Josh Growden was drafted by the GWS GIANTS. However, a broken leg and two hip operations cut his career short. With a fresh outlook on life, he decided to take up punting with Prokick Australia. Here he earned a scholarship to one of the biggest football colleges in the United States – LSU.
Topics we discussed:
- Influencers in his junior ranks
- Difference in the US and Aussie footy preparation
- His favorite types of kicks for developing footballers
- How he created The Kicking Consultant
- Tips for kicking on wet weather
- Common mistakes on kicking
- John Quinn
- Tim Parham
- Mark Williams
- Dylan Shiel
- Adam Treloar
- Jeremy Cameron
- Allan Mconnell
- Phill Davis
- Tom Scully
- Luke Power
- Trent Mckenzie
- Chad Cornes
- Kevin Ball
- Nathan Chapman
Connect with Josh:https://www.instagram.com/thekickingconsultant/
The Kicking Consultant: https://www.thekickingconsultant.com/
Jack: Welcome back to the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ podcast. My name is Jack McLean. I’m the host. In today’s episode, I interview Josh Growden. He is currently the coaching founder at the Kicking Consultant, a business that works with teams, individuals, both online and face-to-face, improving their kicking technique.
Josh’s story began as he was drafted by the GWS Giants. However, due to a broken leg and two hip operations, he cut his career short with a fresh outlook on life. He decided to take up punting with ProCare Australia here. He had a scholarship to one of the biggest football colleges in the United States, LSU. We discuss how he came to create the Kicking Consultant, as well as the importance of learning your technique at a young age.
The highlights from this episode: being part of the GWS Giants win now, Joshua is part of the 12 that were drafted and at 17 years of age; the American college system and how the high-performance program differs to the Australian program; the importance of backswing for keeping for long distance; and we discuss Josh’s business, that Kicking Consultant and how that can help you.
If you’re a developing footballer, before we start this episode for all the coaches that listened to this episode, I want to help you develop your own brand and online business. The best place to start is to join our Academy, where you get full access to our high-performance presentations and add-free podcasts and exclusive to this I’ll also throw in a free consultation where we can discuss your brand and had developed an online presence. Check out our Academy by going to the preparelikeapro.com website.
Let’s get into today’s episode. Welcome, Josh. Thanks for jumping on, mate.
Josh: Thanks for having me on chair.
Jack: We’ll dive straight into it. Cool background too. I love all the memorabilia.
Josh: Got that from as you should be as used to watch where you’d always people had that interesting stuff in the background. I kick. I focused a bit.
Jack: Something that’s always in there that only a true fan would know about. Like, do you always put in this one little thing .
Josh: That at blue drink bottle always there or is that not quite bought that community yet? I think I just put in stuff I books. Oh, dog straight into it.
Jack: Mate, take us back to the early days when you were discovering your passion as a footballer. At what age did you start playing footy? And when did you discover your hair? You had talent to be able to take it to the highest level?
Josh: I grew up in country, South Australia and play my first game of footy when I was five or six Schilling in for my brothers mini college teams.
I’m not sure what the age group for that was maybe beyond the 12 or something. So a FA age difference. But I don’t know really when I figured out I was decent, but just as you get older and you just progressed through the ranks, maybe when I was 15, I won some like run rock and the best and fairest for the association and then tied some state footy, and then probably the AIS when I go to select into iOS, those all.
Okay. I fell my dream of playing AFL, which I had when I was young. I was like, this could be a possibility.
Jack: And did you shift your mindset at that stage when you’re in the AIS program? I made it, you got exposed to an elite environment and what it is to be a high-performing athlete to that change the final element. But also, did it change your your professionalism to at all?
Josh: I think that was established a bit earlier, probably with would be west Harlem. The under 16s NFL development, like we definitely were introduced to a bit more professionalism. The IRS was a lot of fun. And that was, I’ll go into that probably the end of 2010. And then soon after was selected by the John. So August, I think I was already kind of prepared and was still absolutely loving my footy.
Jack: Okay. And with the ice program, w apart from this selection prices, which obviously they need, and I way you see amongst the competition, but what was some things that coaches were doing and to, and to even support like teammates and your family to help you support your football development back then?
Josh: Thank you. The biggest thing was everything outside of football. And I think that was the biggest thing with IAS was having that transition. So, going through the nutrition side of things, just get how to manage your body. But there definitely the insights that the amazing coaches we had I guess just like more of the structures.
So you’re coming from under 16, 17, where there’s a little bit, but I’m learning more like game plan and things like that was probably the biggest thing for me that I got from being surrounded by those coaches.
Jack: And were there any surprises then when you were in the system, looking back to that development program, where there anything that you felt like were missed in the development pathways? Or did you feel like you’re pretty well prepared?
Josh: It’s a great question. I’ve never really thought about it. Things top of my head is probably remember, so it was like just interchange, like we would plan out. The first, probably quarter of how the interchange is going to work. Like, okay, if you’re starting off and you’ve got three minutes and you’ve got to come off and then you would go to here and like, things like that playing different roles knowing what each position did.
So if you were playing on the wing and then you had to roll up the half forward, flank, go half back flank and how that works in the rotation. So that’s something off the top of my head, but there’s probably a few more things as you get to that next level.
Jack: The level of detail of everything.
Josh: I think that’s a good way of encapsulate everything. Just more detail.
Jack: And who was some strong influences in your development or the junior ranks?
Josh: Ah, through the junior ranks. So a big one that stands out. To me, was that the giants John Quinn. So I think you’ve had John on the show, right?
Jack: So here’s a BA probably popped up.
Josh: So legend. And he was a big influence and mentor and still is to me. Definitely in the football AFL specifically.
Jack: Why did he pop up first in mine?
