The kicking game is one-third of the team's total picture, which is why proper kicking lessons are the key to a kicking specialist’s success.
A competent, consistent kicking specialist, who has received proper kicking lessons, can give his team a considerable advantage during the course of a football game and season. When selecting these players, a coach must know what to look for.
Consider the following suggestions and remember, never be satisfied with the present, but look also to the future -- especially in developing a great kicking game.
DESIRABLE PHYSICAL QUALITIES FOR A KICKER:
FLEXIBIITY: The potential kicker should possess freedom and ease of movement of muscles and joints. His athletic performance will be improved through gains in flexibility because his body parts are allowed to move through a greater range of motion with more freedom and ease. The understanding of proper body mechanics should be part of a specialist’s kicking lessons.
STRENGTH or LEG SNAP: Strength is the force with which a muscle is able to exert. If the Kicker can, with the proper kicking mechanics, transfer the strength in his leg to explosive power, the transfer of force will be imparted with greater efficiency. Strength training should be part of a specialist’s kicking lessons.
BALANCE: Body balance is essential for good results. If the kicker does not begin and kick on balance, he will not finish on balance. Remember, the placekicker when kicking is balancing on one foot. Balance training should be part of a kicking specialist’s kicking lessons.
RHYTHM OF MOVEMENTS: Kickers at higher levels of competition are usually good athletes. These athletes will be very well coordinated. Therefore, at all levels of competition, sensory-motor integration is relative to achievement. The kicker's muscles must not only have sufficient strength, speed of movement, endurance and power, but also must have the ability to produce the proper amount of muscular tension with timing and direction to achieve success. Training to increase proper rhythm should be part of a kicking specialist’s kicking lessons.
CONSISTENCY: The coordination of the preceding qualities will determine how consistent a Kicker is going to be. Tests for consistency are usually determined by field goal: (1) trajectory, (2) accuracy; and (3) distance. Training for consistency should be part of a kicking specialist’s kicking lessons.
Both the rookie and veteran placekicker must be fundamentally sound if he expects to be consistent which is why proper kicking lessons are so important. Kickers should discover a style of kicking that is fundamentally sound and is comfortable for them. They shouldn’t try to imitate the Pro's! Everyone has their own individual style and that style is unique to the individual.
Proper kicking lessons means that a coach has set up guidelines for a kicker based on a solid training strategy. The beginning kicker should be taught the fundamentals first. After the kick is broken down into fundamentals, an attempt should be made to develop these fundamentals to a high degree of perfection.
When conducting kicking lessons, coaches should not try to over teach or make too many corrections at any one time, especially working with an experienced kicker.
We can all remember several major league baseball players who had awkward stances and swings but were still excellent hitters. The same will be true of some kickers. It should also be understood that professionals get away with some bad habits, which transcend proper kicking lessons, because they are professionals and have been blessed with a lot of God-given talent.
The most important thing to achieve with kicking lessons is consistency. If an athlete is successful and is consistent, then it’s not important if he changes his style.