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How To Kick a Football

Kicking a Football

Learning how to kick a football involves two entirely different skills: punting the ball and kicking the football from a tee. Both of these kicks require entirely different techniques, so I’ll need to give a set of tips for each kicking motion.

Tomorrow, I’ll give a tutorial for how to punt the football. There’s a reason why NFL teams have both a punter and a field goal kicker, because the two skills are so different. But for now, lets talk about kickoffs and the all-important field goal.

How To Kick a Field Goal

“Kicking the ball off” and kicking a field goal require roughly the same motion, including swinging your foot through the ball, which is held by the tee. In either case, you’ll want to kick the ball “soccer style”; that is, you’ll want to kick the ball with the interior side of your kicking football, instead of “toe-punching” the ball like the old style field goal kickers did.

Place the Ball on the Tee

Place the ball on a kicking tee, which gets the ball off the ground and allows you to get extra loft. The ball should be placed about as close to perpendicular to the ground as possible, while tilting back slightly towards you.

On a field goal try, the ball will be snapped to a holder, who will hold the ball perpendicular with his own two hands. This kick will require good timing, because you’ll want to start moving towards the ball at the snap. The holder needs to hold the ball in place with his index finger or the palm of his hand. If he holds it too tight or leans the ball too far back, it could affect the force and trajectory of the ball.

Set Up For the Kick

Set up three steps back from the ball. This lets you get a running start of 2 and 1/2 steps, before you put your leg into the football. When the ball is snapped, begin running towards the ball. If it is a kickoff, then you’ll initiate the play when you run towards the ball. When you start to run, first step with your non-kicking foot.

Plant Your Foot Properly

You’ll want to plant your non-kicking football about 1′ to the side of the ball, while point your non-kicking foot in the direction you intend on kicking. This is where good form comes into play, because the ball is usually going to go in the direction your non-kicking foot is pointed. For instance, if you want to kick the ball through goal posts, remember to have your planted football pointing between those goal posts from where you’re kicking.

Kick the Ball

When you kick the ball, there are two points of aim. One, you must kick the ball about 1/3rd of the way up from the ground, to get a combination of loft and power. Two, you want to hit the ball squarely between the first two shoelaces of your kicking shoe, because this is where the maximum power in your foot is found.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 4:29 pmand is filed under Football, Youth Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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