'I'm just going to kick the frigging ball': Crows' gun goalkicker's trade secret

FORGET the buzzwords and forget the mental exercises, the league's best sharpshooter doesn't need any of that.

Adelaide's Danielle Ponter had to laugh when Crows forward-line coach Narelle Smith gathered her group together to ask what everyone's individual goalkicking routines were.

"I don't have a routine," Ponter said with a chuckle to womens.afl

Ponter's poise puts Crows in strong position

00:40 Feb 23. 2020. 6:26 PM

Danielle Ponter kicks a clever goal while being tackled

Of the 33 players in the NAB AFL Women's Competition to have kicked at least 10 goals in their career, Ponter is No.1 for accuracy, sending 89.5 per cent of her shots straight through the middle.

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On top of that, she also has kicked the most goals of anyone in the league over the past two seasons, with 17 goals from her 11 games.

Danielle Ponter's goalkicking chart. Courtesy: Champion Data

*Ponter's career goal kicking chart courtesy of Champion Data

So what's her secret?

"Being confident enough that I don't have to go through a routine to stop myself from overthinking, I'm just going to frigging kick the ball," Ponter said.

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The gun forward has built her tank to start playing more in the midfield this year, but that might change as superstar teammate Erin Phillips makes her return for Sunday's Grand Final rematch against Carlton.

"The thought of Erin Phillips coming back into the side has definitely boosted our confidence," Ponter said.

Danielle Ponter and Erin Phillips hunt Olivia Purcell together in the 2019 preliminary final. Picture: AFL Photos

The two-time league best and fairest has been reviewing game footage together with Ponter and helping her develop her midfield and forward craft, something the second-year talent has embraced.

"There's no better person that you can possibly learn off," Ponter said.

There's been a few bumps in year two for the 20-year old though.

After leading the league by winning 50 per cent of her one-on-one contests last year, opponents have put more work into Ponter and lowered that figure to 29 percent.

Ponter's great kicking was not just limited to shots at goal last year, with the gun forward finishing 2019 with a +23 per cent kick rating, the best in the league.

Ponter marks strongly in the Crows' 2019 Grand Final victory. Picture: AFL Photos

Her raw disposal numbers have increased through her time in the midfield this year, but her kicking efficiency has dropped to below 50 per cent this season.

The Crows face a crucial juncture of the season – a loss against the Blues would put Adelaide at two wins and two losses.

A repeat of Ponter's four goals in the Grand Final would not only go a long way for her confidence, but it would keep the Crows right in touch with the finals race in Conference A.