The 1 Percenters are the little things that are not usually given a stat in AFL. Typically 1%ers refer to knock-ons, spoils, smothers, shepherds, chase from behind, bumps, blocks. A 1%er requires a player to put in effort and these are aspects that coaches and scouts look for in athletes.
Goals and big marks can lift a team, but so can a well-executed smother. It has the ability to change momentum and lift a team.
Remember these points to make an effective smother:
- Arms and hand outstretched from hip level
- Turn body side on to protect yourself
- Step across with your leg closest to the opposition player and bend at the knees
- Keep your arms and hands strong as you place them over the kicking players boot
- Protect your head with your leading arm – still watch the ball though!
Smother in pairs
- In pairs practice the smother technique.
- Kicking player working at about 70%
- Practice smothering from both sides
- Not a “bump”
- Know where your teammate and the opposition player are at all times (don’t just focus on one or the other)
- Use arms to lock player in behind you
- Preferably make contact with the player so you know where they are and stop their run
- If you can’t make contact just getting between the opposition player and your teammate can be effective, as the opposition player has to use valuable time to get around you
- It’s all about EFFORT!
Activities: Shepherding the tackler
- 3 cones set out as in the diagram with a ball carrier line, shepherder line and tackler line.
- Ball rolled out to player.
- “Tackler” tries to run down the “ball carrier” and affect disposal/make tackle.
- “Shepherder” attempts to run a shepherd and keep tackler away.
- “Shepherder” to talk to “ball carrier” and give important information such as amount of time they have
- The “ball carrier” needs to execute the handball as well