It's that time of the year again...FOOTBALL SEASON, the greatest time of the year. It is time for you to earn your spot on the new team, stay healthy (not kicking too many balls during camp) and maintain the form your coaches have taught you during the off-season. Make sure every day you are striving to get better. Remember you do NOT have to kick a million balls to get better at kicking/punting. Limit yourself to 30-40 balls a day and warm up properly before you go out and kick. Things as simple as making sure you are ending up in the right spot after taking your steps every time to walking up and down the field dropping the ball to get the right drop every single time on your punts will go a long way in putting you ahead of your competition. Pay attention to the details now so they won't creep back and haunt you when game time comes around.
A Few Tips:
Be the Rabbit- It sounds goofy, yes, but act like you always have someone chasing you for your spot. No one is guaranteed a starting spot on the team ever (at least in our eyes)! Even if you are a 3 or 4 year starter, you never know when that can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Work your tail off every day and it will pay you dividends when the game is on the line and your coach calls your name to kick the game winning field goal.
Be Proactive- This goes for everything from staying healthy, stretching daily, icing and rehabbing any sore muscles to working with your snapper and holder before game time. Prevent injuries by warming up correctly every day (ride the bike for a little take a jog, high knees, butt kicks etc. and then stretch out), take ice baths and feel free to ice your legs after a long practice of kicking. A little ice goes a long way to helping you stay healthy throughout the season! You also want to be proactive with your snapper and holder. Make sure your total operation (snap, hold and kick) is flawless. It won't matter during the game that you can drain 60 yard field goals all day if you, your snapper and holder are all off cue. Work with them before and/or after practice to help make the snap, hold and kick look as effortless as possible.
Be a Student and an Athlete- A lot of times we forget that we are still students, but always remember if you can't make the grades you simply won't play. You don't want your grades to be the leading factor that makes you lose the kicking battle during the season! Take care of your business on and off the football field and reap the rewards.
Miss and Forget- Every single kicker or punter reading this right now will miss a field goal or mishit a punt this season, it’s just the nature of the beast. Whether it is during charting at practice or even during a game, there is simply no way around it. As a specialist our jobs come down to the very fine details. This leaves us more vulnerable to making mistakes in comparison to other positions. Unfortunately for us, we don’t get 100 reps during a game to make things right. This leaves us under the spotlight when we do have a hiccup. We want you to move past those mistakes when they happen. Don’t let them get in your head after missing a field goal or shanking a punt. Instead, come back stronger on your next attempt. You never know when you will be back on the field after your previous mishap so it’s best to Miss, Forget and Move on.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch- It’s a long season and you know it. By the time 2 or 3 games go by your legs are pretty sore and probably not as loose as they need to be. This is exactly why you need to be stretching 3-5 times a day for 5-10 minutes. A little stretching here and there will go a long way to helping preserve your flexibility throughout the season. Normal stretches will be all you need to do (nothing crazy). Set a schedule and stick to it. Stretch when you wake up, stretch mid-day, before/after practice and then one last stretch before you go to sleep.
Be sure to send us any stats, accomplishments and/or videos from your games. We are looking forward to hearing about all of your success on and off the field.
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