Two months ago, I hadn’t kicked a footy in years.
I can’t give you an exact date for when I had last picked up that funny-shaped red ball, but it would be somewhere around the 10-year mark.
Growing up, I was a mad footy fan. I would go to every Dees game with my dad. I loved the crowds, the noise, the chippies and most of all, when it was all over, I loved jumping the barrier for a kick-to-kick on the field.
While my love of deep-fried potato has never faltered, my interest in football did as I grew older. It was in large part because from the age of 12, too many Aussie girls weren’t allowed to play any more and there was no national competition for them to shoot for if they did.
Enter the AFL Women’s league.
Missed all the Round Six action? We have you covered:
The past six weeks of footy have been HUGE. Tens of thousands of punters have turned out every weekend to watch the next generation of footy legends make their mark on Australia’s favourite game, and countless little girls have been inspired to get involved.
A couple of weeks ago, one of them even taught me how to kick a ball again.
Fremantle Dockers captain Kara Donnellan was kind enough to run me through some basic skills and drills – check out the video above for all the know-how to handball like a pro.
Here's what I learned.
Step 1: Make a fist with your preferred hand, but make sure your thumb is on the outside - we don't want any broken bones.
Step 2: Make a platform with your non-preferred hand and put the footy in it.
Step 3: Step forward and punch the tip of the footy.
Step 4: Catch your fist.
(You can watch this in action in the video at the top of the post.)
Step 1: Nose over toes. Line up the footy with the laces out.
Step 2: Drop it and kick it with a pointed toe.
Step 3: Get drafted to the AFLW, 'cause you're a bloody footy star.
In footy, the ball spends a whole lot of time on the ground and picking it up cleanly is one of the most important skills to have.
Here's how it's done:
If you missed it, that was...
Step 1: Get nice and low to the ground.
Step 2: Pick the ball up with two hands
Step 3: Step forward and handball.
Look, not everyone will be Kara Donnellan or Darcy Vescio or Sabrina Frederick-Taub, but getting back to the basics - or starting with them - is a great way to make sure you're NAILING kick-to-kick.
It's also a great way to get off the couch and have a whole heap of fun. Thanks for the reminder, Kara!
In 2017, Mamamia is committed to covering all aspects of women's sport. Check out more of our sports stories here.