Hey, guys! It’s Eric. I wanted to make a quick post covering how to get more height on your field goals to give you an idea of how to do it from the ground-up — what to do with your body, where to hit it on your foot, and even drills you can do. Stay tuned. We’ll find out and we’ll break it down together.
So, there’s a lot of things that actually come into getting more height on your kicks. That could be your body posture, getting good contact on the football, where you’re swinging your leg — it all does play a part in getting more height on the kick.
Body posture on field goals
First thing we’re going to talk about is your body posture. Whenever you come in to kick the ball, you do not want to be chest-down/crunching during or after contact. We’ve touched on this in previous posts, but let’s say you come in, you swing, and your chest is way down, physically, you can’t raise your leg higher than your chest.
If this is as high as I can get my leg, it’s because my chest is down on the kick. From the side, it’s the same thing. It’s very difficult to get a lot of height whenever you’re leaning over the football or you’re crunching down.
Instead, if you make a point to have a taller posture, you get a lot more range of motion. You can get more height, and pop on the ball, because your leg is able to swing freely throughout the kick.
Now, a good way to help that and make sure that you’re keeping a tall chest is a very simple drill. What you can do whenever you’re kicking, instead of just trying to think “Stay tall,” is to put your sidearm behind your back. You have your non counterarm behind your back.
What it does is prevent you from leaning over too much as you make contact. It’s just a good way to keep your body tall. Before you start really kicking during your session, that’s a good way to warm up.
Using your arms to get more height on field goals
So, the next point is to think about how important your arms are on the kick. I’ve touched on this in on another video here, talking about how important your arms are during the kick.
If you think of a sprinter, whenever they’re running, they use their arms; it’s aggressive movements, and they always say that if you wanna run faster, you typically pump your arms faster.
The same thing goes with kicking, where if you drop your arms down or you bring your arms back, a lot of things can go wrong. Looking at it from a lefty’s perspective — I kick with my left foot. If I were to come in and swing and my left arm goes behind my back, at contact, you’ll come here.
You see that shoulder and arm going up, and your chest and body posture naturally curve down. That’s leading to you being more into the ground and you hitting a low ball.
Instead of you having an arm behind you like this, we tweak it so that it’ll help keep you taller which is the goal. You want to have a neutral body posture at contact just like Jason Myers; he’s a fantastic example.
Keep your arms as close to your side as possible — like that. You could even put your hand in your pocket when you’re warming up and kicking. There are really a few drills to help you think, “Okay. I gotta stay tall.”
Where are your arms at?
Next, on the same point of keeping your arms involved in the kick, is thinking about where they’re at. If you’re down here with your arm, and your arm throws itself down like this, you’re probably gonna lose a lot of momentum because you’re throwing your body down and you’re telling your chest, “Hey, we don’t need to worry too much. Let’s just have a party and not worry about the kick too much.”
So, let’s try to keep a taller arm consistently. Because if you drop your shoulder down, and that’s where you scoop under the ball, then it’s not clean contact.
A perfect world is a chest-height counterarm out and across, trying not to break past your head level. An eye-level counter arm feels really comfortable in my opinion and I’d recommend you try it as well.
Chest height, eye height, or top of the head. But try not to break past a counter arm going too high, and definitely don’t go below chest height. The golden zone is between your chest and eye height for your counter arm.
Where to swing your leg on field goals to get more height
Okay. The next thing that we’re gonna do to help you get more height is to focus on swinging through and up on the ball, instead of trying to swing up immediately.
I know some guys will preach “Swing up through the ball.” By all means, if it works for you, that’s totally fine. I’m gonna show you real quick why I don’t prefer that, primarily because it’ll cause your body to drop right as you make contact.
Let’s say we come in and we immediately think to swing up. This little movement where your hips pop back is going to cause your hips to disengage. Now, your core isn’t engaged either, and that’s gonna lead to everything collapsing just a little bit. That’s no bueno.
So, instead of thinking “swing up”, let’s swing out and then up. Imagine a plane taking off at around 45 degrees. That’s a good trajectory. Primarily swinging out. Let’s go out, then up, and let your body take you downfield naturally, as it should.
Using your hips to get more height on field goals
Now, on the conversation of using your hips on the kick — this is also going to help you get more height because timing is really crucial especially when something as precise as kicking is happening.
What I mean by timing. Let’s say we’re coming in and we’re landing but haven’t really made contact yet, and we made contact as our body is past the ball.
At that point, my chest is completely over the ball. Almost all the weight is on my toe. That’s not good. This is gonna lead to one of those low drives, and you’re not getting much height on that one unless you’re just a freak athlete.
Truthfully, I’ve seen a lot of kickers and I’ve never seen anyone make consistent contact because all of your body weight, if not 80% or more, is past the ball. So, this is no good.
So, we need to at least be even with the ball like I said earlier or we could even get a little bit behind the ball. That’s totally fine, too.
Think of it like a power clean. When you’re loading up and you pop right here, that’s a good position to have because you’re loaded in your stance and you’re grounded with your positioning.
Let’s say your plant foot comes in, and you’re loading up on the outside of your foot. On the outside of your foot is where you’re making contact on the ground. You’re in a loaded position. Instead of everything all flat into the ground, you’re really gearing up.
It’s athletic, man. You gotta be ready to strike. You come in and boop. This is ideal, where you get a little bit of weight back and to the side just a little bit, probably 60% on the outside and 40% on the inside. Really loaded up.
Watch the full video for a visual reference of this post.
