First of all you never know how people find out about your kicking services. In this case, Pete and Laura Atwell saw an article in the Arizona Republic newspaper back in January, Super Bowl weekend highlighting my consulting services.
For the last two months we have e-mailed and talked on the phone about One on One Lessons for their son who is going to walk-on at Arizona State this fall. Cole graduated from High School last Thursday and now he wants to get ready for football this fall at Arizona State.
We started the lesson.
Cole started kicking without much of a warm-up because in high school he played a position and was use to just coming out on the field and kicking. This can happen a lot to combination good athletes in high school. However, in college not many players play a position and kick or punt.
So, Cole with no warm up, just started kicking. After watching him kick two or three sets of balls and evaluating his technique, I asked a bunch of questions.
Cole told me that when he was trying to kick off the ground the last couple of weeks, he was not getting the ball up with a lot of elevation and was a little erratic with his kicking. Most high school kickers when they make the change from kicking off a one or two inch block to the ground they all go through a transition period. Some kickers make the transition faster than others.
Cole has only attended one kicking camp in his career and has not received a lot of instruction. He was very receptive to my coaching points and quickly made progress.
Kickers in general have problems making the transition from the block to the ground because the plant foot is off. Most of the time, it's too far back and the kickers hit a bunch of weird flying balls. They line drive, hook, or push the ball all over the place until they get their plant foot right.
Once we figured out Cole's 'Perfect Triangle' for his steps which resulted in a more consistent 'Perfect Plant' he started kicking the ball with more elevation and better direction.
We finished the lesson by kicking field goals from the right and left hash marks. What Cole had learned earlier applied even more to kicking field goals from the hash. When he got his steps and plant right he hit the ball down the middle and when he didn't he was inconsistent.
The video review later made the concepts and the teaching points crystal clear for Cole. He thanked me for the lesson and the good teaching job and was on his way.
Cole is a smart student of the kicking game and knows what he needs to work on. He will need a ton of repetition and new muscle memory. Like most high school kickers and Cole agreed, because he wasn't getting any elevation on his kicks, like he did in high school he changed his technique and started to scoop the ball more. Therefore, his kicking technique was causing him to be very inconsistent and frustrated.
We will kick again on Saturday and I know he will get better.
Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog.