Kicking field goals, while simple in theory, can be quite difficult if not taught the basics. This article aims to provide helpful tips and advice on how to begin kicking field goals.
We want to improve your understanding, and knowledge of kicking so you can refer back to this at any point when you want a refresher.
We’re going to cover some basic principles when kicking field goals, some of which include:
- Field Goal Foundations
- Kicking At A Distance
- Equipment For Kicking
- How to stay Calm Under Pressure
- The Kiss Principle
Kicking Field Goal Foundation
We can assume that you are going to be kicking in an open field or preferably a football field.
- Start by setting up your football under the field goal holder. if you don’t have a football holder, you can find one at this link right here. Next line the ball up with the laces facing towards the target. Then, take 3 normal walking steps backwards, align your body down your target line and make sure you are all connected.
- Next, depending on which foot you kick with, take your side steps opposite to the kicking leg (so I am a left-footed kicker, I will take my steps to the right, and vice versa.) next, Make sure you put your non kicking foot forward as we will use this to take your first jab step.
- Then when in your ready stance, align your body to face directly towards your plant spot of where your foot will be landing.
- Distribute the weight throughout your body at a 60/40 balance. Meaning 60% of your weight is on your front foot, 40% is on your back foot. This way you’re ready for the snap.
- Take a small jab step towards the plant spot. Depending on your preference, some kickers take a small jab, While others do not. Personally, I find it better to take a small jab-step to get the momentum really going. As you get more comfortable with kicking, you can eliminate the jab step and shorten your approach time.
6. However, you’ll take one small jab step, a medium drive step, and your final landing step. From here, look at the ball and make contact with the bottom third of the ball with your second shoelace. This allows for your big bone on your foot to make contact with the biggest part of the ball allowing for maximum trajectory. If you hit this part of the ball with the big bone of your foot, you will find the ball will go higher and farther.
7. Swinging this way might also be called a soccer-style swing. After you make ball contact, follow through and extend your leg towards your Target Zone. This allows you to get your momentum up and through the ball maximizing height and distance.
- After your follow-through, naturally you should have a skip step directing your momentum towards the target. After your kick, you should be celebrating at this point because you just made a field goal.
Kicking Field Goals At a distance
When you first begin kicking, 30 yards may seem like a long field goal. Wait until you get back to a 50-yard field goal.
The main thing to remember when taking longer field goals, DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR FORM!
People who kick long field goals, either take further steps back or try to add a little extra oomph to their kick, both of which will result in inconsistency.
We want the kicking technique to have as much consistency as possible.
Bruce Lee famously said, “ I fear not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks 1 time I fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Learn how to use your natural swing. Approach every kick as a PAT/extra point and you’ll be fine.
Check out this video for an in-depth breakdown of how I think of kicking field goals:
Kicking field goals Equipment
Some of the basics needed and kicking field goals are cleats, which I have covered in an entire article here.
A kicking holder, which can be found here.
A field goal block if you are in high school or younger, which can be found here. Some kicking clothes that are friendly to athletic wear. It’s going to be anything that does not rub on the legs and preferably stretchy material.
Obviously an open field or enough space for the ball to travel and land. And lastly, if possible a pair of field goal posts. If there are no football fields open in your area, simply going to a field with a tall light pole will be more than enough.
How to stay Calm Under Pressure
Almost every kicker feels pressure when they kick, that’s normal.
At the end of the day, that ball going through the uprights is about the only thing that matters. However, when we feel pressure, our technique breaks down.
Learning how to master your technique and overcome your mental battles so you can make the kick will be your biggest superpower.
I want to introduce one big concept that many of you may know about but don’t actually practice, focus on your breathing!
The breath has been proven to be such a powerful way to calm down your nerves not only in football, but in life!
Anytime you feel your heart starting to race, that’s your cue to slow things down, and really dial in on performing at your highest potential.
Keep it simple stoopid
The KISS (Keep it simple stupid) method has been extremely helpful for many people who overthink from time to time (especially people like me)
One time, I overthought the direction of which my leg should be swinging. I would swing off to the right, to the left, and directly in front of me as an experiment to see which one created the biggest pop.
After months of overthinking, I found that keeping it simple, putting a ball on a line, and kicking down the line was more than enough evidence to prove that swinging up and through my target would be the best way to swing.
Some people swing across the ball heavily like Ryan Succop and Stephen Hauschka. While it works for specific people, the method that applies to the other 90% of kickers and punters would be more relevant.
Aim small miss small
One extremely important topic that I’ve learned is “aim small, miss small.” This is basically picking a very small target and aim for that. Most kickers are aiming between the uprights in hopes of making it between them. Unfortunately, sometimes [su_highlight background=”#fff126″]we might miss what we aim for[/su_highlight]. So instead, aim for a small target so if you miss, you should most likely be within the uprights still.
Kicking in the wind
This one should also be kept super simple. If there is a heavy crosswind, really focus on your aiming point and be realistic. Meaning if the kick is farther away with a big wind, don’t aim straight down the middle as that only gives you half the room for error.
Instead, with a big crosswind, always aim inside the uprights. If there is a slight drop in wind speed, aiming outside the uprights might mean a miss.
When there wind in your face, ball contact, and proper follow-through will be exposed in these conditions.
Really focus on hitting the ball on the bottom third of the ball, and drive your leg up and through the ball for an easy approach to kicking in the wind.
For a wind at your back, any curve you might normally have might get reduced so make sure to aim with that in mind. However, a strong wind can complement your distance. Just approach the technique as you normally would, don’t change anything and the ball will fly as a result.
Learn to develop good kicking habits, and kicking field goals, with the right mindset will put you in the 1% of kickers in the world.
While there are other topics that we want to talk about in terms of developing your body through hip workouts, hip flexor stretches, core workouts, leg workouts, and other fun ways to improve your body. This article was directed at improving your overall understanding of kicking field goals.
We will continue to cover topics on kicking field goals, stretching, recruiting, mindset, nutrition plan basics, and other personal development tactics to improve not only your athletic performance but your mental performance as well.
Thank you guys for reading, stay tuned and as always, stay amazing!