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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jimmie Kaylor One on One Lessons

On Tuesday and Wednesday I had One on One Punting Lessons with Jimmie Kaylor, who was the punter for Colorado State the last couple years and was also signed as a free agent this spring by the Atlanta Falcons. Jimmie was recently released because of the new 80 man roster rule.

Jimmie had contacted me a couple of months ago injuring about my consulting services. However, he sustained an injury in the spring, then was signed by the Atlanta Falcons so we never had an opportunity to work together. After his release he once again called and he was now in town looking to get better.

Like all lessons, Jimmie went through his warm up routine and progression as I watched and took mental notes. I asked a lot of questions and he gave me answers.

I quickly noticed in his warm up drop drills he had the nose of the ball almost perfectly straight. He also walked straight down field. When he started to punt most his punts went down the middle or middle left.

I also noticed that he punted with a fairly low drop. Many of his hang times were in the 4.4 to 4.7 range. Not bad for most punters. However, to get my attention or to be an NFL punter I want to see some 4.9 to 5.2 hang times. During the two One on One Punting Lessons we worked on raising his drop table just a little higher. (Above Photo)

During the first lesson, Jimmie went through his warm up routine, One Steps and started hitting some open field punts. We video taped his technique and recorded get offs, distances and hang times. We progressed to directional punting and finished the first lesson with some pooch punts.

After the first lesson we went back to my office and my observations were confirmed by the eye in the sky! The camera never lies.

Jimmie walked straight down field with an inside drop causing his punts to go middle left. His drop table was low causing him to get a lot of good punts but no really big hang time punts and finally he had too many handling times in the high 1.3 to 1.4 and sometimes as high as 1.5.

My observation became crystal clear to him. Jimmy shook his head and agreed. Like most of the punters and kickers that come to me for One on One Lessons, Jimmie had never had his technique video taped and analyzed like I do it here.

Before the second lesson I designed a routine specifically to help Jimmie be a more consistent punter with better hang times. We worked a Drop Progression and One Step Drill that would emphasize the corrections Jimmie needed to make.

During the drills he hit some excellent power zone punts and he commented, "they felt so good coming off my foot, I hardly hit them." He was now punting through the ball rather than falling back. He was now using a power zone punt technique that resulted in more punts going to the right.

When he did it right, he looked great and felt great!

We also spent time working on better handling times. Jimmie had a couple of unnecessary movements that resulted in slow handling times. We worked some drills and addressed these movements. Jimmie was a quick fix and started two stepping with handling times in between 1.25 and 1.35. Much better handling times with much better punting results.

After the second lesson we once again reviewed the video and Jimmie realized exactly the changes or adjustment he needed to make to refine his punting technique.

Here is Jimmie Kaylor's testimonial about his One on One Lesson with Coach Zauner.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eddie Johnson One on One Lessons

In 2003 Eddie Johnson was an All-American Punter from Idaho State University and was a 6th Round Draft pick for the Minnesota Vikings. Eddie played one season for the Vikings.

On Thursday and Friday Eddie Johnson was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some combination One on One Punting and Kickoff Lessons.

Eddie who had been in Phoenix a couple of months ago called me out of the blue to say hi and mentioned he had seen my website. Eddie and I have know each other for a couple of years but I have never really coached him. A couple of years ago Eddie came to our River Falls Kicking Camp and he worked one year as an instructor. During those three days we got to know each other a little better.

Now, three or four years later Eddie is 27 years old and still in great shape. He's about 6'2, 225 pounds and a strong legged combination punter/kickoff man.

Eddie had a dream to be an NFL punter and still wants to pursue that dream. After working with him for two days he definitely has the talent. The question will be if someone will give him another chance.

For some reason NFL Personnel Director's think punters are only good when there in their early 20's. I can speak from personal experience. When I was 27 I was doing a Kicking Camp for Ray Guy in Marion Alabama. Several people marveled how good I was punting and said you have the talent to punt in the NFL. My answer was yeah, but nobody will give me a chance at my age.

