Last night when Tyler went home he worked a drill for marking off his field goals steps, so he would be more consistent on his approach and plant.
Before Tyler came to Scottsdale he mentioned he had been struggling for the last 3 months. He mentioned he had a tendency to push his kicks to the right. He was excited that he was now kicking the ball straighter.
Tyler felt good about his first lesson as he was excited about day two.
We started the lesson with Tyler's usual warm up and moved to my one step drill. The emphasis on the drill was for Tyler to get his aim foot at his target and to stop crunching down when he made impact on the kick.
As I told Tyler when we began, the changes he was making to get better were not easy, simply because for so many years he as acquired some poor muscle memory.
The one step drill is the best drill I know to emphasize good mechanics, and to mold the proper muscle memory. We worked this drill hard for both lessons. When Tyler hit the ball with proper form the ball flew off his foot with excellent distance and accuracy. However, when he kicked using his old swing (wiping the ball) he either pushed the ball right or hooked it left.
Tyler hit some excellent one step kicks. We went back to 51 yards and he hit 50% of his kicks. The three one step kicks he made from 51 yards he drilled down the middle of the goal posts.
We finished the lesson kicking field goals from the left and right hashes. Tyler, was still kicking with two types of kicking motions. When he kicked the ball correctly, he drilled the ball straight and far.
My old saying is "Rome wasn't built in a day" and neither is a kickers new swing. As I told Tyler before we started, "whatever you learn this weekend, you must take home, practice and in two to three weeks you will see more consistent results."
After watching Tyler kick the last two day's, I know he's got talent. Hard work and patience will get him a more consistent technique. He has a year to red-shirt and work on his technique. If he stays committed and works through his frustration, he has the ability to be an excellent kicker.
Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!