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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 2 with Wisconsin Contigency

Saturday morning we started bright and early because the boys wanted to get in one more round of golf before they head back to the frozen tundra of Madison Wisconsin.

We start again with Kenny DeBauche's One on One Punting Lesson. We take the information learned from our video session and start to make corrections and adjustments on the field.

Kenny needs to improve in three area's, 1) he needs to raise his drop table for better and more consistent hang times, 2) he needs to drift off the line a little more to be a better power zone punter and 3) he needs to improve his get off times.

Drill work, drill work, and more drill work, the key to any punters and kickers success is drill work and sound fundamentals.

I introduce my drop progression and get off drills. Kenny will need to work on these everyday when he goes back home to get the proper muscle memory.

Today, after our warm up and one step punts we move to situational punting. I want to see if this young man has the potential to be in an NFL camp.

We start as usual with open field punts, move to directional punts and end with pooch punting. I give Kenny get off and hang times and Justin, our return man, shouts back distances. Kenny improves during the session in all 3 phases. He finally hits a couple of 5.0 second hang times. Raising his drop table pays dividends for him.

We end the session with Kenny working his holding technique from both sides. He's held for Taylor, who is a lefty and wants to make sure coaches know he can hold for either type of kicker.

Next up is Taylor Mehlhaff's One on One Kicking Lesson. We take the information from the video review session and go to work.

Taylor came to Scottsdale to to work with me and is willing to try whatever I suggest. I would like Taylor to kick and transfer his weight down field a little quicker and better. So, we start with the one step drill and move to a couple of field goals. I ask him to kick and walk down field to emphasize the weight transfer. During the opening 20 kicks Taylor hits a couple of really solid kicks and smiles! Kenny who's holding and Taylor both comment how solid and straight the balls are now flying.

We continue kicking field goals at both ends from the left and right hash marks. Taylor continues to hit some awesome field goals. He has great trajectory on his kicks! We finish the field goal section and Taylor feels good that he's tried something new and it might be good to implement in his style of kicking.

My job is to observe, evaluate and suggest. Taylor, like all kickers and punters must decide if what I suggest is good for his style of kicking. "The proof is in the pudding" as my dad use to say!

We finish the day with kickoffs. Taylor at the NFL combine had some great hang times but was under hitting the ball a lot and did the same on Friday. We both agreed that he must stay up taller to get through his kickoffs better. We start with some 2 and 4 step kickoffs to get my teaching point across. He hits a couple of solid balls. We move back to his normal approach and he bombs a 4.48 hang time to the goal line.

In all my years coaching kickers, I've never had anyone hit that type of hang time off a one inch tee.

We finish with a couple more big kickoffs and wrap it up. Taylor's leg is getting tired. He's kicked a lot in two days.

During both sessions Justin Beaver is our return man. We throw passes and run a couple of catching drills. We video tape Justin catching punts and kickoffs. Justin is excellent at catching kickoffs and moving up field quickly, however, still needs more practice fielding punts. I point out a couple of minor flaws in his catching technique and he quickly understands what he must do to correct the problem.

The One on One Lesson's are finished and the boys are eager to play 18 holes of golf. What they don't realize is there next One on One Lesson is just around the corner.

We again decide to play a little skins game! I only had time to play 9 holes with the boys. However, the score at the end of nine was Coach Zauner 8 skins, Taylor 1 skin & Kenny 0.

I told the boys there is no charge for the One on One Golf Lesson.

We finish the afternoon with our video review session. We got the boys some dinner and off to the airport. The boys all seem pleased with their lessons.

All I can say is that these 3 players were a joy to coach and a lot of fun to be around. I wish them all the very best!

The University of Wisconsin Badgers have a big hole to fill after losing these two pro potential kickers.

Stay tuned to Coach Zauner's Blog!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

One on One with Wisconsin Group

We started early Friday morning with Ken DeBauche's One on One Punting Lesson. He warmed up with his punting progression and I watched. My first observation about this 6'2, 215 lb punter is that he had a nice and consistent drop and looked very smooth. After a brief warm up he hit some one step punts and progressed to some open field punts. He had a couple little flaws in his technique which I pointed out and he quickly corrected them.

During the lesson, on any flaw or correction I would notice and make, Ken was a quick fix.

