the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How 'bout This Weather?

Heinz Field. Soldier Field. January.

It's no surprise that much of the talk leading up to today's two NFL conference championship games has focused on weather.

Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
"It's always a tough place to go and kick, especially late in the year. The field conditions, people talk about that, but both teams have to play on it. Robbie does a good job kicking over there....
My plant foot is crucial in what I do. I'll see what cleats I need to wear, if I need to go with seven-stud with a longer cleat if the grass and the field indicate that. I'll just walk around, get a feel for it, get used to the elements we're going to be playing in. It's just like any other game. Just hit some balls, see if the wind is blowing it and then trust it once game time comes that you're going to hit the ball and it's going to go where you need it to go."
Nick Folk, New York Jets
“The weather can be nasty and turn at any time. The field can be pretty bad. Luckily, the two times I’ve been there it’s been pretty nice. It looked like it held up pretty well last week when they were playing, so we’ll see what happens this week.”
Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers
“I think being Canadian, it’s not like you like cold weather. You just learn how to dress in it. You wear the right clothes....
Every game that I’ve been here this year has been cold. Certainly, it sounds like this game will be the coldest.”
Tim Masthay, Green Bay Packers
"There's one kind of turtleneck that we have and it's more comfortable, so I wear two of them. We have another one that's like wool, and scratchy, and it's warmer - but I don't like that one. I wear the pants. I didn't wear them the first game and I could tell my hamstrings were locking up on the sidelines. The second game I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, why didn't I wear these before?'....
I stuff the hand warmer with as many heating packs as I can. I use four....
Football is meant to be played outside, in the cold, in these kinds of games. I almost kind of don't mind it. It's almost kind of fun."
Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
“You know it’s going to be cold, you know it’s going to be windy, you know the conditions on the field are potentially not going to be great....
You change your shoe accordingly, if you have to you change your technique just enough to make sure you stay consistent. Shorten your steps, stay a little more upright so you don’t sink underneath the kick. It depends on the day. Depends on what you need to do to accommodate....
You figure out how far [the wind is blowing] and you base it upon the goal post. You judge those accordingly. A certain wind-type, whether a left-to-right wind, with the way I kick isn’t going to move the ball as much as it will if I’m going right to left. It’s like golf. You know your swing. You know your routine. You know how you have to adjust in order to be successful at your job....
I’m not worried about the conditions, I’ve done this a million times. There’s always a time you might under-judge the wind or over-judge the wind. Going out in pregame warm-up you’re going to find a comfortable level of how far the wind is blowing and trust that it’s going to be that far.”

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