the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Practice Here, Practice There, Practice Everywhere

State-of-the-art practice facilities are all well and good, but some times, many times, other accommodations have to suffice. Some times, special conditions prevail. We asked specialists what was the most unusual place/scenario where they ever practiced kicking/punting.

"My senior year in high school, we were playing in the State Championship game. We had to use a new long snapper for the game, so the night before, in the hotel hallway on our floor, I made the snapper and holder get about 25 snap holds for timing purposes. On the last few, I actually kicked the ball until one of our coaches came out and put a stop to it."

"I took footballs to Hawaii to practice while on my honeymoon since camp was less than a month away. I also practiced on Bermuda during a bye week. My rookie year, my wife and I drove from California to training camp in Philadelphia and stopped at several schools to punt along the way, among them, Nebraska and Notre Dame."

Mike McCabe, One on One Kicking
"High school parking lot. Fields were so bad from all the winter snow melting in the spring."

"In my rookie season I slipped in a game on a field goal attempt (on Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium field – perhaps the worst field ever) and swore after that I would never slip again. So... every year after – once a week – I would kick 50 balls off of wet cement to promote total balance, removing the torque off of my plant leg, so I could kick off of ice if needed."

Rex Robinson, Total Kicker
"In 1978, my folks and I went to the beach in Florida. There were no fields to be found so I went to a local playground and kicked over the swing-sets. I also aimed at some lights poles for more of a challenge. I actually started kicking at age nine kicking into some trees near my house, with a branch as the crossbar."

"I'm from Miami, FL. Every year during hurricane season right before a big storm I love to take my bag of footballs out and kick into the wind. Keeping the ball on the tee is the challenge but its unbelievable the distance u can get with 35+mph wind gusts at your back. And don't get me started on punts. If you can manage to get one off without the wind altering the drop too much, let's just say its a confidence booster seeing a spiraling punt explode off your foot in tropical storm-like winds."

"Most unusual place I can think of is a racquetball court."

"As I first learned how to kick a football as a child (using an old hard-toe shoe for the straight-on style), I constructed a make-shift goal post on an empty lot behind my parents' house. For uprights, I used bamboo poles that previously had been wrapped around by carpeting. And for the crossbar I used my mother's old clothesline. If one of my kicks hit the clothesline/crossbar, the goal posts would collapse. Before I made the make-shift goal posts, I settled for simply trying to kick the ball over the telephone wires in the alley from my backyard into the empty lot.

Once as a 14-year-old sophomore, I was kicking before the start of gym class on the high school baseball field. I was kicking from around second base and several of my kicks cleared the right-field fence. Our gym teacher was the head football coach and he invited me immediately to join the varsity."

Nathan Chapman, Pro Kick Australia
Apart from practicing in hail storms, I remember when I was preparing to go to camp for the Packers and I knew it was going to end up getting pretty cold (take into account I live in a place that is like Miami). I used to drive in my car (I was a sales rep) with my helmet on and the air conditioner on full bore to as cold as it could get, and practice spinning the ball like from a snap and then shaping it in my hand like I was going to punt it. I did that a lot.

Practice in all conditions in any environment I say if it can help in any way. Who knows, if I had ever been asked to punt a ball from the front seat of my car, I probably would have been okay at it. So far I have never been asked to."

No comments:

Post a Comment