|Alabama Coach- Nick Saban|
You look back last night to the BCS National Championship Game and you can tell the emphasis that Alabama put on their placekicking for this game. In the last meeting against LSU back in November you could tell that Alabama had not focused on mental aspect of placekicking.
The change they made for this game was to settle solely on Jeremy Shelley as their field goal kicker and they let Cade Foster focus on the kickoffs. Also, you could tell Coach Saban decided to completely trust his kickers. Coach Saban is known for being so intense and tough but decided that respect and support would be the best method to help his kickers confidence.
I like John Maxwell's quote; "People don't know care how much you know until they know how much you care." This is certainly true when it comes to placekickers. Anyone who is ever been a kicker knows how much it means to have the support of his coach.
During my career at Hendersonville High School, my coach Bruce Hatfield, did an incredible job of showing confidence in me. I never saw hesitation on a decision to try and field goal and when I went out to kick I had supreme confidence in myself. I attempted 35 field goal attempts my senior year in high school and we made it all the way to the State Championship Game.
|Hendersonville Coach- Bruce Hatfield|
I would have preferred for him to just make that decision and have supreme confidence in me. During my high school years I remember attempting field goals that I would have thought might be too far of a kick but I believed I could do it because my coach trusted me to try it.
Mutual respect and trust are very important in the relationship between a kicker and a coach. It always makes me laugh when a high school coach comes up to a kicker at the end of the game to tell him something inspirational before a game winning attempt. Most of the time the coach hasn't spoken two words to the kicker all year and how is asking him to save the day. This just doesn't add up.
Coach Saban took the time to get to know his kicker this time around and it led to winning a National Championship. I know that some coaches will shy away from kickers but honestly you just have to respect them and show your trust.
You may go through some ups and downs with your kicker but it will pay off in the end. It is a great feeling at the end of the game to know that you have the belief of your coaches. It gives you a chance to achieve things you and your coach may never knew were possible!