How to Line Up a Field Goal Kick

You’ll need to be accurate to split the uprights. Properly lining up your kick before the snap is key.

It’s late in the fourth quarter, and your team is trailing. The offense is moving down the field. Suddenly, a big pass play gets your squad into field goal range with seconds left on the clock. As a kicker, it’s now your job to secure the win.

You need your aim to be true.

A kicker’s success can come down to how accurate they are. By working on lining up your field goals, you’ll be ready to send the ball through the uprights and add three points to the scoreboard.


A successful field goal attempt starts by stepping close to where the holder will place the ball and identifying your target.

“The first thing the kicker is going to do is [you’re] going to place your kicking foot pointed exactly on [your] target,” Division I football coach Chris Merritt says. “That is called [your] target line.”

After you have set your target line, you’ll need to get into position to attempt the kick:

  • Take three steps back while maintaining the same target line.
  • Take two steps 90 degrees to the side.

When taking your steps, it’s crucial not to move perpendicular to the lines that run across the field. If the ball is placed at the hash marks to the left or right of the field, you must adjust your target line to be precise.

“[You] must maintain [your] target line and [your] steps to be consistent every single time,” Merritt says. “If [your] steps are consistent every single time, the kick shouldn’t matter if it is from the left hash, right hash or the middle of the football field.”

Once you have your target line set and you’re in position, it’s time to send the ball through the uprights.

By coming ready to kick a field goal, you can help secure the victory for your football team.

Looking for more football kicking tips? Try the No Step Field Goal Drill. This can help improve the positioning of your body, knee and foot. Also, make sure your teammate is ready with these tips on how to hold for a field goal kick.