It's a Jungle Out There

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Macmillan, 2010 - Australian football - 331 pages
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Ricky Nixon is the highest profile sports agent in the country, responsible for managing and marketing some of the biggest names in AFL - Ablett, Carey, Cousins, Dunstall, Richardson, Riewoldt, Hird, Modra, to name but a few. Almost single-handedly he has revolutionised the way players are represented and remunerated, bringing in the best of modern marketing and management techniques from the US and adapting them to local conditions - often in the face of opposition from the game's conservative vested interests. It's a Jungle Out There is Ricky's story. From his early playing days, to starting out as an agent and now his ongoing success, this is a candid and fascinating account of the normally behind-the-scenes world of player management. Along with his own insights into the game, its big names and future directions, it takes us deep into Ricky's AFL jungle - a place full of huge stars, huge deals, huge headlines and huge headaches.

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I had only the sporting globe football book of 1948 and no coaching, only my young mind. So without publications like this, and having paper
footballs and only a real football on the school ground at playtime from grade six till I was 15 in Form Four, I managed to perfect my Australian Rules foot disposal. See below.
James A. Johnson at age 14, in 1948 revamps Jack Dyers drop punt for goal,” silliest looking kick in football history” (Page 49 The Sporting Globe Football Book 1948), into a Drop Punt Field Pass, kicked at full pace. Invents The Stab Punt replacing the Stab Kick, at age 15, in 1949 These kicks are the predominant kicks used as field passes today.
Johnson should write a book on stab kicking he has found the lost art. by Davey Crocket, The Ringwood Mail, September 8, 1960. (Re Jim’s Stab Punt.) Johnson sent his delightful little drop punt pass to Manfield’. Frank Casey, The Ringwood Croydon Post, September 8, 1960. (Jim’s Stab Punt) No doubt about Jimmy Johnson, he definitely has found the lost art of stab passing. (Re Jim’s Stab Punt.) “The Mail”, Thursday, September 15, 1960. Stab Kicks, By Davy Crockett. (Re Jim’s STAB PUNT)
THE SCIENCE OF KICKING published 2007. THE STAB PUNT. The authors have COINED the term stab punt because it describes perfectly the mechanics of this shorter-range and highly accurate pass. It should not be confused with the stab kick, a drop kick popularized by players like Bob Skilton (1960’s). While similar to a drop punt it never-the less has several defining characteristics that give it a distinctive flavor and purpose. It is not designed for maximum distance and accordingly the player uses a variation in drop punt technique with a limited backswing and minimal follow-through. It is a kick in which a rapid punching action is applied to the ball the aim being to pass the ball as quickly and as accurately as possible to a teammate. Page 64 & 65 of THE SCIENCE OF KICKING 1st Edition. Geoffrey Hosford. & Don Meikle published 2007 by B.I.P.E. Publications Pty Ltd. Forward by David Parkin.
The term STAB PUNT was coined 58 years after Jim, as kid, invented it.
The Stab Punt invented 1949. Aged 15 years, 5ft 2in(157.48 cm.), weighing 8 and 1/4 stone (52.5 kg) and playing for the Mount Evelyn First Eighteen, Jim Johnson declared to himself: As I can kick a drop punt as a field pass, why not convert the stab kick into a stab punt. Now, with his own football, it took Jim only around two weeks to adjust the split second timing to kick the ball just before, instead of just after, it hit the ground. “Stab Punt Jim Johnson”
Just recently (April 23rd 2013) Jim traced the following advertisement
“STAB PUNT. The Inventor of the Stab Punt (1949) is interested in hearing from anyone who used this kick pre 1970 Ph. 8743622,”
that I placed in the Age, page 26, bottom right corner, on Thursday the 26th of July, 1990. This ad appeared on the Sports Page that had an article by David Parkin on the Torpedo Punt. So we have an article describing how to kick the football and an ad by someone who invented a kick in Australian Rules Football on the same page. Special note! “Jim’s Stab Punt referred to as “Johnson’s “DELIGHTFUL LITTLE DROP PUNT PASS” in 1960. and the Stab Kick referred to as the “PRETIEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE INOVATION OF RECENT YEARS” “THE STAB KICK The Argus 27th June, 1910”
See google "Stab Punt Jim ” for further information.

About the author (2010)

Ricky Nixon was born in Bendigo in 1963 and played in the VFL for St Kilda, Carlton and Hawthorn. After retiring from football he went on to pioneer player management in Australia, representing the likes of Ablett, Carey and Cousins. Ricky's company, Flying Start, continues to set the benchmark in managing the game's best talent.

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