Learning how to improve your kicking skills is important, especially if you are striving to improve and get beyond Junior High or High school sports. While kickers are often unappreciated, they are very important and can really change the fate of the game or even the entire season with one good or bad kick. This adds a lot of stress, but that’s okay, if you feel a little bit of pressure that means you understand how important it is to really do your best and continue to improve.
Practice makes perfect, but beyond that, there are a few techniques and ideas that can really make a difference in your abilities. Here are just a few helpful ideas:
1) Invest consistent practice time on your kicking skills, while this might seem like a no-brainer, many younger kickers think that it’s a talent they just instantly possess and there is no need to expand the ability. This is wrong, without practice you will never get any better and you will certainly never get beyond where you are right now.
2) Your foot’s placement on the ball can make a major difference, put your foot alongside the ball, not behind it and certainly not ahead of it either. The bottom of your shoe should be about parallel to the field as you make contact with the ball. Also, remember you should ALWAYS kick with the side of the foot, not straight out. This allows for much better overall accuracy.
3) Remain focused on seeing your foot make contact with the bottom third of the football, keep your head down as long as possible on the follow-through.
4) Do not change your approach mechanics, keep them consistent and you will be a better kicker for it.
These are just a few ways you can really improve your football kicking skills, though there are certainly other tips. The biggest take-away with football though is to understand that you can read 100 books on the technique and style, and it won’t change your game or skill a whole lot. Where the difference is truly made is through practice and out there on the field. Without adequate practice time set aside, you will never get any better. This isn’t because you don’t have the natural skill, it’s just that the perfect kick isn’t just about natural talent, you need to understand the technique involved, and that comes with plenty of practice.
Another excellent tip to improving your overall kicking abilities is to enroll in a reputable football kicking camp or program. So what makes a program worthy? Essentially, make sure the coach knows their stuff. In most cases this means that the coach was a former football player themselves, or coached professionally for many years. While a football camp isn’t going to magically improve your kick, the coach involved can tell you what you are doing wrong and what needs to improve overall.
Be sure to check out former-NFL kicker, Shane Andrus‘ Elite Kicking site for more tips on improving your Football Kicking Technique.