The secret behind AJ MacGinty's near immaculate kicking stats
The USA and Sale Sharks fly-half has made a phenomenal start with the boot to Sale’s Aviva Premiership campaign.
Irish-born MacGinty has made fourteen from fifteen kicks including penalties and conversions, putting his kicking percentage to 93% thus far.
The only kick AJ has missed actually struck the post, giving an idea as to how laser accurate he has been off the tee.
“I’m pretty happy with how the kicks are going,” said Mac Ginty.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work with our kicking coach Jon Callard and he’s been brilliant for me.
“He’s really helped my confidence and now I’ve just to continue to work really hard and listen to what he says as he has a fantastic eye for detail.”
“All the other kickers here are all doing brilliantly as well working with Jon so it is really competitive in training. I was disappointed with the last kick I missed against London Irish – it was a bad strike and didn’t deserve to go over – but overall I am very happy with how I am kicking the ball.”
“Jon has also helped with my technique.”
“I played soccer a lot growing up so I had a tendency to fall off my kicks a bit. It’s just about improving the mechanics of the kick and Jon has also introduced routines that I do in the gym to help improve my posture and strength as I make my place kick.”
“So the work we are doing covers every facet – from focus to the mechanics and engineering the body to exercise your muscles, even when you are not kicking.”
“I’m really enjoying the kicking sessions we are doing and now it’s about pushing on and looking to improve.”
“With the exception of the Newcastle game we’ve been scoring a lot of tries so, fortunately, there have been a lot of opportunities to kick.”
“It’s such a competitive league and no game is a pushover so every kick is important. That’s why all the kickers are trying to stay on top of things as when tight games crop up hopefully we’ll be ready.”
This weekend Sale and MacGinty have a difficult away trip to Allianz Park to face Saracens, a challenge the fly-half appears to be relishing.
“We had a good week of preparation going into the Irish game and I felt our shape was really good,” said MacGinty.
“We worked really hard to get behind the ball and open up space and it proved really effective.”
“Now it’s about building on that and taking that into Saracens. We know we’ll need to defend well there as we’ll be under a lot more pressure but it’s about seeing if we can take our chances when the opportunity arises.”
“It’s a really exciting challenge playing away from home against a team full of really strong players.”
“My experience of going there last year in the European Champions Cup was tough but we’ll take confidence from the way we performed against Irish.”
“Saracens have had to come back from playing America last weekend so maybe that will have an effect on them.”
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