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Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker credits ‘prayer on the sidelines’ for mental fortitude

Kansas City Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker works hard at his game. 

The seven-year veteran holds the record for all-time field goals in a Super Bowl with nine, four of which came in the Chiefs’ thrilling overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII in February, a game that included his record-setting 57-yarder. 

Harrison Butker speaks to media

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

But practice and dedication aren’t the only things Butker credits for his success. It’s his faith as well. 

During an appearance at the 2024 Stronger Men’s Conference in Springfield, Missouri, Butker discussed his career and faith with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. He spoke at length about the mental aspect of the game and how he relies on prayer to keep him grounded in high-pressure situations. 

“I’ve had to take myself away from the ups and downs of the game, and really prayer on the sidelines has really helped me so much to detach and realize that, yes, football is important. Yes, I’m on the biggest stage – there’s millions of people watching, but I am a child of God, No. 1.

The Chiefs entered this year’s Super Bowl in an unusual way – they were largely considered the underdogs despite their usual success in the playoffs. Canceling the outside noise and focusing on his faith was something Butkey relied on.  

Harrison Butker kicks a field goal

Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs kicks a field goal during the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

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“I’m a child of God. I need to care about what Jesus thinks of me more than anyone else. How am I as a husband, and how am I as a father? And when you think about that it really takes away a lot of the pressure that the world can bring, that that stage can bring. And that’s also probably been a big reason for my successes. Understanding my place, understanding the role that football plays in my life that it’s an amazing platform that I’m so grateful for.” 

“I’m trying to use the platform for Him, to glorify Him,” he continued. 

Butker recalled one of the most pivotal moments in his career, an ankle injury he suffered during Week 1 of the 2022 season that sidelined him for several games. 

Harrison Butker celebrates

Place kicker Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates kicking a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on November 26, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 31-17.  (Candice Ward/Getty Images)

“I’m so thankful for that season because it did test my faith and it put me through so much adversity. . . . If anything, I think it was a blessing. I was a better son of God, and I was a better husband and a better father, and I think God was telling me, ‘Harrison, stop making football your idol.’”

The Chiefs won back-to-back Super Bowls and earned the franchise’s third title in four seasons. This season, Kansas City is hoping to three-peat. For Butker, anything is possible. 

“It’s pretty incredible to think that we even [have] the opportunity to win three Super Bowls in a row, but when you have a coach like Andy Reid, you have a great quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, you have Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, you have so many top tier players that are going to make sure we execute in the biggest of moments, and we showed that this season.” 

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