Nick Schirtzinger was in Scottsdale for some One on One Punting Lessons this past week. Nick lives in West Virginia and is a sophomore punter at Robert Morris University.
In the first One on One Lesson Nick punted and I asked a lot of questions. Nick has been to a couple of other punting instructors on the East Coast and I wanted to find out how much he really knew about punting technique and what his mind set was during drills.
The first thing I asked Nick was, what do you do for a warm up and drills. His reply was, I warm up and pretty much start punting. Nick didn't seem to be big on drills.
Nick was all business from the start and he might of been a little nervous.
As Nick (a lefty) started punting, I notice he had an inside and nose up drop. Most of his punts were going to his right. He was taught to walk straight down field. Walking straight down field has a tendency to make punters cut or wipe the ball, causing them to pull the ball across their body which results many times with a (SNU) spiral nose up punt.
The power zone for a left footed punted is 4 yards right to about 8 to 10 yards left. Nick was not getting any (SNO) spiral nose over punts.
Nick was in town for four One on One Lessons and wanted to get better so I started coaching fundamentals and technique. It was a major dose of fundamentals with a lot of drill work.
First I taught Nick the Drop Progression Drill. For the punters that have been here for One on One Lessons: drops, walk and drops, freeze, leg through and transfer. Everyone that needs to improve or get better fundamentals must learn and practice the Drop Progression Drill.
Nick was dropping and hitting too many punts on the side of his foot. To emphasize dropping the ball on top of his foot with the proper angle and tilt Nick worked the No Step Drill. In two sessions Nick had the drill down perfectly and was hitting spirals on just about every repetition.
Next , I taught Nick the One Step and the Catch and One Step Drills. I know he was getting a little bored with the drills but the key to being a consistent punter is fundamentals. Nick didn't like doing drills before he got to Scottsdale and I told him if he was serious about getting better, be better start liking to do drills because this would be the key to his success at getting more consistent.
Matter of fact Nick was mastering the drills and becoming so proficient I had him demonstrate the drills to Mike Dragosavich who was also in town for some One on One Punting Lessons.