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Nate Kaeding: Articles

Discussion in 'American Football' started by CoronaDoug, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007

    The Psychology of Missed Field Goals: Was Nate Kaeding's Performance Part of a Choking Outbreak?
    by Ian Yarett

    San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding’s shocking performance in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets caught football fans everywhere—even Jets fans—by surprise. After making 32 out of 35 field-goal attempts throughout the entire season, Kaeding proceeded to miss all three chances in Sunday’s game. That makes Kaeding, who has the highest regular-season percentage in league history (87.2), the first kicker to miss three out of three field-goal attempts in a playoff game since 1995.

    Kaeding’s failure topped off an already growing number of unforgettable missed kicks during the playoffs in the preceding week, including two by Cincinnati's Shayne Graham against the Jets and another by Arizona's Neil Rackers against the Packers.

    All of this raises the question: could the preceding outbreak of failed field-goal attempts have precipitated Kaeding’s spectacular meltdown? Did Kaeding fall prey to a shanking epidemic?

    According to Dr. John F. Murray, a Palm Beach-based sports psychologist, it’s a plausible theory, although impossible to prove. “It’s certainly safe to say that [Kaeding] made a mental mistake,” Murray says. “Exposure to other people’s failures could have gotten inside his head.”

    For experienced and consistent players like Kaeding, a good kick is an automatic move that requires little thought. So little, in fact, that extra thinking can be the very thing that does in a player under high pressure. If a memory of another player missing a kick popped into Kaeding’s mind as he prepared to take his shot, that neural signal could have interfered with Kaeding’s mental preparation.

    “When you’re kicking a field goal, you’re mostly using your motor cortex—that’s what controls kicking. So when you send a neural impulse from your brain down the spinal cord to the legs to make the kick, you don’t want to have a lot of interference from the frontal lobe or temporal lobe having a memory of some guy who missed a kick last week or any other distraction,” Murray says.

    Still, if exposure to the failures of other kickers is what did in Kaeding, one would expect field-goal misses to come and go in groups. But, historically, this is not the case, says Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau. Even though these playoffs have been a particularly bad time for field-goal kickers, Hirdt says that missed field goals do not always cluster in this way—at least not enough to identify a trend given the limited data available.

    Indeed, there are many other possible psychological explanations for Kaeding’s aberrant misses. He could have gotten caught up in the pressure of the moment, which could feel like “having a gun to your head and being told to ‘make that field goal or I’m going to pull the trigger',” Murray says. Alternatively, Kaeding could have missed one shot due to a technical flaw or a fluke, and then missed the next two because he was dwelling on the past. Or he could have just had a fight with his wife earlier in the day or gotten a speeding ticket on the way to the field, disrupting his concentration.

    Patrick Cohn, another sports-psychology expert and owner of Peak Performance Sports, favors these kinds of explanations over the possibility that other failed kickers psyched out Kaeding. “When kickers miss uncharacteristically, it comes down to the pressure they’re feeling,” he says. “They don’t pay attention to what other kickers are doing, but a bad miss early in the game could lead to more misses later on.”

    We’ll probably never know for certain the exact cause of Kaeding’s choke—even Kaeding himself may not know what happened, Murray says. But it surely comes down to mental preparation, which Kaeding will have to work on before he kicks again.
  2. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007
    Nate Kaeding: How to Lose a Fan in 10 Days


    Nate Kaeding: How to Lose a Fan in 10 Days
    by Flow Taylor Contributor
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images
    As predicted by any Oakland Raiders', Denver Broncos', or Kansas City Chiefs' fan, the San Diego Chargers lost in the playoffs again.

    It was a year that seemed so promising from start to finish. The Chargers finally went into the playoffs with a healthy L.T. and everyone was playing to his maximum capability.

    Everyone except for one. This "one" in particular just happened to be the team's leading scorer and most prized possession, No. 10, Nate Kaeding.

    Before a bunch of Charger fans that don't know what they are talking about start running around saying "Fire Norv," or "L.T. is washed up," or "Rivers sucks, good job throwing two picks," you all need to realize something. Nate Kaeding is our most consistent heartbreaker.

    Does he, maybe, know that he is the best in the league, and secretly hates the Chargers?

