Approaching the Ball

The key to a good approach is translating the proper stance into good body position at the point of impact with the ball. It all starts with the first step toward the ball. This step should be with your left foot, if you kick with your right foot, or your right foot, if you are a left-footer. That first step is called a "jab step." The reason for the name is the fact that it is a very small step. My "jab step" doesn't cover any ground. I simply lift my foot and place it back down in basically the same spot without moving forward.

The reason for this step is to allow you to adjust to a bad snap or hold without losing your balance. If your "jab step" was to long, it would be impossible to slow down for a bad snap or hold and still maintain your balance. The "jab step" should be taken toward the spot where the foot will eventually plant, about ten inches to the side of the ball. The next two steps should be comfortable and under control. It is important not to charge at the ball or approach it too slowly. A nice smooth jog at the ball is most effective. It is the same as trying to hit the ball as hard as possible in golf or baseball; you will wind up hitting the ball poorly. A nice, smooth, controlled swing is the most effective way to hit a good ball.