the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back on Campus 2011: Let the Kicks Begin

The 2011 college football season kicks off this weekend with a full slate of games, including quite a few games this evening. Various kickers and punters weighed in on various topics and matters over the past few weeks:

“In the summer I stay there [Colorado] for workouts, and try to kick two or three times a week to keep my leg in fine tune. In July I go to a camp in Colorado. I trained for three weeks in Golden, Colo. before training camp. We kick two times a day. If we’re not kicking twice a day, we’re running sprints and doing yoga, core and ab workouts. I usually die when we run after a week up there. Then I get used to it and I come down here and feel like Superman with my lungs. Elevation doesn’t really affect the ball too much.”

Austin McCoy, Wyoming punter
"With them being here and me being here, now my senior year, we've got a little bit more trust in our punt team. We're still going to use [the rugby punt], just to throw teams off, that kind of thing. It's a good idea, but I think with the way we've been coming along, I think this is our year to prove that we're one of the best in the country."

Drew Alleman, LSU kicker
"Josh [Jasper] was probably one of the best kickers ever to come here, and just watching him over the last two years you learn a lot. Just him teaching me through it and taking notes, and trying to match him I've become even better.... There is pressure but I try not to focus on that. I just try to do me. I try to do what I do best and that's kicking the ball."

Mike Sadler, Michigan State punter
"I’ve been counting the days. I can’t wait to get that first one out and get the season rolling.... I can’t put into words how much Aaron Bates helped me, and how great it was to learn from him. It gives me great confidence having gone through the year.... It’s going great, but I can’t wait for Friday night."

Michael Barbour, East Carolina kicker
"Field goal wise, I would say that I get fewer opportunities because we are an aggressive offense. Usually when we get into the red zone we convert for a touchdown. Whenever we are in a 4th-and-short, we usually go for it because we are pretty confident in the offense. But PAT-wise, it is pretty high there because we score a lot of touchdowns. But, yeah, definitely takes away from field goal attempts, so I’ve got to make every opportunity count."

Hendrix Brakefield, Western Kentucky punter
“You see college football on TV and it is nothing like it is in real life. It is way more intense, way more mind-blowing, especially some of the big-time stadiums we were in. It was a little bit of a shock but as the season went on I kind of got into a rhythm.”

Cairo Santos, Tulane kicker
“I found two [plam trees] that were close together, tall and narrow, so I used them to kick between....
I don’t want to miss any. I was nearly perfect in the spring, and right now I feel comfortable. I just hope this season, I get more opportunities for field goals and do just as good as I did last season.”

Alex Kinal, Wake Forest punter
"In regards to the actual technical aspects, kicking this ball is harder than kicking our [Australian] ball because it's just a lot smaller. The sweet spot is a lot smaller. And I've only been taught properly how to do it since, like, February. So I'm still learning. You're always learning.... But one of the tough things is, whenever I was playing Australian rules football, I was always in the thick of the fight. So you're sort of standing on the sidelines, and you see these guys just going hammer and tong at each other. And I kind of feel like I want to be in there."

"When every kick should be the same, pressure shouldn't matter. People watching or not.... You can't let the game dictate your emotion during that time period. It's the same kick for me whether the game is on the line or not. It should be made either way so I can't let that enter my head too much."

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