ON LINE COACHING – KICKERS
- Power – Power comes from many sources.. physical strength, swing coordination, swing confidence, eye foot coordination, body momentum thru the ball, leg lock (leg locked out at the knee creates a huge power source – similar to a golfer’s straight and locked out elbow
- Accuracy – Kicking accuracy has to do with confidence, alignment, and pre kick rituals. A kicker benefits greatly by identifying a spot (behind the uprights) to align to and follow thru to. Once the kicker is aligned to that spot he then must have the confidence to finish directly to that spot. His body must be square to the spot at impact (hips square, shoulders square) and he must finish straight to that spot with his body and leg swing. More often than not a missed kick is the result of a serious crossover move accompanied by the body falling back or to the side.
- Practice – Kicking practice presents a dilemma to each kicker. Most young kickers are banished to the side field to “kick and entertain themselves” while the team performs offense and defense drills. What happens is that the kicker ends up kicking to kill time vs. kicking to improve. The kickers need to learn how to maximize practice time while minimizing the number of kicks that they kick.
How do they do this? - A kicker is a bit like a golfer… you go to the driving range and perfect your swing through repetition. But, like a golfer, a kicker must perform under extreme pressure on a kick by kick basis. How does a kicker learn how to practice as if he is kicking in a real game. The answer is to immediately reduce the number of kicks by 25%. Then, treat each kick as if it has huge importance on it… ie first scoring drive of a critical game, your team is down by 10 pts in the 2nd quarter and desperately needs something positive to happen, FG at the end of the half, first score out of halftime to get the 2nd half momentum going in your team’s favor, 4th quarter momentum change, and , obviously, the game winner.
What else has to happen? – the coaches and teammates need to understand the importance of the field goal position. It is crucial that they understand it. It is not a sidelight, it’s an integral part of each game, and, especially key to long term success. One successful field goal or one missed attempt plays a huge role in the momentum of each and every game. The coaching staff must realize this and support it. If they don’t it’s up to the kicker to emphasize it to them. He needs to take charge of his coaches and teammates. The kicker should be working with the snapper and holder for at least 20 pre practice snaps each practice… plus in practice work, plus post practice work. It is so common for me to see high school kickers only work with their snappers and holders during the designated special team’s periods. The kicker maybe too shy to push the point of practice to his head coach and teammates…..and everyone subsequently loses. The kicker needs to be a team leader, a leader of his specialty. All teams need their kickers all the time, but each team with over 50% wins vs. losses will need their kicker to come thru in critical times , on average, two times per season.