That includes times when he’s having trouble kicking field goals.
One of those times was at the start of last week’s minicamp, but that was to be expected in the routine Prater has developed to be grooved and at peak performance when the regular season starts.
“It’s fundamentals and back to basics this time of year, when you focus on technique and the basics,” Prater said during last week’s camp. “When training camp and the season starts, you aren’t thinking about it as much.”
Preparing for his 11th pro season and fourth with the Lions, Prater is comfortable with his offseason routine.
In the three-day minicamp, he made the transition from what he calls “kicking off the sticks” to kicking with snapper and holder. The “sticks” is a devise that holds the ball and allows Prater to kick without a holder.
“It’s different wearing a helmet and what not,” Prater said. “Instead of kicking off the sticks, with the snap, hold and kicking the timing and rhythm and all that good stuff gets going again. Slowly and surely, it comes around.”
Kickers are like golfers. What works for one might not work for all. Head coach Jim Caldwell gives a veteran kicker such as Prater leeway to develop his routine within the framework of practice for the full team and special teams.
“In regards to routine, it kind of depends on the age of the guy,” Caldwell said. “If he’s young, we kind of regimen him a little bit more. We might give them a little bit more guidance, if they’re younger.
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