Emphasizing ‘A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting’®, Coach Zauner’s teaching philosophy facilitates an environment where kicking specialists develop the skills, technique, and confidence to achieve their maximum physical and mental potential. At an amateur and professional level, Coach Zauner, LLC programs and events provide a kicker, punter or snapper ‘A Specialist’s Path to PRO Football'®...Coach Zauner, LLC Mission Statement

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One on One with Chad Mitchell

On Monday and Tuesday Chad Mitchell was in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Punting Lessons. Chad is 28 years old and is a former Texas A & M Tight End that has a passion for punting a football.

Chad is a very successful stock broker that always wanted to be a punter while he was playing football at Texas A & M however, Shane Lechler (Oakland Raiders) Pro Bowl Punter held that position and was an All American at that time.

Chad invested in a trip to Scottsdale to see if he could improve his skills and stock to make a late run at being an NFL punter at the age of 28. Chad's a smart guy and has some tough decisions to make in a couple of months. The road to the NFL is not an easy ride.

Chad is about 6'5 and 230 pounds with a big strong leg. However, he has a very inconsistent drop. Chad enjoyed the video reviews because the problems with his drop and technique became crystal clear.

Chads biggest problem was his drop. The ball was moving way to much. He was tossing the ball out and away with the nose up or out. In the photo below you can see his nose up drop.

Chad worked hard to just drop the ball, with the nose slightly down and inward so the ball would lay across his foot.


In the photo below we tried to emphasize taking a small first step and locking the ball on the table quicker.

I introduced my One Step Drill to Chad. Chad improved quickly on the drill when he just dropped the ball to the top of his foot. He started to hit a lot of (SNO) spiral nose over punts to the power zone.


In the two days of work, Chad got a little frustrated but admitted he was working on some things that were incorrect and causing bad muscle memory.

Chad is leaving Scottsdale knowing exactly what he must do to become a more consistent punter. Then he must decide at the age of 28 does he have the potential to become an NFL punter.

Everyone must realize the road to the NFL is not easy. There is no security unless you perform at the highest level and you must realize there are a lot of players that want your job!

Chad was a pleasure to work with. He is a bright young man that will make the right decision for his future. I wish him the best of luck!



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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One on One with Nico & Felipe

On Monday Nico Grasu (left) sophomore kicker at Washington State and Felipe Macia (right) senior kicker at Eastern Washington came to Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Kicking Lesson with their long time coach and friend, Sean Cheever's.

When I was the Special Teams Coach at Long Beach State for Legendary Hall of Fame Coach, George Allen, Sean Cheever's was my kicker in 1989 and 1990. Sean was an excellent kicker and had ice in his veins. He was money in the bank.

Below is a photo of Sean Cheever's kicking at Long Beach State.

Coach Cheever's brought his two young kickers to Scottsdale for me to evaluate and get my opinion on their kicking style and technique.

Both Felipe and Nico are fundamentally sound in their mechanics because, Coach Cheever's has done an outstanding job coaching them. He basically has taken what he learned as a kicker at Long Beach State and has now passed it on to his players as a Special Teams Coach at Moorpark J.C.. Both boys continue to work with Sean when they go back home to California.



Below Coach Cheever's holding for Felipe.




Below Coach Cheever's holding for Nico.





Both boys are a lot further ahead than most kickers because Sean has done a nice job coaching them for the last several years.

As I watched them kick I made a couple of observations which I passed on to Sean. Both young men were very attentive and a pleasure to work with. They have done well in college and like everyone else its a matter of consistency making it to the next level.

Felipe who played was a very accurate kicker at Eastern Washington. He has a chance to be a good one.

Nico still has a couple of years at Washington State. Nico has a big leg! As I tell all the kickers. Show me accuracy and control kicking field goals and a big leg on kickoffs. Nico is young and has a lot of potential.

Coach Cheever's learned a couple of things to take back to California and coach the boys on. I must say it was a pleasure seeing Sean and it was very gratifying to see how he has progressed from a former player to a now successful coach.



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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One on One with Pat MacDonald

On Sunday and Monday Pat MacDonald was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Snapping Lesson. Pat plays for the Calgary Stampeder's who just won the 2008 Grey Cup Championship in Canada.

Pat was with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent a couple of years ago. From first glance I could tell Pat has a lot of talent and potential. Pat has gone to several snapping coaches around the country trying to get better.

He asked me to evaluate and analyze his technique and refine his skills. Pat snapped and I watched and video taped his field goal and long snapping technique.

The video review and the slow motion video tape made everything crystal clear for Pat. He just needed to simplify his whole approach. So, I came up with a very simple progression for Pat to use which he can use for short and long snapping.

In the photo below Pat is snapping to Jon Peattie a free agent kicker and another client in town for One on One Kicking Lessons. Pat is working to snap 'Perfect' Laces on his field goal snaps.

In the photo below Pat is working to finish every snap the same way. Thumbs Out!

In the photo below Pat is working his long snapping technique. Pat is snapping to Danny Baugher a free agent punter and another client of mine. Danny has been a free agent with several NFL teams.

Pat worked his new progression and was quickly becoming a more consistent snapper. He was a quick fix. Once he was snapping accurately we progressed to snapping and protection drills.


After two days of snapping Pat was very happy with the results. He left Scottsdale more confident with his snapping, especially knowing he is going to have a couple NFL tryouts in January.

Click below to listen to Pats Testimonial on working with Coach Zauner.


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Pat was a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with him in the future.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

One on One with Jon Peattie

This has been a very hectic weekend with all the One on One Lessons: Kickers, Punters and Snappers.

Nathan Parseghian (Miami of Ohio), Dack Ishii (UNVL), Pat MacDonald (Calgary Stampeders), Jon Peattie (U. of Miami), Nico Grasu (Washington State) and Felipe Macias(Eastern Washington University) on Monday.


On Friday and Saturday Jon Peattie who was the former punter and kicker from the University of Miami was in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Kicking Lessons.

Jon is looking to make some decisions in his life. Should he pursue an NFL career or spend more time being successful in the business world.

Jon wanted me to check out his kicking technique and evaluate his potential as an NFL kicker. Right from the start I could see Jon has a good leg and a pretty smooth technique.

Inconsistency in his starting point has caused inconsistency in his 'Perfect' plant which in turn has caused inconsistency in his foot to ball contact.

When Jon gets to his best approach distance and everything lines up right he can kick with anyone. Strong leg, good trajectory and nice smooth form.

After two days of kicking and kickoff lesson Jon now knows what to work on and how to achieve those things. He must go back to Miami and work to correct the things that cause his inconsistency.

If Jon can correct a couple of minor flaws, which I feel are fairly easy corrections then I expect to see him at some NFL free agent tryouts. If he doesn't become more consistent, I expect him to be a very successful business man.

Jon was a pleasure to work with. He was very knowledgeable and coach able. I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of an NFL career.



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Dack Ishii One on One

On Friday and Saturday Dack Ishii, backup quarterback and punter for the UNLV Rebels was in Scottsdale, Arizona for an evaluation and One on One Punting Lesson.

Dack is 6'2, 225 lb. good looking athlete. He's also a 4 handicap golfer. Golf, punting and kicking they all go together. Technique, Tempo and Rhythm.

In the two days of punting I gave a lot of golf analogies. Dack because of circumstances ended up being the punter at UNLV because he is a good athlete and had some background in high school punting the ball.

Dack punted and I observed. I asked a lot of questions and received answers. He has potential however, has not had any formal instruction or training in his career. He just goes out and punts.
In the photo below Dack is working on the One Step Drill. Dack's biggest problem is placing the ball outside his hip and trying to wipe a spiral. Tape the ball on your thigh and place the ball directly in front of your punting leg.


Below Dack placed the ball directly in front of his punting leg and started to hit a bunch of (SNO) spiral nose over punts to the power zone.



Like most of the punters and kickers that come through here many have never seen themselves up close on video tape. We reviewed Dack's tape and he could quickly see why he was a little inconsistent punting the ball. If Dack had received some instruction earlier in his career who knows how good this young man could be.

Dack plans on going back home and working on fundamentals. With his size, strength and athletic ability good fundamentals could take Dack to a higher level.

He now understands what he needs to improve on and knows the standards that NFL special teams coaches are looking for. Dack needs to be a more consistent punter. Hard work, dedication and technique will be the key to his improvement.

Dack was a pleasure to work with and a fine young man. I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of an NFL career.

I just wish I would have had time to play golf with Dack. I havn't been beat yet this season but I would have loved to compete against a good golfer like Dack.



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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nathan Parseghian One on One

On Thursday and Friday Nathan Parseghian was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Kicking Lesson. Nathan was the kicker at Miami of Ohio University. He was the all conference kicker for the MAC conference.

On Tuesday he graduated from college and on Wednesday he was on a plane to Scottsdale. He is now shifting gears quickly from the books to trying to be an NFL kicker.

One quick note: Nathan is the Great Grand-Nephew of the legendary Coach from Notre Dame, Ara Parseghian.

