Coach Farley loves helping young specialists become trusted weapons for their teams and coaches. He’s helped literally every young kicker or punter he’s worked with, and he can help you, too.

Not making consistent contact? Here’s how:

TIP #1
Use a tee.
I’m not talking about just kickoffs…  you’d be surprised how many high school kickers have been “snowed” into thinking that they should kick field goals and PATs off the ground. It’s foolish, for ALL high schoolers.

You can kick better with a tee — gain higher elevation, further distance, get a more forgiving striking area — not to mention it gives your young holder a guide on where to give you a good ball placement on the field.  What’s more, most high school and middle school kickers don’t get to kick on turf. Some of the grass fields you play on may leave something to be desired. And, even if you’re on turf… the point of you kicking in high school is to HELP your team, not thinking your trying-out for a college scholarship.  And if that was the idea (and it shouldn’t be), what would look better to a college scout, going 9-10 on field goals this season with a tee, or 3-7 off the ground? 

And while you’re at it… paint a spot on the center of the tee so that your holder has a very exact spot in which to try to place the ball. You can thank me later. 🙂

TIP #2
Don’t try to kick it hard… kick smoothly.
Young kickers think that if they just “give it everything they’ve got”, the ball will travel a long way.  That’s typically not the case.  Becoming a good ball striker is about doing it consistently, and that requires you to repeat your actions (alignment, steps, approach, foot position, swing, and follow through). There’s a reason most pros kick with a similar stance and swing pattern. Emulate what you see, from Justin Tucker to Younghoe Koo. Practice your steps over and over, using a line drill (like you see here) allows you to get in hundreds of “kicks” without harming your leg each and every day.

TIP #3
Make proper contact with the ball.
Well, duh… you say. Perhaps, but most don’t really know what part of their foot they should use or the spot on the ball that should be struck. With a little help from the “original kicking book” (Ray Guy’s Football Kicking & Punting) you’ll see that your kicking foot will come in contact about a third of way up from the bottom of ball, right in the center of the ball. 

Count 3 eyelets down on your shoe and press on that spot — you’ll feel the hardest part of your foot — a metatarsal — that’s what should hit the ball first on your kicking foot. The trick is “how do you get your foot into that position”? (See Tip #4)

TIP #4
Curl your big toe down and point
Most of you have played soccer. Kicking a field goal is not a soccer pass or a corner kick. You don’t want your foot sideways, nor should you try to “guide” the ball to the target. When you strike the ball, you should feel your big toe “curl” right into the sole of your shoe. It’s the combination of a firmly pointed foot (rolling your ankle forward) so that the hard bone on your foot (Tip #3) can be first to contact the ball with the natural rotation of your hips through to the target that makes it all work (refer back to Tip#2). 

Start by simply trying to get the “feel” of a good strike. Don’t worry about distance. In fact, keep kicking a POST DRILL (see Tip#5 below) until you get some lift and consistency. Distance will come as you master this skill.

TIP #5
Work on the Post Drill
At all of my camps, the first drill (and best drill) is a post drill — for beginners and pros alike!  So simple, but so many brush past it too quickly. You shouldn’t.

Stand 7 yards away from the goal post, right on the back of the end zone line, put your tee down and attempt to kick the ball to hit the upright. This simple drill teaches accuracy, elevation and let’s you leave distance out of the equation. The line helps you guage if you are staying on target throughout the kick.  Your shoulders are a great indicator of where you’ll kick the ball. Missed left? Your shoulders are pointing left at the point of impact. You need to fight to keep your shoulders square to the goal post and walk straight forward after your kick. Great ball strikers can consistently “ring the bell”.


You’ll see Sean West (2023 1st Team All-State in Wisconsin), Andrew Mohan (2023 2nd Team All-State in Iowa) and Max Acker (the no.5 ranked kicker at my camps last year). I believe there’s to learn from fellow high schoolers than from NFL pros. Take a peek…