I believe through the years the philosophy has changed. Several punters and kickers are now breaking into the league at an older age. It's call maturing. It takes time to make good wine and it also takes time to develop a quarterback, kicker or punter.

On Thursday we had our first One on One Lesson. Eddie went through his warm ups and several drills. I asked him to not only explain why he did certain drills but also to give me his thoughts during certain parts of the lesson. I need feedback and background information to make the proper adjustments and refinements.

Eddie hit some big hang times punts but also shanked a couple. Like most punters looking for a job the key word is 'consistency'.

In the first lesson I observed, analyzed and took notes. I was trying to figure out what adjustment I could make to help this talented young man get more consistent.

After the first lesson we went back to my office to review the video tape. I pointed out two or three things to Eddie that I felt might be causing him to be a little inconsistent. Eddie hit some big punts but fired a couple of stray bullets off to the right and left. A stray bullet is a 'shank'!

The video review made everything crystal clear for Eddie. I pointed out his flaws and he shook his head confirming the observations.

The corrections were not big adjustments. I told Eddie I wanted time to think and come up with a game plan to help him.

Observation: Nose to Straight with his Drop

Correction: Tilt the nose of the ball inwards just slightly!

Above: Eddie worked the One Step Drill without cheating.

Eddie's Handling times the 1st day were slow = 1.4's & 1.5's

During Friday's One on One Punting Lesson I took Eddie through a progression of drills that I designed specifically for him. We video taped the drills and teaching points so Eddie had something to take home as a constant reminder.

I emphasized getting rid of the drills that caused him bad muscle memory and to do only drills that had positive carry over value to his punting technique.

The package I put together seemed to help him during Friday's One on One Lesson. Eddie hit a bunch of excellent punts and never once 'shanked' a punt. He hit some excellent hang times and directional punts.

The best thing about Eddie's punting on Friday was that he hit all those good punts with much better handling times. We got ride of all the unnecessary movements and refined his catching and molding technique. His handling times on Friday were 1.25 to 1.35.

I believe Eddie was very pleased with the results of his visit to Scottsdale.

We finished the second day of One on One Lessons working on kickoffs. When Eddie came out of Idaho State in 2003 he was known for his punting and kickoff ability. He impressed me with the power he had on his kickoffs. Eddie was hitting his kickoffs to or in the end zone. 'Impressive'! Eddie wanted to worked on a system for him to directional kickoff and we achieved this goal.

After working with Eddie for two days he definitely has the talent to be an NFL punter. As I mentioned earlier, will some team give him another chance? Only time will tell.

I told Eddie to go back to Orange County were he lives and to practice what he had learned for two to three weeks and then give me another call. If Eddie can become a more consistent punter he will impress scouts and Special Teams Coaches.

My advice to Eddie was in golf terminology. Take the driver out of your bag and use a three wood. You don't just want to win the long drive contest but you want to be playing on the weekends. John Daley hits a big ball but look were he is at on Sundays.

Bottom line, if Eddie or anyone wants to play in the NFL on Sundays you need to punt with a three wood mentality. Impress people with a driver but play the game with a three wood. You'll stick around a lot longer.

Just a note to my above analogy: Unless your Tiger Woods!

Eddie Johnson Video Testimonial:

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Braden Shoop One on One Lessons

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week Braden Shoop was in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Kicking Lessons. Braden is a red-shirt freshmen kicker at the University of Wyoming.

Before Braden came to Scottsdale I talked several times to Braden and his father Kirk. I was informed Braden also plays rugby.

Two of the best kickers I coached or consulted with when I was a college coach were also rugby players. Mick Luckhurst, who played at Cal. Berkeley and the Atlanta Falcons and Chris O'Brien who played at San Diego State and the U.S. Rugby Team.

