the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, January 7, 2013

Championship Preview - Kyle Brindza, Jeremy Shelley & Cade Foster

8:00 pm ET tonight.

National Championship game.

Alabama vs. Notre Dame.

Jeremy Shelley, Crimson Tide short-range kicker
Shelley made five field goals to open the scoring in last year's national championship game, which Alabama won 21-0 over LSU.
"Even after I hit four (field goals), it was just two touchdowns and they could still win. It was never really out of hand.... For the team's sake, hopefully my role won't be quite as (big), but going back to last year and thinking about it, it was a lot of fun. It breeds a lot of confidence, and I feel extremely ready for this game."
For this year's game, he's already assessing the environmental conditions:
“Whatever they say, it’s always different in the stadium. I always look at the weather and the wind and check the flight of the ball during warmups, then make any adjustments.... Looking at the field now, it looks immaculate. It’s not slippery. Some fields are looser than others. [Sun Life Stadium] is enclosed, so wind won’t be a big factor. ”
Kyle Brindza, Fighting Irish kicker
For Brindza, he's exactly where he always wanted to be:
“My biggest dream growing up went beyond, say, kicking in the Super Bowl or the national championship. My biggest dream was kicking in the national championship for Notre Dame — being able to run out of the tunnel and onto the field in that gold helmet. The kicker’s dream is being able to go out there and kick in a game like this.... As a kid, it’s always your dream to play in the national championship and, for me, to be able to kick a field goal in the national championship. When you’re under pressure, you have to go out there and make it. It forces you to make the correct decisions on your approach and your fundamentals.”
If he looks nervous during the game itself, he's probably not:
“I’m a pacer, I wouldn’t say a nervous pacer … we’re all football players, wanting to know what’s going in the game every second, even when on sidelines trying to listen to what’s going on, what the coach is saying to the players on the sidelines. I’m always analyzing myself, always getting mental reps. Everything is on you. I love it when people put odds against me. I’m one of those kids who invites pressure because you have to make it.... There’s also a sense of sit down, relax … it’s not a situation where you get five plays to go out there to make a kick. You get one chance. You truly have to sit back and relax.” 
Cade Foster, Crimson Tide long-range kicker
Like both other kickers, Foster is ready:
“I really like [the Sun Life Stadium field]. It’s solid. It’s like the green on a golf course. It’s not slippery, either. That’s good for planting (your foot)....

 We know it could come down to us, but we’re not putting pressure on ourselves. If it does come down to us, we’ll be ready.”

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