Nathan and I have had about a nine year relationship. Many years ago when he was starting high school he attended our River Falls Kicking Camp in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Nathan flew to Scottsdale to get my evaluation on his abilities. All I can say is he gets an A+ as a student and graduate of our River Falls Kicking Camp.

Right from the start he knew his perfect triangle. He executed the One Step Drill perfectly. I saw a couple of minor flaws that we addressed immediately but I must say Nathan looked pretty good.

Nathan was excellent on getting his perfect triangle and approach as you can see in the photo below.

Because his approach was consistent it translated to a 'Perfect' plant which was also very consistent. Nathan for two days made excellent contact on his field goal kicks.

Nathan's form was excellent. In the photo below you see Nathan kicking up and through the ball. Lock and lift from the hip.

The final phase was also perfect. As you see in the photo below Nathan was kicking and skipping down field and transferring his weight.


On Friday we did a field goal workout which will be posted on my website One on One Lessons and my Pro Personnel Section. Nathan was 10 for 10 on his field goals, which ranged from 30 to 50 yards in distance. Then on his 5 bonus field goal he was 3 of 5. Hitting field goals from 53, 54 and 57 yards.

I must say Nathan had an excellent workout. One of the things that really impressed me was the trajectory on his field goal.

Click below to listen to Nathan's Testimonial on being a River Falls Camper and the effect it had on his kicking abilities:


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It was a real pleasure working with Nathan and I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of an NFL career. It is very gratifying as a coach to see the affect you might of had on someones career.

Nathan has the potential and talent. As with all kickers the last three ingredients make the biggest difference in who makes it: Consistency,Confidence and Exposure.


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Monday, December 15, 2008

CFL's DeAngelis One on One

Over the weekend Sandro DeAngelis of the Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders was in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Kicking Lesson. Sandro is the CFL's all time field goal percentage (83.9%) leader.

Sandro is trying to follow in Mike Vanderjagt's footsteps. Vanderjagt was a Grey Cup Champion and Most Valuable player and so is Sandro. Sandro has so many awards and achievements I don't have enough space on my blog to list them.

In the CFL the field is wider and longer and field position and kicking is very important. There are a couple of differences in rules and strategy. The two differences in field goal kicking is the CFL kickers can use a one inch block to kick their field goals off of and they use wider hash marks like the American College hashes.

Sandro came to Scottsdale to get my opinion on his potential, and to make any changes that he needed to make to kick off the ground and to adjust to the narrower hash marks.

From the start I could see why Sandro was a very accurate kicker. He has a very short approach and a very compact kicking motion. In the photo below you can see how close he starts to the ball. His short approach is something like Matt Stover of the Baltimore Ravens.


One of my first concerns was the elevation on his field goals. After kicking off a one inch tee for the last four years in the CFL, I thought his trajectory was a little low during the first lesson.

During our video review I pointed out a couple of things I had noticed. The slow motion and stop action made everything crystal clear to Sandro.

We talked about some minor adjustments and he agreed try them. In the second lesson we worked hard to address a couple of minor flaws. We started with my warm up progression drill and move to my favorite drill, the One Step drill. In the photo below you can see Sandro working the One Step Drill.

During the Drills we worked on getting his perfect plant directly at his target as you can see in the photo below.

There is a difference in kicking off a one inch tee and kicking off the ground. As I explained to Sandro in my golf analogy, its like hitting a golf ball off a tee or trying to hit it on the ground. Its much easier hitting anything sitting up on tee.

I noticed that Sandro was 'crunching' down which restricted his follow through. During all the drills we worked to eliminate the 'crunching' motion and work up and through the ball as you see in the photo below.

The last thing we addressed, I thought Sandro was kicking a little bit too much out of control. I believe you start on balance and end on balance. In the photo below you see Sandro kicking and ending up down field and on balance.

In the three days of kicking I saw a lot of improvement. Sandro made the minor adjustments he needed to make on kicking off the ground. I told him in two to three weeks he will see even more improvement in his trajectory.

Sandro left Scottsdale very happy with his One on One Lessons. He and his agent (Gil Scott) are looking to get him a couple of tryouts in the next couple of months. Sandro like all Canadian players have until February 15 to make a move to the NFL.

Click below to listen to Calgary Stampeders - Sandro DeAngelis's testimonial working with Coach Zauner.

video

Sandro was a real pleasure to work with. He was very receptive to coaching and likes to be coached. He gave me excellent feedback during drills which help me analyze and make the proper adjustments which I thought he needed to make. We worked well together and he was a quick fix.

