Icing the kicker

Discussion of technique and strategy.

Icing the kicker

by rpaege » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:34 pm

MIchael Kesterton, The Globe and Mail wrote:When a football player is about to try for a field goal, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, “An opposing team’s coach can simply ‘ice’ a kicker and make it harder for them to put the ball through the goal posts. A new study by the University of San Diego says that kickers are less likely to make a field goal in a high-pressure situation if the opposing team’s coach calls a time out just as they’re about to tee things up.” Psychology professor Nadav Goldschmied reviewed data from six National Football League seasons and found that kickers who’d been iced scored only 66.4 per cent of the time. By comparison, kickers who were not iced had an 80.4-per-cent success rate.



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Re: Icing the kicker

by Paolo X » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:07 am

Sounds like a great strategy overall, but clearly I have seen it not work on many kickers and there is no way to test how much the opposite can be true as well.

In statistical terms, it would matter greatly what the standard deviation/variability would be with regard to the scoring percentage of those kickers iced.

Just how skewed are a few guys who are iced who perform poorly dragging down the average?

A practical example of my point is with Nate Kaeding of the San Diego Chargers who is now consulting with a sports psychologist. Kaeding was the best kicker in the NFL statiscally during the regular season in 2009, yet since 2004 has been one of the worst kickers in the postseason.

I'm not sure how often he's iced or not, but definitely Kaeding drags down the postseason scoring percentage for all kickers like few if any others.
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Re: Icing the kicker

by CatsFaninOttawa » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:42 am

Paolo X wrote:In statistical terms, it would matter greatly what the standard deviation/variability would be with regard to the scoring percentage of those kickers iced.

Another factor is the situation itself. If opposing coaches tend not to call time-outs on gimme field goals, then this would definitely skew the results. Actually, if the distances between the iced and non-iced attempts are skewed for any reason (e.g. coincidence), the results would be skewed. Knowing what I know about statistics, psychology studies, and professional publishing standards, however, I'm confident that this would have been considered by Goldschmied's team, or at least in the peer review before being published. The paper will appear in this month's issue of The Sport Psychologist - it isn't on their web site yet - and may include more details on what was taken into account.
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