Coach Farley knows a thing or two about kicking in difficult conditions. His high school and college field was on a plateau that was always windy. And, playing in Wisconsin, especially late in the Fall, can often mean that you’ll face rain, wind, snow, or worse — freezing rain!
Learn to get a tougher mental outlook
Don’t allow bad conditions intimidate you… or let excuses enter your mind before you kick.
Senior Dan Gill of Cedarburg High School (Wisconsin) was called in to kick a 42 yard field goal against conference rival Whitefish Bay late in the 2023 season. He had already connected from 22 and 32 yards in the first half. His third and final field goal was the game winning kick and made horrible conditions a lot more bearable in a 9 to 6 CHS victory.
Often, kickers get picky about kicking a perfect kick. Dan’s kick is far from textbook, but he got enough on it and just enough elevation — good job snapper and holder; and linemen, too, keeping the opponents hands down — that the ball cleared the posts. No one on his side of the field (and the folks in the stands) could care any less that Dan’s kick was a line drive powerball that somehow made it over the crossbar.
In fact, no post game interview or web write-up will mention the nature of the kick, just that it provided the 3-points CHS needed to win second place in their conference and a better spot in the WIAA Playoffs!
Take a look >
How did Dan make that kick?
What’s crucial, as a kicker, is trusting your training and simply getting a “good strike on the ball.” So much can go wrong on a kick: a bobbled snap, bad laces, a soggy ball on a cold and rainy night could all effect the trajectory of the ball — what got this kick through the posts was a good strike (ankle locked out, toe extended, solid plant and shoulders that finish at the target) gave the chance for the kick to be made.
What’s more, his coach, Brian Leair, had to have enough confidence in Dan to give him the opportunity in these conditions. Already being 2-2 for the night went along way toward sending Dan and the field goal team into a really challenging situation.
NEVER be sad about a made kick. It’s not luck. Keep learning; keep practicing; and keep your head focused on making great contact… while erasing excuses from your mind.
ENJOY the win, Bulldogs!