Sandro is very lucky. Being Canadian, he loves living in Canada and loves playing in the CFL. He is playing for the Grey Cup Champs and has many awards and achievements. I wish him the best of luck in trying to secure one of the very precious kicking jobs in the NFL.




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Sunday, December 14, 2008

PR for 'Coaching the Coaches'


I have just sent out a press release informing college coaches about my expanded...
'Coaching the Coaches' Clinics in Arizona. Why?

Because at all levels of football, high school, college or even the NFL, the only players that don't seem to get coached properly on their fundamentals, technique, mechanics or drills are the kicking specialists.

There are not many college coaches or kicking game coordinators that actually know how to coach and train their kicking specialists.

On every staff, college head coaches put someone in charge of the kickers for pre and post practice kicking practice. It could be a position coach or graduate assistant coach.

We all know the horror stories of a coach in charge of the kickers, telling a kicking specialist to do something and you know right away, it's a strong possibility the coach has absolutely no idea of what he is talking about.

And we all know that would probably not happen at any other position on your football team but it happens a lot to the kicking specialists.

I give credit to a couple of smart head coaches.

Last year Jim Tressel, Ohio State and Kyle Whittingham, University of Utah sent the coaches in charge of their kicking specialist to Fountain Hills, Arizona for a One on One Coaching Clinic to learn how to evaluate, video tape to analyze, learn fundamentals and drills to properly coach their kicking specialist and take their specialist to the next level.

COURSE OF ACTION:

If your a kicking specialist and would like to take your kicking game to the next level, you can come to Fountain Hills, Arizona for One on One Lessons.

The other option is if your a kicking specialist and feel you are not getting coached properly or would like your coach to coach you as good as all the other players are being coached on your team at other position.

Then suggest to your coach in charge of the kicking specialists or kicking game to click onto the link to my website: Click here to view: 'Coaching the Coaches'

Every year assistant football coaches at all levels look to get better coaching their players by going to conventions, seminars and clinics.

This is an opportunity for either your kicking coach or Special Teams Coach to receive some One on One Professional Improvement, tailored to his and your team needs in sunny Arizona.

Just image the potential, kickers, punters and snappers actually getting coached with proper fundamentals, technique and drills.



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Saturday, December 13, 2008

One on One with James Meade



On Thursday and Friday James Meade from Morgan State was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Kicking Lesson.

James was excited to be here. This was the longest trip he has ever taken and he loved the sunshine and countryside.

In the first lesson James was a little nervous. He started kicking and was a little erratic. He mentioned that he was hitting the ground behind the ball a lot and couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong. I evaluated his form and started coaching immediately.

The 'eye in the sky' (photo below) is the Canon XL/XH Camera behind James video taping his technique.


Previously, before coming to Arizona James had not received much kicking instruction.

After the first lesson, the video review was a major factor in James transforming his technique from Day 1 to Day 2.

I analyzed the video and pointed out some of his flaws. As we watched the video the flaws in his technique became crystal clear. He saw in slow motion and stop action why his toe was hitting the ground and why he was pulling his kicks left or pushing them right.

I gave him a couple drills to work on Thursday night back at his hotel. He was a task master.

He told me when I picked him up Friday morning that he worked the drills most of the night and the next morning.

Well, he must have. Because he made a remarkable transformation in his technique overnight.

In the photo below we started to work the One Step Drill. I emphasized my coaching points.


James was kicking the ball much straighter and with better rotation. His kicking foot was no longer hitting the ground. James was now kicking up and through the ball and making much better contact.

I was amazed! James is a good athlete and a quick learner. He also has a passion for kicking and wants to succeed. He was really focused on coming to Arizona and leaving a better kicker. He was what I call a quick fix!

He left Arizona very happy much improved and a more consistent kicker.




I must say James was a pleasure to work with. I love when players come to town, work hard and go away better.

In the short video below, check out the transformation James made in his kicking technique from day 1 of his One on One Kicking Lessons to day 2. Also, listen to James testimonial on working with Coach Zauner.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baumann & Ackley 1 on 1 Lessons


Over the weekend I had two good friends Britt Baumann (left) and Breck Ackley (right) visit Scottsdale, Arizona for some One On One Kicking and Punting Lessons.

Britt Baumann is a kicker that graduated from the University of Minnesota - Duluth and Breck Ackly is a punter that graduated from Southern University. Both are free agents.

Two friends that have dreams of kicking and punting in the NFL some day. They have a plan and are working hard to achieve that dream. As one of my former head coaches use to say, plan your work and work your plan. And my plan is to use my coaching technique which is A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting to help them with their plan.

