Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins

If you’ve signed up for the great ‘Kick Your Way to the Grand Final’ competition, or are thinking about entering, then we’ve picked up a few tips from the top to help you in your preparations.

Nobody knows more about the science of goal kicking than former World points record holder Neil Jenkins and the Wales kicking coach has given us a few thoughts on his art to pass on to our Grand Final hopefuls.

“Being a successful goal kicker is all about practice. At the top end of the game these days you are seeing such deadly accurate goal kickers because teams realise the importance of winning matches,” said Jenkins, the first player to score 1,000 Test points. The top kickers put in hours of practice on the training pitch and anyone who wants to succeed needs to put in the work. But if you are a beginner there are a number of things you can do to give yourself the best chance of achieving some success.”

“Firstly, find some boots that fit you and in which you feel comfortable. Make sure you’ve got properly inflated balls with which to practice and try a number of kicking ‘Tees’ to establish which is the best for you. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s style, but make sure you do the basic things correctly.”

• Tee up the ball so that it is pointing to the centre of the target

• Measure out your run-up properly so that your non-kicking foot finishes at the side of the ball before you strike it.

• Pick a point on the ball as you are running up and don’t take your eye off it

• Keep your head down

• Strike through the middle of the ball

• Relax

Neil Jenkins broke the points-scoring world record in 1999. “Whenever and wherever I was kicking, for Cardiff Blues, Wales or the British & Irish Lions, I always took myself back to my training area and imagined the kick, however important, was just another training exercise. It is important not to get overawed by the occasion or the crowd. Don’t get anxious and tighten up, just relax.”

So there you have it – a beginners’ guide to hitting the mark with your goal kicks. Get out there and start the practice sessions.

If you haven’t entered the competition yet to win a day with your favourite Magners League club and the chance to kick at the Grand Final on Saturday, 28 May, then simply click here and sign-up now.

It’s free to enter and it’ll take you no time at all.

And remember, they’re giving away more than 200 prizes so you’ve got a great chance of being a winner.

Good luck!