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, June 29, 2008

Sam Houston State Snapper

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday Justin Humphrey, Sam Houston State University, was in Scottsdale for One on One Snapping Lessons. Justin is about 6'4 and 235 pounds now. He use to weigh in at about 260 pounds several month ago. It's good to see that he is reshaping his body the correct way.

Justin's long range goal is to be an NFL snapper. He's dieting and lifting to put on good muscle weight. He is also working to refine his snapping technique and that is why he is here in Scottsdale Arizona for One on One Snapping Lessons.

Justin has two more years of eligibility left at Sam Houston State University and at this point he is a quite good snapper. However in both phases of snapping, field goals and punts, he must work to improve his consistency.

His basic fundamentals of stance, body position, grip and delivery appear sound and good. However, his routine and release point changed at times which cause inconsistency in his snapping accuracy.

Justin didn't do any drills to warm up. His warm up consisted of just passing the ball to his partner and then started to snap. I encourage all snappers to do some type of drills to emphasize basic fundamentals.

The key for any snapper is to have a routine, be fundamentally sound and practice snapping so you get the correct muscle memory on every snap like you are snapping in a game.

We spent time every session doing a 'Perfect Laces Drill'. Justin after three days finally mastered the drill and executed 2 sets of 'Perfect Laces' or laces out consecutively. A set consists of 10 snaps to a holder. Above you can see the holder catching the ball with 'Perfect Laces' at 8 yards with the laces out. In our earlier lesson he was only at 60 to 80%.

Justin's punt snapping speed is good (.71 to .77) at 15 yards, but his accuracy and consistency need to improve. He had various routines and a lot of head movement which I felt caused him some problems. Justin worked hard in three lessons on getting one setup, a consistent release point and snapping and vertical setting straight back to get him to become more consistent.

I introduced Justin to several snapping drills for him to take back and practice. We did a One Handed Spiral Drill, Hit My Hand Trajectory Drill, Balls & Strikes Accuracy Drill and a Vertical Set and Block, Protection Drill. Each drill breaks down and emphasizes basic fundamentals.

Justin improved every day he was here and learned some great drills. The key to his or any clients improvement is taking what you learn, go home and practice, practice and more practice. It is a waste of money and time if you don't make a commitment to get better!
Justin Humphrey Testimonial working with Coach Zauner:

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Janikowski Biggest Leg in NFL

After three days of kicking with Sebastian Janikowski I have to say this young man has the biggest and strongest leg I've seen or Coached in my NFL or consulting career.

Several years ago I worked with Brad Dalusio. He was the last kicker that stood out in my mind that had a big leg!

We finished our third One on One Lesson on Saturday. He and I both felt that Saturday was his best day kicking. Sebastian was now becoming more comfortable with all the little things we worked on to refine his technique.

We started with a warm up and One Step Drill and he executed these drills almost flawlessly. He started with 30 yard One Steps and progressed back to the 50, 53, 58 and 60. He made a One Step Drill kick from 60 yards. "This was a first for my eyes."

We then focused on field goals from various ranges and hashes. Most of the kicks were between 45 and 58 yards. However, he ended the session making field goals from 65 and 67 yards. "It was a sight to see."

Sebastian and I were both very happy with his improvement from the first to the third One on One Lesson.

Video highlights of Sebastian Janikowski's third One on One Lesson.

It was really great working on the field with Sebastian and getting to know him better as a kicker. It was also great getting to know him as a person. After our Saturday workout Sebastian, his wife Laurie, and his agent Paul Healy came over to my house for a BBQ. We really had a relaxing and enjoyable evening.

After dinner he once again thanked me for my help and gave me a big hug when he left and said it was really nice to meet and work with me.

But of course the biggest endorsement I could receive is when Sebastian asked me if he could come back again in July and work more on field goals and review his kickoff technique. Sebastian led the NFL in kickoffs, with 23 touch backs so it will be interesting to work with somebody that is at that level and still be able to improve his technique. Is it possible to take his league high 23 to 35 or whatever. With his big leg, if he improves his consistency the sky is the limit.

Tonight, I pickup Dave Rayner at the airport. He is scheduled for One on One Lessons on Monday and Tuesday.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

One on One with NFL Janikowski

Today and Thursday and I worked One on One Kicking Lessons with the biggest leg in the NFL, Sebastian Janikowski. After two days of working with this NFL veteran I must say it has been both enjoyable and a privilege.

The questions that go through my mind when I work with any star or elite NFL kicker, punter or snapper is, 1) why is he here, 2) is he going to listen to me and 3) is he going to try the things I suggest or is he going to question me.

On Thursday we worked our first lesson at Scottsdale's Desert Mountain High School and today we worked at Chaparral High on their beautiful turf field which is located in Scottsdale AZ.

The heat in Arizona at this time of the year is 100 plus degrees in the afternoon. So, to beat the heat we worked out at 8:00 AM while the temperatures where in the mid 80's to lower 90's. As we say in Arizona, it's a dry heat.

This was the first time I have met or worked with Sebastian and I must say he was a really pleasant young man. There might be the Raider Mystique when he has a uniform on. However, in the two days I have spent with Sebastian he seems to be just a good guy.

On Thursday I watched Sebastian kick, trying to study and learn his style of kicking. I asked a ton of questions. Sebastian really knows kicking technique and we had some excellent conversations.

The key for me to help someone with their kicking is to not only watch their technique but to know 'why' they do what they do. I want to know their thoughts not only warming up but also during drill work and kicking field goals or kickoffs.

Next, I want to figure out if they have a method to their routine? Do they have a system? Are they willing to try things?

I know I can help any kicker at any level improve his consistency if they listen and work with me. I really take pride in designing and developing a system that works for each individual kicker, punter or snapper, 'Individuality'!

Sebastian has been an excellent student for me to work with because he understands mechanics and technique. I feel with Sebastian being a 4 handicap golfer helps him understand the golf analogies I use, which relate to kicking a football. In the last two days I have used a bunch of these analogies and he knows exactly what I'm referring to.

After Thursday's kicking session and video review, I believe Sebastian was very happy he came to Scottsdale to work with me.

I could be wrong, but I'll wait to listen to his comments and get his final thoughts and impressions about my approach and teaching style.

Sebastian has so much talent and a big leg. Last season the Raiders had him attempt 11 field goals over 50 yards, which can hurt any ones kicking percentages. So, he is here working to get better on his long field goals and anything else I can help him with.

Here we are figuring out a system that is going to work for Sebastian on any kick from any spot on the field.

Sebastian normally just does warm up kicks and starts kicking field goals. I suggested he try the One Step Drill and he agreed to try it. The One Step Drill is my favorite drill to emphasize technique. Sebastian caught on quickly. We moved back to 50 yards and he boomed them high, far, and right down the middle. Some of the One Step kicks would have been good from 58 to 60 yards.

After a couple of sets of One Steps we focused in on field goals. We came up with a system that Sebastian felt very comfortable with and he nailed a bunch of 58 to 65 yard field goals.

Just a quick note: I broke out 4 new (K) balls for Sebastian to kick with, so these were not pumpkins.

The second sessions ended with Sebastian feeling very good about the path or direction we have taken. In the past Sebastian had made some minor adjustments when he kicked from the right hash. He can now kick middle, left hash or right hash with the same approach.

Tomorrow is our third One on One Lesson and he will be even more comfortable with this system. As I told him, when you leave it usually takes about two to three weeks where it becomes really comfortable.

If Sebastian improves as much as I think he can with this new system he could have a big pay day in the near future.

Sebastian Janikowski One Step Drill Video: 58 Yard One Step Field Goals

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One on One with Two WI Punters

In Wisconsin on Monday and Tuesday I had One on One Punting Lessons with two Milwaukee Area High School star athletes Brad Nortman and Garrett Maloney.

Brad Nortman was Wisconsin's All State Punter at Brookfield Central High School. This fall, Brad will be playing football for the University of Wisconsin Badgers on a full athletic scholarship.

Brad Nortman is about 6'3 and 215 pound athlete with a big punting leg. During the first lesson I noticed that Brad had some flaws in his approach to the ball and his drop. Brad had been taught to walk down the line when he punts and that was causing to hit most of his punts to his left.

With Brad for two days I stressed fundamentals. I taught Brad my drop progression drill, the one step drill and emphasized my power zone punting technique.

When Brad hit a couple of 4.7 to 5.0 second hang time punts, (SNO) spiral nose over to his power zone he could really feel a difference in power.

Brad just needs to eliminate the movement in drop and keep power zone punting and he will have an excellent career in college and possibly the NFL. He has the perfect body type for a punter. He also seems to be very dedicated to being the best he can be not only on the field but also in the classroom.

It was a pleasure working with this fine young man from Milwaukee and the great state of Wisconsin. The city where I was born and the state I went to high school, college and the area I grew up.

Garrett Maloney is a two sport star athlete at Marquette High School. This fall Garrett will be a senior. On the football team Garrett is a tight end and punter. He is also one of the star athletes on the basketball team.

Garrett is a good looking athlete that is about 6'5 and 215 pounds. We worked for two days and this kid could have a future as a college punter if he sets his mind to it. The problem is that Garrett is also an outstanding basketball player at Marquette High School.

The One on One Punting Lesson with Garrett was slightly different then most lessons, only because Garrett was coming off ankle surgery and he couldn't punt full speed. However, that might of been a blessing in disguise. For the two days we spent time on fundamentals and more fundamentals. Grip, drop, catch - mold and drop and the art of power zone punting.

In the first lesson it took a while for Garrett to hit a (SNO) spiral nose over punt, but once he did he hit a bunch of them. Garrett was like a kid in the candy store. He found something new and was getting pretty good at hitting every punt spiral nose over to the power zone. He finished the first lesson feeling pretty good about himself.

The second lesson, he struggled from the start. His ankle was sore and he wasn't punting through the ball like he did the first day. Plus, he had a lot more movement in his drop. During the video review he could see the difference in his drop from the first day to the second.

The drop is everything to a punter. We worked all the fundamental drills and he now knows exactly what he must do to be a good punter.

Garrett is a good athlete and seems to be very consciences about getting better at whatever he takes on. His dad told me, that night he was working drills to eliminate the movement in his drop. He was a little frustrated that he didn't turn over as many punts in his second lesson.

Garrett and Brad were both a pleasure to work with and I wish them both the best in the future.Both young men have lovely parents. It's good to see that their parents have taken an aggressive approach in getting their son's punting help so they can be successful.

Terry Maloney (below) and I grew up about the same time in Milwaukee and played baseball in the Milwaukee County Lansdorf League later in our careers.

Video Testimonial from Terry Maloney about my Consulting Services:

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River Falls Pro's Excellent Teachers

The River Falls Kicking Camp was a success again this year because of the quality of instruction the NFL Pro's exhibited for the campers.

Matt Katula former University of Wisconsin athlete and current Baltimore Ravens Long Snapper talks snapping in this short video:

Note: The sirens in the background are not of the police coming to get Matt. There was a small fire a couple of blocks from campus.

Steve Hauschka former North Carolina State athlete and current Minnesota Vikings Rookie Kicker works with a young camper.

Below is a short video of Steve demonstrating his field goal technique for the campers:

Derrick Frost former University of Northern Iowa athlete and current Washington Redskins Punter with Coach Zauner. Derrick and I worked a One on One Lesson in Minneapolis before the River Falls Kicking Camp started.

In this short video clip you will hear Derrick talking to the campers about his punting technique and the drills he likes to use to stress fundamentals:

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Monday, June 23, 2008

River Falls Kicking Camp a Success!

On Saturday and Sunday I was working the River Falls Kicking Camp in River Falls, Wisconsin. Head Football Coach John O'Grady, at River Falls informs me this was my 33rd year working the camp. "Boy, how time flies!"

At camp this year we had about 50 High School Kickers, Punters and Snappers in attendance. The numbers were a little down from previous years due to the fact of the economy and also, both the University of Wisconsin and Minnesota were holding Football Camps at their respective locations the same week.

The River Falls Kicking Camp was the original Kickers Camp in the United States many, many years ago. Mike Farley originated the kickers camp idea about 37 years ago. Don't hold me to that exact date but it was a long time ago. Coach Farley started this camp way before Ray Pelfry started his camp. Now, Louie Aguair, Paul Assad, Jammie Kohl, Chris Sailor and a bunch of others all have kicking camps around the country.

I believe the River Falls Camp is still the best teaching camp in the country.

Basically, I am the featured instructor who does all the classroom and on the field teaching. Here Coach Zauner explains while Garret Palmer demonstrates the technique on kickoffs.

Below, you see former University of Wisconsin and current Baltimore Ravens Long Snapper, Matt Katula assisting one of the snappers in camp with his stance and mechanics.

Coach Zauner and Derrick Frost, former University of Northern Iowa and current Washington Redskins Punter works with a young punter on his fundamentals.

Steve Hauschka former North Carolina State and current Minnesota Viking Rookie Kicker gives a demonstrates to a small group of kickers.

This years line up of Pros did an outstanding job of working with the campers. At the end of camp the Pros answered questions from campers about training, scholarships, academics and philosophy. (Photo below left to Right: Shane Phillips Australian Punter, Steve Hauschka Vikings Rookie Kicker, Garrett Palmer former San Diego State and Free Agent Kicker and Derrick Frost Washington Redskins Punter answer questions from campers.)

Also, at our camp in River Falls we have instruction for Straight-on Kickers. Here you see Coach Pat McFaul working with the Straight-on Kicking group or the 'Toe Bashers' as the group likes to be called.

Coach Zauner's Perfect Golf Match record is still in tact!

Once again Coach Zauner must gloat about winning money from both Derrick and Matt during golf matches on Friday and Saturday. These two Pro Athlete out drove me by 50 to 80 yards off the tee box, however, the name of the game in golf is chipping and putting! Drive for show and putt for dough $$$$.

The River Falls Kickering Camp was a success again this year. The three Pros did an excellent job teaching and demonstrating their skills, drills, and techniques to the campers. I saw a lot of improvement by campers from practice #1 through practice #5.

I believe the reasons the campers improve so much is 1) the teaching progression we use, 2) the emphasis on specific fundamental drills 3) the video taping and evaluation of each camper.

At the River Falls Kicking Camp, we videotaped each kicker, punter and snapper on at least three kicks and then analyze his technique in the classroom. I personally analyze each camper and point out flaws in his punting or kicking form and suggest drills to improve his technique.

Matt Katula and Coach McFaul did the same video evaluations with the snappers and the straight-on kickers.

Shane Phillips pictured below, my Australian Punter did a excellent job demonstrating some punting drills and also taking these photos during the camp and videotaping a lot of the campers.

Next year the River Falls Kicking Camp will be renamed Coach Zauner's Kicking Camp at River Falls. I hope to go nation wide and make the camp bigger and better than ever.

So, if your a college kicker, punter or snapper and would like to be a part of the camp next year as a participant or counselor contact me at my email address: gzauner@aol.com. That way I can email you dates and information when they become available.

Testimonial by Parent of Camper:

Short Video Clip of Camp Activities:

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Redskins Derrick Frost One on One

On Wednesday I flew to Minnesota. For the next week I will be in Minnesota and Wisconsin working the River Falls Kicking Camp plus, doing several One on One Lessons with High School, College and NFL Kicking Specialists.

Today, I was doing a One on One Punting Lesson with Derrick Frost, who is the punter for the Washington Redskins. We did our One on One workout at Edina High School which has a gorgeous field turf stadium.

When I was the Special Teams Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens I was the only NFL Coach to give Derrick a workout. Derrick graduated about 6 years ago from the University of Northern Iowa. We picked up Derrick off waivers since one of the NFL teams had cut him after the May mini camp and brought him to the Baltimore Ravens training camp. He performed very well and was eventually picked up by the Cleveland Browns a year later.

Derrick has punted for the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins during his 5 year veteran NFL punting career.

Derrick has just finished his OTA's with the Redskins and was quite happy with his performance in camp. He feels like he is much further ahead at this present time than in previous years.
Derrick received a wake up call from the Redskins when they drafted Georgia Techs, Durant Brooks, who was the Ray Guy Award Winner in the 6th Round.

Derrick and I have talked on the phone for about six weeks and I know he is very focused on his mission to be the punter with the Redskins this year. We have talked about a punting program that will help him be the best he can be. Today when he punted, it looked like the plan and his hard work has paid dividends.

Derrick is working several drills to emphasize specific fundamentals that he needs to get more consistent. I watched and videotaped Derrick working his drills and made comments on how I thought he could improve them.

After Derrick finished his drills he punted about 30 balls. He started with some pooch punts then progressed to open field directional punts going right and left. He finished his workout with punts coming out of the end zone.

Derrick had a good workout today but, what I really liked about his workout was the fact that he had a purpose for every punt he did during his workout. I believe Derrick is maturing. Check out this 45 yard pooch punt that had a hang time of 5.37 seconds. Derrick hit (SNO) spiral nose over punt that hit on the five yard line. It was a heck of a punt even though it was in pooch punt territory.

My coaching point to Derrick was, he needs to have consistent mechanics which will give him improved hang times on his open field punts like he is performing in long pooch punt territory.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Danny Baugher One on One Lessons

Today and yesterday I had One on One Punting Lessons with Danny Baugher, former University of Arizona athlete. At Arizona Danny was an All-American Punter, a 4 year starter and established a new school & PAC-10 records. He had an excellent and outstanding college career. In 2005 at Arizona he had a 47.5 yard punting average with a 39.1 yard net average.

After watching Danny punt for two days here in Scottsdale I can see why he had all those accolades in college. He can really boom the ball!

He called me last week after being released by the Denver Broncos and wanted me to take a look at his technique. As he said in his own words, he wanted another set of eyes to check out his technique and see if I could pick out any thing that could help him improve his consistency.

On Monday Danny went through his warm up, drills and some open field punts. I watched his technique and asked a lot of questions and he gave me answers. In the first session I try to learn as much as I can about the punter or kickers technique including his mind set.

I learned a lot about Danny right away! First of all he was all ears. He was like a sponge, he listened to everything I said and absorbed it all. When I asked him to try something, he did it to the best of his ability.

Danny has now been cut by three NFL teams. He's smart enough to know that if he is going to make an NFL roster he needs to be more consistent.

My job will be to come up with a game plan that will make him a more consistent punter. After watching him punt and seeing how big of a leg he has, I just need to design some drills that will help him refine his technique.

After the first lesson and video review, I pointed out to Danny a couple of minor things I felt he was doing wrong. I showed him a couple of drills he needs to work on and master.

Today we went out and put him through a progression of drills designed specifically for him. He could quickly see the game plan was working.

Danny hit several 4.9 to 5.0 second hang times during the one step drill. Then proceeded to launched several 5.0 plus hang times during our open field and directional punt section. Danny's best hang time was a 5.21 on about a 55 yard punt.

After two day's of One on One Lessons with Danny I know he has the talent to punt in the NFL. I believe with Danny's talent and my coaching he will get more consistent.

Example from my past:

When I was with the Minnesota Vikings, I talked Dennis Green into signing Mitch Berger to a free agent contract, even though he had been cut six times by NFL teams. Mitch had a 'Big' leg but was a little fundamentally unsound. I felt that if I could work with Mitch on some drills and make him fundamentally more sound he would be a heck of a punter in the league. In two years Mitch was a Pro Bowl Punter.

