Special Teams Tips: The Fundamentals of Kickoffs

When it comes to special teams, the kicker is just as important as the quarterback. Learn the role you play on the field during a change of possession.

During kickoffs, the kicker must take control and command of the team.

To make a successful kickoff, the first step is to place the ball on the tee to your liking. Next, turn away from the ball and take five steps straight back and two steps to the right if you’re right-footed or to the left if you’re left-footed. Turn around and face the opposing team. Look down the line for the signal from your teammates that they’re ready to go.

Wait for the whistle to blow and then put your hand up. When you are ready to go, drop your hand and start your approach to the ball. Your teammates will follow this cue and begin their approach as well.

The rest of the team on kickoffs will to be five yards back from the ball, aligned with the kicker. The timing of their approach is key. They need to make sure not to cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is kicked.

Your coach will provide the team with a play for the kickoff, which will determine where the ball is going to be kicked. This might be in close to one of the sidelines or in toward the hash marks. This will help the special teams unit to know their assignment and lanes when running down the field.