the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ArenaBowl: Garrett Rivas vs. Taylor Rowan

The Arena Football League's (AFL) championship game (ArenaBowl XXXIII) is this Friday August 20th at 8:00pm EST. As always, the focal point of the game will be the kicking match-up.

Garrett Rivas, Tampa Bay Storm
Prior to joining the Storm this year, stops on Rivas' kicking career included Jesuit High School in Tampa, the University of Michigan from 2003-2006, in camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during May of 2007, and the Florida Firecats of the AF2 in 2009. His kicking career began not unlike many kickers':
"My freshman year in high school I was trying out for the team. In the last of tryouts, the coach asked if anybody wanted to try to kick. I wanted to make the team anyway I could so I did that. I played wide receiver and kicker in high school and kind of fell in love with kicking."
Earlier this season, he discussed some of the nuances of kicking in an arena:
“Normally, I would train at a faster pace. This year, coming into the AFL with the Storm, I trained slowing everything down. That has really helped me out with kickoffs. With my PAT’s and field goals, I can slow everything down. We have more time than the outdoor game because they can only rush four guys on six by rule. You just naturally have more time.

[Onside kicks] are just pure luck. You have to get the right bounce and the right people in position to make the play. It’s a smaller field and the surface is a lot harder, you have to be able to control the ball. I practice it everyday.

Kicking, especially in this league, is all mental. I think that I had a really strong mental game in college and in my first year I kind of got out of touch with it. This year, I feel like I am back in touch with it. This year, I’m not nervous anymore. I feel very comfortable on the field. Now I am back into that place where I am confident enough and I want the game to come down to me."
Taylor Rowan, Spokane Shock
Prior to joining the Shock this year, stops on Rowan's kicking career included Melbourne High (Florida), Western Illinois University from 2005 to 2008, and the Arkansas Twisters of the AF2 and the New York Sentinels of the UFL in 2009. Last month, he commented on his career path:
"I really enjoyed [kicking] in high school... I thought, 'Maybe I could do this in college. It ended up paying for my college. I thought I'm going to try to take this one step further. It's been a blessing but my goals aren't completed. I still have a lot more aspirations and desires. There are some more years in me for sure to try to fill in my dreams. I thank God every day for sure. It's definitely an awesome opportunity that not many people get to do."
He also discussed his approach to kicking:
"Aim small, miss small, aim big, miss big. Always picking a spot behind the upright and aiming at that. I'm going to aim at a target. If I aim for a small target, I'm going to miss small. If I aim the big target, which is the uprights, I'm going to miss big. Aim small, miss small, aim big, miss big."

No comments:

Post a Comment