During our open field punting period, he hit some good punts, however, his hang times were a little low. We adjusted his drop table and just like that, he hit some punts of 40 to 48 yards that had excellent hang times that ranged from 4.7 to 4.95 seconds. We both were seeing improvement.

We finished the lesson with some directional punting. He was a little inconsistent on his directional punting in my opinion, on Saturday we will work more on a that. It was a good first lesson considering he's been punting indoors or in poor weather back in Wisconsin for the last 8 weeks.

Taylor Mehlhaff was up next. Taylor is a solid 5'11 185 lb and benched 225, 13 times at the combine. There, I saw him kick for the 1st time and my first impression was, this kid has a big leg! Now, I get to view him up close and really get to know him.

Taylor starts by explaining his routine and why he does everything. He is a real knowledgeable and analytical kicker.

He mentioned that he had taken 2 weeks off to rest his legs and in the last couple of kicking sessions he had back in Wisconsin, he felt he was a little off. So, he asked me to watch closely and see if I could pick up on any little thing that he might be doing wrong.

He started his routine with some one step kicks and progressed to field goals. After about 20 kicks he hit 2 or 3 balls and shook his head. I knew it was time to step in and make a comment! I made some observations. We discussed and agreed upon, the reason he hit those bad balls.

We made a little correction and the next couple of field goals he bombed right down the middle! I'm thinking, this kid could really be good. Like with all kickers and punters it comes down to consistency!

We finish the lesson with kickoffs. Taylor was the National Kickoff Champion at Chris Sailer's Kicking Camp. He bombed the first kickoff 8 yards deep into the end zone. The next couple of kicks he hit with great hang times, (4.18 to 4.3), however, the distance was short. He again shook his head and mentioned he's been doing that a lot lately.

We video tape all the lessons, so we will get a chance to review and analyze his technique later. The lesson ends and Taylor is very disappointed with his kickoff performance. He's a perfectionist.

Justin Beaver who is 5'9 192 lbs and was Mr. All Everything in Division 3 fielded punts and kicks during both sessions. Just watching him you can see that this kid is a good athlete. He is quick and fast. He ran a 4.45 40 at his pro day. Viewing him from a distance, he seems to catch punts and kicks well. However, on Saturday we will video tape him up close and be ready to critique him more. This young man wants to learn and do everything he can to make it in the league. That's why he came to Scottsdale. At Whitewater, which was the NCAA Division 3 National Championship team, he was the star running back, and the coaches would not let him return punts or kickoffs. So, this is now a crash course to get him better!

Later in the afternoon we had our video review session. Both players get to see first hand the flaws I have mentioned to them on the field. Kenny and Taylor both take notes and will benefit from this information and take it to the field on Saturday and get better!

Justin and I watch video of several great NFL return men. He's like a sponge trying to absorb as much information on the return game as possible.

The 3 players had Friday night to themselves and I enjoyed dinner with my wife Michelle. We both needed a night out!

Stay tuned to more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mehlhaff, DeBauche & Beaver

It's early Thursday morning and I'm back at it again. I had a late night working on my video presentation for the Wisconsin Coaches Clinic next week Friday, April 4th in Madison Wisconsin.

I headed to the airport to pick up the two of the Wisconsin Badgers kicking specialists, kicker Taylor Mehlhaff, and punter Ken DeBauche. Also, in the group is Wisconsin State University Whitewater running back Justin Beaver.

Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff

Punter Kenny DeBauche

Running Back Justin Beaver

The boy's had a rough morning! They had been up since 4:00 AM trying to catch a plane in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and had a 3 hour delay due to an airline problem. So I took them to the hotel to get some rest.

Late in the afternoon we hit the golf course for a quick nine holes at FireRock Country Club. We played a little skins game and once again Coach Zauner won. Of course it was only a buck, but a win is a win. We actually got in 11 holes. Myself and Kenny had 4 skins a piece and Taylor had 3 skins. Justin didn't play but hit a couple of balls just for laughs. On the 12th hole which is a par 3, he hit a ball sooooo far left, which hit a house, we decided to take the weapon out of his hands and just let him drive the cart. The boys enjoy the course!

After golf and a pizza I took the boys back to the hotel! They wanted to get a good nights rest before we kick in the morning!

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog with the 3 Wisconsin Specialists!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sirius Radio - Penalty 15 Yards

There was no Sirius Radio show for Coach Zauner on Tuesday, I was bummed! However, I will be back up next Tuesday, April 1st at 12:45 PM ET.

