Kickin' It With Serge: Entry No. 4
Well, that was not the outcome that we wanted this week.
It was a tough hard-fought match Saturday night, but we did not come out on top. Hawaii came ready to play and it showed.
There are some things that you can take away from this game. We made a few dumb mistakes that can be corrected. Penalties hurt us because they would give Hawaii very good field position. That is what this game is about, field position. You don't want to give their offense the ball on the 50 when you can give them the ball on the 10 and have them try to go 90 yards instead of 50. We emphasize the punting game a lot because that shifts the field.
This week is our first Mountain West Conference game against Utah. They are just coming off a very good win against UCLA, so they will be hungry for more, but we are as equally hungry if not more for this win because we want to start league play strong and we want to make a statement for ourselves.
This game has a little bit more too it because this was where Coach Sanford used to coach and there is a bit more significance for him and us. We are going to go out this week and have a great week of practice and the team is going to do what they have to do, to prepare for this game.
Another thing that happened on Saturday was that I missed a field goal. That is nothing to be bragging about but you have to take some things out of it. I was going into this game wanting to just focus on being perfect and taking one kick at a time. What I should have done is not worry about the streak. I am going to work on the mental part of the game this week and see where I went wrong and what I can do to better myself. Kicking is a very challenging job. You have the physical technique that you have to constantly work on and then you have the mental part, which in my opinion is the tougher part.
I compare kicking, to golfing. You have to have a smooth technique to hit the ball well. If you try to force the kick and you want to blast it, you are going to shank it. You have to focus on the hit and not worry about the outcome. When you put everything together, you have a perfect tee shot, or in my case a perfect kick. I have talked to some people and they say golfing is a very mentally exhausting sport and that is why many of the top pros have psychologists and people that they talk to because they get mentally stressed and that same thing applies to Kicking. It is just you and the ball and no one else. When you are on the field, all eyes are on you and if you make a mistake everyone sees it. But for me, it is something that I enjoy and would not trade for the world.
People sometimes come up to me during practice and look at us kickers just standing around throwing cones, or playing kicker golf or icing our legs and are like, "Man, I wish I was a kicker, you guys don't do anything." But when you ask them if they want to be the kicker, when the team is down by two with four seconds left on the clock and you have to kick a game-winning field goal, they usually all answer, "Nooooo Way". And that is where Ben Jaekle, Kyle Watson and I are different. We Love it! That's something that you live for and we strive on pressure, both of those two guys have showed it at practice and have come out on top. There is no doubt in my mind that if they were ever put in that situation in a game, they would do great.
We invite everyone to Sam Boyd Stadium and hope to have an electrifying crowd there to support us. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
P.S. Don't forget if you have any questions for me or any of your favorite Rebel players, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week's quote is a popular among kickers around the country. "As a Kicker you win as a team but you lose by yourself."?b>