By the end of the lesson Danny was punting through the ball and getting down field much better than when he began his lessons two days ago.
I believe if Danny and I work together this summer and get his fundamentals better, we will refine his technique and he will be a more consistent punter. He will not only make an NFL roster but be one of the better punters in the league.

Danny Baugher's comments about Coach Zauner:

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Coming to Arizona

Today I spent the morning giving a One on One Lesson to Danny Baugher, former University of Arizona Punter.

Danny was just released last week from the Denver Broncos. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona and called after being released to, as he said in his own words, have another set of eyes to check out his punting technique.

We had our first lesson today.

I will finish my blog about Danny's Lessons after we complete our second lesson. All I can say is, "this young man has a cannon of a leg!"

I spent the rest of my day putting together a video for the website,'Coming to Arizona'! This has information for kicking specialists and parents if they decide to come for One on One Lessons to Arizona.

Arizona is not only a great place to live but, has a lot to offer people in regards to sports and outdoor activity.

I hope you enjoyed the video on 'Coming to Arizona'.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Clinic at Apache Junction H.S.

Saturday morning I traveled to Apache Junction High School to perform a Kicking Clinic for Head Coach Rich Milligan, his staff and kicking specialists. Basically, we had about 15 specialists attend the clinic who compete on the sophomore, junior and varsity football teams. Coach Milligan videotaped the entire classroom and on field instruction.

Coach Milligan's goal was to expose the kicking specialists to equal instruction or coaching as the other players on the field. At the end of the two and half hour clinic he was very pleased with the results for his kickers and staff.

Shane Phillips, my Aussie Punter, assisted me with the clinic and helped coach the holders and punters.

Shane commented at the end of the clinic how much easier it is to actually hold and punt then to coach it. Most athlete's don't understand the 'Art of Coaching'. Shane now has a better appreciation for coaching.

We started the kicking specialists clinic with a classroom session for the first half hour. The players were shown a video presentation for their respective position. We then moved to the field. The emphasis in the first part of the clinic was: Short Snappers, Holder and Kickers.

On the field: Short and Long Snappers warming up with drills

Shane Phillips worked with the holders. The holder runs the huddle and regulates the timing of the field goal unit. The holder must not only have good hands and but also the dexterity to catch, rotate the laces and get the ball in the proper position on the tee so the kicker can execute his job. This is not an easy job. A good holder is worth his weight in gold to a kicker!

We emphasized individual technique, drills and progressed working together as a FG Unit.

We stressed 'Team Work' and what it takes to have a successful Field Goal Unit. We stressed the operation time from Snap, Hold and Kick to be between 1.25 to 1.35 seconds. The operation can not be too slow or too fast! We also showed the snappers how to snap 'Perfect Laces' to the holder. If your center can snap 'Perfect Laces' it makes it so much easier for the holder.

The varsity snapper, holder and kicker looked pretty good working together by the end of the session.

The second part of the clinic was for long snapping, punting and the punting unit. Below, you will see me emphasizing with the punters the proper position of the ball on the foot. We started with basic fundamentals and stayed pretty simple. The kids had not received much previous coaching instruction. I just wanted them to learn some good basic fundamentals and drills.

After stressing ball to foot contact we progressed to good fundamentals for a proper drop.

The drop is extremely important to the success of a good punt. We worked several drills emphasizing; catching the snap, getting the ball on the table and a good drop.

We had four punters and I just kept hammering fundamentals to them.

We finished coaching individual technique and progressed to the punting unit.

The punters were a little erratic to begin with. All of a sudden there was a rocket flying down field and everyone looked over at one of the boys. The coaches said, "we found a punter." We kept working catch, mold, get the ball on the table and drop the ball. Most of the punters were throwing or tossing the ball to their foot.

It was my first clinic for high school kids in Arizona. I felt it was not only a fun but also a rewarding experience. I thoroughly enjoyed working with these young men. The entire group was very attentive and worked hard to get better. I believe Coach Milligan's specialists will benefit from the instruction.

Listen to Coach Milligan's remarks about Coach Zauner's consulting services:

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