Repetition of Mechanics, Approach Key For West Virginia's Mike Molina

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - West Virginia placekicker Mike Molina has done a solid job in his first two games, but now faces a different field and environment as the Mountaineers travel to FedEx Field to face BYU in Landover, Md.. Special teams coach Mark Scott notes that the key to his continued success is an even keel.

Molina has missed just one attempt through two games as WVU's kicker, and Scott said he could feel it coming before it happened.

“When he was out there, I could tell he was thinking too much,” said Scott, who watched Molina fidget and bounce around before the 30-yard attempt against Youngstown State, which hooked left. “He was too excited. I tell him that it's the same approach, the same swing. If he keeps that approach he will continue to have success.”

The analogy has been made before, but there is a lot in common between kicking a football and hitting a golf ball. The keys are to build a repeatable motion that can be performed time and again, no matter the conditions or situation. There are also parallels on the mental side, where past shortcomings have to be put aside, and focus on the next attempt maintained.

Molina did just that after his miss, coming back to drill a 32-yard attempt just one quarter later. That allowed him to put the miscue in the past, but also demonstrated that he has the mental side of the game under control – or at least as much as it can be. Showing a five for six performance on field goals, as well as a perfect seven for seven on extra points, Molina has executed at a near perfect level.

Now the Hurricane, W. Va., native has a new challenge – kicking in a non-home venue. Going on the road is a bit of a difference for every player, but for kickers it can be magnified. There are differences in surface and wind, just to name two – and those are variables that don't affect many other positions. Still, for Scott, it's sticking to the approach that is the most important.

“There is a slight adjustment, but we'll be out there on the field right after we get there,” he said, noting that enough kicks and pre-game surveys are made to get comfortable with the surroundings.

In the interview above, Scott also touched on the condition of long snapper Nick Meadows, who had a couple of cramping issues in the heat of the YSU game, and on the work program of Josh Lambert, who will be eligible to return to play next week against Kansas State.


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