    Does he do phenomenally in the regular season with an intent to (please don't report this editors, I am emotional right now) **** us over in the playoffs?

    Look at his despicable face, his little beady eyes, his lack of emotion after he missed his second field goal of the day.

    He was just standing there, staring.

    I know there was a grin on the inside. I would have been crying if I was in his position.

    Congratulations, Kaeding. You got a 17-14 loss.

    How many points did you give up? Nine.

    Miss it once, and nobody remembers. Lose the game, and nobody forgets.

    Just make two, the two that weren't 57 yards, and it would have been amazing.

    I didn't expect you to get the 57-yarder, but the other two? From you?

    Nate the Great?

    I think not.

    Please Kaeding, get off of this team.

    I don't give a damn how good you are, I can't handle you screwing us over anymore.

    I don't blame Norv for his bad second down play calling.

    I don't blame Rivers for his two interceptions (especially since one of them happened because of a bounce off of Vincent Jackson's leg, not bad decision-making).

    I don't blame Jackson for his stupid penalties or Gates for his drops.

    I don't blame Tomlinson for doing what he always does as of late, just flat out sucking.

    I don't blame Sproles for being clutch in the playoffs as always (why would I?).

    There was sloppy play all around, and the whole burden is now on your shoulders Kaeding.

    The New York Jets had yet another game handed to them. This one by the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history? Who plays for the opposing team?

    I just don't even know what to say.

    Straight up, I want Kaeding out of San Diego.

    I don't care how good he is during the regular season.

    The regular season isn't nearly as important as the playoffs.

    Kaeding, please leave. If I had attended the game—oh, if only I were at the game—you would be drenched in so much tomato juice...

    I've had my rant.

    Congratulations, Jets. You played your typical ball game.

    You won while being the lesser team (just as you had done the previous three weeks).

    This is the part where I wish my luck to Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings for the rest of the playoffs, the only team I can tolerate left in the mix.

    F Kaeding.

    I'm out
  3. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

    Oct 13, 2006
    Man you must be eating all this up. :lol:

    Nobody can say you haven't stayed the course when it comes to Nate. That's for sure.

  4. BrecksOnlyBoltzFan

    BrecksOnlyBoltzFan BoltTalker

    Jan 22, 2010
    Nice Rant.
    I think its clear he needs to GO. How can Norv ever trust this guy in January? He can have his best regular season again next season. I will still not trust him in the Playoffs.
  5. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    I'm with you man. I'm gonna be nervous even on EXTRA POINTS now when Nate Finkel lines up for a kick. I mean Nate is probably a nice guy and all but man, make a kick when it COUNTS man! I bet even Scott Norwood makes those kicks! :icon_evil:
  6. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

    Mar 10, 2007
    Go to Google and type in the words Kaeding Playoff, and see all the articles.

  7. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    I Googled Kaeding and this image came up....

  8. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    Kinda says it all!!!!!!!


  9. S.D.Love

    S.D.Love Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008





    Oct 4, 2009
    I bet even ochocinco can make those kicks:icon_shrug:
  11. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

    Dec 17, 2007
    **** Nate Kaeding straight up.

    If it wasn't for him we'd be ****ing celebrating right now.

    The ****ing Saints went through about 57 different kickers in the past 3 season and they just got kicked to the Superbowl.

    Nate Kaeding I'm buying a plane ticket to So Cal tomorrow. I'm going to take a monster **** all over your windows/doors and than I'm going to spray paint your house saying, sorry I missed.

  12. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2008
  13. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    Interesting Story on Nate Finkel:



    A Q&A with Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding

    By SCOTT BAIR - sbair@nctimes.com

    Nate Kaeding is about as easygoing as they come. The Chargers kicker isn't fazed by much, a major reason why he's one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.

    He ranks second all-time in career field-goal percentage, converting 86 percent of his attempts since entering the league in 2004. Four of those conversions came in the 2007 AFC Championship Game, when he made each of his attempts on a freezing day in New England, despite a fractured leg.

    For as consistent as he is in his professional life, his outside interests are varied. Kaeding is an avid golfer and a standout basketball player who helped lead his high school team to a state title. He even writes movie reviews for an Iowa-based Web site.

    He's a celebrity in the state he grew up in ---- as an active Hawkeyes alum, as part-owner of a burger joint and as the namesake of a pizza at a different establishment. But Kaeding loves nothing more than booting a football through the uprights.

