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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Coach Z Interviews (P) Brett Kern

On Thursday afternoon I did a One on One Interview with Brett Kern who is a Rookie Punter with the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos are in town for their final preseason game vs the Arizona Cardinals.

University of Toledo Punter, Brett Kern received All-American honors in 2007. This spring Brett came to Scottsdale for One on One Punting Lessons to refine his technique.

After this years draft, Brett was signed as a free agent with the Broncos. The Broncos where one of three teams that needed a punter and it was a great signing for the Broncos and a great opportunity for Brett.

At the present time he is in a battle for the starting position. Tonight's game could determine who gets cut and who makes the team.

Three Part Interview with Denver Broncos Rookie Punter Brett Kern.

Part Two Interview with Brett Kern

Part Three Interview with Brett Kern

I wish Brett the best of luck not only on tonight's game but also in the future. He has a very strong punting leg and a lot of natural ability. He is also a very nice young man and was a pleasure to work with. I hope to continue working together in the future!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Golf in White Mountains of Arizona

Coach Zauner and the Head Coach, Michelle were on vacation last week at their summer retreat and out of the heat in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Last week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday it was up to the mountains and relaxation. Torreon is a beautiful golf community in the White Mountains of Show Low, Arizona.

Pinon pines, cooler temperatures and 36 holes of golf on Torreon's beautiful private course.

This week was our member/guest golf tournament. So for the last couple days I was not blogging or kicking, Michelle and I were having fun in the cooler climate of the mountains.

Coach Zauner and his Fountain Hills neighbor, Marty Jessen won their flight by three stokes and moved on to the shoot out.

The secret to playing good tournament golf is putting. Drive for show and putt for dough. Me and my partner had three excellent days putting with the flat stick.

During our free time, Michelle and I took our mountain bikes for a quick spin around the hills and forest of Show Low, Arizona in Torreon.

Below was the first playoff hole on the Tower Course.

Torreon is known for it's beauty and fast greens. Below is a the Par 3-15th Hole on Tower.

Below is the Par 3-11th Hole on Tower

During the Shoot Out I hit the golf shot of the weekend. It happen on the 3rd Hole, Tower Course which is about a 175 yard par three.

In the Shoot Out there is an alternate shot format and my partner hit a shot pin high but on the left side of the bunkers.

In the photo below, I hit a flop shot from where you see Michelle standing to about 6 inches of the hole for a tap in par.

I practice this flop shot a lot. However, in the pressure of the tournament I almost talked myself out of hitting the shot. However, I always tell my friends, "If your afraid go buy a dog!"

On the fourth and final playoff hole we were knocked out of the Shoot Out and the money. It was fun and relaxing. I really thrive on the competition.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

E. Johnson One on One Workout

On Sunday Eddie Johnson who had previously been in town in July for some One on One Punting and Kickoff Lessons was now back in Scottsdale to shoot his workout video.

In late July Eddie came to town to refine his punting and kickoff skills. Two days after Eddie left Scottsdale he was signed by the Detroit Lions. Paul Ernster had been released and signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Lions needed a combination Punter / Kickoff man for training camp.

Eddie had just gotten home from Scottsdale and was on his way to Detroit. Eddie worked out and was signed.

Eddie played in the first preseason game vs the World Champion NY Giants. Eddie who punts, holds and kicks off ironically was forced to also kick field goals. Jason Hanson got hurt and Eddie was forced into action.

Eddie kicked two field goals. His 41 yard field goal at the end of the game was a game winner.

Due to the 80 man roster rule and Jason's injury and the signing of Dave Rayner, Eddie had to be released. This 80 man rule is really hurting the kicking specialists.

On Sunday at Chaparral High School we video taped Eddie's workout for the NFL Pro Personnel section on my website.

In Eddie's workout video we highlighted his punting, kickoff, holding and field goal skills.

Eddie Johnson was an All-American Punter out of Idaho State and drafted by the Minnesota Viking in the 6th Round in 2003. He has been signed by several NFL teams in recent years.

I believe Eddie has the talent to be a punter in the NFL. Eddie Johnson just needs to be in the right place at the right time.

How true this statement reflects most things in life!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

A. Friedman One on One Lessons

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Andrew Friedman, a kicker at the University of Alabama was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking and Kickoff Lessons.

In the first lesson Andrew went through his warm up drills and started kicking. When he was kicking I noticed he marked off his steps differently on each kick.

As he kicked I asked him questions and he gave me excellent answers. One of the things he mentioned is that he was missing a lot of kicks to the right. Because he was trying to make another adjustment for being too close to the ball he was not lining up his correctly.

Andrew is a typical southern athlete, very polite and very respectful to coaches. Yes sir, No sir. Andrew is the product of listening to a bunch of kicking coaches or instructors that might not know a lot about kicking. Their in the business to make money but know nothing about the mechanics and fundamentals about kicking.

After the first lesson I analyzed and reviewed the video with Andrew. My thoughts on the field were confirmed by the slow motion video. Andrew was a little surprised on how he now looked on video.

