Improving Your Kick Is About Overall Technique And Implementation
Alright, so let’s face it, there are many out there that think that American Football is a grunt sport that requires little but animal-like abilities and strength. It might be popular, even among those who feel this way, because its fun to watch and encourage players, but deep down, many people completely are misled about how much skill is truly need to be successful. This is even more true in the case of kicking.
Whether you are ten, twenty or thirty, if you love football, you should be playing it. Of course not all of us have what it takes, there is certainly a need for skill, speed and even strength to really do well in the game. If you are into kicking and punting, you already know that some of what makes your kicking skills great is natural ability, but it doesn’t end there.
The other two important elements in a great kick have to do with technique and implementation and practice of said technique. Practice makes perfect, they say, and kicking is no exception. A player who thinks they can skip practices and only show up to games is a delusional player that will end up getting kicked from the team, whether its junior high or an adult’s minor league program.
So what goes into a good kick? First, consider the importance of the angle, the level of force and the speed of the drive as you kick. When you come in for the kick, put your foot alongside the ball. You might be tempted to place your foot behind it or ahead of it, but that’s the wrong move. Your bottom of the shoe should also be parallel to the field as you make contact, and you should kick with the side of the foot, never straight out. While this might go against the way kicking used to be taught, in the last several decades this “Soccer-style” approach has proven to be the best method because it drives the ball further because ultimately it has more power behind it.
Consistency is another key to a great kick. Don’t vary up your stepping pattern or constantly try new ways to kick the ball. Why does that matter so much? If you want to get good, you need to get in rhythm while practicing, and constant change makes it all the more difficult to achieve that perfect rhythm and balance in your kicks.
If you truly want to do more than an occasional game of football with friends, its important to follow through on your dreams and make sure you practice as much as possible. The final aspect involved in improving your kicking abilities is to simply have some motivation source that helps cheer you along, even when you aren’t performing your best. Who that person is might not matter so much, as long as you trust and believe in them and their support. Without any support? That’s a lonely road and it is certainly hard to find motivation.
A special thanks goes out to the Football Kicking Camp, Elite Kicking, for providing many of the resources and advice used to put this article together.