How to Place Hold for Field Goals




Almost every high school game or practice I attend I always see a placeholder using incorrect technique on place-holding for field goals. Depending on the level, the holder has not changed anything since his Pop Warner days. Some common mistakes including letting the ball go before it’s kicked, holding the ball with the wrong hand or they are in the wrong set up position. Most high school coaches, players and personnel don’t understand how important the holder is on the field goal team and by judging by the recent field goal activities in the college and NFL this past weekend, it’s the most important aspect in the entire game.  The holders are the captain of the field goal unit. Normally a quarterback or backup quarterback, the holder must take control of the teams, starting with making sure the right personal are in, everyone is in the right position and coordinating the cadence.  Not to mention holding the ball the proper way for the kicker in less than a second. The holder has to trustworthy as the snapper, the kicker has to believe the holder can manage a bad snap and the kicker has to bet his life on his place-holding capabilities.  One bad hold can lead to lead to a domino effect for the entire field goal unit and the kicker may never recover. Because a kicker can never blame the holder. At least, no head coach will ever take that excuse.  Here are some important tips to help you place-hold:

1)   Stance – For a right-footed kicker, sit like a catcher does in baseball, almost on your haunches. Except have your right knee directed towards your snapper. Have the other knee slight open to the kicker.  The back knee should line up slight behind the place of contact. It acts as a backstop for your elbow.  You should be no more than 6-12 inches from the place of contact.   Your left hand or a few fingers can be placed on the tee or on the ground depending on what level you are holding for.  The other hand should be held out in front and act as a target for the snapper. Have your hand no higher than your shoulder, in order to keep you target low for the snapper.

2)   The back knee – Acts as a backstop for your arm.  Again, your back knee should be placed slightly behind the place of contact.  When catching the ball, you should catch the ball with both hands.   As you bring your arms down to place the ball, your left elbow should hit your back knee, then you know that’s where the ball should be placed.  Once you get your spot the rest is easy right!

3)   Hold with your left hand! (For right footed kickers).  I see this everyday, holders covering up the ball with their left hand, the kicker cant see the ball!  Once you cover it up, it makes it harder as the kicker can not visually see the ball before contact.  Make it easier — hold with your left, spin the ball with your right hand.

4)   Featherlike touch on placing the ball.  You can place one, two, or three fingers on top of the ball when you hold the ball upright.  In fact, we don’t mind if you place your whole hand on top as long as you don’t put to much pressure on the ball. In rare instances, I have seen holders put to much power down on to the ball and caused some interesting kicks.

There are many more points in how to hold, videos will be coming soon!

Remember, laces out!

John Matich

The Kicking System

Published by The Kicking System

San Diego Football Kicking Coach and Soccer Coach. Private Lessons, Kicking Camps, SoCal Recruiting expert (619) 994-2364

2 thoughts on “How to Place Hold for Field Goals

  1. Does it matter if you use gloves? I’ve always used gloves but some people have told me that it makes the ball stick to the hand more, making it not go as far.

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