The first two weeks of the season, before the stress of the real work begins, give a golden opportunity to discover invaluable punters, place kickers and goal kickers. The test way is to use, for a few days, the American idea of an equal opportunity to everyone. The most likely candidates, no matter how superficially unpromising some of them really appear, should then be selected for special kicking practice daily. Sometimes the best kicker develops where such ability was least expected. He may even be a veteran who has played seasons without discovering the power in his kicking toe. Great care is necessary that these men do not work too long. The early practice is designed entirely to learn form, for this quality, so hard to define because it is the most difficult part of kicking, is the key to both distance and accurate direction.
As soon as the good kickers begin to forge ahead, practice should be concentrated into kicking from behind a scrimmage line, where all this work is done in the game. Men who can kick 70 yards in the open often cannot punt 50 consistently while facing the charge of an opposing line. Not merely one, but three or four good men, should be developed in the punting department.
There is still another indispensable set of kickers, who need not necessarily be on the punting squad. They are the place-kickers. A drop kick or one from placement from the field may be the deciding factor in the important game of the season. On the majority of football teams the best place kicker will not be a good punter, for usually the large men make the best place kicks. Also, they are likely to be in the best condition after the exhausting work required to make a touchdown and therefore, having steadier nerves and muscles than light men, are more accurate. Furthermore, a tall, heavy man makes his goal by the sheer weight behind the swing of his leg and is not compelled, like his lighter comrade, to disturb his aim by the hard swing of his toe against the ball.