I wanted to make this article to help you understand what it means to find your own routine in your kick. I think everyone has their own routine. They’ve all got the one that works for them the most.
It was really nice to watch a very specific NFL kicker do his thing over the past week. If you watch any NFL kicker, from kick 1 to kick 89, they have the exact same routine; everything is the same. They take the same steps, they do the same thing with their shoulders, they take the same deep breaths at the same moments, they tap their feet down when they need to at the exact same time.
Why have a routine?
Everything is clockwork. It helps them get in their zone a lot faster. Because if you don’t have a routine, you’re obviously not gonna be ready to go come game time. If everything is different every time, you’re not gonna be consistent.
What I’ll tell you is to get a routine that you feel comfortable with. But before we do all that, we have to figure out your steps. Now, personally, I think the most common way is the 3-back and 2-over approach. You can do 2-back and 2-over, it doesn’t matter; whatever feels comfortable for you.
A field goal routine made simple
But I was always a 3-back and 2-over guy. I’ve tried two steps, but I liked 3 steps. The important thing is I’m not taking 3 massive steps, I’m taking 3 normal walking steps back.
From here I’ll line my target up – my toe, my ball, and my target are all lined-up, and I’m visualizing what it feels like for it to go right there. I take a deep breath through my nose and out through my mouth. From here, I put my counter arm directly out to my side to give myself a visual reference as to where I’m supposed to go 90°.
Now, every single kick is straight. If I’m on the right hash, kicking down the middle, or on the left hash, or on the middle, every single time my steps should be the same distance and angle to the side. I am not taking my first step to the side up or back, compared to where I am set currently. If you draw a triangle from the ball, where your steps back are, and where you’re standing and it’s an obtuse/acute angle, something is wrong. Because I’m always going to take a 90-degree sidestep from my 3 steps back, to where i’ll ultimately finish up in my ready stance.
Once you’re in your ready stance, you can take one more look at the target, visualize it going there again. Take a deep breath through the nose, out through the mouth, and then I’m good to go.
Of course, I have other things that I do in between, but you need to get your steps down first.
So, you have to make sure, every single time, you’re the exact same spot kick after kick.
Another thing, a more advanced add-on to that, is you do your back-and-overs and all that. At this point, you shouldn’t even be thinking. By the time you’ve stepped back and are taking your first deep breath, you should already be clear-headed and ready to rock and trust your swing.
One thing, a lot of guys will try to hide one of their back feet, and if that works for you, then great. But in terms of kicking, I’ve always been a proponent of efficiency. Imagine if my back foot is right pointing completely perpendicular to where i’m trying to go. As you approach the ball, your feet are telling your body that you want to open up to the ball and then rotate back at the plant. I think it’s a habit that can lead to your body doing more work than necessary.
Rather, what I do is I have my toes pointing at the plant spot, hips and shoulders planting at the plant spot. I’m keeping my left hip and left hip (I’m a lefty kicker) outside of the ball and I’m keeping it there the whole time. So when I come in, everything is planting and going to the plant spot. It’s not rotating back any which way.
One more time. Take a deep breath. Do your thing. Shake your hips. Wiggle your arms. Get set. Ready to go. Easy money.
Nod to your imaginary holder
Now, one last thing to note: it’s a really good habit to get into, whenever you’re set, to nod to your holder even if they’re not even there. Physical or imaginary, I’m picturing a holder right now, that’s getting ready to catch the snap. I give him a nod. I picture the hold. I’m ready to roll.
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I will catch you next time! Thanks for reading!