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Terps Kicker Never Lost Confidence

Kicker Obi Egekeze did not spend last week worrying about possibly losing his starting job after missing his first five field goal attempts of the season. He spent the week focusing on details in practice. Relax. Keep eyes back. Kick the ball. See the ball come off the foot.

He also spent plenty of time on the telephone. He talked to friends, family members, former kickers, his high school coach. He even talked to kickers at Kansas State and Northern Illinois.

I remember talking to former Maryland kicker Nick Novak about the psychology of kicking, and he would tell me that he never replayed the misses in his head. In his mind, he has made every kick he has ever attempted. Amid a slump, Novak told me that he created a tape of every kick he had ever made in his college career. He watched that, focused on the fundamentals and bolstered his confidence.

Confidence played a similar role in Egekeze's approach.

“I always had confidence in myself. Throughout the whole process, I had people tell me this was something I have done a million times. I focused on the little things in practice and just relaxed. You go back to basics and work on them and build back up. Trust yourself.”

Egekeze snapped out of his season long slump by making three field goals Saturday. After making the first, a 23-yarder, the crowd erupted in delight.

“I’m in my own world out there,” Egekeze said. “What was the crowd’s reaction?”

They were pretty pumped up.

“That’s good, that’s good,” Egekeze said. “I didn’t want to not focus for one second and then that’s the second you revert back to tendencies.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 22, 2008; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Green: I Wanted to Keep Crossing the Goal Line

Comments

Prediction:

Clemson -- 48
Maryland -- 17

Maryland will finish with a 4-8 record (good for last place in the ACC - even behind Duke).

I am happy that Maryland is no longer recruiting Tavon Austin.

Jelani Jenkins, Travis Hawkins and Isaac Holmes will be signing with the University of Florida.

Posted by: gary | September 23, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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