    Q: How did you get involved in kicking? Were you a converted soccer player?

    A: As a kid, I played anything that involved a ball, bat or a racket. Whatever it was, I played it. I started kicking in high school because I was a soccer player growing up. I was also too skinny and too slow to play any other position on the football team, so it stuck. I developed a passion for it and started practicing nonstop. I guess I got pretty good at it, and the scholarship offers came rolling in. I kind of jumped on it from there.

    Q: You aim at very narrow goalposts during practice. How did that routine begin and how does it help?

    A: We ordered them my first year at Iowa, and I've been kicking with them ever since. The Chargers were nice enough to get me a set out here, which really helps. We do all of our team drills with them, and it's a good way to challenge myself heading into a game. Because I practice with the skinny posts, the goalposts look that much wider on game day.
    (Then wtf didn't this help you in the playoffs?)

    Q: Do you think it accelerated your progress in college?

    A: I think so. I'm always trying to find unique and different ways to make myself better. Kicking is such a simple thing that you have to wrack your brain a little bit to perfect those minute details and improve your skills. The skinny uprights is another way of doing that. A 30-yard field goal is pretty easy at this level, but with the narrow posts, everything's hard. It keeps your mind sharp and forces you to keep your technique sound.

    Q: When you line up for a field goal, you start from a distance and walk in to the ball. Why do you do that?

    A: It's another thing I've come up with to maintain focus. I'll line up way back, but at the same angle to get a look at the uprights 20 yards behind where I'm going to kick from. When I get up to the line, the goal posts look that much closer. I wouldn't say it's a mental trick, but it's part of my routine and it helps.

    Q: How do you keep from dying of boredom during practice, when you're generally standing around?

    A: It's tough. Honestly, it's one of my biggest challenges. I'm an ornery, ADD sort of personality to begin with, so standing around is hard. I have a lot of interests outside of football, and while it's not to say that I don't take kicking seriously, you devote yourself to getting a good lift in and watching tape. After that, you might pull out a good book or do something to keep your mind off of it a little bit to use some emotional energy elsewhere as opposed to thinking about football.

    Q: Is there a certain mentality that's required for your position?

    A: Toughness is the big thing. A lot of times people don't look at kickers as being tough because we're not too intimidating. But I believe the great kickers have to be tough mentally and emotionally. This game will humble you at times. You're not going to make every field goal, and you might miss some in big situations. You have to be tough to go out there each and every week and keep your mind clear. The ones who let the misses eat away, or the ones who let the day-to-day monotony of it get to them usually don't last very long.

    Q: You play a lot of golf. What's your favorite course in San Diego?

    A: I'm a member at Morgan Run, so I always enjoy playing there with some of my buddies. But at the same time, you can't beat Torrey Pines South. I grew up playing municipal golf courses in Iowa, so this is a bit of an upgrade. I've played on one cut out of a corn field, which can't hold a candle to one butting up against the Pacific.

    Q: I hear you have a pizza named after you at a restaurant in Iowa.

    A: That's true. There's a pizza place in Iowa City that names pizzas after old Iowa athletes, and I'm one of 15 or 20 on the menu.

    Q: What's it called, and what's on it.

    A: It's called the "Kato" ---- my nickname back home ---- and it has pepperoni, mushroom and sausage.

    Q: Any surprises about being a new father?

    A: All the stories you hear are true. It was one thing when you have one, but it's a lot harder when you have two. Before I could nudge my wife if the baby woke up in the middle of the night, say I'd have to go to practice early and she'd take care of it. Now that there's two, I can't really tell her to take care of one when she's already got the other. That means I have to get my butt out of bed and take care of it. But for all those times and all the sacrifices, it's definitely worth it.

    Contact staff writer Scott Bair at 760-739-6642.


    Age: 27

    Height: 6 feet

    Weight: 187 pounds

    Birthdate: March 26, 1982

    Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa

    High school: West

    College: Iowa

    Wife: Samantha

    Children: Jack, Wyatt
  14. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

    Aug 26, 2005
    Any idea why they let him kick it? Did the game not mean anything or was their kicker hurt?

    Got to love Chad though. He's one of my favorite NFL players.

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