Josh: My very first week. So he was the Giants, obviously. We were very young. I just, from the get-go we got along really well. And then after breaking my leg an injury that I didn’t even know if he had ever really dealt, had to deal with and just the bond that you make you’re in rehab and he’s running your program and things like that.
So we became very close then, and I think he’s just a genuine care. For everyone, you know very authentic very wise thinks is pretty funny. He made email trainings enjoyable. Even when it was tough, like being in rehab so much.
Jack: And was he managing your, like facilitating the sessions or was he managing more than program?
Josh: Yeah, actually I’m Tim power who I think you’re having on next she’s he as when he came to the club, he would have come through a couple months off there, just broke my leg and he helps manage me a bit more. Yeah. More.
Jack: Okay. And you mentioned that the level of detail you’re focusing a lot now of helping kids develop their technique. Did you have someone help you with, you can take Nate through during your pathway?
Josh: No. And that’s the thing. I was literally just talking, isn’t it crazy? I’m just talking to it. One of the kids I teach his dad’s just yesterday and he was like, no one’s teaching this. And I was like, yeah, no, I’m just teaching me that, like, when I was the Giants, chocolate was big on it.
He’s always being, doing his kicking, but also it’s just like you’re expected to know how to kick by then. And looking back, like no one really ever taught me all that more about kicking a football, my five years of punting than I did 15 years applying or growing up playing footy is crazy. So I guess that’s where I felt like it was needed.
Jack: I mean, in a similar sense, it’s like he never really taught growing up. Like you play a lot of sports. And even named payee dodgeball, and you’re always competing and pieing fun games. There’s a lot of enjoyment factor, which is obviously important, but look around, unless you do athletics, Atlanta had a run.
So there’s some fundamental skills and athlete development there that I guess it seems like they’re now starting to change with people like yourself working in the private sector and Jenny dishing coaches going into high schools now that have had experience at lead levels. So there’s a bit of a shift in Australian culture.
Josh: And it’s interesting that you say Australia because being an America, like you say, the strength and conditioning at the young age of the stops. It’s crazy. It’s great. They come in 18 year olds looking like Carone men, and then hasn’t stunted their growth.
Like some people would think that that’s going to happen when you start lifting weights early. They’re just absolutely developed athletes. I think that we are starting to make that cultural switch and it’s only going to be beneficial to individuals and hopefully our country will cut, start competing in international student, international sports, such as the Olympics and whatnot, having these more developed athletes because I’ve started it earlier.
Jack: A hundred percent. And it’s something we’ll get into or going a bit further on when we go along your sort of career progression, is that from the athlete Everett America, and then obviously coaching now as well. So, but from the junior pathway. So you mentioned you’re growing up in Adelaide. Take us through draft night where you expected to get drafted, take us through all the emotions of that night.
Josh: So I actually didn’t get drafted. I was preselected as one of the 12, 17 year olds at the JIDO restaurants got access to it. Doing shoe Adam shuttle. Jeremy camera. So it was more of a, I guess I had picked a few guys and then I was invited to the combine, like early, like the year before I was supposed to be with a bunch of guys and there was six spots left and I think they invited 12 of us there.
So it was getting to that point where I was like, okay. You know, eventually if you get a chance. And then it was just. You like, oh, that’s a new club. This will is succeeding. This is cool. Like this you’re not really enough. Don’t really know much about it. So there’s a different set of excitement, I think, than what you get a tip typically with the draft night and whatnot.
Jack: And did you not going into that year? That was a possibility. Was there whispers and rumors and in the industry about?
Josh: Yeah. So I had a pretty good year that year in the NFL and I think I was talking with managers. I would have been, and they were like, yeah, like it’s from what they were hearing, it was pretty good.
And then I remember at the combine, I was so that’s when I was in the AIS and I said to Alan McConnell, everybody was heading up to John’s. I was like, oh, is it like that, if like I’m still in the iOS and if I get selected by you guys, like I’ve still got six months left now.
I’m like, no, that’s slight. We look highly on that. And I was like, oh, okay. He gave me like a little blink sort of thing. So I was like, yeah. Then I knew.
Jack: So what did that mean for year 12?
Josh: It could have easily have just said, you know what I’m done, but now my mom’s a teacher and I’ve just always had that mindset to do the best, I guess, everything I can. So stuck it out and very grateful that I did because we might touch on it later, but that’s what helped me get me to college was my year 12 results. And get into the university degrees here as well.
Jack: So, okay. And then, take us through that year as a 17 year old moving and just the whole different lifestyle. Who were you living with?
Josh: So the Giants did a great job of setting it up and actually set it up like a college system in the US where we were all, because we were quite young, but they will house is in a place called breakfast point, which is kind of like a college dorm toxin scenario.
So you reckon they got the idea from that. Gabby Allen. It did a few trips to the US and his son I think, went to college and that’s where he got the idea from. So yes, a hundred percent. That was really cool. It was griping, everyone, like I said, similar age, I think they all would apply us.
We had like food IVUS calendar at that stage. That was 2011. When I was there. It was just what would you shop with and gelled as God? We had easy flower and we had Jonathan Giles as maybe like 25, 26 older Ricky state of Clifton, so young group, but we had the laminates Craig and Mel lamb to look off for a split.
And then, things died hating up when we were the next year, when the AFL we get like Tom Scully and like I said, Phil Davis countable coming in and stock, I just started getting through. And I’ll check on SLU power Dane Brogan, Jonathan Datto, gun IFO applies. So I started at some maturity to the list.
Jack: And then beachy the dynamic of the group. Like obviously the coaches, you had senior coaches around, I imagined trying to drive it. And you had a lot of talented players that would have been big leaders as well, but having those older players that have been in systems for longer, was it tangible to United as the training standards and everything shifts?
Josh: A hundred percent. Even being out with injury, you could just say it’s like, what we thought was like the standard or even not standard for applying, but like how you conduct yourself off the field and with the film and all that, like that just went to another level when you’ve got 300 gamers in the room. So yeah, big.
