Episode 101 – Kevin Ball

Maximizing Football Performance: Expert Insights from Kevin Ball

Football performance is a dynamic interplay of physical, technical, and mental aspects. Maximizing Football Performance is crucial for athletes aiming to excel in the game. To achieve this, athletes need a well-rounded approach to training. In this article, we delve into the invaluable insights shared by Kevin Ball, a distinguished sport Scientist at Victoria University, who has worked extensively with young footballers.

Prior to Victoria University, he worked across multiple High-Performance sporting teams including Melbourne Football Club, Hawthorn Football Club, Fremantle Football Club, and Australian Institute of Sport.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Drills to improve a footballer’s strength, skill acquisition, and confidence
  • A healthy amount of volume of kicks 
  • Mentors and influencers
  • Things he does to build confidence and technique
  • What he learned from the best kickers

Key Elements of Strength Training

Ball underscores the significance of a comprehensive strength training program for young athletes, particularly those aged between 14 and 16. The emphasis lies on core strength and glute function, which have evolved as pivotal components over time.

Unveiling the Secrets of Effective Kicking

The impact of a kick in football is a complex feat to replicate in the gym. Ball sheds light on the specifics, highlighting the importance of training tailored to the 10-millisecond window when the ball makes contact with the boot.

Finding the Optimal Kicking Volume

Addressing a common query, Ball discusses the ideal volume of kicks for players with proficient technique. He suggests that athletes can often handle more volume than they currently engage in, and shares intriguing insights from his conversation with renowned coach Eddie Jones.

Mentors that Shaped Ball’s Journey

Ball’s journey in the world of sports science was shaped by influential mentors in his hometown of Tamworth, New South Wales. Their forward-thinking approach to training, emphasizing games for learning and small-sided games, set the stage for Ball’s passion for coaching.

The Art of Off-the-Ball Observation

One of the key takeaways from Ball’s experiences is the importance of off-the-ball observation. This approach, instilled in him by his mentors, offers a unique perspective on the game, focusing on the nuances that occur away from the primary action.

Fostering Confidence in Technique

Once a player has achieved an efficient technique, building confidence becomes paramount. Ball suggests various strategies, including utilizing statistics, seeking feedback, and highlighting successful transformations from poor to proficient kicking.

Learning from the Best: Exceptional Kickers

Ball reflects on his experiences working with exceptional kickers, such as Nathan Chapman, known for their outstanding technical prowess. He emphasizes the role of superior range of motion in the knee and hip for achieving powerful, long-range kicks.

In conclusion, Kevin Ball’s insights provide a comprehensive guide to maximizing football performance. From tailored strength training programs to astute observations on and off the field, Ball’s expertise offers invaluable lessons for athletes, coaches, and enthusiasts alike. By incorporating these strategies, players can enhance their skills and take their performance to new heights.

People mentioned:

  • Luke Hodge
  • Sam Mitchell
  • James Hird
  • Joel Selwood
  • Tom Hawkins
  • Garry Abblett
  • David Mundy
  • Matthew Pavlich
  • Peter Bell
  • Aaron Sandilands
  • Nathan Chapman
  • Jade Rawlings
  • Brett Deledio
  • Scott West
  • Peter Blanche
  • Cooper Cronk
  • Cameron Smith
  • Greg Ingles
  • Adam Larkham
  • Bohdan Babijczuk
  • Chris Connolly 
  • Eddie Jones
  • Craig Bellamy
  • John Baker

Connect with Kevin:


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