Ryan Brierley has acquired the services of the world’s leading kicking coach to improve his season during the lockdown.
The Hull KR halfback has turned to Dave Alred, the man who coached rugby union icon Jonny Wilkinson during his playing days, to help improve his kicking game.
“Originally I was planning on having surgery on my groin to fix up some issues,” Brierley revealed.
“I went to see the specialist and everything was sorted, but the country went into lockdown and the hospital needed the beds, so I had to invest in an aggressive rehab programme instead.
“I took bits of advice from everywhere, from different players and even footballers, because it’s a very common injury in football. I know a few who play at Preston and Blackburn, so I spoke to them about what was going on.”
He continued: “I was scooting through videos and kicking techniques to see whether that was putting pressure on my groin. I came across Dave and I just emailed him some clips, thinking I had nothing to lose. Luckily enough in the morning he messaged me back with a full review of where he thought I was going wrong.
In a short space of time, Brierley believes he has learned a lot about the art of kicking.
“There are so many different parts to it, things I’d not even thought about before.
“It’s not just the strike, but the kick-up, the follow-through, arm position, the boots you wear, the tee. These are the real finer details.
“A big flaw I have is that I kick like Kevin Sinfield and keep my head down, so when approaching the ball my posture was low and hunched. Dave wants me to stay tall up to impact. Another issue is with my follow-through; my right foot hits the floor too quickly after I kick the ball, so I have to follow through longer and higher.
“I keep sending him reviews and little clips every couple of days, and he comes back with more advice. There is a lot more improvement in me, but I can see the fruits of that coming to the fore. It’s a positive out of a tough situation.”