This is a great warm-up drill that is done without using a football. Focus on alignment (marking off the proper angle), the approach (steps toward the point of placement) and body position throughout the entire kicking sequence. Without a ball, you will be able to concentrate more ont he set up as well as the mechanics of each kick. You not only want to visualize each kick going precisely toward your tarte, you want to "see" and "feel" your body in the exact position it needs to be to perform a successful kick. This drill helps improve technique, develop consistency and increase confidence in your skills.
The basis for every kick! Position the football on a line (sideline or yard line) and kick to a spot or partner down the line. When performing this drill, you can easily tell if you are positioned properly after every kick by using the line as a guide. Line kicks also provide an excellent reference point for your plant foot. By placing the ball on the line, your plant foot should land alongside the ball generally in a position parallel to the line. Remember, when focusing your entire kicking motion toward a specific target, you ensure accuracy and maximize power.
Natural elevation is a must for kickers. The general point of placement for a point after touchdown and a field goal is 7 yards from the line of scrimmage. When the ball is snapped, the line blockers are to minimize any type of penetration. You can expect the defenders to jump as high as they can in attempt to block a kick. Therefore, a minimum height to practice getting the ball above is 10 feet. A simple drill to practice is to position a football 7 yards from the goal post (you will actually be kicking from inside the end zone) and kick the ball over the crossbar making no contact whatsoever. Your goal is to practice this until it becomes second nature. All your kicks, regardless of distance, should be performed with this consistent angle of trajectory.
Be careful, especially if you tend to hit the crossbar. The football can easily ricochet off toward you.
Position the football (using a holder) outside the hash marks to increase the angle of the kick. An ideal starting point would be where the 10-yard line and the sideline intersect. This is a close enough kick, yet it challenges your accuracy. The more you improve, the closer your move toward the goal line and beyond. Remember to always aim toward a precise target when kicking.
This is basically an exaggerated height drill. The purpose is to develop the placement of the plant foot and the impact positioning of the kicking foot, all while "lifting" the football to an optimum height. You simply position your place foot in the exact preference area of placement and position your kicking foot in the "sweet spot" area to obtain maximum impact. With the kicking foot already in contact with the ball, "lift" the ball up and over the crossbar. You should be able to perform this drill beginning at 5 yards from the goal post and work your way in as close as you can.
NOTE: This drill is more suited for soccer-style kickers because there is a much wider area of the foot that makes contact with the ball, thus enabling better stability when lifting the ball from the preset position. As you "lift" your leg up with the ball you simultaneously bring your arm (plant leg side) from outside your body and across your chest in a parallel to upward direction (as it relates to the ground). This entire movement should be done in a natural, smooth motion while maximizing follow-through with the kicking leg. This will enable proper balance while controlling the torque of your body as you generate power toward your target.
This drill is exactly that, "no step." It is an excellent way to develop leg speed.
1. Simply position the ball (using a holder) and place your plant foot exactly in the location it needs to be for you to make proper contact.
2. Now draw your kicking leg back, striving to position the foot directly behind you (as high as you can) and (at the same time) extend the arm (opposite the kicking leg) out and away from your body. At this point, you are preset to perform the drill.
3. Kick through the football and simultaneously bring your arm (opposite the kicking leg) across your chest in a parallel and upward "sweeping" motion. At impact, your hips should square up in the general direction of the target. As your foot goes through the ball and your kicking leg reaches maximum follow-through, your hips should continue forward in a "thrusting" motion enabling optimum power through the ball.
4. As this transfer of energy takes place, the body compensates this movement by allowing the plant foot to lift very slightly off the ground and "skipping" forward. Due to the torque of the body, soccer-style kickers generally skip to an area ahead and away (outside) from where the plant was made (with the toes pointed slightly in the same direction). Straight-on kickers will simply just "skip" straight ahead toward the target.
5. Make sure you keep proper body lean (chest over knees) throughout the entire kick. The head remains down with eyes focused on the ball as you kick through it. There should be no "jerking" downward with the head as you kick the ball. Your head should remain on a smooth, steady plane as you approach the ball and should remain in this same attitude throughout the entire kick.
The higher you can draw the leg back, the more you enhance the "whipping effect" (leg speed) of the kick. It's not how strong your leg is that determines power. it's how fast it is (when making contact with the ball).
Make sure you work with your snapper and holder every chance you get. In order for you to develop an ideal rhythm in your kicking motion, you must practice consistently with your entire kicking unit. Proper timing is a must!
Upright kicks position the football (using a holder) where the end line (back of the end zone) and sideline intersect. Try to hit the upright or kick directly over it. The more you improve the height of your kicks, the closer you may need to move toward the upright. By kicking toward this very narrow and vertical target, you enhance your follow through and challenge your accuracy as the ball rises in flight. NOTE: This drill is best when kicking from the end line of the end zone. This is the point where the uprights are positioned on the playing field. (You do not want to practice a drill on the normal playing field that encourages you to perform your skill incorrectly.) You can do this drill alone but it is best with a partner because you can kick back and forth to each other. It's fun competition too!
This is a great drill to emphasize proper positioning of the plant foot and develop leg speed. You basically align your body in the exact position it would be in just prior to the last step (the plant step) you would take before kicking the football. To do this, place the kicking foot forward with the toes pointed in the general area of the football and the spot where the plant foot will be placed. (Toes pointed directly at the football for straight-on kickers). By doing this, you are simulating the first step or "drive" step that you normally would use as you approach the ball to kick. With your body lean forward (chest over knees) you are now in a preset position. While focusing on the point of placement, take a deliberate step to place your (plant) foot in the exact alignment needed for optimum body position when making contact with the football. At this point of the drill, just duplicate the exact techniques described to perform the "No Step Drill."
Simply scatter footballs across the field from hash mark to hash mark to simulate the kicks needed during a game. This is a great way to work on various angles and distances while kicking. This is a routine you need to at least "touch on" every time you go out to practice.
Always be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you incorporate these types of kicks into your regular practice schedule. When on-side kicks are needed, the game is usually close to being decided. Who knows, a successful on-side kick just may well get your team in position for a winning field goal!
This is a more methodical way to work on various angles and distances while kicking. It is very similar to the way kickers are evaluated on the professional level. Begin this drill by positioning ball (using a holder) on the left hash at the 10 yard line. After three (3) kicks, go back 5 yards and move to the opposite hash. Now kick three (3) more times. Repeat this sequence moving back 5 yards each time and continue on as far as you can go. Make sure you focus on the short to intermediate range kicks. The long-range kicks are not as frequently attempted.
This is another type of kick that is needed when you least expect it. You ideally need to practice these kicks with the entire field goal team. Try running in from the sideline to get aligned, setting and then making a field goal in 25 seconds or less.
Practicing a few of these kicks a week can make a big difference in your total preparation. Just knowing you have practiced last second kicks routinely will give you the confidence you need to succeed for your team.
Make sure you practice kicking in all directions and positions on the field. The more proficient you become in dealing with adverse weather (especially wind), the more confident you'll be when inclement weather does occur. Be the kicker who when all odds seem to be against him, comes through in the clutch!
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