See, my knee is nice and athletic. It’s not straight. It has a little bit of an athletic bend to it. That’s good. I’m also not here. My hips are engaged. My core is tight. Everything is pulled in a little bit which is going to help with timing, too.
Let’s say we’re in the same situation. I come in and I have this crazy backswing. I would then be way past the ball. So, the backswing is gonna be a really important thing to focus on here, too.
We come in. We keep our hips engaged the whole time. We go load up our feet to have proper positioning on the outside of our foot, hips engaged, low backswing, athletic, and in my zone. It’s natural and comfortable for me to do those points versus having no body control and hoping you have a good kick.
When I come back in my swing, I try not to go above hip height. Anything past that, then I’m really getting out of my zone. Loaded hips. Backswing. that’s where the party is at. You will smash a football by staying compact within your zone.
Again, hips loaded preventing you from having a massive backswing, loading on the outside of that foot, locking in at contact.
Now, the next thing is we’re trying to make sure we’re having contact in the right part of the football. For me, as a lefty, over to the left side of the center of the football, that’s my target zone.
For you, as a righty, you’re aiming at the inside panel because if you aim outside of the panel and you clip it, the ball’s gonna go left. It has to, physically. So, aim for the inside panel, just below the center, right at the bottom third of the football. That is your sweet zone right there.
Mental Game/Drillwork for more height
So, we’re actually going to cover one more thing before we get into the next section, covering more of a mental game and drillwork that you can do. That’s where on the foot you wanna hit the ball.
Whenever people are kicking, they think that they need to hit it towards the bottom portion of their foot, but there’s not a lot of power there.
Let’s focus on hitting that second shoelace, which is that big, navicular bone. That’s where you’re gonna see the most amount of power in that contact. That’s something you can do in your drill work in the morning or before you start kicking. Just take your shoes off. Kick with your sock or your bare foot.
It sounds a little weird, but trust me. You’re focusing on hitting it on the big part of your foot. It’s incredible how much solid contact and hitting your A+ ball will do to your height and your distance.
For those of you guys who are still reading this post, please leave a comment below. 😉
So, one of the more important things, apart from having the right technique, doing the drill work, and everything else mentioned, is the mindset behind getting a good kick every single time and getting height on your field goals.
Let’s say you’re walking back — you’re taking your steps over, you’re doing what you normally do. Whenever you get back from your two or three steps, make sure to look up at your target, or even go a little bit higher than you normally would, and just paint an X or dot and make that your target.
Let’s say there’s an entire word — VICTORY (as an example) — you’re seeing behind the uprights. Instead of aiming for the whole word, pick something in the middle — the letter T for example. Focus on the intersection between the top and bottom part of the T. Envision hitting that.
So, we’re not just trying not to miss the uprights. Because if you aim for the uprights, you will miss or make in between the uprights. Now, if you aim not just for VICTORY, but at the intersection between the top and bottom part of the, you will now make or miss between that and around that.
You’ve taken it from an 18- or 20-foot target to a much smaller target, probably just a foot. A very important thing to remember is not only seeing it, but also believing in it happening.
You may say what you want, but 90% of kicking is mental. So, if you can master that and really envision the kick going to where you want it to go, doing what you want it to do, hitting it with pure confidence, and seeing it over and over again, you’re gonna have a very successful career, no matter what level you’re at.
Even outside of football, I think mentality is a big thing. So, try that out, in part with everything that we’ve talked about today. We’re gonna cover one other thing, so stick around for that.
Drill work for Getting more height on field goals
One of my absolute favorite drills was kicking the ball over the uprights, or at least trying to, sideline to sideline. This drill is probably my favorite drill for many reasons.
When I’m back, doing my steps, I now have a visual line that I can swing on. I have something that I can physically swing towards: the uprights. I also have something I can physically swing over: the top of the uprights.
In a matter of seconds, we can take a drill that will help you swing on your line, which is gonna help you with your power and accuracy.
It’s gonna help you keep your power strong to help you hit over the uprights. It’s gonna help you keep your accuracy over a long distance.
If you hit it over the uprights and you keep it on a line the whole way, that’s perfect. Even if you don’t hit it over the uprights and just go sideline to sideline, in general, it’s a great drill to do.
But in terms of getting height, get on the sideline. Try and hit the ball over the uprights, starting from the exact sideline. If your field allows you to go further back, do that. If you’re already hitting it over the sideline, scoot in.
The cool things with drills like that is that you can start back pretty far or you can start really close.
If you get the ball up quick, you can just scoot back. If you can hit the ball pretty high from a good distance, the sideline for example, you can then scoot up. If you’re still hitting over the upright from that close, you know you’ve got power from a distance and you’ve got good lift up close.
I think this drill is so fun because there are so many ways that you can use it, whether you want to go for a quick lift or you do it from way back in the soccer area. Or you’re trying to have a happy medium where you’re trying to get a quick lift and hit it over the upright or even the other upright.
I know it can be relatively tough for a lot of people, myself included. It can be challenging, but I think the goal of a drill isn’t to be perfect at it. It’s to get better.
So, get on a line and try to swing your leg down that line. It’s gonna help you with power, accuracy, confidence, and overall swagger because you’re aiming for a very finite object like the upright.
If a field goal has a flag at the top, you better believe I’m gonna try to hit the top of the flag or picture something very specific to aim for. Not just the upright, but specifically, something very small within that.
So, that’s all I got, guys. Thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions, leave it below. If you have any post ideas, leave that below. Subscribe if you haven’t already. I’ll be doing some really cool stuff with my subscribers. Thanks again for watching, and stay tuned!
Originally published at https://kickersofearth.com on November 27, 2022.