Jack: They take it through the injury?
Josh: 2011 tying off son playing the sounds off and gold coast just got tackled as I was about to kick it and ended up kicking the back of my leg. So I broke my leg essentially. So snapped the tibia and fibula straighten off. I had surgery go to a rod put through and then, unfortunately, I was sat out for 350 days to the date.
And then it’s never really quite came a hundred percent. It was disliked. Oh, well there’s only a couple of games left in the season, but let’s try and play them. And it was just like, just see what happens and I’ll go through. But it was quite painful doing any sort of agility stuff just that constant running on it. So, not great. Don’t recommend it.
Jack: It would have been, it’s never been through a sniffing entry like that, but I imagine the trauma of the actual injury itself, but then also what you had to go through to rehabilitate yourself. And in some sense, being in that environment would be amazing in terms of support, but at the same time, you’re constantly in your own bubble in rehab when you’re in that world and everyone else is playing footy and doing it makes it can make it different challenges, I guess.
I’m not sure. What did you learn about yourself as you grow dealing with those challenges?
Josh: Yeah, definitely. Established some mental toughness. Like you said, it’s very challenging mentally. You’re so close you’re on AFL list and your dreams just to apply.
And then you’ve got new guys coming into the team, getting drafted in, that year 2012, like everyone was getting a game, trawling, everyone. So all these guys going past you and then like your charity. Yeah, exactly. I was lucky I had a good mate, Kurt islet. He did his ICO like a week or two before me before I broke my legs.
So we were in rehab for a long part together. But even that had its challenges because he would reach certain OBS like milestones and with an ICO, there’s like programs on how to manage an ICO, whereas with a broken leg, it’s just like, well, they’re all different. Like this, some things you can do.
Jack: Tell me Mitchell’s. There’s so many different things. The racists that is how wide the bone and yeah.
Josh: It’s tough, but definitely. And strong before. I definitely think that’s prepared me for other ventures that I’ve done for sure.
Jack: And you mentioned it never felt quite the same. Was the ability to handle a 10K training session or was it the ability to spring and cotton changed direction? Keke long distance? What were the main sort of thing?
Josh: Yeah, those supposed to be mentioned. So after a while, just running on it, like really starting, like thinking really bad shin spins, but alone bit like saw like along the fibula wasn’t so much my TV. That was the problem. And then cutting. Cause it was putting that pressure on the field, like as a car. So anything like that. Cause pine and it’s like, you don’t have confidence in it when you’re feeling that.
Jack: And then that makes a lot of sense why the punting ambition started?
Josh: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. When I found out about that, I was like, this is perfect. This is exactly what I need.
Jack: And take us through, was it is a decision to shift your mind and say, I can’t, I’m not ending the AFL dream, but I’m just going to focus on this for a little period of time? Or was it something that you battled with?
Josh: I guess I did say I was ending the NFL dream and I was very comfortable with that at that stage. So after I got delisted there was try for Prague, Australia fed ex AFL applies daily safe place. And honestly I’ve always loved American football. We’d get up early and watch it. Even I had like four or five college football shirts like that I bought online. And my plan was actually applied.
So Simon would do this during the pre-season the plan was to study at university. While applying for Woodville, if I didn’t get, have a good year and get picked up in the AFL, I would go do an exchange to the states because I just had this weird fashion that fascination for America, like I loved the school and everything.
So when I heard about it, about punting, it was almost a no-brainer, honestly. Like I said, my leg wasn’t that great. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to go to America. You can get this full scholarship to get hired for. So it was not a difficult decision at all, to be honest.
Jack: And how much practice did you? Was kicking one of your strengths as a footballer?
Josh: So kicking long they’re like, oh, it was always above average and honestly like nothing crazy, like not like traffic cans or anything like that. So I went to Melbourne and did an assessment with procaine Australia now, like, yeah, you’d be good enough. And then that meant moving there and training for 12 months before getting the scholarship and moving to America.
Jack: Program look like for someone who’s trying to improve, like it’s such a specific skill, a lot of conditioning required or maybe there is, I’ve never been.
Josh: No, there is because you’re required to fit in with the team and the team is full of elite athletes. So it’s a different style in PA. So it’s more powerful.
Power-based sprint agility stuff. Honestly, the conditioning testing was a breeze and it would be fit any AFL football hood. But it’s the state. And we had to do 16, one tens every lot in like 6, 810 yards. A hotbed hunter made is in 16 seconds. With like 45 second arrests between reps.
Virtually. Yes. But training is very technique-based and I’ve always loved that. So I love training. It is funny, like you think, oh, you’re just going to kick a ball, but it’s like, it’s so fun. It’s so cool. You’re trying to roost the ball every time and hunting isn’t easy.
Like, it seems simple, but you’ve got to kick off two steps. You’ve got to catch it and kick it within 1.2 seconds. The ball was less forgiving. You’re kicking in front of a hundred thousand people and you might get four kicks again. You don’t wanna mess it up. So you’ve got to get hang time, got to put it where the team thinks that you’re supposed to be putting it.
You’ve got these freak athletes returning the ball. You’ve got these big athletes trying to block like your pants. So there’s a lot to it.
Jack: There’s a lot of pressure. Like you said, there’s not a lot of opportunities to get it. Almost like I imagined, a batsman, once they’re out there, you’ve got that shot and then. The pressure of yes. And base coming back, even though some padding now by those guys, I did extras when you were in a vulnerable position of kicking?
Josh: Like I said, that’s how I broke my leg, so yep.
Jack: And the year of preparation where there are other things going in your life or was the, I imagine there was, but how, like, where was that in terms of your priority? Were you going all in on that?
Josh: Yeah, totally. Nice in Chapman and natural and Smith do a great job of running, procure strive is, it’s like a very pretty high standard program. You do strength training as well. We have theory sessions to learn about the game.