Sean, the producer who was on vacation for a week called and said, "there was a little confusion on programming and they were short on time." He apologized for the programming error and said, "see you next week."

All the guys at Sirius Radio; Sean Butler, Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan have been so nice.

So, next week, stay tuned and we will be talking 'hang time'. The topic is Punters, we will also try to cover Long Snappers. Also, we will address NFL teams and their respective needs for a kicker, punter or snapper in this upcoming draft.

Stay tuned for Coach Zauner's Blog & Sirius Radio

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

My wife, Michelle and I got up early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise service here in Fountain Hills, Arizona. While many parts of the country had bad storms or snow, Arizona enjoyed 80 degree temperatures on Easter Sunday. Mom and Dad had 12 inches of snow in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
Last night and today we took some photos for the home page of the website:

Pictured here is the field were I give lessons.

Field Goal Kickers Get to Kick on Tall Goal Posts

Coach Zauner Giving One on One Special Teams Seminars to Coaches

Coach Zauner Giving One on One Power Point Demonstration

Coach Zauner's Clients Have Golf Privileges FireRock C.C.

Happy Easter to Every One!

Stay tuned to Coach Zauner's Blog!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

One on One with Ohio U. Kicker

Saturday morning it was back on the field for a One on One Lesson with Michael Braunstein, Ohio University kicker. This past season, Michael was 20 for 24 on field goal attempts which was good for a .833 percentage. He was a 2007 Lou Groza Semi Finalist. Michael kicked at Ohio University and at the University of Washington during his College career. (84% at both places).

When I came on the practice field Michael greeted me with a big smile and hand shake. I could tell from our phone conversations and now in person that he is a very personable young man.

Like always, we start the lesson with Michael doing his warm-up and kicking progression. I observe his kicking technique and ask questions. He gives me answers. I can tell he is very knowledgeable about his kicking style and technique. However, some of his answers don't match with what he is actually doing during his kick.

My job is to not only teach but also educate my clients. I started to educate Michael on what he was doing during some of his kicks that was giving him negative muscle memory.

I believe the key to a kickers success is streamlining all his kicking and drills. I want kickers to execute the: no step /one step and his field goal kicking technique with the same muscle memory!

Michael quickly picked up my concepts and understood the adjustments he needed to make to get the same muscle memory on his no step, one step and field goal kicks. He's already a good kicker so all I try to do is help him or any kicker refine their technique.

The real reason Michael came to work with me was to improve his consistency and distance on his kickoffs. I first learn a kicker's field goal technique, then take that information and use it to make him better on his kickoff technique. Michael kicked off and I observed making mental notes. He definitely was kicking off out of control. I gave him my observations and suggested a couple of adjustments. Michael is a quick fix, as he executed the adjustments to perfection. He could feel the change and difference it made in his consistency and distance.

We ended our One on One Kicking Lesson with video review. Michael knows what he needs to do to refine his field goal technique and improve his consistency on kickoffs. I think, Michael left a happy camper!

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Friday, March 21, 2008

One on One with PK Garrett Palmer

Friday morning we hit the practice field bright and early. After watching video yesterday afternoon the game plan was to try to get Garrett to kick more consistently.

The entire day two, One on One Lesson we emphasized kicking technique and kicking under control.

I was very pleased how quickly Garrett picked up all the concepts and drills I presented to him. In the photo below, you can see at the end of his kick, ending up on balance! Same concept as a good golfer - start and end on balance!

We started our one step drill with 38 yard field goals. We then moved to 43 yards and ended up at 50 yards. Garrett ended the one step session with some big kicks from 50 yards into a slight breeze. "It was very impressive!"

We progressed from my favorite drill, one steps to regular field goals kicks. The emphasis was still the same. Garrett had an excellent day kicking and improving. We finished the day with kickoffs. Again, he improved from the first day he kicked off. He hit a couple of four step kickoffs into or near the endzone.

Garrett was very pleased with his two day One on One Kicking Lesson. I told him he now needs to go home and work on these teaching points until it becomes a more natural feeling. If, Garrett improves in the next couple weeks, he could be a real sleeper for some NFL team.

Garrett was 13 for 15 on FG's this season for a .867%
Stay tuned to Coach Zauner's Blog!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One on One Seminar & PK Lesson

One on One coaching seminar in my office, Fountain Hills AZ
Coach Zauner points out FG Technique by Left Guard!

