The purpose of this article is to discuss place kicking, teaching football kickers the art of kicking field goals. We will take you through the steps necessary to become a successful place kicker.
The tips written here are for soccer style place kickers.
1. Positioning the ball:
The place kicker lines up 7 yards behind the center. For practice purposes, start out about 20 yards from the goal posts. The ball should have a slight backwards tilt whether it is being set by the holder or placed in a kicking tee.
2. Positioning the place kicker:
1st. Take one stride backwards from where the ball will be placed.
2nd. Take two or more strides, depending on your comfort zone, to the side, measuring off the distance from where the ball will be addressed.
3rd. It is very important place kickers always measure off the same distance regardless of the distance needed to kick the field goal.
4th. The proper angle for addressing and kicking the ball. Successful place kickers come in on the ball from half the distance of their side steps. Should field goal kickers take 6 steps to the side, they want to take 3 steps in as the approach and kick the ball.
3. Look at the up rights, visualize the ball sailing through, splitting the goal posts.
4. Approaching the ball for the place kick:
1st: Sort of jab at the ground with the plant foot to start the forward momentum.
2nd. Take the firs step with the kicking foot.
3rd. Begin coming in towards half the distance stepped out.
4th. As you are ready to kick the ball, starting at the heel firmly get the plant foot planted in the ground.
5th. The plant foot should be pointing straight towards the goal posts, even with the ball and about one foot from the ball.
5. Kicking the ball
1st.Resting the weight on the plant foot, make sure the body is facing the goal posts.
2nd. Strike the ball with the upper bone of the center of the foot.
3rd. Kick the ball in the lower third, otherwise you risk topping the ball. Kicking Lower on the ball adds height.
4th. Keep the head down and follow through extending the kicking leg as far as possible. Lifting the head early can cause the ball to go to the right for right footed kickers and left for left footed kickers.
Kickers should do about 20 minutes of warm up exercises before practicing. These warm ups should include stretching exercises to avoid pulled muscles and get the most out of place kicking practice. Remember it is quality and not quantity that creates successful field goal kickers.