Andrew was a good kicker in high school with a strong leg and was not kicking the ball even close to the way we saw him kick on his high school highlight video. Kicking instructors have changed Andrew so much he was now kicking very mechanically, with less accuracy and power.

He knew something was wrong but was not sure what it was or how to correct it. Andrew, had heard about me through another kicker and decided to get out here to Scottsdale and work out his dilemma.

After the first lesson I designed a game plan and progression of drills specifically to help Andrew acquire the correct fundamentals and muscle memory to not only make him a more consistent kicker but to get the power and distance back that he lost trying to kick with this other style of kicking and kicking off.

I introduced Andrew to the One Step Drill which is my favorite Drill

Andrew was kicking and pivoting and wrapping his foot around the ball causing one problem so I tried to get Andrew to kick up and through his kicks.

In the above photo you can see Andrew finishing his kicks better.

The first day Andrew was very inconsistent marking off his steps and lining up his kicks so we spent time on and off the field making sure he was more precise at doing both none kicking skills.

In the photo above you see Andrew now finishing this kick on balance. In the first two sessions Andrew was kicking a little out of control. I like kickers to start and end on balance.

Andrew hopes to be the starting kickoff man this year for the Crimson Tide. So we spent time in two sessions working on kickoffs.

Coaches and other kicking instructors have tried to mandate that Andrew kickoff with a scissor or hurdler technique. My recommendation was to have him kickoff with the same technique that he kicks field goals (kick and skip) .

During the video review I made my suggestion for his kickoff technique and I gave Andrew my reasons. He told me that's the way he use to kickoff in high school and was good at it but everyone has told him to get better distance he must use this other technique.

Go figure.

Andrew finished the three day One on One Kicking Lessons knowing he is back on track to kicking the ball more like he use to. He has the DVD to review the coaching points and drills. I believe in two to three weeks he will be kicking much better.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Nick Maxwell One on One Lessons

On Thursday and Friday Cornell University Punter, Nick Maxwell visited Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Punting Lessons.

In the last month I've sent out messages to a lot of punters and kickers on FaceBook and Nick confirmed me as a friend and checked out my website. Last week he called and decided he wanted to get an extra pair of eyes to check out his technique. Nick and his father booked some flight's from Seattle and New York and here they are.

In about 30 hours we had to get in two punting lessons. So we started bright and early. In the first lesson Nick went through his routine in which I watched and analyzed his technique. I asked a ton of questions and he gave me answers to help me put the puzzle back together.

Nick has an explosive leg, but has a couple of minor flaws in his punting technique. In the photo below you can see his Nose Up Drop. He also had a couple of other flaws.

Nick has gone to other kicking instructors and has been taught a couple of things that I would have some issues with.

However, teaching punting and kicking is like any other business and people have different philosophies.

My philosophy is that of a common sense approach and I don't try to incorporate gimmick's or certain ways to kick or punt. I work to refine each individuals style of kicking. The most important point is to teach sound fundamentals and know individuals will sometimes have unique differences.

During the first lesson we video taped Nicks technique from various angles so we could analyze his technique and make the correct adjustments. The two or three minor flaws became crystal clear to Nick after reviewing the video tape in super slow motion.

The camera or the 'Eye in the Sky' never lies.

In the second lesson we introduced Nick to the Drop Progression and One Step Drill. I believe these two drills will give Nick the proper muscle memory to correct some of the flaws he has in his footwork and drop.

Above Coach Zauner demonstrates the Drop Progression Drill

Above, Coach Zauner is making sure Nick puts the ball directly in front of his punting leg with a flat drop.

Above photo shows Nick dropping the ball directly in front of his punting leg with the ball in the proper position to hit a (SNO) spiral nose over punt.

By the end of the two One on One Punting Lessons Nick was getting more consistent with his drop and turning over a lot more punts to his power zone.

In the above photo you can see Nick's explosion and the flexibility up and through the ball. Nick and his father really liked the idea that Nick was getting a DVD of both lessons and pretty much an individualized training tape for his style of punting.

Nick and his father both left very happy with the results of the two sessions and said they will be back.

Testimonial of Bob Maxwell, Nick's father, on their
One on One experience with Coach Zauner:

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

C. MacDonald One on One Lessons

On Tuesday and Wednesday Chris MacDonald was back in Arizona receiving One on One Punting Lessons.

Chris graduated from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona and in 2004 earned Freshman All-American honors at Arizona State University. After two years Chris transferred to Texas State where he just completed his College career.

After working two days of One on One Lessons with Chris, I must say this young man has a strong leg and is a excellent athlete. Chris showed me a lot of potential but needs to improve his consistency.

Chris was here to get better and I believe in a couple of weeks he will resolve a couple of flaws I noticed in his technique. Like most players that come to me for an evaluation, advice or instruction, Chris was punting like someone had taught him. Some punting instructor or coaches have given Chris some bad advice. They have given Chris some incorrect information and drills to work on which has caused Chris to have some bad muscle memory.