Today was a very busy day! Half my day was giving a One on One Coaching Seminar and the other half was back on the field giving a One on One Kicking Lesson.

The One on One Coaching Seminar with Ohio State's graduate assistant coach Chad Rogosheske.

Coach R is working with the kicking specialists. He brought tapes of all his kicking specialist's which we dissected with a fine tooth comb. Coach R wants his guys to improve. So we looked at each players techniques and talked about their strength's and weaknesses.

In my opinion he has a excellent group of kicking specialists to work with. They just need a little refinement. I gave Coach R my evaluation on each player and a couple of drills to help each player improve his technique.

"Coach R was taking notes as if he was in a College physiology 303 class." He didn't want to miss one detail."

We discussed all aspects of the field goal team. Snap, hold, kick and protection.....

Ohio States field goal kicker, Ryan Pretorius was 18 for 23 or 73% on the season. I believe that was with 4 blocked kicks. Coach R asked me to evaluate his technique. The first thing I noticed on Coach R's video and it stuck out like a sore thumb. The holder was placing the ball down at 7 yards. The last time I used that distance as a coach was about 15 years ago.

I show Coach R my video of the Baltimore Ravens field goal protection unit and some individual techniques. Most NFL teams have their ball placement at the longer distance!

I did a study many years ago and through my research I concluded; In today's College and NFL kicking world, most field goals are blocked up the middle.

Therefore, when I started coaching in the NFL I moved the ball back to at least 7 1/2 or 8 yards. Longer distance not only gives the ball more room for elevation to clear the line of scrimmage, but it also works out for the field goal center to snap perfect laces to the holder. It's a win/win situation.

When I was with the Minnesota Vikings as a Special Teams Coordinator; Faud Reveiz kicked a NFL record 31 consecutive field goals and Gary Anderson broke his record with 4o straight. However, the key to their success was Mike Morris our snapper. A great snapper makes it so much easier for the kickers and punters to do their jobs. Plus, don't forget all the offensive linemen that protect on the field goal team.

Coach Rogosheske headed back to Ohio State and seemed very pleased with his 4 hour, One on One Coaching Seminar.

In the afternoon, I met with Garrett Palmer who was San Diego State's field goal kicker for the last 4 years.

Garrett, is about 6'3 and 190 pounds. He started kicking, right away I could tell this kid had a good leg! This big good looking kicker had great explosion into the ball!

As always, he kicked and I asked a lot of questions. I watched and observed his technique and took mental notes on his style of kicking. Garrett has an extensive soccer background, however, has not received much coaching on his field goal kicking technique.

After we reviewed the video of Garrett's One on One Lesson I gave him my evaluation. I believe this young man has a great leg and potential but needs to be more consistent. He kicks every ball like he wants to launch it into outer space!

Tomorrow we will try to work on a couple of drills that will make him more consistent! He needs to kick with less momentum, more rhythm and end on balance. He kicks a little out of control.

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sirius NFL Radio Moving the Chains

Today was my second segment on Sirius NFL Radio 'Moving the Chains' with talk show hosts Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan.

We talked about the top kickers and punters coming out for this years draft and the NFL teams that have needs in those areas. We were scheduled to talk about long snappers, unfortunately, we ran short on time.

Pat and Tim make it very comfortable for me to do their show. Their the Best!

I sent Pat and Tim a power point presentation that list the various NFL teams and their specialists. Also, listed was all the top college specialists coming out for this years draft. Pat was very impressed with my organization. It makes our conversation go very smoothly!

When I was a Special Teams Coordinator in the NFL, I did all my presentations on power point. Matter of fact, several College and NFL coaches have inquired about learning how to create animated and interactive power point presentations. Go to my website and click on Special Teams and you can preview one of my presentations.

I really appreciate the opportunity Sirius Radio has given me. It means I can discuss in greater depth the importance of kickers, punters, snappers and kicking game.

My goal is to be a voice and advocate for the kicking specialists and kicking game. I've had a passion my whole life to be the best when it comes to teaching and coaching, now I want to be the best at promoting the individuals and the speciality of the game that has been so good to me in my lifetime.

Click here to listen to Tuesday March 18th Radio Show 'Moving the Chains' talking kicking with Coach Zauner.

