The Game Winning Kick!

It is what we live for, what we dream of, and for most of us the reason we choose to be a kicker… A chance to hit a GAME WINNER!!!  Of course in our dreams we always make the kick.  Reality says that its possible to make or miss that game winning kick and the result may effect the rest of your kicking career.  Great kickers are best judged by the ability to kick under the most extreme pressure situations.  These kicks account for less than 5% of what kickers actually do, but these are the kicks that are remembered the most.  So, the question is, how can you put yourself in the best possible position to make these kicks.  There is no simple answer, but there are ways to give yourself the best odds.

•    Play multiple sports from a young age (both individual & team).  The more you put yourself in competitive situations growing up, the more confident and prepared you will be down the road.  It is is fact!  The best athletes are the best kickers.  Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but the percentages are clear.  Athletes are the kickers that college coaches want to recruit and NFL scouts want to sign.  See the blog on What Qualities Make Up The Best Kicker: CLICK HERE
•    Learn proper kicking techniques from a young age (I suggest 6th-8th grade).  Creating good habits and avoiding bad habits is one of the best ways to establish great muscle memory.  The longer you wait, the harder it is to break bad habits.
•    Kick with confidence.  This comes from preparation.  Kicking is a year round sport.  Once you start kicking in high school, if you want to be the best, there is no off season.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot play other sports.  This means that you have to make time for kicking no matter the season.  Kick 3-4 days per week, watch film, lift regularly, focus on flexibility, and do your muscle memory drills seven days a week.
•    Muscle Memory!  A great kicker does, he doesn’t think.  Do your muscle memory drills seven days a week.  When the time comes, your muscle memory will take over.  No matter how nervous you may get, your body will only know ONE way to kick.  And you will make that big kick.
•    Routine, routine, routine!  Practice the way that you want to play in games.  Treat every kick the same from the first kick in practice to the last kick of your career.  Create a routine, both mental and physical, in your setup.  Go through the same mental process.  Once you get used to doing this, you will be able to block out fans, the size of the stadium, the lineman yelling at you, the hash mark you are on, the distance you are kicking from, and most importantly the magnitude of the kick you are about to attempt.

There is no guarantee that you will make every game winning kick that you will attempt in your career.  In fact, even the best of the best miss from time to time.  But there is a formula for making more of them than you miss.  Never focus on your last kick and always focus on your next.  Work hard, kick with confidence, and train like a pro.  I’ve seen hundreds of Chris Sailer Kicking students hit game-winners, and I’m looking forward to seeing thousands more join that list.  It is the best feeling in the world!

Kai Forbath celebrating after his 50 yard game winning field goal for the Saints. (2015)

Kai Forbath celebrating after his 50 yard game winning field goal for the Saints. (2015)