Monday night I picked Braden up at the airport and on the drive to the hotel we talked about many things. We not only talked about rugby, but I also learned that Braden and his family had cruised the world in a 64 foot sail boot for five years.

Braden had many interesting stories. He told me that for a couple of years he received his education through a home schooling program. He lived in New Zealand for a couple of years and that's were he learned to play rugby. Some of the best rugby is played in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

He talked about some of the beautiful places in the world where he's been and explored.

I hope Braden doesn't mind that I took a couple of photo's from his Face book album to show accounts of the places he's been and the things he has done that most of use only dream of doing.

It was a very enjoyable two and a half day's of kicking and learning about a young man who has definitely more stories and seen more of the world than I have.Also, I learned a lot about computers and technology from Braden. He is a well rounded young man. His parents did great a job raising this young man.

Braden working on One Step Drill

During the first One on One Kicking Lesson I watched and observed Braden's kicking style. I asked a lot of questions and Braden gave me answers and feedback.

Like most of the high school, college and even NFL kickers that come to Scottsdale for One on One Lessons I learn quickly most are good kickers but do not have a great deal of knowledge of the how and whys of kicking a football.

Braden, like most of the kickers I give One on One Lessons to, do warm up drills they have learned at kicking camps or through so called kicking instructors. Most of the drills are what I call 'gimmick' drills. Somebody thought up a drill and young kickers try to execute it but it has no carry over value to his technique of kicking.

Braden started with the No Step Drill. I dislike this drill because most kickers can't do it correctly and it gives them bad muscle memory. I suggested to Braden he should eliminate this drill from his warm up.

Braden finished his warm up and then started kicking field goals. He kicked in both directions and I continued to watch and try to figure out what we needed to do to improve his technique. I asked Braden to try a couple of things so we could get everything on tape.

After the kicking lesson we went back to my office and reviewed the video tape. Braden had only seen himself on video one other time. The things I had mentioned and talked about on the field were now crystal clear for him. He could see what I had observed. Also, I showed Braden some video of the drills and techniques we were going to work on the next day.

On Wednesday I worked my game plan on how to improve Braden's technique. We started with my One Step Drill and emphasized certain teaching points. Quickly, Braden was making progress.

We moved on to different drills that I thought would get Braden to stop crunching and get up and through the ball down field. I showed Braden the drills and put the teaching points on video. When he goes back home to Colorado this video will be his kicking manual.

As I tell all my students, in two to three weeks you will definitely get better if you do the drills religiously and as you have been taught.

Braden ended the second kicking lesson with much better technique and more power. He kicked two field goals from 50 yards. I believe Braden was happy with his improvement and learned several things to take back home and work on.

Braden was a prize student for me. He tried things and gave me great feedback. Good feedback helps me to be a better coach. In my opinion Braden made unbelievable progress in just two days of kicking.

Like most college kickers, training camp opens in a couple of weeks and Braden will be competing with other kickers for the starting job.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Mitch Berger Workout Video

Last week I had three One on One Punting Lessons with Mitch Berger. I brought Mitch into Minnesota when I was the Special Teams Coach with the Vikings. Mitch had been cut six times but had a big punting leg and could also kickoff.

Mitch lives here in Scottsdale during the off season. Last season I helped train Mitch in July, August, September and October while he was looking for a job in the NFL.

When the Arizona Cardinals needed a punter for the remainder of the 2007 season I called Rod Graves, General Manager. Cardinals brought Mitch in for a tryout and he was signed.

Mitch was released in the off season.

However, again this year Mitch is back in Scottsdale refining his fundamentals trying to get back with another NFL team.

Today, we did a One on One Punting Workout at Chaparral High School. We started bright and early. In the workout we start with a One Step Drill and progressed to regular punts.

When Mitch was ready we started the punting workout. The order of my workout is: 1) Open Field Punts, 2) Directional Punts (from both hashes), 3) Pooch Punts (Inside the 5o) and 4) End zone Punts (Coming out of the end zone).