Breck punted the first day and we video taped everything. I evaluated and analyzed as he went through his drills and routine. He didn't do many drills. He did a drop drill then started to punt.

As he punted I noticed a lack of good fundamentals. It was confirmed in our video session after the first lesson.

"No drills and lack of fundamentals, go figure!" I see it all the time in my business. Guys just think they can go out and kick or punt. There may be an exception to the rule but not often.

My game plan and Breck agreed was to get better fundamentals. I selected drills that I thought would help Breck with his drop and leg swing.

We started with my Drop Progression Drill. Breck had two types of drops and his drop was moving on him. He needed to work on consistency!

Next in the photo below, I showed Breck a drill to get him to walk straighter down field. Breck's first step was inside. Then on his second or final step he would push outside causing him to chase or wipe the ball. He hit some good punts but not on a consistent basis.

Below, Breck works on my One Step Drill.

Next, in the photo below Breck worked on stepping straight forward with his first step rather than taking a step inside.

I really stressed working straight up and through the ball rather than wiping it. I introduced Breck to an old Karate drill that someone taught me many years ago.

Breck was walking like he was on a balance beam and wiping the ball. I wanted everything moving down field. I wanted Breck's punting leg coming straight up and through the ball.

My teaching method of part whole - whole part was starting to work. Breck was stringing all the parts together and hitting more (SNO) spiral nose over punts to his power zone.

Breck now has a DVD and several drills to emphasize good fundamentals. I told him to go back home and practice. In a couple of weeks he will see even more positive results. He needs to get rid of his old muscle memory and with the drills acquire new muscle memory.

It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Breck and I wish him the best of luck in the future achieving his dream.

Click below to listen to Breck Ackley's Testimonial on working with Coach Zauner:

video

Breck has talent and potential. I believe these drills will make him better and more consistent. He needs to determine when he gets more consistent does he have the punting statistics or numbers to make it at the NFL level. Only time will tell.

Below is Britt Baumann... the Next Man Up.

Britt Baumann is from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. His former University will be playing next week in the Division II National Championship Game vs Northwest Missouri State. This will be Northwest Missouri States fourth consecutive season to the final game.

Britt did his warm up drill and started to kick, just like Breck. One drill and go kick? There seems to be a trend here. Two friends living together that think alike.

Britt has had very little instruction to date. And whatever training he's gotten was a little suspect.

Despite the lack of formal instruction and being from a smaller University, Britt impressed me right away with the pop on his leg.

In the first lesson I watched and asked a lot of questions. As I evaluated and analyzed Britts technique I was thinking how good could this young man get if he received good coaching.

Britt had some flaws and like Breck the flaws they have are all correctable with drills and hard work.

During the video review I pointed out to Britt why he was missing kicks to his right. Simple, he was aiming there. Britt like many kickers had a flaw in marking off his steps and drawing his target line. His approach varied and his target line was drawn on a consistent basis too far right.

After the video review we talked and Britt was here to get better and wanted to do whatever it takes to get to the next level.

The refinement process started in the second lesson. I taught Britt the proper way to do the One Step Drill. In the photo below we work the drill. Britt was a quick study. He went from 30, to 40 and back to 50 yards. He drilled several 50 yard one steps with ease.

During the video review I pointed out if he didn't crunch so much he could get up and through his kicks better and probably have more power. Again, he was a quick study.

Britt in high school was also a basketball player and on the tennis team. Being a multiple sport and good athlete Britt adjusted to my drills and instruction with ease.

In the photo below he was now kicking up through the ball much better and finishing his kicks.

The next and final point of emphasis was finishing every kick the same way. Start on balance and end on balance. By the end of the lesson Britt was perfectly on balance and kicking the balls right down the middle. (photo below)

When Britt goes home he has a couple of minor things to work on. I believe the points of emphasis and drills he has learned will only make him better in the next couple weeks.

If Britt can become more consistent which I think he can and if he has the mental makeup which I don't know yet. He could be a sleeper.

I worked a long time ago with a young man by the name of Adam Vinatieri. He reminds me a little of Adam with his kicking style and demeanor. Will See!

Click below to listen to Britt Baumann's Testimonial about working with Coach Zauner:

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Breck and Britt, Britt and Breck. I confused their names all weekend long. Two buddies with dreams of playing in the NFL. The two are committed and are hard workers.

The two came to Arizona with talent and potential, but not many drills. I think now that they have drills to emphasize important fundamentals and a routine they will improve. How much they improve is up to them. The secret to success is hard work and dedication.

They both want to come back in several weeks and continue working with me. They were both a pleasure to have around and I wish them the best of luck and success in their journey.



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