Matt Stover On His Routines

Practice to game time, don't kick these habits

Ravens Weekend

October 12, 2007

Matt Stover on his routines "I would say that 20 percent of it is spent on the field, believe it or not. Another 60 percent is done in the weight room, training. The other 20 percent is more mental training, visualization, trying to get my mind right mentally and emotionally to perform well.

"Wednesdays ... I train to kick field goals. I'll back myself up a little bit and get myself some longer field goals. I'll work myself around the field, try to visualize the stadium that I have already looked at on film or I've played in it.

"Thursday is a day of kickoffs and kickoff returns.

"Friday, you tend to work on your specialty kicks, your onsides, your squibs, your mortar kicks, hurry-up field goals, long field goals, blocked field goals, anything that happens that you can react properly to.

"Saturday, you come in and get yourself physically ready, and during the afternoon, I'll go through an entire game mentally."

On his pre-game routine

"For a 1 o'clock game I'll get up at 8 o'clock and kind of get up slowly, eat breakfast. I'll get to the stadium around 9. I'll go out immediately and walk the field. See the conditions. ... I pick out target points. If you look at our stadium behind the uprights, there's the M&T Bank Stadium sign; I'm always aiming at that. ... I'll do several kicks that way and then I'll come in, get loosened up, taped up, get the back loosened up. ... Then what you try to do is clear your mind. I try to do it with music.

About an hour and 20 minutes before the game, I'll start kicking in warm-ups. I go through a routine of 13 balls, seven one way, six the other, with a few warm-ups before that. Kick a couple of kickoffs, not many, don't need to anymore. I do a lot of prayer because I believe I get my strength from that."

On his game routine

"During the course of the game, I'll actually not watch a lot of it. From an emotional standpoint, it's a roller coaster. ... I can't allow myself to go up and down with it. I have to continue to erase my mind and not put myself out there when the defense is out there. I'll sit on the bench a lot and I'll continue to see that ball in my mind, see the ball go through the uprights.

Once the offense gets the ball, I immediately click on. I'm not necessarily watching the play per se; I'm watching them move the ball. I go into the net, and the reason why you hit into the net a little bit is just to get the feel of the ball.

On second down, I'll hit my last field goal into the net, maybe one or two. I'll put myself on the sideline, down behind Brian [Billick] so that I can visualize where it is, see the wind conditions, and I can go ahead and get a few balls. I'm always going through each position."

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