But training would be three to four times a week. Nice and did a great job of mixing it up. Sessions never boring if they’re never the same, but we’d work on the intricate details that were needed and nights, and they played AFL played like pretty much deserved a contract with green bay Packers.
But then moved back to Australia and start a pro kick. And he’s I for punting is and kicking is next level.
Jack: Awesome. And then talk us through how LSU came on board. What’s the drafting process with college Japan exam as well. Like you mentioned that the scores were important E was important. What’s the process for those that are interested?
Josh: So I guess the process for any Australian is to go through broker Australia. It’s very hot. There’s just no way you do it on your own. But we pretty much get to the point where I was producing good film, like good footage of me punting, and that’s trying to be as middle of editing as possible.
It’s like a kickoff, a key hitting, a big bowl that hits the standards would send that over to colleges and NASCAR to the point with colleges are reaching out to pro cake. Like that’s been going on for a few years now, but we knew we’d had pork. You could place an Ozzy at LSU before me.
And his talent was coming to an end. Cause you can only play for four to five years. And I was like, Hey, well, LSU, he’s the next guy, if you want him. And yeah, it was literally off a YouTube video that I saw that were like me as a full $250,000 us scholarship. Wow. And what did you study? Well, I studied pretty much the equivalent of human movement. Emphasis on fitness studies and I kind of made around.
Jack: Yeah. Awesome. And then what was the program like with LSU and studying and what was it like? Were you living in the dorms?
Josh: Yup. So I just wanted to touch on maybe like I missed the question about yet the SATs the testing for that. That’s pretty important that you make sure your schooling’s right. Cause they take from year nine to year 12 to then get admitted into college. So I just want to make sure people know of that because that’s very important the academic side of it. But the college program at LSU was awesome.
The US, we thinks differently. And then leaving on campus was sick. It was similar-ish to what found the Johns had put together. Definitely some similarities there but always a bit older than most. So I went over to college at 21 when most are starting at 18. So that was good for me just to be a bit more mature and, and ready for the hand, like what was to come. And I think having that experience with the Johns definitely helped.
Jack: And how much was black? What was harder in the American program from a strength conditioning point of view, compared to GDS and what was harder in the GW program compared to preparing as a Ponta?
Josh: So the biggest thing is the style of coaching. So he in Australia, I feel like we have like two way communication. Like you can be like, oh, like, why we doing that? Like the communication is a lot better in America. It’s very authoritarian. Like you just do this and that’s what I said and you’ll do it.
So that’s a no. And that’s just the way it is. It’s just, it’s not, oh yeah. Thanks mate. It’s yes. So, the different styles of coaching is definitely the biggest. And then it was all power based. So lifting heavy and they get crazy. Like they are slapping each other, they got heavy metal music going, the sniffing, those salts or whatever they are.
You know, it’s good. It definitely get a gut around it, it probably took me a year, but I loved it and I’ve taken a little bit of that into my coaching now.
Jack: But we talked a little bit about before the, I mean, certainly Australia is leading the way it seems in the world in terms of sports, medicine and science, the high-performance that goes on in America and the reputation to push the boundaries of what humans can achieve is pretty awesome.
Josh: Yeah. And I think that’s something that I’ve taken away in a Saint that we should, as a coach, it’s not forget that like heavy lifting and just the basic fundamentals of power lifting, I grind, pushing your athletes to get the most out of them as opposed to being like, well, what’s his training load.
Like maybe he’d we need to tone things down a bit, like, yeah, there’s gotta be that bit of balance. And I think we’ve got to be careful not to go too sciency and look into the data and forget about like where humans, and we can get more or be more beneficial to an athlete by maybe pushing them a bit hard.
Jack: A hundred percent. Couldn’t agree more, man. Lucas has just written in a question which career path is you enjoy more AFL or college football?
Josh: It’s a good question. And I think it’d be different if I wasn’t injured, but I a hundred percent enjoyed my four years at LSU over my three years of Giants, but different circumstances college and college can be fun.
Like it is fun. Football is at that level, it’s a job. Both have high pressures. Both are very demanding, but as an Aussie being in America, it’s very fun. It’s very new. It’s kind of like, this holiday to a degree because everything’s so different.
Exactly. It’s just, everything’s on a bigger scale. If I was to weigh that up to the, maybe like a 10 year successful AFL career then things might be different.
Jack: Of course. And we’ll be back the crowd and the misfit, like you mentioned a hundred thousand, which you compare that to a hundred thousand grant model MCJ and a hundred thousand college American football game. What would we recommend?
Josh: Oh, American football, for sure. Because the thing is that’s 90,000 off at like the home team and maybe five to 10,000 or the awaiting. Yeah, of course. So I felt, I finally got probably 50, 50 and this is happening virtually every week, too. So big parade, fireworks, the lot, the crowd, like the student section is ridiculously loud, so there’s a section for the students of the university. And I own version the host. I knows different chance for different scenarios at the game and it’s next level it’s so next level at one point. We have to say, we have a tag out mascot was a target.
So we had a real lot living toggle habitat on campus and he would actually before pay that kinda kicked up the FOS, which is fair enough. He would actually get content around the stadium before the game and plunked next to the entrance for the away team. Like, so just a bit of an insight of how crazy it really is over there.
Jack: It’s hard to believe. And then you mentioned challenges, like it took about a year to adjust to that different intensity and the way they go about things compared to Australia and why with performance and the culture and even the communication, whereas it was directive. What would you say was the biggest challenge and biggest learning curve?
Like as a person that you got the most out of from. Being able to learn a new sport. Was it the different culture change? Was it steady living in a dome and in another country? Like what aspect of it?
Josh: I think just being a part of it, like I wasn’t coaching. I was like living it and it was just so good to learn a whole new other like domain of sports science and sports training. So, like I said, that more power, speed, agility side of things yeah. Coming from AFL, which is very much aerobic capacity, insurance based.
So being a part of that and going through it and like it’s multimillion dollar program. So, the high stakes, what it’s like being coached by a strength and conditioning coach who’s been in assistant for 20 years. He’s relying on good performance on the white room that transpose out into the field or else the coach loses his job.
He loses his job. So seeing that side of things really is eye opening. And especially if anyone who wants to work over in the US and a lot of Aussies are having good success in that field over there, but it’s a different ballgame.
Jack: And do you think that because of that competitiveness and how challenging it is with the high stakes and the amount of money that’s involved? That’s like I imagined the work ethic is next level.
Josh: Exactly. And another thing is with college, they only have a small amount of hours they’re out of work with us. So, it’s just NCAA rules and regulations, so different to the AFL where it’s on few jobs surveys trying to cram in as much as I can in this, I think it’s the 20 hours a week or something like.
So, we would go from sprint doing all that sprint work to then like running inside, doing our white lifting stuff. And then it’s okay. Like recovery, whatnot. And so, they’re trying to be very efficient and you get as much squeeze every drop out of yesterday can
Jack: And how individualized, but we talked about the sports medicine side before and GPS sports sites. AFL is very quite specific and individualized and every player has their own program. Was it the same in that system or was everyone expected you to get through the work together?
Josh: And that saying that they were lacking was that individuality. So they would split it up into pretty much bigs, mediums and smokes.
So you’d be like, oh, lime and de lime and mediums where people like myself somehow. The line back is quarterbacks. And then a small was like your wide receiver as your quarterback to safeties. But it only just started to switch. We had a pretty good individual strength coach because you’re all kind of have you have your head strength coach and then each Greg S creeps, I could wide receivers would have a strength coach, the specialists that the strength coach, he was good and started to individualize our programs motivate, more unilateral and work on balance and things like that, which was needed.
The quarterbacks, again, this is probably a bit different, it’s more shoulder rehab and whatnot, but there was a stage where it was just kinda like we literally were virtually doing the same thing. Just slot differences, electric, the conditioning testing was assigned for everyone.
We would ask punters who can kick us. Don’t generally run, unless we’re doing a phyco sign. Bad’s happened. We don’t need to be doing agility, but now we’d be doing it because that’s what the coach wanted. They wanted us to be doing the same thing. There was times where like this would just not happen in Australia.
Jack: And when you’re going through these phases and you look thinking back, but now is there any concept of potentially creating a kicking consulting business and online program? Like where you thinking in your head, or this is something I’m going to note this down, this like you mentioned, you loved the technical side of teaching and it sounds like you’re quite analytical and you liked to learn was it, did you know that that was something that you were eventually going to give back and help others? Or was it more just, you’re just obsessed about being the best that you can pay as an athlete at that time?
Josh: I think at that time I probably hadn’t thought about that quite yet. Did know that I always wanted to be in sport science and in the space, and I did think it was going to be like, I wanted to be with elite athletes, but honestly I didn’t really know. What I knew the area of the field and the industry, but not exactly yet. I couldn’t say that. I knew I wanted to be a kicking coach now.
Jack: And then take us through your, so there for four years what made you decide to come back to Australia? And when you came back to Australia, what were your plans and what were you hoping to get into next in that?
Josh: Yes. So pretty much COVID, I guess, it came back in March. So I was gonna try out for the Canadian football league and I guess the NFL, which wasn’t expecting my NFL, but the Canadian football league was actually a possibility. Everything got shut down. So it came back and yeah honestly, like my plan off of this trial is to go travel the world.
So I put that on hold for a couple of years. But like I said, I knew what I wanted to do and you, like, I loved, and that’s, like I said, you’re right. Very analytical. I’ve always loved biomechanics. So I got asked by Nathan Chapman to run Prokick Australia, Adelaide because of COVID had shut down borders to Melbourne and whatnot.
So we had some guys from SIA who couldn’t get back to Melbourne, so they were here. So he asked if I could do that. And I returned to play footy for my country footy team. And I think just combining that and saying that lack of there’s no kicking coaching going on. Yeah, that’s when it just happened naturally to come into sticking consultant and told AFL they think they could be in the future.
Jack: You know, for the, particularly, at least for the players that kick out, let’s say in each team, there’s a king cultural, my thought there’s a rock coach. Do you see that in the future?
Josh: Yeah, there should be. I don’t get why there’s not a kicking coach when you’ve got strength and conditioning coaches.
I know I’m a strengthening conditioning coach myself. I see the importance of it, but you’re like, well, kicking is the most important skill. If you possess that, if you can possess the ball, you don’t have to put out as much physical output. So, it would be maybe hard to employ a full-time kicking coach, but you just have someone that can provide valuable feedback and maybe that’s 60% of their role, but then they’re also.
The forwards coach or something like that. It’d be very interesting to see how much like video analysis they do on kicking on the kicking technique and whatnot. I have had a chance to speak to a few guys who are in the system, but it doesn’t seem that even they’re a bit like we get told to kick less because they’re monitoring our loads, but they’ve just absolutely smashed us in running.
But don’t want us to kick extras off and it’s because they’re monitoring it, so, it’s a bit interesting.
Jack: I guess let’s just play with it for a bit. So let’s say you at club said do was interested, how many hours do you think has you need to be at the. Can you only do it with players that are developing that? Or can you do it with the same you’ve guys as well? Like what do you think would be the ideal? If Naval club said that we want to do this, you want to be the first to do it? You’ve made it, you’ve done it. I know it’s a different sport, but you can apply that same philosophy, I guess where we just start.
Josh: It was an interesting point in your rise, because like I mentioned, I did one doc did think I wanted to work with elite athletes. But I’ve found so much enjoyment of coaching, the next level who want to get to elite athlete. And that’s kind of where I felt like I wish that the site I had and it is get that point where it’s like, is it too late for those guys?
