For over 40 years Rick Gonsalves has been a student of the kicking game, and has a new book out called Placekicking in the NFL that is chock full of interesting aspects of the game along with all the statistics to back it up.
This book could be on the desk of every NFL coach because it is filled with little known facts from the earliest days to current times about the history of placekicking. It is also an analysis of the technical aspects, and includes biographies of famous kickers in the game.
Gonsalves kicked for Gloucester High and Bridgewater State. For the past 37 years he has run the Cape Ann Kicking Academy in Gloucester working with junior high, high school, and college kickers. Five of his students have been invited to NFL training camps, but what he is most proud of is helping 35 of them get scholarships and go on to have outstanding college careers.
“Only one percent get to the pros,” said Gonsalves, who also wrote two other books called Specialty Teams and All Time NFL Kicking Records (which is updated every year). “I worked with Mike Powers (Gloucester), who kicked five field goals in his first game as a freshman at Colgate. He helped his team beat Army, 15-14 and set a couple of NCAA records.”
Everything football fans would ever want to know about the art of kicking is covered in the book that is published by McFarland & Company. Gonsalves writes about the evolution of kicking, various styles, the differences in domed stadiums, artificial turf, famous and infamous kickers.
“It took me four years to write,” said the Essex resident. “A lot of people don’t understand the mindset of a kicker and the strategy involved. There’s a lot of pressure when you’re a kicker in a stadium full of cheering fans; look what Adam Vinatieri did with two kicks to win Super Bowls.”