This post is a little bit of a change-up compared to some of my recent posts. This post, I will be interviewing my fiance’, Stephanie, about her view on being a significant other of a Kicker/Punter/Longsnapper. Not only has she been a great supporter of Team Jackson Kicking and works the registration for our camps and clinics, but she was a great supporter during my game that I played in for the Georgia Force back in May of 2011.
I will ask Stephanie a few a questions and hope this helps some of you guys that look for a support system and how your family or your significant other can help you be successful during your on and off seasons.
1. What was it like being a support system for Brian leading up to gameday?
Steph: I was very excited for Brian to get a chance to show me his skills, he had told me that this day may come and I guess I really didn’t understand that he could be called a week before a game to fill a kickers position. I made sure that I was very positive the week before, putting all my worries aside, making sure all my focus was on him.
2. What’s a gameday like as a significant other?
Steph: This particular gameday I was nervous for him. It had been a year since he played arena ball and he only practiced 45 minutes, twice, after being asked to fill in. He took this opportunity while working his full time job at Fort Rucker and also being head coach of TJK and individual lessons, so there wasn’t much time for practice. We made the drive to ATL on gameday with his parents. That four hours was the quietest Brian and I have ever been. He was mentally preparing himself by watching film of his previous games on his laptop. When we got to the hotel we checked in and he was on his way to the arena. I understood that this day was all about him and helping the team win, and the best thing I could do was say good luck and show him that I was his biggest fan.
I made sure to wear my lucky football bow that night and I think it helped a little, but mostly it was all Brian and his talent. I had never been to an arena game so when I saw the “uprights” (can you tell I live with a kicker) and how narrow they were, I thought how is he going to do that. Brian proved my first thoughts wrong that night. He showed me how a passionate, motivated, and driven individual can make anything happen. That game made me so proud of Brian!
3. What was your perception of a Kicker before dating one? How did your perception change after knowing the responsibilities they have?
Steph: I thought probably what alot of people think, a kicker just runs out on the field when it’s their time to kick the ball, and runs back off after they have done their job. I always thought the quarterback was the most important, until seeing Brian play. My perception has changed since the game and, of course, watching ESPN 24/7. He always wants me to watch any field goal or kickoff on TV during a game, LOL.
From Coach Jackson:
It’s always good to have a solid support system, whether it’s your girlfriend, family, dog, or even your faith. There are a lot of components that make up a support system and you should treasure them all. I was fortunate to have my family support me throughout my career, and then have Stephanie back me up in a random game as a fill-in. Don’t let outside distractions hinder your football career, especially in the social aspect. There are a lot of people that are envious of football players and would love to see you go down in flames. Keep the people that mean the most to you in your life and don’t take them for granted.