NFL Kicking Tip #1
Game - Kick Practice Drill
As a kicker, your stats are posted after each game. People that were at the game and people that were not will judge you based on your numbers. Even your own coaches, when they look at the cumulative season numbers, will see that you were 8 for whatever on field goals and they will use that number when they talk to college scouts, or media, or all-state team voters, NFL scouts, etc. What nobody remembers is that snap that bounced in the first game, and the one that was high in the homecoming game, and that time when holder missed a tee completely on a 40 yard attempt during the playoffs. You get my point. There are 10 other people involved in a play for which you will end up being evaluated on. So...
It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that the snapper and the holder know what they are doing, that they received enough practice, and that they are on the same page with you.
Every day that you have practice, ask them to come out 10 minutes early or stay 10 minutes after practice. They should work with you to get about...
...15 quality game-focus kicks
1) Move the ball around the field, never take two kicks in a row from same spot.
2)Take about 12 kicks within 90% of comfortable range (Example: if your field goal range maxes out around a 45 yarder, take 12 kicks that are closer than 40 yards and 3 that are in 40 - 45 yard range.)
3) Treat each kick as a game kick. What that means is that snapper and a holder are as focused as you are. Nobody is talking about their girlfriends or plans for the weekend. Have your snapper randomly place the ball while holder and you line up as you would in the game. From there on, try to move at the game speed and make the kick. There should not be any talking between the kicks that would not be a game time talk. Example of good talk: "There is a bit of a cross wind left to right". Example of useless, distracting talk," Man, it is freakin' cold today!"
4) Ask your holder to keep track of the field goals made. You should get the numbers from him at the end of the drill and keep track of them for the whole year.
If you do this 4 times a week starting with the two-a-days in August you will accumulate almost 200 high quality kicks before you even start the season. By the midseason, you will be functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Possible problem: Snapper or a holder are not on board with this drill idea.
Solution: Go to the head coach and say ," Coach, I would like to get more practice with the snapper and the holder. I think I would feel more comfortable during the games. Could you ask them to give me extra 10 minutes of their time."
There is no coach in the world that will say," No" to your request for more practice time.