High School Kicking

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    High School Kicking

    So, I'm relatively new to the HS football scene and am curious about kicking stats. What would be considered an average accuracy percentage for PAT attempts? What is considered "very good"? And, at what distance do coaches start considering going for 3 rather than converting a 4th down? (This last one obviously depends on the leg of your kicker, mainly. But, what else goes into that decision?) Thoughts? Is success as a HS kicker more abt executing kickoff strategies than the point making?
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    On PAT I’d say you better be in the 90-95% range to be good and 95+ to be very good. As far as field goals in high school it definitely depends on the kicker and how mentally stable they are. If your kicker is a basket case then most likely the coach will hesitate going for 3 unless they’re up big or it’s a do or die situation. If you have a kicker that’s got a strong mental game then take the 3 if you’re in your kickers range. As far as range goes I’ve seen teams with a kicker that can’t make a 30 yarder and some with one that can make it from 45+. If I were to guess and it’s a complete guess I’d say the average high school kicker is somewhere in the 30’s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WestDanville View Post
    On PAT I’d say you better be in the 90-95% range to be good and 95+ to be very good. As far as field goals in high school it definitely depends on the kicker and how mentally stable they are. If your kicker is a basket case then most likely the coach will hesitate going for 3 unless they’re up big or it’s a do or die situation. If you have a kicker that’s got a strong mental game then take the 3 if you’re in your kickers range. As far as range goes I’ve seen teams with a kicker that can’t make a 30 yarder and some with one that can make it from 45+. If I were to guess and it’s a complete guess I’d say the average high school kicker is somewhere in the 30’s.
    Kicking in HS is still hit or miss. Some kickers are very good and nearly perfect on extra points, some teams don’t have a kicker at all. Field goals, while they aren’t rare, are still probably not normal for many, if not most teams, regardless of distance. There aren’t many teams that are consistently trying field goals. I’m guessing I’ve seen maybe a dozen (maybe a few more) over my last decade of being involved in HS football, and none over 40 yards. While the mental game is important, you need the talent first. And unless you pull a soccer player, a strong kicking game isn’t going to happen. There are plenty teams who trot out straight on kickers, and if that’s the case reliability is going to be an issue. It’s getting better, but I’d guess maybe 50%-60% of the teams have a kicker (and LS, and holder, and decent enough line) to make roughly 2 of every three extra points. And less than 20% have a guy they are comfortable trotting out for field goals over 30 yards.

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    Thanks for the solid input WD & rjs. This is good stuff. What about kickoff strategies? How deep does an average, standard kickoff go? I presume the ability to kick left-side, center, and right-side is normally a given.

    I've got a rising Freshman soccer convert who wants to be the big toe on the team and we want to train appropriately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKatdog View Post
    Thanks for the solid input WD & rjs. This is good stuff. What about kickoff strategies? How deep does an average, standard kickoff go? I presume the ability to kick left-side, center, and right-side is normally a given.

    I've got a rising Freshman soccer convert who wants to be the big toe on the team and we want to train appropriately.
    If your soccer player is doing both sports, make sure they don't schedule any soccer games on Friday night. Watched a game once and the soccer kicker missed the first half due to match. All kick offs in the first half went to about the 25. Second half opened up and the soccer kicker showed up and kicked it over everyone's head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKatdog View Post
    Thanks for the solid input WD & rjs. This is good stuff. What about kickoff strategies? How deep does an average, standard kickoff go? I presume the ability to kick left-side, center, and right-side is normally a given.

    I've got a rising Freshman soccer convert who wants to be the big toe on the team and we want to train appropriately.
    At the high school level, the ball is teed at the kicking team's 40 yard line for kickoffs. Assuming a team doesn't regularly opt for squib kicking - which if often simply a product of not having a strong kicker - a decent kicker can usually at least get the ball to the opposite 10 yard line (50 yards), and maybe an occasional kick into the end zone (60 yards). A good kicker will pretty consistently be able to get a kick into the end zone.

    Directional kicking isn't really that big a deal on kickoffs, and I would presume most coaches would just prefer a good strong kick right down the center since kicking to the sides risks the possibility of a penalty for the ball going out of bounds on the kickoff. There may be some coaches who may think it's more ideal to be able to kick to the sides, but I'd have to guess they would be more happy with a kicker who can consistently kickoff into the end zone since high school teams aren't allowed to return a ball that's been kicked into the end zone.

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    It may be a little late in the season for it, but I would highly suggest trying to get your son into a kicking camp next summer if you can swing it. I haven't looked into it in recent years, but I know there used to be at least one decent kicking camp each around Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, and Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati each year. Most bigger colleges offer them, and there is usually a current or retired professional kicker or two offering one in most NFL towns. Most will offer specialists to work with kickers interested in placekicking, punting, kickoffs, or any combination of the three.