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kicking with Golf Privileges

When I give One on One kicking, punting and snapping lessons I use a lot of golf analogies. I love to play golf and so do a lot of kickers and coaches.
If your interested in working to improve your kicking game with either One on One kicking lessons or a special teams seminar you will also have access to my golf club. 'FireRock Country Club' is located in beautiful Fountain Hills, Arizona 85268.

Pictured here is the 18th Green and Club House

Pitured here is the 1st Hole, Par 5

Pictured here is the 2nd Hole, Par 3

Pictured here is the 6th Hole, Par 3

Pictured here is the 17 Hole, Par 3

Pictured here is 18th Hole, Par 5 Fairway

So, if your an avid golfer, bring your clubs. Stay a couple of days while improving your kicking skills or your knowledge of the kicking game. For my clients, I have negotiated a special rate package with the Holiday Inn, Fountain Hills, during the peak season. In addition, you will have golf privileges at FireRock CC, guest fees will apply.

Come to Sunny Arizona and Enjoy the Sun Year Around!

Beautiful Sunsets!

Stay tuned for Coach Zauner's Blog!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 2 Lessons with Brett Kern

Saturday was another beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona. The temperature was in the high 70's with a very slight breeze. It was a great day for kicking or golf!

Brett took what he saw on video to the field and had immediate results. He boomed several one step punts a total of 50 to 55 yards with a couple of 5.0 plus hang times.

Personally, I haven't seen too many one step punts go that far with those types of hang times in all my coaching and consulting days. It was quiet impressive, especially it being only his second day executing the one step drill.

Brett, has not had many individual workouts to date. But neither have many other punters and kickers around the country. The NFL special teams coaches are first getting through free agency and then moving towards the draft. Of course not going to the NFL combine will hurt not only Brett but also a lot of the players I have mentioned on my Sirius NFL Radio segment on Tuesdays at 3:45 PM ET.

Today, I put together a practice or workout routine that would simulate an NFL special teams coach working him out.

We started the session with some open field punts from the 30 yard line. I told him the situation on the field: 4th and long with an 8 man front. We recorded get offs, hang times, and distances. We took 8 punts in both directions. Today the wind was not a factor!

Next, we took 8 directional punts from the right and left hash marks and punted to the short side of the field. We punted in both directions. He directionally punted to or outside the numbers extremely well. Sometimes when you directional punt hang times are not as important to me as is accuracy. However, if you can do both it's a real bonus for your coverage team.

In a regular workout I would have given him two more situations. I would have made him punt some balls from the back of his end zone and also some punts from midfield, executing several pooch punt situations. During a workout I like to try all the situations you might experience in a game.

However, we adjusted our schedule. Brett wanted to spend time working on kickoffs, so we worked the remained of our lesson on kickoff technique. For a guy that has never kicked off, Brett has a strong leg and some real potential. Most NFL coaches don't even know that he can kickoff.

So far this year Brett Kern is the best college punter my eyes have seen during either; individual workouts, the NFL combine, college TV games, bowl games or on tape. He has a strong leg! He hit a bunch of 50 yard punts in the open field or directionally with 4.7 to 5.1 second hang times. During the workout we used 8 almost brand new (K) kicking balls!

Brett is about 6' 3" 212 pounds and is a gifted athlete. He has some great upside. He just needs to work out some minor flaws with his technique. For a guy that is basically self taught he made some great strides and improvement in just two lessons. The key to his success is consistency.

Go to my web site and click on: One on One Lessons to view Brett's punting & kickoff workout.
Video will be up Monday evening!

Why Brett wasn't invited to the NFL combine is beyond my comprehension. He punted in the Hula and East-West Shrine games and was second in the nation in punting with a 46.1 yard gross average and doesn't get invited to the NFL combine, "Go figure!"

The draft is a crap shoot from year to year with kicking personnel. Last year I believe three college punters made NFL teams. (Pittsburgh, Miami, and Jacksonville) How many teams need a punter this year besides Denver? Several teams might draft or sign a priority rookie punter to replace their aging veteran punter. (Titans and Texans?) What are the Patriots going to do? Some playoff teams don't want to take a chance on a rookie punter or kicker. It's up to the Head Coach and GM. The questions will be answered on draft day.
Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blogs!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Coach Zauner is back Consulting

It was actually a late Friday night returning emails to several kickers that had heard about me through the grapevine. Kickers, punters and snappers have their own networking system. Word gets around fast.

Matter of fact Ryan Weigand the UVA punter, who had lessons earlier in the week told me he had never heard about me until about a week ago. My name was mentioned to him by another kicker at Chris Sailers Kicking Camp.

That's OK with me. Word will get around real fast! Matter of fact, back 14 years ago, I was the only kicking consultant that was being hired by NFL teams. Some of the all-time great Head Coaches like Dick Vermeil, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, George Siefert, Tom Flores and Dan Reeves all hired me for mini-camps, training camps and some during the season, as a kicking consultant. I had a reputation for working and producing results with all the big name punters and kickers. If somebody had a problem, they would call Coach Zauner. Check out coaches and players testimonials on my web site.

When I became the Special Teams Coach with the Minnesota Vikings in 1994 I had to become exclusive to only the Vikings. I lost all my kicking clients. I really felt bad, because I enjoyed working and training all the guys in the spring and summers. We also had a lot of fun and played a ton of golf!

While coaching 8 years for the Minnesota Vikings we set 3 NFL kicking records. In 1995 Faud Reveiz kicked a record 31 consecutive field goals.
In 1998 Gary Anderson broke Faud's record by kicking 40 consecutive field goals and having the first "Perfect Season" for a kicker.
Also in 1998 Mitch Berger set an NFL record for the most touchbacks (40) in a season.
During the past 14 years, there are so many guys trying to do what I did years ago. I'm amazed at the number of kickers I've coached that have gone on and started their own kicking service or kicking camps.

Well, all I can say is I'm back and with more kicking and NFL special teams experience then any other kicking coach or kicking service on this planet. I look forward to the new challenge of getting my kicking reputation back and in full view of the kicking public.

I believe going on Sirius NFL radio with Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan will get the word around even quicker. Listen on Tuesdays at 3:45 PM ET.

Just some of my thoughts about the feedback I've been receiving from people.

Stay tuned to Coach Zauner's Blog!

One on One with Brett Kern

It's early Friday morning and the Head Coach in our family, Michelle and I are getting my mom and dad ready to go back to the frozen tundra of Milwaukee Wisconsin. It was great having them here for 10 days. Mom and Dad are both in their mid 80's and doing quiet well. Dad worked on a couple of projects in the office to make my video set up better. He's a real handy man!
We drop them off at the airport and immediately pick up Brett Kern who just flew in. Brett was the University of Toledo punter for 4 years. Brett was 2nd in the nation in both gross and net average. He punted 52 times with a 46.1 yard gross and a 39.5 yard net punting average.

Nick Jarvis the long snapper from Wake Forest who was here two weeks ago just raved about Bretts punting ability. They played together in the Hula Bowl and East / West Shrine games.

I now get to see his punting form and hear first hand, those balls booming off his foot.

The lesson starts with his exercise warm up. It doesn't take long because it's about 78 degrees today at 11:00 a.m. in Scottsdale.

Brett tells me he went to one punting camp in his life and really never learned one thing to help him. He's pretty much self taught. The lesson starts.

Brett, doesn't do many drills and just starts punting. I ask him questions and he gives me answers. I always like to interrogate all the punters and kickers to find out how much they really know about what their doing.

I've been around several great punters and kickers that didn't have a clue about what they did when they kicked. However, they were still great kickers.

As soon as Brett starts hitting some balls, my ears start to ring. I say to myself "This kid's got a leg!" During the course of the lesson he hit several high 4.9 and 5.0 plus hang time punts.

OK, why wasn't this kid invited to the combine? What's new, the combine missed on another good punter or kicker.

I stop the lesson after about 20 minutes and ask Brett some more questions. Brett is an excellent athlete that played soccer, lacrosse, and football. He's got a great upside.

I ask myself "How much information do I want to give this kid in two days?" We talk and decide he needs to have a better warm up and work routine, plus needs some drills. He has some minor flaws in his technique and drill work will help.

I teach him the one step drill. Like most punters he struggles with the drill early, then hits some 50 to 55 yard punts with 4.7 to 4.8 hang times. His eyes light up and says "I hardly even hit those balls!" I have him sold on my favorite drill.

