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I have learned throughout my 25 years of kicking a football effectively and now better than anyone else in the Universe, that maintaining proper body control is pivotal to develop consistent, yet powerful, accuracy. In order to do this, you must be a master of your mind, as I describe in my article "Defining your process", which I will link below. First, let me break down the technique errors on the three kicks seen above, and then show you the right way, at the bottom of the page. I notice that Nick's hips are definitely in front of shoulders on all three disastrous kicks, which are leaving Jameis Winston bewildered because of the simplicity of making a accurate kick. Former NFL standout Kicker Jay Feely, commented that Folk had missed about 6 kicks in the direction he struggled from in warm ups. With that being the case, it appears that Nick "loaded up" on this first kick and tried to give it the extra strength needed, instead of trusting his technique and kicking the ball with his full-body. Because he missed so widely to the right on the 56 yard field goal, he follows through very choppily; and because he is trying so hard to keep his head "down", he ends up creating lean into the football. This ends up causing the kicker to not have enough room between the ball and his foot, to make adequate contact in the right positioning of the foot (If that makes any sense). The third kick was only from 31 yards, which is an automatic kick for most adult kickers, let alone highly paid NFL Kickers. This kick is filmed much closer and you can really see where Mr.Folk went wrong. In my opinion, Nick should not be using a "stutter" step if he is going to over extend it that far. This causes the plant to end up too deep, and in pressure situations, many forget that this step cannot exceed a "stutter". I typically use more of a rhythmic "tap", to simulate the technique tweak I have made since going to kicking with a barefoot. On this third and final atrocious kick, that is leaving Gerald McCoy speechless, Nick once again "cracks" at the waist and leans into the football. Nick's hips come through and swing right to where the ball winds up going, and he watches it miss the entire way. As you will see in the video below, The LA Chargers kicker is struggling with the exact same dilemma.
There comes a time in a man's life when you must admit that you are not adequately prepared for the task at hand. Nick Folk appears to be out of shape, and I credit that to his recent fall off, as I have been told by older kickers, "there are only so many shots in the cannon". When the body begins to wear down and you know in your head that you cannot physically get the job done, you tend to overdue things, which causes errant golf shots and missed kicks. It very clearly shows that sports agents call the shots, and egregious kicking coaches, who are either becoming ancient in our game or never actually even did the act at a high level. The Buccaneers are about to workout the likes of kickers who have also failed miserably in the past and cycle through the same circle of mud, because of the severe lack of knowledge on what it takes to succeed at a high level as a Professional Kicker.
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