Kicking 101: How to boot clutch field goals like Mason Crosby

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 21:30:33-05

Heart-stopping last minute field goals are tough for fans watching on the TV screen, so you can only imagine what it's like for a kicker like Mason Crosby.

Kicking experts say confidence is key, and practice makes perfect.

“Those were clutch; I don't think the Packers have ever seen a kicker come up that big in the playoffs like that, I don't think we've ever had a kicker be under that type of pressure,” said Brian Froemming with Carroll University.

It was a big-time play in a big-time situation, that kicking expert Jamie Kohl says Crosby had all the confidence for.

"Obviously when you're doing stuff the way he did it last night, you're in what we call the zone," said Kohl.

Not just one kick - Crosby nailed three 50-yard plus field goals (one was negated by a timeout). Kohl, who runs kicking camps across the country, says the veteran has icewater in his veins.

"Everybody needs you to come through in the clutch, that takes years and years of practice, it takes a lot of confidence in your snapper, your holder, your timing. The operation has to be precise," said Kohl.

That's why it's all about practicing to build confidence. Mark Kryzkowski, the head football coach at Carroll University, tells TODAY'S TMJ4 that to help his kicker with mental preparation he puts him in wild atmospheres during practice.

"Kickers are always valuable, we'll end practices with putting a little something on the line where the team has to run sprints if he misses it, not for punishment but to add the extra pressure," said Kryzkowski.

In normal conditions, Kohl says there's only a 50/50 chance to make a 50-plus yard field goal.

For his NFL and college athletes, he provides sports psychologists for kickers, and they work on breathing techniques.

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