During all workouts I give get offs, distances and hang times. The video is shot from an specific approach allowing NFL Special Teams Coaches or NFL Personnel Directors the ability to check the results.

Creditability is extremely important to me. It's my name that is endorsing these kickers, punters and snappers. Throughout my College and NFL career I have always been associated with the best and I'm committed to continue to be the best in the 'World of the Kicking Game.'

Mitch had an excellent workout. He has always been an excellent directional and pooch punter and you will see exactly that if you view his video in the One on One Lessons or the NFL Pro Personnel section of my website., http://www.coachzauner.com/.

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Wilhoit & Baugher Workout Video

During the weekend I spent most of my time editing workout sessions for James Wilhoit and Danny Baugher.

James Wilhoit, former University of Tennessee Kicker also signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007.

James was in last week for One on One Kicking Lessons. After the first lesson I felt James was good enough to be on my website so we did a workout video. In my opinion, James has enough kicking talent to be in a training camp. I posted his workout on my website; http://www.coachzauner.com/ in the One on One Lessons and NFL Pro Personnel sections. His video was also posted on YouTube.

James had an excellent field goal workout. He was 10 for 10 on all his field goals inside 50 yards and was 3 for 3 on 50 yard bonus kicks. He made kicks from 52, 55 and 57 yards. He had such impressive workout I recommended him to the Buffalo Bills for a free agent workout on Tuesday.

Last week Thursday I did a One on One workout with Danny Baugher, former All-American punter at the University of Arizona. Danny was recently released by the Denver Broncos.

Danny is a well built athlete that has a very explosive leg. In the above photo you can also see his flexibility.

During Thursday's workout Danny had some excellent hang time punts. He hit several punts over a 5.0 second hang time. His best punt was a 5.40 second hang time in pooch punt territory.

Danny's video can be viewed on my website in the One on One Lessons or in the NFL Pro Personnel sections. Also posted on YouTube.

Danny definitely has a big leg! However, he has been cut 3 times for some reason. Most punters get cut because of inconsistency. Danny has the leg, the drive and hopefully I can be of assistance with my coaching. He lives here in the Phoenix area, I hope the team of Baugher and Coach Zauner working together can land him a job in the NFL.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

NFL Record FG Return in 2002

Chris McAlister Returns a Missed FG, 107 yards for an NFL Record!

On Monday morning at 8:00 AM PT, I will be a guest on Warren McCarthy's talk radio show,'My Passion is Football', based in Amarillo, Texas.

Several weeks ago Warren launched his radio show and I was a guest the first week. We talked for about 15 to 20 minutes on some of the coaches I have worked for as a coach or kicking consultant. We talked about two of the great coaches I coached for; La Vell Edwards former Head Coach at BYU, and Hall of Fame Coach, George Allen, former Head Coach Washington Redskins and the Long Beach State 49ers.

We continued to discuss various coaches who hired me as a kicking consultant: Dick Vermeil, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, George Seifert, Dan Reeves, and Tom Flores.

Warren called and asked if I would be a guest again on Monday. How could you turn down an offer from somebody that has a name associated with,'My Passion is Football'.

My Passion is the Kicking Game! Needless to say, I figured it was a perfect match. On Monday he wants to talk about all the kicking specialists I have been working with this off season, plus he wanted to talk about something that had to do with Special Teams.

Warren asked me to talk about anything that I had done in my Special Teams coaching career that my be unique.

I mentioned that during my College and NFL coaching career I was associated with a few kicking and special teams records. One of the records was set on Monday Night Football.

In 2002, I was the Special Teams Coordinator for Baltimore Ravens and we were playing the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. This was a rebuilding year for the Ravens and I had just joined Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick's Staff.

Brian and I had a long time coaching relationship that went all the way back to 1978 at Brigham Young University with Head Coach LaVell Edwards.

