Lauren Silberman is the first female kicker scheduled to try out at an NFL regional trial. The 28-year-old will attend the New York Jets’ regional trial in Florham Park, New Jersey, on Sunday.
Silberman is a former club soccer player from Wisconsin. Now she is set to make history as the first female to participate at NFL Regional Combine. This event follows the success of Nascar driver Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to start the Daytona 500 on pole position.
“I am working hard to prepare but I am also realistic about my chances,” she says. “I hope my willingness to put myself out there inspires others to seize opportunities and challenges. The support from around the world has been so heartening.”
Her goal for this weekend is to kick perfect 60-yard field goals. Lauren has just started practicing long-range field goals, she is used to kicking anything more but soccer balls and she will compete against more accomplished or polished college kickers.
Coach Darrin Simmons said teams look for several things specifically when judging kickers in these situations. The most important is leg strength, followed by accuracy on field goals over 40 yards, and how they did on clutch kicks in college.
“When rating field goals, the deepest we test at the combine is a 50-yard field goal. There’s not many attempts over 55 yards.”
The 30-year-old Silberman is a grad student at MIT. She wrote her Master’s thesis on how college and pro athletes can use video games to improve their athletic performance. Then she started her own consulting firm, Double Play Media.
Silberman told USA Today she “saw the opportunity and had to go for it.” The kicker continued, “I love football, new experiences, and wanted to take the chance to learn more about the training process that leads to a successful NFL career.”
She told the Associated Press that she was realistic about her chances, given the competition level and her relative lack of experience.
“I was not aware that I was the first female registrant,” Silberman said to NFL.com. “I was actually hoping that the 2012 historical milestone rule, to allow women to play, would prompt more women to attend tryouts this year. But for me, what’s important is to finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams by trying out to play in the world’s most competitive football league.”