The football team’s kicker is frequently overlooked as an important component. Having a good football kicker is necessary for the team to have a strong defense.
Here are some tips on how to be a good football punter/kicker:
Try to learn the proper kicking form and use a good one whenever you have practices or drills. You should be consistent in your attempts during your practice or drill.
While you keep your head down, finish it with a full or complete follow-through.
Try to do some kicking drills with the proper kicking forms during your practices.
These drills are helpful in improving your kicking distance and power together with accuracy.
Slowly increase the drills’ distance starting from the goal posts, but consistently focus on kicking the ball in the goal posts’ middle.
Strengthen your core and lower body for improved leg speed, balance and kicking power.
Ball exercises and single-leg squats for core stability and strength are the key regimens.
Integrate other exercises that strengthen the hip flexors and quadriceps because these muscles are most useful for distance kicking.
Try to improve hamstring and hip flexibility with a continuous mobility and stretching routine.
Perform hip and leg stretches with dynamic stretches and leg swings for 10-15 minutes. Through this, the swinging of your leg will feel more free whenever you kick.
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You should wear kicking shoes that snugly fit your feet. There are many kickers who wear kicking shoes that are ½ size smaller than their shoes’ normal size.
You should also line up in such a way that you are in the exact same position as to your ball before kicking it to the field goal.
Most football kickers take 3 steps backward and 2 steps forward on the sideline, which is opposite from your kicking foot.
Try to take a jab step using your off foot when approaching the ball. Then, take 2 strides going to the ball.
Also, try to put your off-leg right next to the ball with your toes facing straightforward to the posts.
Strike the bottom of the ball’s center using the top of your foot. Your foot’s angle should be 45 degrees to the sideline when making a contact.
You should also lock your knee and ankle when you hit the ball.
Practice kickoffs and kicking field goals every other day during and before the football season.
You should also warm up for your muscles by doing some light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes before having your workout.
Also, do some stretching before having your workout for 5-10 minutes. Try to focus on your groin, quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings.
Try also to warm up your legs by kicking a blocking pad or soft pillow for 40-50 times.
Try to kick 10-12 field goals from a distance of 5-10 yards. The distance should be closer than your maximum range in the field goal.
If possible, practice these with a holder and snapper for the simulation of different game conditions.
Practice 3-4 more assumed field goals on your maximum kicking distance.
Try to kick 24-40 balls which are deep off the tee. Learn to kick the ball at higher angle through the height drill.
Your holder should place the ball 7 yards away from the posts and try to learn kicking it high towards the posts.
Lastly, try to have some sprints after every practice to strengthen your legs and to improve the distance of your kick.
Aside from these physical fundamentals, try to make your own game-day routine to make you feel ready for the action.
Many kickers have their own preparation before the game, which involves doing some kicks of multiple field goals from different places in the field.
Having your own specific routine will make you feel comfortable before every game.
You should also be able to maintain your tempo when you are about to kick the ball.
All football kickers have their own specific tempo that should match their body and their style in kicking.
There are slow tempos, medium tempos, and even fast tempos which may lead to a great kick.
Since there are varieties of tempo, the kicks will also have some which will depend on the tempo that you will set.
There are no kickers who have similar tempo. That is why it is necessary for each kicker to find their own rhythm that will suit their kicking style and body type.
Slower tempos are mostly suited for body types that are taller, while quicker tempos are for players with shorter body types.
If you have longer legs, these will give you a longer lever which focuses on making a fluid and smooth swing.
Conversely, if you have shorter legs, these will give you a shorter lever which requires an explosive and fast swing.
It is also important to do some experimentation or trials with these different types of tempos on your practice field.
As much as possible, try to avoid looking on your past misses and try to move on from those failures immediately.
When you keep these failures in your mind, they may hinder from you performing your games well.
Thoughts of your past mistakes will not do anything good to you and your team.
While recognizing your mistakes is important for your improvement, you, as a player, must also train yourself to learn from your mistakes instead of wallowing in them.
Just focus on the present and do your best in playing your games to come.
These are just some of the tips on how to be a good football punter/kicker. It is true that doing all these tips may not be that simple, but they are worth every sweat.
As what they say, “Goal is a repetition with focus and determination”. Every football kicker has their own starting point.
There are some who are naturally gifted than others. Regardless, always remember that the finish line is not always determined by only having a natural talent.
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