Like you mentioned, maybe it’s just the developing players that need it. So I think there’s definitely room for improvement in kicking and ways to train. And I think goalkicking can be totally revamped with players just the way they go about it. I don’t think you need to take 20 steps to kick a set shot.
When you don’t do that when you’re kicking it to a teammate who’s 50 meters away. So there’s definitely some things that can be done. I definitely think there’s obviously more benefit in coaching the younger age, who can not create those bad habits. And they can be more changes can be made at that young race once it does get harder as they get older because they’ve had 20 years of kicking or15 years of kicking.
So like I said, there’s definitely room for an AFO. And what would that look like? Yeah, great question. I haven’t really thought about it. Like I said, I did think I wanted to go into a late box. The safe, you know, we want to hypothetically buy with it. I think it’s every training session. 25% of the session. It should be on skills and on kicking skills. And then, a bit at the end as well, because you want to do it under fatigue.
Jack: And you’ve got it’s all your different types of kicks. Is there certain kicks let’s say just for those listens to the podcast for developing athletes, like you mentioned, then we’ll go into can consultant and we can talk about the creation of that as well, but like what are your favorite three kicks that you, do you think, developing kids, like you said, they’re learning learn then the good habits first fundamentals?
Josh: That’s a good point because like there are lots of different types of kicks in, I had felt, and that’s what makes kicking so hard. And my big thing is, okay, let’s practice them. Let’s do them. I don’t like when coaches say straighten up, straighten up and kick.
There’s a time for that, but there’s gonna be times when you’ve going to have to kick around and your body is like, okay, let’s practice that. So I’m big on that. It’s not about taking a white kicks. It’s about having this big ass know of cakes and practicing in them. Obviously you gotta be more consistent if you keep everything straight.
And I think a hundred percent do that with goalkeeping. Like, don’t get me wrong unless you need to add some distance. Like it’s natural to the ball. Create more talk than your hips, whatnot. But I can really break down some kicking. Like I can go into a lot of detail and it’s definitely signing a blunt through just punting to be honest.
And I vary it depending on who I’m coaching. So, if I’m coaching someone younger, I do keep it simple. So it’s, how you holding the bowl and how you release it, what your body’s doing in that context. So you balance your stability and your leg has what you tell you’re doing through contact position.
Like they have probably the biggest things. It’s honestly like the thing that gets the bowl going anyways, how it makes contact with your foot. So if you drop the ball, well, that’s going to help that. But also the way you make contacts can be adjusted slightly mid swing. So if you do have a bad drop, but your body can naturally correct it.
And you say, they might have this weed finishes because they drop the slightly off, but we’re able to adjust it to then make it work. And it might not look pretty, but it’s effective. So draw prick God and drop, and then con what anybody’s doing at contact.
Jack: And then, what would be your philosophy around working on your opposite leg? Like went that, bring that in.
Josh: Well, best thing to do is download my opposite foot keeping program, which is free off my website. Absolutely. So I think it’s about doing it and you do just actually get stronger at it, but you got to do it properly. Like don’t just think get reps and reps and reps, like you want to make sure those reps like effective and you’re doing the right thing.
So massive, easy one. You can do it. Literally. I could grab that ball and do it now. Just ball drops at home ball guides at home, getting that repetition, like proper repetition just to get stronger in the grip when certain not necessarily stronger, but just more used to it. And then when you kick, I always say it’s opposite foot.
It’s naturally a bit weaker, so you’ve gotta be thinking firmer, locking that foot out. Because you say it just people kick it and it just like it’s. I’ve forgotten his name in it. So he’s got a natural thing. I’ve got to keep this a bit hard and to have that just gets, just you’re more used to it.
Jack: And so you were working with Nathan at Prokick in Adelaide. Take us through how the creation of the kicking consultant came about.
Josh: Yeah. So, like I said, I’d love biomechanics. Joe’s back. Ever since I was a kid I either wanted to play for an NFL team or work for one. And like I mentioned odd I thought I wanted to work with elite athletes and then I’ve just kind of found like, I want to provide elite level coaching to the non-professional was although, trying to get to that next level, because like I said, I signed, I would’ve locked.
And I want people to have a better career than I did. I wish I knew then what are you now about? Not only like kicking, but just everything else to go with footy. So, I just kind of saw that it wasn’t around, we have all my punting coach, like why is our punting coach not alive, but not if he can coach.
I mean, there are some people doing it, but it’s just like, there’s that need there’s that’s it’s my, I want to say expertise, like I’ve literally spent six years just kicking a ball. I did studies on it in America.
Jack: The 10,000 hour rules were definitely.
Josh: That’s not going to the 10,000 narrow. I literally just did an assignment on that for my masters. That’s 10,000 hours was established based off of work from. Not Malcolm Gladwell Ericsson. And he did studies on chess and musicians, and it was found that the violinists had the expert violinists who were teaching the students had performed over 10,000 hours, but that wasn’t necessarily the criteria so expertise and it changes.
We need sports. So a sport that’s played worldwide or something like chess or music, which is worldwide. The level of expertise is much higher than say rugby or something that’s a bit not applied everywhere. So to get 10,000 hours was just, some guy took that concept and then made it popular.
Malcolm Gladwell, what was his name? He made a book on it. So, but definitely some deliberate practice and getting a good amount of it is definitely efficient, for sure.
Jack: And then for those that aren’t aware of consult on what do you guys do? Does it one-on-one you mentioned freaky. Programs in your opposite foot. It sounds like there’s some things you can download, but what are the most common ways that people work with you?
Josh: It is more the programming. So like I said, it’s things that I wish I had, so I’m trying to make coaching accessible and available to everyone and affordable too.
