Today we’re going to talk about how to stay injury free, how often you should be kicking, what your routine should look like, offseason, on-season – all that good stuff. So, stay tuned.
I think the most cliche answer is that it really does depend on where you’re at in the season, what you’re looking to achieve in terms of growth goals, weight room, on-field performance, how far along you are in the championship round, etc.
You’re in the offseason way more than you are in the actual season. We need to be doing everything we can during that period to build up strength as much as possible.
Staying fresh and injury-free all season
Yes, kicking a lot is fine to an extent. I don’t want the guys that I coach to have five days in a row of kicking or anything like that. I’d rather flip it on its head and workout five times a week, and maybe kick once to three times in that week.
But now, once you go into the season, you’re really trying to maintain that strength that you built up in the offseason. You’re not really trying to max out on squats, benches, deadlifts, etc. You’re trying to keep your strength throughout the entire season because you worked nine months for it. So, you might as well do your best to keep it.
For some reason, some people think that kicking 5 times during the season, everyday 100 footballs, is how you get better. But that’s actually how you get injured and probably never kick again.
During the season, what you should do instead is ramp down all the way until game day. Then, have like a day or two for recovery. Then, get back at it. What I would do if I were you, depending on what grade you’re in and when you play your game, is to ramp down consecutively for four days until game day.
How many kicks should you do per day?
What that would look like for a Friday game is 40 kicks on Monday, which already includes your warmup thumps (one-steps, no steps, etc.) and kickoffs. On Tuesday, you do 30 kicks. On Wednesday, 20. On Thursday, 10. Then on gameday, you’re fresh, you’ve stretched, you’ve done everything, and now you’re ready to rock and roll.
If you go in Day 1, 80 kicks, then 70 kicks, then 80 kicks again, by the time you’re halfway through your game, your legs are shot, and you’re only 3 games into the season. You’ve got 7 or 10 or 15 more games. It doesn’t make any sense to continue on this path of high volume, especially if you’re in the season.
Again, I would always recommend to take your heaviest kicking day, which is usually at the start of the week, and have the most amount of kicks on that day. You could easily divide the kicking in your category and what you’re doing on the team.
If you do kickoff, field goal, and punt, an example of what you might do is 25 field goals, 10 kickoffs, 5 punts, vice versa. There’s a lot of ways to vary this. You’ll have to decide which one you want to focus on the most on that day.
I would never give a one-size-fits-all approach for how to get better. You’ll know that if you’re not excelling that much on field goals, maybe you need to focus more on field goals, and have 35 field goal kicks on that day, and may 2 kickoffs and 3 punts. Or you could not do any field goals that day and just take a breather; you could do just punts and kickoffs for most of that practice.
It really does depend on where you’re at, where your head’s at, how you’re feeling. If you’re overly stressed, I wouldn’t keep going; I would actually just call it a day at that point. But just ramp down as you go throughout the week.
How to stay injury free during the offseason
During the offseason, it’s a totally different story. Like I said, you’re trying to build up strength during the offseason. So, a realistic routine might look like four days of working out in a week. You have Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday workouts. Then on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, you can kick. Ideally, this is the time to build up as much strength as possible.
I wouldn’t even recommend going past three days a week for kicking. A good routine that I would always do when I was getting prepped for college was on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, I would kick. Then, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I would workout.
After my Saturday workout, I would kick because it was a lighter, cardio day with pool workouts. So, I was pretty fresh. I wouldn’t kick after a leg day or any day when my legs were shot because my technique’s going to be out of whack.
Anyway, the main thing here is to pay attention to where you’re at in the season, how often you’re going to be kicking, and reverse-engineer the way you approach the season.
Stay disciplined to stay injury free
Putting that into perspective, let’s say that you’re all the way into the state championship. You’re practicing that week. Should you kick a hundred footballs in a day? Probably not. If you’ve done the routine, as recommended, where you ramp down everyday, and you kick about 10 times on the day before the game, you’ll likely last through the entire season without your legs getting overly shot.
Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. If you go through that whole season, kicking at a consistent rate and not trying to break a certain kick count, your mind’s probably going to be a lot sharper because you’re not overwhelmed with the amount of kicks that you’ve had.
Your technique is going to be way better because you haven’t allowed yourself to kick enough to a point where you start to make a small tweak, and you say, “Oh. That works. Let me do that again,” and then your technique breaks off in like 3 days.
What do the pros do?
If you keep it to a certain kick count, your quality will be much better. That will lead to so many other things in terms of your kicks. You’ll be more confident, you’ll be more consistent. You’ll probably win more awards. And you’ll be fresher longer throughout the season. Your coaches will trust you. You’ll probably get more scholarships. You’ll get paid more if you’re in the pros.
It’s a great way to structure your routine. A lot of the pros do this; they’ll have a set kick count and they don’t break past that. They realistically might kick 10 or 15 or maybe 20 times a day. But past that, not really because they have a long season.
I wouldn’t treat it any different than if I was in any league below pro. Even with pee wee. I know they’re playing 7 positions, but the rules still apply at any level. You shouldn’t have a sporadic amount of days where you’re just kicking a bunch, working out a bunch. You need to be controlled and disciplined.
If you haven’t already, get the Art Of Kicking Ebook to fast-track your learning curve for kicking/punting! It’s a book I wrote of everything i’ve learned in the kicking/punting game! There’s also some additional resources which can be found here.
Awesome. That’s all I have for you today. Leave a comment below on what resonated with you!
Until next time, guys. Stay tuned.