kicking masterclass for Pro:Direct Rugby Here.

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