So these programs range from 10 to 50 bucks, depending on what it is, they have got like a goalkeeping program that just gives you, like I said, it gives me some, gives you some of my insights and then structure. So you don’t just go into footy over and kick snaps on the boundary.
I’ve got a really good kicking God for not only kids, but for coaches, parents to then teach their kids. So again, it’s like, I wish I had my dad teaching me this and using this guide has a coaching cues. It has links to videos that you can only access. For the guide very easy to use.
I’m just trying to provide more ways for people to improve and for everyone. And then, I’ve got some running off-season running programs whites programs as well. And then, I work in-person one-on-one small group teams. That’s probably like number one and then online stuff as well.
So whether that’s like a zoom where we have players kicks and we go over the footage, help them out provide feedback, provide a report, provide them drills that they can do to go back and then same again in two weeks, two months time.
Jack: Ah, awesome. So it makes sense in the name, Kicking Consultant that there’s a feedback as a report, sounds like quite a thorough process. And then you’ve got some homework to do that you can follow. And that called it, that it’s dynamic too. Like you’re helping out the parents to help out. They sound our daughter. How does it work with teams? Are you going down to team sessions or are you waking with the coaches?
Josh: I try to work more with the coaches and instill how they go about it. So I’ll make sure that they are involved and it’s not just, I came around a session and that’s it. It’s like I came, ran a session, they learn coaching cues, I drills and then I can go away and do it. So I have worked with teams, it may be like the first few weeks of the season or it might have been one team, like every couple of weeks coming in and off saying, yeah, just massive improvements with women’s teams.
Like the turnaround on improvement in session is massive. And then they like to hear from a different voice sometimes, but I think someone who knows. Yeah, exactly. Like I said, I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about. So specialist. And then they know, okay. I coach knows that an audit, then the coach can take over for the rest of the season and whatnot.
Jack: Just some specific things around the kicking elements. So you mentioned that the stiffness and being strong over the ball with Winky, with your opposite. What about what kicking in the wet weather? What are some different cues that you commonly use to help with athletes improving the kicking ability and with wet weather?
Josh: That’s actually a great question. Great point. Because sometimes it’s just like just slammed on the boat and just hope for the best Serge footy, get it forward.
I think a big thing you can’t do is try to like cook it too much. Anything that’s gonna get that slicing the ball. That’s probably the biggest thing. So making sure you keep them through the line of the ball, which I like to teach in with keeping a straight anyway, kick through the lawn of the point you tell me where you want the boat to go. And that’s pretty big in when it’s wet, because anything that’s sliced in the balls is, you know, it’s going to come, it’s going to slip off.
Jack: That makes sense. Cool. That’s good. What would be some common mistakes that you see when you’re working with teams or you know more from an athlete point of view? So what are some common mistakes that athletes are making when it comes to kicking?
Josh: I think not practicing it enough. I’m not practicing it in the rough situations, not practicing it on a fatigue under pressure. And like I said, they might just get stuck in kicking the ball Stripe and it’s like, no, like there’s going to be times where you cheek around the corner.
Things like that. You know, for goalkicking. So, the whole run-up thing say people doing that and I’m just like why do we do that? And again, that’s like I learned from punting, like we kicked off two steps, we kicked a 55 meters off two steps. It’s like, you don’t need a massive funnel.
Let’s just make the process easier on us. Placed for error. I mentioned you don’t have to think about, okay, walking in, what’s everyone doing, like, where’s the man on the mock, all this, the goal was like, I go, there’s a minimum stand a little bit further back. This is where I’m kicking it from.
This is what, there’s the goals. Like I bet three, three to five steps. And it’s the best thing as in practice. Why are you going to get way more reps in this? Someone who walks back 30 meters keeps it, you know like imagine if I’m may and Ben Brown.
Jack: Is that Ben Brown from, and every time he said?
Josh: Yeah, I’ll get five kicks in, but you get one. But then it’s like, either that you make the kick. So, not insignificant, but yet it’s not a big deal and it takes the pressure off and then say, you’re in practice and you kicked off a couple of steps and there’s like, when the kick went wrong, so it’s such a simple technique that I dropped it inside. I drop it inside again. Okay. That’s what it wasn’t that that was breaking down. Okay. Let’s fix that. It’s just makes it so much easier when you just.
Jack: What about like, it’s quite unique having a kicking by mechanism that also has the strength and conditioning element. So for Australian conditioning coaches that are listing, and this is also a selfish question, I mean, I’m interested in, but what are some fundamentals when it comes to individualizing your strength and power and balance?
When it kinda like you mentioned that the transition coach has started to evolve that in LSU, how do you think AFL strangulation coaches should be doing that to improve your goal? So your forwards, you go kick is your trend. Mackenzie’s doing a key kicking out. It’s their one word working. What would be some good exercises, some good fundamentals to focus on in that?
Josh: Great question. I’m glad we got to speak on this. So big one-on-one a credit is I’m Kevin Ball. So Kevin cheeking guru at a VU. So, he’s a bit of an automate, to be honest. And I actually tends at work with him when I went through the IIS.
So I’ve read all his papers and a he’s keeping some good stuff and then I’m done like kind of leaned on some research in soccer and so backswing what you can develop in the backswing and getting your foot further back to then have more distance for your foot to travel and pick up speed. He’s going to increase your power.
So it’s sauce for that. Anything that’s strengthened up your glutes hamstrings in that ship extension And massive. I think forward swing can have a big influence on that. And I was one of those players that I wish I knew this because my backswing has been pretty bad.
All of my ability, flexibility. I think it might just be structurally in my hips. Like I’ve had two hip surgeries and that was from birth. So play is a different, and this is St Kevin’s kind of mentions in his studies about being knee or hip dominant and where that people generate.
