Thirty seconds to arghs: Reason behind Dixon’s kicking yips
STAR Port Adelaide key forward Charlie Dixon has admitted he is not confident in front of goal and has struggled to cope with the 30-second rule.
Dixon, who infamously was called to play on from a set shot when his time expired in the dying minutes of the Power's two-point loss to Geelong in round 10 last year, has kicked an inaccurate 17.19 this season but bagged 4.1 against St Kilda on the weekend.
Former Sun Dixon, who kicked 49.30 last year but a costly 3.6 in Port's extra-time elimination final loss to West Coast, said the 30-second rule had left him feeling rushed while he hasn't got his goalkicking routine down pat.
"It goes a lot quicker than what you think, obviously from what I've been through,'' Dixon said of the 30-second time clock that starts when a player begins walking back to his mark.
"I haven't been happy with my goalkicking. I think I went away from some things that I used to do and that sort of set my routine back earlier in the year.
"I've sort of just gone back to what I know and it's still not working quite as well as I'd like but at the end of the day it's a demanding sport and it's demanding position we play in the forward line.
"It's all over the comp where players are struggling in front of goal. All us boys, we're all working on our craft and trying to simulate what happens in games because in training you are never as gassed as you are in a game and lining up in front of goal and having the 30 seconds to count down.
"It's different and you've just got to be able to steady yourself in 30 seconds and go back and kick a goal. But it's a bit harder than what people think.''
Dixon said he can get frustrated when he misses goals early in games and is learning to put that to one side.
"You've just got to try to move on,'' he said.
"As hard as it is hearing the crowd, your teammates, the opposition, stuff like that, you've just got to try to zone out.''
Dixon said he often was guilty of missing close shots because he didn't kick through the ball properly.
"You've got to kick exactly the same way whether you're 20 or 60m out,'' he said.
"But sometimes you don't do that. You're like, oh, I'm close, so you just poke it through and it ends up coming off the side of the boot and going out on the full, which I am normally good at for one a game.
"It's just how it is in the moment, I suppose, and trying to wrap your head around going through your routine, locking in and trying to kick goals.''
Dixon said he will consider taking a leaf out of super-accurate North Melbourne key forward Ben Brown, who has kicked 46.17 this season, and take a longer run-up.
"Everyone's different but he kicks the ball really well so maybe I should look at that and have a longer run-up,'' he said.
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