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AC Coaching Topics

AC Coaching Topics (Intermediate and Advanced)

These notes are to help AC coaches put together coaching sessions by picking from the ready-made groupings of topics.

2-4 topics can be covered in a 2-hour session, though some are 2 hours in themselves.

Intermediate Topics

Suitable for handicaps 12 and below (or those aspiring and nearly there).

Break Hygiene - Keep it Going

  • Rush lines
  • Multiple pioneers
  • Move pivot around
  • Ask yourself "where do I want to play the next croquet stroke from?"
  • Rush after a hoop
  • Get near enough
  • Stand up on hoop approaches

Hampered Shots

  • Laws - Faults
  • Options - decide and commit, don't panic!
  • Hammer shot - don't even try it!
  • Up to 1" through the hoop - normal swing
  • Through the hoop with 'roll hold'
  • Sweep - make sure it's legal (no push, hand not resting on ground)

Pioneer Rushed to Non-Ideal Position

  • In the jaws (review the laws) - options
  • Behind the hoop
  • Long way away

Basic Hoop Running

  • Laws - starting to run, completed; hoop-and-roquet
  • Stalk, relax, aim and hit!
  • Where to aim - between the extremes
  • Don't attempt the unlikely (if I run this angled hoop gently enough then I'll still get my rush)

Tricky Hoop

  • Laws
  • Options - decide and commit, don't panic!
  • Remember the basics
  • Jumps, slam - other 'trick shots' not recommended

Break Building - Get it Started

  • Styles: aggressive or precision
  • Use strokes such as thick take off, angled stop shot at boundary
  • Think about cannons
  • Plan picking up balls from corners
  • 3-ball break - shallow pioneers
  • Defensive options - next break
  • Invest a bisque
  • Shooting at doubles
  • When to shoot
  • Hit-in after opponent blobbed 1 (Irish peel opponent to 2)


  • It's all about getting the first break
  • Analysis technique - applies to all options
  • Level-play options - standard openings
  • Giving bisques options
  • Receiving bisques options


  • Objectives
  • When to start thinking about it
  • Ball exchange - make last hoop off opponent
  • Emergency
  • Peg-out
  • With bisques still standing
  • Some standard leaves and how to get them - including 3rd turn hit or ball round
  • Defensive leaves - survive the lift, next break
  • Setting up wirings - and what to avoid

Back to Basics!

Perfecting the Croquet Stroke - Know Your Ratios

  • Straight
  • Split
  • Pull and drag
  • Hoop approaches

Know Thyself

  • Know your critical roqueting distance - practice
  • Psychology - don't get despondent as the out player - the winning mindset
  • Choosing your shot - make a rational decision and then hang the consequences, clear your mind
  • Shooting - stalk, smooth swing, keep your head down


  • Laws - placing the balls (and moving them)
  • Standard
  • Wafer
  • Worm
  • Promotion
  • Open

3-Ball Ending

  • Options for 1-ball player
  • Options for 2-ball player
  • Use bisques to avoid big splits

Practice Routines

  • Roquet - practice success and then increase the distance
  • Croquet stroke ratios: drive, stop, roll, half-roll, full-roll, pass-roll
  • Getting behind yard-line balls from yard-line position
  • Rushing - use 3 balls, play a break keeping one ball near the peg, rushing to it after each hoop
  • Roll to 1 from w boundary
  • Roll to 1 from I
  • Take off to 1 from behind
  • Split from 1 to 2 & 3
  • Play a break, when it goes wrong stop and think "where did it first start to go wrong?", rewind and repeat until shot is done correctly twice in a row
  • Practice cannon from I(1), II(2) and IV(1)
  • 2-ball break - how far can you get?
  • Practice getting your chosen 'standard' leave
  • Hoop approach & run cycle
  • Approach 2 from II

Bisques and How to Deal with Them

  • Know your opponent's strengths and weaknesses
  • Don't underestimate your opponent (treat them with respect!)

Giving Lots of Bisques

  • Be defensive or really aggressive if you have the skill

Giving a Few Bisques

  • Play as if level
  • Don't take risks
  • Think about break construction

Receiving Lots of Bisques

  • Shouldn't happen for long - just set up a break and win!
  • Leave options

Receiving a Few Bisques

  • Often the most difficult situation
  • Use bisques to get an easy break

Being an A-Class Player

  • Aim: Error free play
  • Mindset
  • A ball in II is a pioneer - lower risk break attempt
  • Make it easy - get near to things
  • Estimate probabilities, make a decision, and go for it
  • Guarding a shot
  • When to shoot

Introduction to Advanced & Super-Advanced Play

  • Laws
  • Openings
  • Leaves

Advanced Class: Opening and Leaves


  • Standard
  • Duffer
  • Corner 2
  • Super shot
  • Hitting on 2nd turn
  • Hitting on 3rd turn - go round/dream leave


  • When to start thinking about it
  • Diagonal Spread
  • NSL
  • OSL

Advanced Class: Peeling

Peeling Basics

  • Peeling and problems
  • Plan escape (ball)
  • Straight peel issues
  • Straight Rover peel
  • Straight double peel
  • Penultimate before 4-back

"Perfecting" the Triple

  • Standard Triple
  • Delayed Triple from missed lift

Dave Kibble - February 2019