A bit more. Yes, speed. So dominant. I imagine you want to be, like I said, you want to have to be loose to get your hit back and then, but if you have strong hip flexes, that’s going to help, but I definitely think it’s at what you can generate in the backswing to come through. It’s probably a more important, but don’t neglect it and seeing it, but don’t overdo it.
Like you’re you kick so much, you run so much that generally your hip flex is going to be more tight. So probably best to work on the mobility at the front and the strength in the posterior chain. That’s the beekeeping, if that’s what we’re going to talk about.
Jack: Bulgarian split Scotland spring to mind. Cause he can link through the hip flexor?
Josh: A hundred percent. That’s one of the fires I used to hate doing them now. Like I like single leg adios just any that’s strengthens up the glutamate so that, that balance you want to be stable when you make contact. So if you keep dipping that’s why you’re going to be wireless, why it’s not stable, it’s not powerful.
Let’s pull gigs or whatnot. So I like things that kind of stabilize any core stabilization, like I said, glute made stuff. Awesome. And then power BI stuff as well,
Jack: Which it did keep that just simply kicking the ball pathway.
Josh: Or I mean, like you’re in any power base movements drop jumps things that kind of work stretch, shortening cycle.
But honestly just kicking, kicking the ball hard. To get better at any sport it’s to do the sport. I think strength and conditioning a hundred percent helps. And it has this place, like, of course. But going out and doing it you can keep a waterlogged bowl has been studies a game.
Kevin bull has done some studies on that increasing the white and the bowl to help develop strength, strengthened ankle and hip flexes.
Jack: That thing about Kevin Duran in his younger days shooting a medicine ball or something, I remember.
Josh: yeah. Heavy
Jack: Or something became a pretty good three point. Oh. But yeah. Interesting. I’ll thank you for sharing. What we’ll start to wrap it up now. We’ll got the personal side of the podcast. That’s a little bit lighter, mate. You can have to think his intensity late at night, but we will get into the first one. So which movie or TV series has impacted you the most and why?
Josh: It can only take two TV series off far out. It’s a great question. I’ve got a few books, books and auction. I love investing and I love like personal development and investing. So there’s a really, really good one. That’s influenced me the cashflow quadrant. So for someone who’s starting a business like I have, that was great for me. Yeah, it’s not very sporty.
Jack: Good for, for the business. It’s more business starters and those creating it a startup, right. A favorite inspirational quote, or life motto?
Josh: My life motto is just to make the most of every day. And that doesn’t have to be anything massive. Like it’s not that deep where it’s like, you could die tomorrow.
It’s like, no, just do saying that, it’s going to benefit you. Like, it could just be I want to relax. Like I need to distress, or it might just be listening to a podcast. It might be reading a book, but like, make them make the most of every day there’s things that you want to achieve. Do the steps, do something that’s going to get you closer to that.
Jack: What about what are your, like in your work life? What are your pet peeves? What makes you angry?
Josh: Height. They were, who liked the height that like, I think that’s just been developed from a young age through the IIS, through everything. Like just, don’t be like the 10 minutes early. Isn’t really on like early that’s just on time.
Jack: Punctual. Well, what are your favorite ways to spend your day off?
Josh: Good question. I love going to the beach. Don’t do it enough. I think, I dunno. I was just down there the other day and I was, oh, I need to do this mall. And I thought about it. I used to go surfing at the giants on my days off trying to go surfing. And I just loved being out in the water.
Jack: I agree with you a hundred percent. And then favorite, this is a COVID free world. And you mentioned earlier, you went traveling, so favorite holiday destination, why? Or you could switch it into where do you want to go?
Josh: So I’d love to go back to the us. But I actually had a flight to Switzerland and I still have the credit to that. So I want to go to Switzerland pretty badly. I would like to do that by the US though, cause it’s just been too long since I’ve seen my friends and family who live in Switzerland.
Jack: Have you been there before?
Josh: No, I just the lands, the landscapes, and I love it.
Jack: Awesome. Cool. I don’t think Switzerland’s made the list yet. So there you go. Well also might thank you so much for sharing your expertise, but also your journey the ups and downs and challenges and growth that you’ve made throughout being an athlete, both in Australia, professional athlete and college level in America. As well as now doing big things in the industry, both in the fitness industry, as well as in biomechanics. I really appreciate you coming on. What’s on the horizon for you for the rest of 2021? What are you excited about at the moment?
Josh: Well, firstly, thanks for having me, mate. It’s been great chats. That’s a good question. To be honest, like if you’d asked me six months ago, like where I thought I’d be, I didn’t think I’d be quite here yet with my business and where things are going. Just want to keep drawing and helping in our have more reach to as many people as I can, and really establish I’m kicking, coaching, new person here in Adelaide.
Would like to see where that can go with maybe into some more teams and maybe like maybe some NFL teams it’s consulting for there would be cool, but I honestly just kind of gone with the flow.
Jack: Also, yeah, exact same. He might just go with no better time to do it than the COVID world.
Josh: Right, exactly.
Jack: Very good. Well, awesome. Thank you so much again, Josh. And I’m looking forward to seeing how the king gets out and continues to grow mate. Awesome. To hear it’s doing big things and thanks again for coming on.
Thank you for everyone who’s tuned in. Josh did mention actually he’s someone who helped him out with GWS, he’s coming on the podcast next Tuesday’s. That’s our next guest who’s Tim Parham is now head physio at Adelaide football club, and he’s worked at numerous sports at the elite level. So really looking forward to having Tim on to tune in for that one will be next Tuesday at 8:30 PM, Melbourne time. Thanks for listening guys. Speak to you on the next episode.
Thank you for listening to the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ podcast. If you liked this episode, it’d be a massive help, if you could like, follow, rate, give a review or even share with your mates. The show is recorded in Melbourne, Australia. Be sure to follow our Instagram page for all updates on our latest and greatest. If you would like to get in touch to suggest a guest or advertise with the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ podcast, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for tuning in.