How to bounce back from a shanked field goal or punt

We’re going to cover how to bounce back from a missed field goal or shanked punt in this article.

So, you missed a field goal or you shanked a punt, now what? A lot of you guys may, or may not, go cry in the corner and never be seen again, but some of you guys are actually gonna want some valuable information. Hopefully I can provide one gold nugget in order to help you stay more calm in future scenarios.

There are a couple of things I could say that might help you guys out in terms of approaching a missed field goal or shanked punt in a more effective manner. A really helpful tip that I learned early on was to just simply go 1 for 1. There’s no need to worry about the next 6 kicks or the ones that happened earlier or the one’s that are going to come because we don’t know what’s going to happen even seconds from now.

1 For 1

Rather, what you can control is going 1 for 1. Go 1 for 1 every single time you step on the field. That’s all you gotta do. Don’t worry about the one before or the one after, anything other than right now. 1 for 1. That’s it.

In part with that, a lot of you might set goals for the year where you might want to go 7 for 10, 8 for 10, 9 for 10, or 10 for 10. I love that. I love having a goal for yourself. That’s huge. If you don’t do that, you should.

But it should be mentioned that you should be realistic with your goals. So, you’d have a stretch goal of 9 for 10, but you should have a realistic goal like 7 for 10. So that if you, for some reason, don’t hit your real goal of 9 for 10, you’re not destroyed and shut down the rest of the season. That way you give yourself a good goal to shoot for, and if you don’t hit it, you still have one that you actually were going for the whole time.

So, your stretch goal is 9 for 10; your realistic goal is 7 for 10. It’s different for everybody. You could go 13 for 15; it doesn’t matter.

Using meditation and breathing techniques to bounce back

With that, I did mention this earlier, just be present. Because a lot of times, almost every second of every day, your brain is racing with thoughts. The second you give it any sort of attention is the second it runs with it.

There’s a guy; I’ll call him a mentor. His name is Eckhart Tolle who was the first mindfulness/meditation/presence coach or influencer in that space, and he had a really cool saying that the second you give your brain some type of acknowledgement for a thought that comes in your head and follow it down that dark path, the more you feed it. 

Then it comes back with, “Okay. Your life sucks,” and 30 seconds later you’re starting to think about how bad your life is and things like that. That’s exactly why you don’t want to feed into your head because it knows all of your weaknesses.

Rather, what you should do, as best as you possibly can, is meditate because it can help you out a lot, and just be more present with what you’re currently in. That’s going to allow you to block out what is to come and what has come. 

That way, you can be fully in-control of this current moment. The more in-control you are, the more you are able to control your environment and what results come from it. 

What that means is that if you’re in a game, and you’re very stressed about the miss you had earlier. Of course, it’s easy to say “Don’t think about it,” but you really shouldn’t because it doesn’t help you; it already happened.

It’s in the past

There’s this scene in The Lion King where Rafiki, the baboon, hits Simba on the head with a stick and he says “Ow. What’d you do that for?” then Rafiki says, “What? It’s in the past.” Essentially, that’s just a really cool way to explain what happens all the time, where we start to think about all the things that happened in the past and how painful they were, etc. It leads you down a dark path and doesn’t help you.

Rather, just wipe that clean. You’re onto right now. Right now is what you can control and that’s what you should focus on. As easy as it is to say, it does take practice. 

Whenever you’re in a game, and you’re stressed out, take a breath. Just please breathe. Take yourself back to the center, back to a high-performing state of mind. Those are really helpful things that you can do.

Apart from that, just focus on the fact that you can’t control a lot of things, but what you can control is what you’re currently feeling, what you’re currently going through. The only thing that you can control is everything that you’re a part of; your mindset, your feelings, your results are all in your control.

There are some things like the holder and the snapper that you can’t really control, but a lot of the field goal comes down to you, and a lot of the punting comes down to you. A lot of it comes down to your mindset and that will lead to you being successful.

Have fun

Now, the last thing that I’m gonna leave you with is to enjoy it. You have practiced so hard for these moments – to get on the field, kick the field goals, punt. You have practiced so hard to do these big moments, to kick game winners. These are moments that don’t happen to a lot of people. The fact that you’re even in this position is amazing.

So, please enjoy it. Just know that you’ve prepared for this; you’ve done the work. You’ve heard it a thousand times from me, from coaches, from everywhere. You’ve seen it before; you know what to do. Just let your mind go.

Just be present and please enjoy the moment because it’s gonna be gone one day. You’re gonna look back and go, “If I had just been more chill and relaxed, I would have done better in that moment.” You’ve got this!

Hopefully this article helped in some way! Leave a comment below on what you’d like to see next!

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