The kick is up, and the kick is good. with 1:58 remaining in the forth quarter, Clemson Tigers 13, Maryland Terrapins 12. As I looked up at the scoreboard, I felt a hand on my shoulder as Coach Ray yelled into my ear that the two minute drill could commence, and that we were aiming for field goal range, not a touchdown. I took a deep breath, slid my helmet overtop my head, and walked down towards my net, already knowing what that 1:58 on the clock meant. The first few warmup swings were jittery and unstable, almost feeling like I had 4 shots of adrenaline pumped into my veins. Knowing non of the first warmup kicks into the net felt normal, I decided to step away and take a minute to myself to stretch out. By now my roommates Sam (quarterback) and Dan (tight end) were making their way onto the field. As Dan strapped his chin strap in place, in typical Gronk fashion, gave my helmet a good brink of concussing smack with a "let's go danooo" yell. At this point, my head had started to process that this was going to come down to my leg. At this point, starting with pre-game walkthru's, on field warm ups, and a few field goals already in the game,my legs have been through a hot and cold battle for over 8 hours. A quick twitch dynamic warmup was the best path to try and remove that Strawberry Jell-O flowing through every inch of my hamstrings. I proceeded, out of the corner of my eye watching the jumbo-tron. If you are a football fan, you know that 2 minutes of football airing on ESPN with both teams possessing timeouts, translates closer to 20 minutes time. The goal for a placekicker warming up at this point, is to warm up just enough to keep the muscles somewhat loose, but not so much that you start to get tired. The average kicker could kick 60-80 balls a practice. The average person kicking 60 balls in a row, doesn't usually walk for a few days after. You can figure, that between warm ups (25 kicks), practice kicks into a net whenever the team starts to cross the 50 yard line (6 per time), that by late in the game you are reaching the point where distance and power is affected. I was taking breaks between stretching to stand among the team watching the on field guys do their thing.
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