I feel like I'm relaxing and a lot more confident with every week. It makes such a difference psychologically once I feel that I have settled into a routine. Repetition is key.
As a kicker, you want everything to be a logical step-by-step process so your preparation every game is pretty much the same. Finally I feel as if I am reaching that point mentally. I understand what is needed of me and I can do the job.
It will be a change going to Tampa this week as far as weather conditions are concerned. From my point of view, however, it is surprising how minimal a difference the temperature makes overall. Yes, the ball feels slightly different and carries in a unique way when it is extremely hot or really cold but for the most part, I find that kicking outdoors anywhere in the country is pretty much the same.
For me, the best-case scenario is when I am in a dome. There everything is controlled. If I go out and practice on site before the game, then I know that during the game the ball will behave exactly as it did in during warmups. That never happens in a game played outside.
Another big factor for me is stretching. I need to be certain that I warm up properly before practice and the game. If you look on the sidelines you'll often see me kicking into that little net. That's to keep everything as loose as possible so I'll be ready to come in whenever I'm needed.
My family is all getting together and driving to Florida tomorrow afternoon. Actually, it will be a 48-hour two game football weekend for them. My brother plays for West Virginia and they have a big game at the University of Miami Saturday. I won't get to be there of course, but I plan to watch at least some of that on television.
Then Sunday morning, they'll get in the car and head over to the game in Tampa. It's a 17-hour trip from our home in Pennsylvania. That plus the Miami-Tampa drive will have my dad behind the wheel for a considerable time. But they've always come to our games whenever possible which is something I've appreciated over the years. And although we won't have a sit down Thanksgiving dinner as a family, we will be in the same stadium for a belated celebration.
I'd like to extend my best wishes to all of the fans for a good holiday weekend. Good things are happening with this team and I see no reason for that not to continue.
The player perspective was a summary of an interview between Robbie Gould and Bear Report staff writer Beth Gorr.