I wanted to make this post to talk about how to stop curving your field goals and ways to avoid it.
I wanted to give you an idea of what it means to avoid curving your field goals. It happens for a lot of different reasons, but we’re going to boil it down to some basic principles and technique tweaks.
Straighter Leg Swing for less curving
The first one that I see a lot, and the one that we’ll address the most throughout this article, is your leg swing. Imagine a golfer. You don’t see them come in and swing way across their body; that’s weird and inefficient. Instead, they’re swinging straight through their ball.
The same thing translates to kicking. Why would you want to swing the way the target isn’t? It’s hurting you more than it’s helping you. Think about the energy-transfer whenever you kick. Why would it make sense to kick off to the side? That’s probably the most inefficient way to do it. It’s not doing a lot for you if you’re kicking and swinging your leg, curving it across your body.
Rather, what you should be focusing on is swinging forward, through your target. More specifically, if you were to draw a clock, straight down my target is 12. As a lefty, I would be swinging at 11 o’clock, and finishing right around 12.
For me, specifically, I like to swing straight through. In practice, I would do this physically. But in my head, I would think “Swing straight through.” I would often show up to practice and draw a line straight in front of my ball, so that I know whenever I swing, I’m coming straight down that target, not swinging off to the left.
For some of you guys that have to deal with a heavy curve, you could make a line around 1 o’clock, and swing on that line. That accomplish the same thing, but for me personally, I don’t have to sweep across too much; so, I just swing down my line and that helps me a lot.
You can also get on a physical line, one’s you see going sideline to sideline. Just swing right on it, and try not to let your leg go across it. So, that’s a huge reason.
Flicking the foot up
Another reason why you see people curve a lot in their kicks is whenever they contact, their foot comes up, and they flick it like a soccer kick.
Whenever you swing, you want to make sure that you’re locking your leg and ankle out, and you’re swinging straight down your target without lifting that toe up.
Now, even if you have a perfectly locked-out foot, at contact, a lot of you guys will flick it up. That’s where it gets even more important – after contact. Be sure, whenever you make contact, not to flick this ankle up which causes that weird rotation on the ball or even a curving kick.
Using your hips
The third and final reason why I see a lot of guys curving their kicks is their hips. It’s two things working in unison, but the hips are a huge reason as to why you get curved kicks. Two different ways within the hip category.
One thing is they’ll come in and leave their hips back, and not fully transfer through. So, the leg swings but their hips are back preventing them from pushing everything through. Their leg is the only thing moving through the ball. If it’s only leg and no hip, you’re losing a lot of energy with that. Rather, you want to be swinging and finishing towards your target not only with your leg but with your hip. It’s kinda like if you try hitting a golf ball with only your arms and don’t try rotating your hips, core, or any other part of your body. That’s not very efficient.
The other part of that is leaving your hips too far forward, or being too open at contact. When you make contact, you want your hips to be between your plant foot and the ball. Some guys will be only facing the target, and they over-correct. They think they’re super square, but actually it’s over twisting, and they’re too open and pulling their kicks.
There’s a big difference between not having your hips pointing to the sideline and already pointing straight ahead. There should be a happy medium which is in between your hips pointing directly at the ball and directly in front of you. This happy medium is where I need to be – my hips or chest are pointing in between the ball and my plant foot. So, I’m swinging and letting my leg naturally take me downfield.
Hopefully this article helped! Of course, if it was helpful, share with your friends!
And please check out the resources page. But the one that can help you guys out the most is the The Art Of Kicking E-book! It’s going to have pro kicker and punter Q&A sections where I ask them a set of questions on what they do before a game, things to help them calm down whenever they’re stressed or overwhelmed, stretches they do, and workouts they do, meals they eat, etc.
Until next time!