    I'd also suggest having your son talk to his coach about what they're looking for on the team. There are lots of variables that can go into a coach's kicking strategies all around. They may already have their eye on a strong placekicker who isn't as strong on kickoff kicking, or vice versa. Maybe they prefer to have one single kicker for both specialties. They could be looking for a punter, or they could be a coach who prefers to have their quarterback work on punting in order to have him back there at all times in case a long-snap goes bad, or if they want to run a fake punt. Your son would really benefit to arm himself with all the details when he goes about deciding what he's wanting to pursue as far as kicking is concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKatdog View Post
    Thanks for the solid input WD & rjs. This is good stuff. What about kickoff strategies? How deep does an average, standard kickoff go? I presume the ability to kick left-side, center, and right-side is normally a given.

    I've got a rising Freshman soccer convert who wants to be the big toe on the team and we want to train appropriately.
    Again, kickoff strategies vary. Kickoff coverage is not easy, and many coaches just opt for squibs or pop up directional kicks. As a coach, the last thing I want to see is a kick deep and down the middle. I’d rather kick directionally and have it go out of bounds. Too many big returns happen just kicking it down the middle so the guy the other team wants to get the ball can easily get it and have the whole field to work with. If you’ve got a guy who can kick it in the end zone, you’ve got a huge advantage. Again, I’ve seen middle schoolers who can do it, but those type of guys aren’t on every team. As before, I’d say less than 20% or so of the teams have a guy who can get it into the end zone at will.

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    Great input. Thanks to all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs4470 View Post
    Again, kickoff strategies vary. Kickoff coverage is not easy, and many coaches just opt for squibs or pop up directional kicks. As a coach, the last thing I want to see is a kick deep and down the middle. I’d rather kick directionally and have it go out of bounds. Too many big returns happen just kicking it down the middle so the guy the other team wants to get the ball can easily get it and have the whole field to work with. If you’ve got a guy who can kick it in the end zone, you’ve got a huge advantage. Again, I’ve seen middle schoolers who can do it, but those type of guys aren’t on every team. As before, I’d say less than 20% or so of the teams have a guy who can get it into the end zone at will.
    Agreed on kicking strategy. I was a Special Teams coordinator in a past life and we set up all of our kickoffs to hit the corner at about the 10-15. We knew we didn’t have kickers who could get to the end zone so we would directional kick with loft to give our coverage team time. It worked as we only had one return for a touchdown in 4 years. That one return? Got kicked right now the middle.

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    I find a lot of these answers interesting. IMO the camp circus is just that, a circus. The colleges that put on specialty camps do so by contracting it out to one of the many kicking companies that tell colleges how great kids are, but only if they are a part of their kicking company. The sad thing is that colleges rely on these "kicking gurus" to provide them with names of kids rather than viewing with their own two eyes.

    Kicking a football is an art and not everyone can do it. The fact that your son is converting over from soccer may give him a little bit of an advantage, but not always.

    My suggestion is to work on your approach and ball striking when dealing with kickoffs. The strength and distance will improve as they become more and more comfortable and as they become older.

    PAT's success is also a result of putting in the time. Most really good kickers in high school are going to convert at a percentage in the upper 90's.

    Field Goals are always going to be up to the coach. Some coaches will never try them no matter how good the kicker is and others will give it a shot when they feel comfortable that the kid can make them.

    I speak all of this from experience. My son was a very successful high school kicker and he was not a soccer player. He showed some ability as a middle school kid and we worked on his approach, footwork and ball striking. He actually hit 2 37-yard field goals in middle school. As a frosh, he handled kickoff duties for the varsity team in addition to handling all kicking duties at the frosh level. He was also a running back and linebacker on the frosh team. He ended up kicking off at the varsity level for the next three years and was the PAT/FG guy about midway through the first game of his sophomore season. He also punted the last two years in addition to playing linebacker on the defensive side of the ball.

    He was not highly recruited because we did not do the camp circus due to playing baseball and frankly not having the funds to chase these camps around the country. At the end of the day however, he got a really really nice offer to continue kicking at the collegiate level for Lindsey Wilson College and has done so since he first set foot on the campus. Through two years he has already set several school records and numerous others are well within his reach before his career is over.

    Lastly I would say your son will be as good of a kicker as he wants by putting in the work. Good luck to him and just remember there will be ups and downs at the start, but keep working and you will see the improvement.

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    My son was an offensive lineman in high school but was a 4 year starter at EKU as a longsnapper. He's now in his first season as a special teams coordinator at Wayne County after helping with special teams the past 2 seasons at Somerset. We found that one of the kicking/longsnapping camp companies was very effective in analysis coaching specialists. They were much better than just attending a college's camp. If you want some more information on our experiences you can send me a PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AverageJoesGym View Post
    My son was an offensive lineman in high school but was a 4 year starter at EKU as a longsnapper. He's now in his first season as a special teams coordinator at Wayne County after helping with special teams the past 2 seasons at Somerset. We found that one of the kicking/longsnapping camp companies was very effective in analysis coaching specialists. They were much better than just attending a college's camp. If you want some more information on our experiences you can send me a PM.
    What do you mean by very effective in analysis coaching specialists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of all Trades View Post
    What do you mean by very effective in analysis coaching specialists?
    They video them and then give feedback/follow up. We talked to them even weeks after the camp.

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