I introduced him to a couple more drills and we finished up the lesson.
It was now time to give him a real lesson. We hit the golf course for a quick 9 holes. We went to my club, FireRock, which is in Fountain Hills AZ. Mike, who is one of the assistant pros played with us. Mike's a scratch and Brett's a 4 and I'm a 12 handicap. We play a little skins game. The final score was? Ask Brett. I don't like to brag, however, I did win all the money.

We finish the evening with a good video lesson. Brett seems to enjoy being coached. We'll see tomorrow when and if he gives me a testimonial.

Stay tuned to Coach Zauner's Blog!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 2 with UVA Punter R. Weigand

Thursday was the second day of lessons with Ryan Weigand, University of Virginia Punter.

We started the day with a drop drill. Ryan had practice his drop most of the evening back at his hotel, and it was very noticeable to me. His drop was more consistent with less arm and ball movement. He knows this none kicking drill must be done daily.

We moved to my favorite drill which is the one step punting drill. I designed the one step punting and kicking drill way back in the late 1970's. The key to basic fundamentals.

Ryan hit some excellent spiral nose over, one step punts with 4.5 to 4.7 hang times. He improved upon his performance from the first day. If most punters stick with this drill, they will see steady improvement not only day to day but also week to week.

I make the punters do this drill with no jab step or momentum. They all try to cheat on the drill. I designed and try to train punters and kickers on this drill so they can't cheat. I want the final results to be, pure technique.

We both saw improvement during the course of our work together. He now knows exactly what he must do to get better. Like most players trying to make in the NFL, "Consistency!"

Ryan was very happy with his two days of One on One punting lessons. He's heading back to University of Virginia for his pro day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coach Z working with UVA Punter

Coming off a high from my Sirius NFL Radio gig on Tuesday, I was back giving One on One punting lessons on Wednesday.

I picked up University of Virginia punter Ryan Weigand at the airport and we went right to work. Ryan is really a nice young man with a big leg. He averaged 45.2 yards a punt his senior year! He was the open field punter and Chris Gould (Robbie Goulds brother), was the field goal kicker and pooch punter.

Ryan's knows he needs to show NFL special teams coaches that he can handle all the duties that are asked of him at the next level. Ryan has been a long time participant at Chris Sailor's kicking camps but wants to take his instruction to the highest level. That's why he's here.

During our lesson I showed him some slight flaws he had in this drop. We worked several drills and he experienced immediate results. He now knows, if he can get the ball on the table quicker he will have a more consistent drop and his punting consistency will improve.

We finished the day with a video session. He saw first hand what my eyes had seen on the field.

One of my favorite sayings is; "The eye in the sky, never lies." Ryan is a student of the game and picked up my explanations and coaching concepts quickly.

Tomorrow, Ryan will get better. He's going back to the hotel to practice his drop. "I pity the poor people staying below his room" He'll be dropping the ball all night long on the floor. He's committed to getting better, and wants to be ready for his college pro day next week.

You can hear my Sirius NFL interview by going to my blog on March 11th.

Stay tuned for Coach Zauner's Blog

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coach Zauner on Sirius NFL Radio

Sirius Radio Talk Show Host and NFL Analyst Pat Kirwan

Pat's co-host is former USC and Chicago Bears Defensive Linemen Tim Ryan
I was a little nervous this morning, knowing that at 4:00 p.m. ET, I was going on Sirius NFL Radio with Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan who feature, "Moving the Chains!"

As soon as I start talking kicking and special teams all my nervousness went away. I was in my comfort zone. It was a lot of fun!

Pat and Tim asked the questions and I rolled on! We talked about the NFL Combine and the process of finding punters and kickers for the up coming draft! Rather than me explaining, all the details, click here to listen to today's segement of Sirius NFL Radio. The topic was talking kicking with Coach Zauner.....

Tuesday was another busy day returning phone calls and organizing the rest of my week.

I have Ryan Weigand the punter from the University of Virginia coming to town for lessons on Wed. and Thursday. Toledo's punter Brett Kern arrives on Friday for a weekend session. In the NCAA Stats, both punters seem to have big legs. Ryan averaged 45.2 yards and Brett averaged 46.1 yards per punt. Can't wait to see some big hang times.

In the afternoon I talked to Wisconsin's Head Football Coach Bret Bielema about some special teams and kicking. Coach Bielema is very unique because he is in charge of his special teams units. I know one thing, that when he talks, all the players will be listening. "I love his concept!" Way to go Coach Bielema! If more head coaches would get involved in their teams kicking game practices, their special teams units would probably perform better on game day!

