I wanted to make this article to show you how to use your arms when you kick because the arms are a huge part of what we do. If you remember Ricky Bobby, when his hands come up, he doesn’t know what to do with his hands, kind of like what a lot of us do when we kick.
So, this is going to give you a little bit more instruction on how to do that because it can be pretty confusing. For the longest time, I didn’t even realize how important my hands and arms were whenever I was to kick a ball. Once I understood how important using your arms on a field goal could be, my accuracy went through the roof!
So, let’s say we line up a ball and we’re going in to kick and our non-counterarm stays behind us throughout the kick. If I’m a lefty, my left leg will come in and swing, but often, a lot of us will throw our left arm back. (opposite for righties) As a result, it causes our kicking side of the hips to go back.
Use your arms to keep momentum high
If you could do this at your house, too, do it and see how it feels. Stand straight up, bring your non-counterarm back. Try to relax all of your other muscles except for that arm. Bring that arm back. You see how your kicking hip goes back as a result?
It’s the same thing with your counterarm. Bring it down then bring it up. Feel the weight transfer as you start to go up. You come down and everything goes down as a result.
For a lot of guys, their counterarm might come down, and their non-counterarm goes way up. Everything is over the ball and their weight-transfer is way off.
Rather, what you should do is keep your non-counterarm as close to your body as you can because your arms are heavier than you think. It could be 10 or 15 or 20 pounds of weight that’s holding you back if used incorrectly.
Now, if I keep my arm by my side, it’s a lot easier for me to go forward with my momentum.
Stay calm with your arms
Same thing in our routine when we kick and our counterarm comes down. What alot of soccer guys will do is they’ll come in and everything comes down whenever they swing. Rather, you want to try to keep it at chest height. You don’t wanna cross over the opposite side of your body. You want to keep it at about chest height, right in front of your body, like Jason Myers does.
Some other guys exaggerate this and go way up. But ideally, you want your counterarm to be at chest height or head height, right in that range.
Personally, I like to keep it around head height; that’s the easiest for me. It keeps me nice and tall. I’m perfectly fine with chest height, but I love being right at head height. I feel like I’m the strongest and in control when the arm gets to head height.
Just be careful though because when your arm drops quickly it can cause you to crash as previously mentioned.
Some kicking coaches might teach a super high counterarm which is only going to work if you can maintain body posture and body control. Just because you have a high arm doesn’t mean that everything works out all of a sudden.
Naturally, if you relax your body, your body starts to form something like a reverse C-shape, and you end up scooping ground a little bit more than you should. If your body’s down, your foot is scraping. So, if you keep your body upright, you don’t scrape as much. You get a little bit better contact.
Just be careful about your arm placement at contact.
Using your arms can influence leg speed
Another thing to note, a lot of people don’t know about using your arms in the kick, is that it actually influences your leg speed a tiny bit. It’s not gonna increase your distance by 10 yards, but naturally, if you do a faster arm movement, you get a little bit more pop on the ball, just because your leg lock is a little bit more in-sync.
Think about a sprinter. A sprinter is taught that the faster they pump their arms, the faster their legs will move. It’s the same thing in kicking.
You don’t have to be jerking your arm because that’s gonna force more torque on the ball and it’s not ideal for consistency. Because if you’re just trying to rip it and grip it, you’re going to end up using way more power than you probably should.
You’re gonna end up pulling it or pushing it because you’re not syncing your body up at contact, where everything is working together. Some guys will try to throw their arm across, and it causes a lot of issues with body control.
So, typically, if you use your arm in a controlled and quick motion, you can get your leg speed to sync up as a result. So, you can come in and pop your leg in, it helps with leg lock at contact.
A lot of guys will look like they’re hitting it with a wet pool noodle, typically because their body is not syncing up at contact. So, you’re making contact with the ball, and then it’s locking out only afterwards, you’re losing a lot of power on the ball when you do that.
If you use your arms properly, you can come in, lock it out, and swing through it. You’re good to go.
Recap on using your arms
Hopefully that helps. Just to recap on using your arms: make them work for you, not against you. If your arms stay back, your whole body goes back as a result. Rather, you want to keep your arms close to your body and tall, so that your body can naturally stay tall.
The other thing is your arms can influence your leg speed a little bit, where you can sync up your body at contact a lot better. It’s more consistent and repeatable because you’re locking your leg out at the time that it needs to be. Chest height or head height is ideal for arm positioning.
The one part that I’m really excited about is The Art Of Kicking E-Book is out now! That will cut your kicking and punting learning curve in half.
Nonetheless, it’s gonna be a huge resource for you guys. Something like this has never been done before. There’s a Q&A portion with pro kickers and punters all over the world – Matt Amendola, NFL Kicker Nick Novak are just a few; there’s dozens of other guys in there.
Hopefully you guys liked the article. If you did, please share it with someone else!
Until next time!