We were also coaching assistants together under Head Coach Doug Scovil, from 1980 to 1985 at San Diego State along with Mike Smith, now Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Then again with the Minnesota Vikings we were coaching coordinators together under Head Coach Dennis Green from 1993 to 1998.

Brian was the man that recommended me to Dennis Green and was responsible for getting me into the NFL.

In 2002, Brian hired me as his Special Teams Coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens. He told me when he hired me that the Ravens had some major salary cap problems and were going to have to release a lot of good players. He said we need to go with a lot of young players and he wanted me to come in and do what I do best: Coach the kicking specialists, be fundamentally sound and aggressive on Special Teams.

In my college coaching career at BYU, San Diego State, University of New Mexico and Long Beach State our Special Teams Units blocked 39 punts and field goals, and led the nation in punt and kickoff returns a couple of times.

Basically, Brian gave me, a Special Teams coaches dream; card blanche on meetings, practice, drills. We practiced all kinds of situations on Fridays.

However, after one of the Friday afternoon Special Teams practices Brian came over to me and asked, "Gary, why do we keep practicing all these situations, are we ever going to use this 'Sh**' in a game and is it ever going to work?"

My reply was, "I don't know but if we ever have one of the situations come up in a game our guys will know exactly what to do."

With regards to the field goal return play, I had run this play in College at San Diego State and also three times when I was the Special Teams Coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. Every time the play almost went all the way. Most Special Teams Coaches at all levels don't emphasize covering long field goal kicks.

I always felt through the years that at the end of the half on the last play, if it was a field goal attempt, if your defensive team with all the good athletes had an organized return you could take advantage of the field goal unit, with all the big linemen.

The field goal return was in the playbook every year that I coached in College and the NFL. The coaching points: 1) We will return the ball to our bench, 2) We will go for a block and set up the wall to our bench, 3) We need to block the (TE & WB) the two best cover men on the side of the return, and 4) the return man will start by going towards the opponents bench to give our players time to set up the wall, then bring it back to our bench.

We had a man designated as the point setter. Ray Lewis #52 was the point setter on this play and his job was to block the first man down field and get the return started. Ray not only blocked the man, but blew him up! It was a devastating block!

Video of the 2002 Baltimore Ravens Record Field Goal Return on

Monday Night Game vs Denver Broncos.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Buffalo Bills Call for Personnel

Today, C.J. who works in the Buffalo Bills Personnel Department called looking for kicking, punting and snapping specialists for next weeks workout in Buffalo. C.J. started the conversation referencing John Guy's name. John Guy is the Director of Pro Personnel for the Buffalo Bills.

C.J. said John told him to call me and ask if I had any specialists which I thought were worthy of a NFL tryout next week in Buffalo. He said John really respects my knowledge of kicking and my evaluations of kicking personnel. John Guy entered the league as a special teams coach, he and I went head to head many years ago. John got smart and left coaching to pursue a career in personnel.

I directed C.J. to my website, www.coachzauner.com allowing him the opportunity to view a list of available free agents on my website.

My website home page has been re-designed so there is an NFL area highlighted for Special Teams Coaches, Directors of Personnel for College and Pro Scouting.

C.J asked me for my list of available free agents I thought were NFL ready. These are the kickers and punters I have worked with on One on One Lessons which whom I recommended:

Kickers List:

Dave Rayner - Veteran Kicker
James Wilhoit - Free Agent Kicker
Garrett Palmer - Free Agent Kicker

Punters List:

Mitch Berger - Veteran Punter
Scott Player - Veteran Punter
Danny Baugher - Free Agent Punter
Shane Phillips - Free Agent Punter
Mike Dragosavich - Free Agent Punter
Ben Woods - Free Agent Punter

The Bills mentioned that they didn't want any veteran players for this workout so they decided to bring in the following specialists:

James Wilhoit

Former Kicker at the University of Tennessee Kicker and Baltimore Ravens

Mike Dragosavich

Former Punter at the University of North Dakota and N. E. Patriots

Ben Woods

Former Punter at the University at Buffalo and Cleveland Browns

Shane Phillips

Former Punter at Alcorn State and Melbourne Australia

Best of luck to all the guys next week working out with the Buffalo Bills.