To top off the day, two NFL teams called inquiring about my consulting services.

It was a great day! Hope everything keeps moving in a positive direction. My dad always told me, that hard work pays off. It seems to be paying dividends.

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Coach Z Special Teams Consultant

The last 3 days have been quiet busy!

Kyle Whittingham one of my players at BYU back in the early 1980's and the present Head Coach at the University of Utah sent his Special Teams Coach Jay Hill to Fountain Hills Arizona for a private kicking and special teams seminar.

It's a facet of my consulting business that puts me apart from most kicking coaches.

I really love being a Kicking, Punting, Snapping and Special Teams Consultant because it gives me the knowledge to tie all the parts together and not only help the specialists but the coaches that are trying to coach them.

Coach Hill was very knowledgeable in all aspects of the kicking game however, is trying to get better at coaching his specialists.

Coach Whittingham called me the next day and was very appreciative, and said his assistant coach learned a lot!

Also, on Friday I received an email from Pat Kirwan (Below) who is an NFL Analyst for Sirius NFL Radio who confirmed that on Tuesday, March 11Th we will be doing a radio spot at 4:00 P.M ET. We'll be talking Kicking and Special Teams with Coach Zauner. "I'm stoked!" They have not decided if the spot will be weekly or bi-monthly.
However, I'm just happy that I can be a voice for kicking specialist's and the kicking game. The one-third part of football that doesn't get enough respect!
They asked me to send a list of 10 topics, so each spot will have a different theme to it! On Tuesday, they want to talk about the top 2 or 3 punters and kickers in this years draft and what NFL teams might have a need.

Also, I spent a large portion of the weekend getting the rest of my new video equipment in place, which will create a very professional environment for the One on One Kicking and Special Teams Seminars held in my office. "I love my new Beta SX Video Player." I can now show visiting coaches individual techniques, drills, various schemes, situations and highlight tapes. During my 11 years of college and 13 years as a NFL Special Teams Coach and Coordinator I saved hundreds of tapes.

I must say, I was a heck of a pack rat for the last 24 years of my coaching career. I have tapes of some of the greatest punt and kickoff returners, punt blockers, and special teams standouts the NFL has ever seen.

It's not only going to be fun for me, but a educational experience for the coaches and players visiting me here in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Bring your golf clubs. The weather has been just awesome!

Stay tuned for the next Coach Zauner Blog

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Coaching Specialists - Day 2

We just finish our second day of lessons with Oklahoma kicker Garrett Hartley and Wake Forest long snapper Nick Jarvis.

Both players took what they learned the first day, and improved. It's nice to have good students!
I believe as a teacher and kicking coach, one key to a students learning is a good video session. Showing a player not only what he is doing right but also, showing them what they might be doing wrong or in most cases, with athletes at this level, slight flaws in their technique that might cause inconsistencies in their performances.

After our video session we hit the practice field where both players worked hard on drills and techniques that we emphasized during our video session. They took what they saw on video and transferred it to the practice field.

They both had excellent practice days and feel more confident as their college pro days near!

"I love designing or creating drills that are specific to the needs of each individual player." It's like an artist painting a picture. When you fill in all the colors and details its a work of art.

The final results of the two day workout was that both players improved. Garrett and Nick both told me that they learned a lot and both are very happy they came to Scottsdale to work with me.

"That makes my day!" That's why I love teaching and coaching. It's those One on One working relationships and the improvements you see your students making, that makes me feel good. Go to http://www.coachzauner.com/ to view One on One Lessons.

After working with these players for two days they definitely should of been invited to this years NFL combine. How the committee missed who knows?

Here I go again!

The one thing that really disturbs me is for years when I've gone to the NFL combine, like I did two weeks ago, I see certain individuals perform and wondered how did this guy get invited. The NFL combine does a great job in many area's, however, when it comes to selecting kicking specialists they seem to struggle.

In my opinion, this year was the worst group of specialists assembled, except for a small handful. The selection committee seems to miss the boat on a lot of good kickers, punters, and snappers around the country.

Maybe the selection committee knows a lot about football personnel, but needs to learn more about the individual kicking specialists and really who has the best attributes to become a NFL specialists. The need to take a good hard look at their evaluators and evaluation process.

Nick Jarvis and Garrett Hartley

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog