What Is A Kicker In Football (The Best Traits, Tips & Functions)

What Is A Kicker In Football? (The Best Traits, Tips & Functions)

What Is A Kicker In Football (The Best Traits, Tips & Functions)

What is a kicker in football is a matter to be solely discussed. 

So, it usually refers to one of the two kicker positions on a football team. The kicker is a crucial part of the special teams group in football. It acts as an in charge of the game kicking and returning opportunities. 

However, field goals sometimes decide games where kickers are the most skilled of all players. Mainly the kicker’s job is to complete a field goal, extra points, kicksoffs, and occasional punts. 

Read on to find what is a kicker in football and what are core functions it performs. So, let’s jump in.

Why Are They Known As “Kickers”?

Their sole duty for doing their job is kicking the football, thus the name of the position. The name “placekicker” derives from the fact that they always have their kicks placed in position by a holder during field goals or during kickoffs.

What Functions Does a Kicker Have?

The ability to make both field goals and extra points is the most important aspect of a kicker’s profession.  After a touchdown, extra points are awarded, giving the scoring side an additional point.  

Field goals in the NFL can be made from a distance of between 25 and 60 yards, depending on the circumstances, and are worth three points. Every football game can quickly alter due to the kicker’s role. 

A quick extra point or field goal may be difficult for teams trying to win close games. Punters, placekickers, and kickoff specialists play important roles, and the few plays they’re involved in can make or break a game.

Kick Recovery

The kicker allows teammates to recover the ball and score a touchdown for the offence.  Football kickers are significant in generating chances with a little touch, precision, and luck because kick recovery is so important to the game.

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Alternatives to Punters

The kicker is often the first person to replace the punter in the case of an injury at the NFL level, even though the punter and kicker are typically two separate players.

Field Goal Attempting

Making field goals is one of a kicker’s main duties. A field goal attempt is an option for an attacking team when they think they are in a position where they can effectively kick the ball through the goalposts. 

The kicker gets a snap from the centre and kicks the ball towards the goalposts to score three points. The kicker is often positioned several yards behind the line of scrimmage. The kicker’s precision and force are crucial for converting field goals.

Extra Points

The team can attempt an extra point after scoring a touchdown. The kicker enters the field and sends the ball through the uprights for a point for the team. 

Instead of kicking the extra point, some teams may try a two-point conversion, in which they try to score a touchdown from a closer distance.

Types of Kickers

There are two types of kickers on a football team.  Here’s who they are and what they do.

In football, what does a punter do?

The punter’s role is important even if they don’t get as much praise or condemnation as the kicker. Field position is a term used to describe football.  It means that a team can regularly prevent their opponent from scoring a touchdown where they and their opponent each start with the ball.  

It has a long way to go to give it a solid chance of winning.  Punter is an important component of this project.  When a team is about to pass the ball to another team, they may toss it down the pitch and pass it to their opponent. Although punting is not the primary responsibility of the kicker, they may be called upon to do so on occasion.  

When an offensive team fails to get a first down and decides to give the ball to the other team, it is usually to gain field position.  To limit the opponent’s scoring chances, the kicker, called a punter, drops the ball and kicks it while it is still in the air.

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What does a kick-off specialist do?

At the start of each half and after each score, when the ball is kicked from one side to the other, the only other time a football is kicked during play (at least on purpose) is when a team kicks the ball.  The other side kicks.  

The kicker on most teams is responsible for kicking the kickoff. However, some punters do this as well. Kickoffs are an important part of a kicker’s job, although they are considered secondary to extra points and field goals.  

The most explosive players on the other side’s squad are effectively prevented from receiving the ball by elite kickers, who often bring touchbacks out of the back of the end zone.  They often have to kick the ball in a direction that is consistent with the route of the kickoff coverage squad to set up a special teams unit that can limit key gains.

A team kicks the ball to the opposing team to begin its offensive possession at the beginning of each half, following a touchdown, field goal, or safety play.  We call it a launch.  The kicker, who stands on the side of the field where the kicking team is playing, kicks the ball far away.

Some of the Best Kickers

  • Jason Hanson
  • Jason Elam
  • Stephen Gostkowski
  • Matt Prater
  • Adam Vinatieri
  • Morten Andersen
  • Justin Tucker
  • Lou Groza

Kicker Tips

Here are some pointers to help you improve your kicking technique:

Develop Strength

Football kickers who want to excel must work out in the weight room and focus on developing strength. On television, many football kickers are relatively few compared to most teammates.

Practising off the field

One benefit of being a kicker is that you can devote most of your off-field time to strengthening. For instance, you don’t need to worry as much about increasing your stamina.

They are frequently smaller than other football players, and that is true. But that does not imply that they lack strength.

Regularly stretch

Stretching a lot is an excellent technique to do this. Building flexibility is crucial, as was already said. Put together a thorough stretching regimen and follow it religiously.

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Get a partner or a coach to assist you in completing an additional stretch so your body can move in the best ways it couldn’t otherwise. Whether you’re a placekicker, punter, or kickoff specialist, you can necessarily swing your body to accomplish a good kicking action.

Effective Kicker Qualities

Here are a few qualities you should focus on and improve if you want to improve as a kicker

Solid Legs

It may seem apparent, but kickers require strong legs because they utilise them to kick the ball far and powerfully.

However, they must also have powerful arms, not only strong legs. They must have a lot of general lower-body strength to help them pivot, plant, and push off.

Versatile

Kickers can kick the ball far downfield by using their powerful legs. The motion their bodies must make to execute this could be more natural. Therefore, they also need to be highly flexible.

Consistency 

They frequently focus on honing their kicking abilities and undergo specialised instruction to enhance their consistency and technique. 

Results of the game

Kickers may significantly affect a game’s outcome since good kicks can net their team important points.

Flexible

Kickers use their strong legs to boot the ball far downfield. At the same time, they need to be very flexible because the motion their bodies take to do so isn’t very natural. 

They swing their lower bodies to generate the right force behind their kicks.

It is similar to how baseball must move and twist one’s body to throw the ball quickly in many ways.

Strength of mind

Kickers in football rarely have the opportunity to participate in a game actively. However, their efforts are critical when needed. 

As mentioned earlier, football kickers put a lot of stress on their legs and brains. For this reason, the kicker’s mental focus and decision-making skills must be well-rounded.

Conclusion

One of the least prestigious positions in football is a kicker. They frequently get criticism when they make mistakes, which may make it a thankless job. 

Although there is little room for error, it is crucial in the game. So, stick to the advice above if you want to be a great football kicker.

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