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James Wilhoit One on One Lessons

James Wilhoit kicking at the University of Tennessee

Former University of Tennessee Kicker James Wilhoit was in Scottsdale, Arizona the past three days for a One on One Kicking Lesson. James was signed as a free agent after last years draft by the Baltimore Ravens. James called me about a month ago inquiring about

One on One Lessons plus getting an evaluation of his potential to be an NFL kicker.

In his first One on One Kicking Lesson James did a variety of warm up drills and explained their importance. He kicked and I listened, observed and analyzed his technique. I also was evaluating his mind set.

James was very knowledgeable about his kicking technique. Later he told me that he works with some young kickers and gives lessons back home in Tennessee.

Like most kickers passing through Scottsdale they all think they know kicking, however, after they leave here they know a lot more.

James had a couple of drills that I thought gave him bad muscle memory, so I suggested he remove them from his warm up routine. In the above photo James worked my version of the One Step Drill that doesn't allow a kicker to cheat.

When James was kicking I saw that he had good pop on his leg but at times he seemed jammed or confined on some of his kicks. He just wasn't letting it go. He told me the Ravens Special Teams Coach changed his approach last year when he was in camp. Say no more!

Many college and NFL coaches don't know much about kicking and sometimes make adjustments that might not be good for their particular kicker. The adjustment the coach made in Baltimore was not a very good adjustment for James.

In the first session I like to try certain things, and get as much video of each kicker then analyze and make the proper corrections and adjustments. At the end of the first lesson we moved James back to a longer approach. He was at 100 inches and we moved him back to 115 inches. He started kicking the ball with more power and said he liked it!

In the photo below James was working on his target line. During the video review I pointed out that he aimed most of his kicks middle left and that was exactly where kicked the ball. James worked on drawing a better target line down the middle or one yard right to allow for the slight draw he had on his kick.

In the second One on One Lesson we made corrections from the previous day. We progressed and worked field goals from the left and right hashes. I basically put James through a NFL Combine field goal work out!

We started at the 30 yard line and kicked field goals from the left and right hashes and moved back in five yard increments back to 50 yards. James was 10 for 10 on these high school goal posts. We then took three bonus kicks from 52, 55 and 57 and James made all three kicks. He had an impressive day of kicking!

We finished the second day just like the first, working on kickoffs. Again someone changed James's step and he was not kicking the ball with authority. We worked on his approach. I like kickers that have a smooth and rhythmical approach. He now has a good approach and he showed it by nailing a couple of kicks 5, 6 and 8 yards deep into the end zone.

We ended the work out and I believe James was very happy with the results. After the kicking lesson we went back for the video review. While James was in my office a representative from the Buffalo Bills called and inquired about some punting and kicking personnel for a work out they were having next week in Buffalo.

James had an impressive day of kicking.

As they say, being in the right place at the right time is important. James will be flying to Buffalo next week for a workout.

Below is short clip of Coach Zauner and James working on his kickoff approach and technique plus, James Wilhoit's testimonial:

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Monday, July 14, 2008

John Lord One on One Lesson

John Lord, a sophomore at Boston College, was in Scottsdale Arizona from Saturday until today for a One on One Punting Lesson. John is in competition for the punting job at Boston College this fall and is here to refine his punting technique.

Shown in the photo above, John started punting in the first lesson with the dreaded, nose up drop and shaded outside his hip. In the last 3 months a lot of punters have passed through Scottsdale with the same problem; not placing the ball on the table with the ball directly in front of their punting leg.

We immediately addressed his problem by introducing John to the Drop Progression Drill. Below you can see John working the drill with a flat drop.

