Special Teams Unit – Field Goals: Operation Times, Working with the Snapper and Holder

Field Goal Timing and Kicker: Special Teams Unit


TKS has been getting numerous phone calls over the last few days on how to help the special teams units for field goals and punting. We had to blog about the concepts:

First you need find a good athlete in a consistent snapper. If you don’t have that, then forget it, you may loose all your close games by a few points due to botched field goals snap. Start with your lineman see who is willing to put the extra effort to learn how to snap and then cover kicks. Then try your best athletes tight ends, fullbacks or linebackers, give them a shot.

Start by teaching the proper hand-grip. The dominant hand should hold the ball as if they are going to throw it down field. The guide hand, which will be the left hand for most, will be placed roughly about half way from the top of the ball with the middle finger place in the center for the ball. Begin with snaps overhead, in order just to get spirals and proper technique without the pressure of having to make a great snap. The snapper can get comfortable with the motion, as you ensure proper follow thru as they extend their arms overhead and the thumbs are facing downward on extension. Progress to snapping under the legs and concentrating on trying to get a “slide” in their form with their feet to ensure they are getting their hips into the snap. This will also add velocity to their snaps. Lastly, make sure they extend their legs on the follow thru and the thumbs should face upward towards the punter on their extension.

Great video for Snapping:

As for the holder, a backup quarterback would be best or a skilled player. Begin with proper sitting stance. For a right-footed kicker the holder should have their left knee up, with the middle of their body in line with the kicking tee. The right knee would be directed toward the snapper and the holder should be sitting on their heels.  The left hand will be on the tee and the right hand will act as target in the air for the snapper to hit. The most important aspect you can teach your holder is to have them hold with their left hand. It is all too common of a mistake for holders to hold with their right hand, as it will cover the ball up for the kicker. The holder should place the ball on the back middle of the tee with a straight up alignment to make things as simple as possible. They can hold the ball with one finger, two fingers, or the whole palm as long as they don’t cover up the ball in any fashion.

Great Video on How to Hold for Field Goals:

For the kicker, he should start his approach when the ball is halfway between the snapper and holder to ensure a good get-off time. A couple of options we tell our kickers: They can look at the ball all the way from the beginning of the movement from the snapper, or they can see the ball in their peripheral vision. Some kickers also start their approach once the hold moves his left hand to catch the ball. There is no right on wrong way but for a

High School 1.3-1.45 seconds

College Kickers 1.25-1.35 seconds

Professional 1.2-135 seconds

Pop Warner – 1.4 seconds

Published by The Kicking System

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

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