How to Hold for a Field Goal

As the holder, you must learn to transition the snap into the hold for a successful field goal attempt.

August 14, 2019

When attempting a field goal, the pressure is on the kicker. All eyes focus on the kicker as they attempt to have the perfect blend of power and accuracy to add three points or a successful extra point attempt to the scoreboard.


However, before the kicker sends the ball through the uprights, they need a holder who can get the ball into position.


Properly holding the football is a vital step in a successful field goal attempt.




The first step to successfully holding for a field goal is having your knees in the proper position.


“The first thing [you’re] going to do is place [your] front knee down on the ground pointed directly at the snapper,” Division I football coach Chris Merritt says. “[Your] back knee will be at a 90-degree angle directly to the sidelines.”


The kicker will then approach you and use their toe to mark a spot on the field. This spot is an important part of the kicker’s process before attempting the field goal.


“[You’re] going to take [your] back hand and place it on the ground and keep it there until the snap of the ball,” Merritt says. “This gives the kicker a starting point of when to begin his steps.”


Once the kicker is in place and ready, you’ll raise your arm toward the snapper. As the ball comes to you, it’s important to remember these steps:


  • Catch the ball as close to your body as possible. This can make the transition from the catch to the hold as quick as possible.
  • Spin the ball with your front hand to make sure the laces are out.

By mastering your holding skills, you can help alleviate some of the pressure from the kicker. This can help your team add crucial points to the scoreboard.


Looking for more Pro Tips to help improve your special teams play? Learn how a kicker can properly line up a field goal attempt. You can also incorporate the Punting Step Drill into practice to help add more consistency to your kicking game.