The second part of the drill is to place the ball on the table, directly out in front of the punting leg with the ball tilted in slightly.

John had a fairly high drop table, so we worked to get the ball on the table at the top of his numbers or slightly below his shoulder. The higher the drop the more bad things can happen. In the photo below you can see John with his normal drop.

After the first lesson we analyzed and reviewed the video and the flaws I saw in John's technique became crystal clear to him. Like most kickers and punters John had not seen his technique close up on video until his One on One lesson this weekend.

The other problem John had was placing the ball outside his hip and wiping the ball. John hit a lot of (SNO) spiral nose over punts but way out to the left. I explained to John, if we could get him to place the ball on the table directly in front of his punting leg and walk or drift slightly off the line he would punt with more power (SNO) spiral nose over punts to his power zone.

In the photo's above and below you can see the drill we worked on to accomplish this goal. John worked hard on this drill and it started to pay dividends. At the end of the second session John was turning over almost every punt to his power zone.

The last thing we worked on were get off times. John was now punting extremely well but had slow get offs. His slow get offs ranged from 1.48 to 1.65. Slow, real slow!

I introduced John to my molding drill and explained why his get offs were slow. Too many wasted movements. Unnecessary movement with his feet and hands. We worked the drill for several minutes and put the clock back on John.

As we proceeded, John's get offs improved but his punting got worse. I told him to relax and we worked some more drills. He equated try to get faster get off times by punting faster. I told him he must be more efficient. We worked some more drills.

John finished with two sets of (SNO) spiral nose over punts with much improved get offs. He was now punting with 1.3 to 1.4 get offs with good power zone punts.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ben Woods One on One Lesson

Today and yesterday Ben Woods was in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Punting Lessons. Ben is a 6' 2" 201 pound good looking punter who just graduated from the University at Buffalo.

He was signed in the spring by the Cleveland Browns but recently released due to the 80 man roster limitations instituted by the NFL this Year. This new rule has not only hurt Ben but a lot of good kickers and punters around the country.

In the first lesson Ben went through his warm up, drills and punting routine. I observed his technique and asked a lot of questions. I noted a couple of minor flaws in his technique.

Like many punters, Ben places the ball on the table with the nose slightly up and pushes the ball down to his foot. Also, after he punted the ball he fell back and off the ball pretty violently. When I asked him if he always does that when he punts, he replied, not like the way I'm doing today.

We ended the first session with a lot of good video to review. In the afternoon video session the couple flaws I noticed and pointed out to Ben became crystal clear. They were: nose up drop, pushing the ball down, falling back off punts and slow get offs.

We ended the day and Ben knew exactly what he needed to improve on to get better.

Today, we hit the field bright and early and Ben started with the drop progression drill. Ben repeated the drill until he did it to perfection. We progressed to the One Step Drill and tried to get Ben not to fall back after he punted.

Ben did the One Step Drill much better in the second session. He eliminated some unnecessary movements in his drop and hit a lot more punts that (SNO) spiral nose over punts to his power zone. Ben had now corrected his second flaw.

We did drills which I felt would help Ben become more consistent and fundamentally sound. The drills also helped him eliminate unnecessary movements and produce better handling or get off times.

We had now addressed the four minor flaws in his punting technique and he was punting every ball to his power zone and turning the nose over.

At the end of our second One on One Punting Lesson we worked on Directional Punting Technique. Ben took what he learned from the Power Zone Punting Technique and parlayed it into an excellent day of directional punting. He punted almost every ball (SNO) spiral nose over directly to or outside the numbers. It was pretty impressive!

In the two sessions Ben made himself a better and more fundamentally sound punter. I believe Ben's investment to come out to Scottsdale will pay dividends in the future for him.

Below, is a short video clip of Ben Woods punting and the improvement he made with his technique from the first day to the second day. The One Step Drill did wonders for Ben and can do the same for any punter.

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