1. Choose your spot, seven yards behind the ball, so that the holder has a mark on which to place the ball.
2. Align yourself and choose a spot beyond the middle of the uprights as a focal point.
3. Take three average-sized steps directly back, then two medium steps to the left, perpendicular to your first three steps.
4. Square up to your original mark, belly button facing your plant spot, and look at the uprights to visualize the kick.
5. Stagger your feet slightly, with left in front of right, and establish an athletic stance with weight on the balls of your feet to be ready for kick initiation.
6. Start with a left foot jab step (approximately five to ten inches) and drive step with your kicking leg.
7. Then, in another stride, anchor your left leg about a foot to the left of your mark. As you plant, the right leg hinges back at the knee, then swings down and through the ball.
8. Contact is made one third of the way up the ball with the metatarsal bone, as the leg and ankle simultaneously lock.
9. Keep your toe pointed down and kick up and through the ball, transferring your downfield momentum with a small skip on your plant leg.
10. Hope that the ball goes through the uprights.
Tip: Learn the basics correctly, repeat them regularly (even NFL kickers make mistakes quite frequently), and take a deep breath to relax yourself before every kick.
Alex Apgar ’17, starting kicker for Andover Football, wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “In practice, a 25 yard field goal is elementary; in a game, a 25 yarder can be quite challenging solely due to the fact that kicking is so much more a mental than physical game. When my name is called, I first need to account for the wind, which is almost always a factor, and adjust my alignment accordingly, then take my steps while trying to block out any heckling from the opposition and their fans. Then it really comes down to execution and the actions I’ve done thousands of times, but even then, if the snap or hold aren’t perfect, I could end up with a missed kick. At the end of the day, kicking is about honing in your ability and never letting your concentration stray.”
Alex Apgar ’17, pictured in the photos, contributed to the writing of this article.
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