Kicking World Blog

Basic Guide to Nutrition for Football Kickers & Punters

Coach Brent provides nutrition tips for kickers & punters wanting to improve their kicking power. Proper nutrition is crucial in transforming your body.

Lots of kickers & punters ask me how to gain weight. Yes, many of us kickers and punters are the toothpicks on the football team (haha). But before I get into providing some nutrition/training tips that will help you get ripped, I wanted to get a little scientific with you. SPEED KILLS!

Precise foot to ball contact + Leg Speed = The best kicker you can be!

Those of you who have been to Kicking World camps, private lessons or read my book or watched my DVD know that proper foot to ball contact is the #1 most important aspect of kicking effectively. That, coupled with a fast leg is the winning combination to maximizing your distance in kicking.

If you get too bulky, you can actually slow your leg speed down. You want to be fit, but don’t need to be the the Incredible Hulk. Also, making a commitment to being physically fit can help you on so many levels:

  • Improved confidence
  • Sense of well being
  • Mental Clarity
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased energy
  • Focus
  • Stress Reliever
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Greater endurance

While of course your hard work in the gym, training and lifting weights is a huge aspect of putting on muscle and strength, ask any fitness guru ‘What is the key to getting in shape?’. I bet they all will tell you ‘proper diet’. Now when I say diet, I don’t mean you need to go and limit your foods and lose weight. Proper dieting simply means eating right.

In today’s day and age convenience unfortunately trumps ‘good for you’. There are 10x as many fast food restaurants as there are juice bars or nutrition shops. If you can’t find healthy food out and about, what do you do? Do what the top fitness gurus do… cook and prepare your meals at home. It certainly takes a little more time, but you will know exactly what is going in your body and you can properly portion and get the correct macros (specific amounts of carbohydrates, fat and proteins) that your body needs based on your own individual fitness goals.

Most healthy males are at their peak testosterone levels around 20-26 years old. What this means is you have the best chance to really see your gym and nutrition results during this time. After that it all goes downhill. Just kidding, well sort of haha. But yes, in your 30’s and beyond your body starts slowing down and what worked at 20, does not work anymore and you will have to start implementing more cardio and more fat burning solutions. But at 14 to 18 years old, your body is typically a furnace and you can’t eat too much. The more you eat, the faster you grow.

In high school, many students are late bloomers, as I was. Shoot, I don’t even remember having noticeable hairs on my legs until my junior year of high school! Because of this, some of you may be working really hard in the gym, but not quite seeing the results you’re looking for. Give it time! The end of my freshman year of college going into my sophomore year I had a late growth spurt and grew 2 more inches and put on close to 15 pounds. Everyone is different and you will ‘ripen’ when the time is right.

Having a hard workout in the gym must be followed by a good meal. If you don’t eat within 30 to 45 minutes after your workout, you’re missing out on a lot of the ‘gains’. Nutrition is the key aspect of improving your body physique. There are 3 body types:

  • Ectomorph
  • Mesomorph
  • Endomorph

Perhaps the ‘best’ one to have if you want to put on size without fat, and look great, is a Mesomorph. But we all aren’t fortunate to have good genetics. Just because Endomorphs are naturally more ‘thick’, doesn’t mean they can’t trim down and get in good shape. But an Ectomorph will have a hard time adding size, although they will hardly ever have issues with staying defined/toned. Each physique has its own benefits, but the key is to know your body type and exercise and eat appropriately based on the goals you are trying to accomplish. I demonstrate at length specific exercises you can do in the gym to help improve your kicking.

Random & Useful tips for you:

  • First thing in the morning – chug 12 oz of water
  • Drink at least a half gallon of water a day, if not a gallon. Your body runs of water just as an automobile runs on gasoline. Run low on water = you lose energy
  • Add a squeezed lemon to your water in the morning to jump start your metabolism
  • Eating multiple medium portioned meals throughout the day is the best way to build lean
  • Your metabolism works harder when your body is being fed more regularly.
  • When you starve or wait too long between meals, your body begins storing fat.
  • Eat 5-6 real meals a day and 1-2 Protein shakes a day
  • Pack a protein bar and extra healthy meal to keep in your school locker for after gym class or in between classes.
  • Eat a generous meal as you get home from football practice to refuel your body.
  • A good starting point for a disbursement of carbs/protein/fat per meal would be something like: 30g Carbs, 25g Protein, 15g Fat – Per Meal
  • Get a Whey Protein that is not just pure whey if you want to gain some more size (i.e. some carbs and fat is ok). But if you’re trying to just get defined, then do pure protein and not all the other additives.
  • Some protein powders and supplements are focused on fat burning, others are more for mass building, know your goal before you purchase
  • Add a tablespoon of natural Peanut Butter and a small banana to your shakes for extra taste
  • Great proteins for you: Grilled chicken breasts, Eggs (do 2 out of 3 eggs with yolk), London Broil, Turkey Breast, Ground Turkey, Tilapia, Salmon
  • Great carbs for you: Sweet potatoes, white rice, brown rice
  • Great vegetables for you: Asparagus, spinach, broccoli, kale
  • Drinks to avoid: energy drinks, coffee, soda, sweet tea, iced tea, high sugar
  • Foods to eliminate: ice cream, french fries, potato chips, any fried foods, fast food, pizza & cookies
  • Avoid Soy proteins as they actually increase your estrogen (not good for a male). Stick with Whey Protein isolates.
  • Eat within 30 minutes of lifting – important to refuel and helps gain muscle
  • Research Muscle & Fitness and Men’s Fitness and young men’s nutrition magazines and reputable websites for more dieting, nutrition and training tips
  • Avoid fad diets and beware of scammy marketing companies who try to recruit you to sell products – many times the products are average at best.
  • Avoid shortcuts and fouls such as steroids, weight loss pills, caffeine pills, liposuction, extreme dieting, starvation, binge eating.

Snacks that are OK:

  • Mixed Nuts (non salted)
  • Carrots & Celery
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Rice Cakes
  • Protein Bars (look for low sugar/low fat)

Hopefully the above information gave you some starting points and useful tips. I do help put together plans for my regular students and if you train with me or have been to a number of our camps I’d be happy to have a phone call with you to give any feedback and help you with whatever goals you are trying to accomplish in the gym and on the field.

Coach Brent is not a nutritionist or doctor and the above recommendations are based on his own personal training program and things that have worked for him and his students. Please use with caution and make your own decisions.