How To Kick a Field Goal

So, you've decided you want to learn how to kick a field goal to be a football kicker. And you know what? Good for you. You get to spend most of the game watching, and can wear short sleeves right through January. But just how do you go about kicking that big field goal?

Pick a Kick
There are two different kicking styles: straight and soccer. Straight kickers bring their foot straight up, so that the laces are perpendicular to the ball. This is the more classic style of football kicking and the one that you were more likely to learn in junior high.

Soccer style kickers, on the other hand, whip their legs around like a soccer player delivering a shot on goal. The idea is to follow through the kick in an arc, bringing your foot to from one side of the ball to the other.

Neither kick is superior to the other. Different kickers have different preferences, and you should practice both kicks to decide which you like better.

Holla at the Holder
Start off by communicating with the holder-normally, your starting quarterback. Make sure he knows when to place the ball so that you're comfortable kicking it. Field goal kicking is one of the most precise exercises in all of sports, so it is important to have the timing down so as to create a seamless transition from snap to kick.

Be the Goalpost
Like shooting a free throw in a basketball game or swinging a golf club, field goal kicking has a lot to do with follow-through. And the best way to follow through is to visualize kicking the ball and having it go right through the uprights. As silly as it sounds, this exercise will make you calmer and more confident-and make it easier to plant and kick.

Shun the Laces
Have your holder hold the ball with the laces pointed away from you. Make sure that he holds it at a 90 degree angle. Take a few steps backwards and a couple more to the opposite side from your kicking foot. 

Step by Step
Now you are ready to begin your journey. Start moving towards the ball, coming at it from a diagonal angle. Remember that the amount of momentum you put into each kick should be consistent each time whether it is an extra point or a 50 yarder. Make sure that your first step comes on the foot you're using to kick. Proceed forward, building your momentum, until your last step, which kickers call the "plant step."

Here's the Kick
Keeping your body straight, connect with the ball on its bottom third. Make sure your eye is on the ball as you follow through-just like you envisioned-and you have more than likely earned your right to celebrate one heck of a field goal.

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