We used the first One on One Punting Lesson to video tape Chris's drills and technique so we could make the proper corrections.

Chris's biggest problem, putting the ball on the table with the Nose Up!

The Nose Up Drop caused Chris a lot of inconsistency!

Chris was taught to place the ball straight and slightly outside his hip. In the photo above, Chris is now working to place the ball directly out in front of the punting leg with the nose slanted slightly inward.

I taught Chris my Drop Progression Drill and he needs to work this drill a lot both on the field and at home.

When Chris dropped the ball flat or with the nose slightly down he crushed a bunch of 4.8 to 5.0 second hang time punts.

His explosion up and through the ball was excellent, however, he has a tendency to fall backwards after each punt. We worked the punt and transfer drill to help him get down field.

During the video review sessions Chris was an excellent student. The flaws in his technique that I mentioned on the field became crystal clear to him after watching the slow motion video.

Chris confirmed he had a suspension on some of the things he was taught and practicing were incorrect but he didn't know how to correct them.

Chris now has the correct information, fundamentals and his own individualized training video to take home and refine his skills. If he can correct the couple things I mentioned he will take his game to the next level and will be on my website; www.coachzauner.com as an NFL prospect.

The key is the right technique and fundamentals then practice, practice and more practice to get the correct muscle memory.

Chris MacDonald's testimonial working with Coach Zauner

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Monday, August 11, 2008

J. Dougherty One on One Lessons

On Sunday and Monday Justin Dougherty who is a kicker at the University of Oregon was in Scottsdale, Arizona for an emergency One on One Kicking Lesson. In spring, Justin was fighting for the starting position for field goal and kickoffs.

While his team is practicing in Oregon, Justin is here in Scottsdale trying to improve his kicking and kickoff technique.

He was told a couple of weeks ago that he was not invited back out for practice until after the first game in September.

Some how between last season and this summer, Justin has lost his confidence and is in a major slump!

During the spring Justin enrolled into some type of yearly kicking program that was offered by a kicking instructor. The bottom line is the kicking program and the adjustments that they tried to force him to make have caused him to lose power, consistency and ultimately his confidence.

Justin who is about 6'6 and 220 is one tall kicker. At the start of the first lesson I watched him kick about six balls and asked him to stop.

I had listened to Justin's story about his kicking woes over the phone and I knew I had to do something quickly and dramatically. He gave me permission to do whatever I thought would help him improve and get his confidence back.

To make a long story short, I started from ground zero and built a good foundation. I introduced him to the One Step Drill.

We video taped the entire lesson from start to finish. I asked him to try a couple of things so we could document the kicks and his technique on video tape.

We ended the first One on One Kicking Lesson with Justin hitting a couple of 55 yard field goals with a smile on his face.

We went back to the office to review the video. I showed Justin the first couple of balls he kicked. He cringed, seeing how bad his technique looked.

I told him not to worry he was only going to get better. Justin had made the biggest transformation I've seen in a long time in just one kicking lesson. He started the lesson pulling and pushing kicks all over the place to nailing a couple of long field goals right down the middle.

Before the second One on One Lesson started I designed a lesson plan and teaching progression that I knew would help Justin improve his kicking technique even more.

Above, we worked hard and at length on the One Step Drill.

I was trying to get Justin to kick up and through the ball

Before we started to make any changes with Justin's technique, he kicked and fell off to the side with no skip or follow through. He just kicked and rolled his hips over the top and stopped. Many of his field goals hooked to the left.

In the above photo you can see Justin now kicking up and through the ball and firing the hip muscles. He was now kicking upward and skipped through his kicks.

His field goals were now traveling with power and accuracy straight down the field through the goal posts.
Photo below, shows Justin now finishing his kicks on balance and squarer down field.

We finished our One on One Kicking Lessons with some kickoff work. Justin's confidence was coming back. I worked my kickoff progression and he nailed a couple of kickoffs into the end zone.

Justin hit a couple of kickoffs 4 to 5 yards deep into the end zone with 4.1 to 4.2 hang times. He smiled and had a look of relief. He said I knew I couldn't of been that bad. I think I'm back on track. Thanks for the help.

I emphasized to Justin that bad muscle memory doesn't just leave and go away. He needs to practice all the non-kicking and kicking drills I introduced to him so he ingrains the new muscle memory.

After Justin's two One on One Lessons here in Arizona his coaches at Oregon might want to see if Justin is out of his slump and back on track and at least consider him to be their kickoff man.

These two lessons with Justin resulted in probably the Biggest transformations I've ever seen by any individual. My hat is off to Justin for accepting coaching and being the perfect student.

I hope the coaches at the University of Oregon give this young man another chance to compete!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Derek Doerfler One on One Lessons

On Thurs, Friday and Saturday Baker University Kicker, Derek Doerfler was back in Scottsdale, Arizona for a tune up One on One Kicking Lesson and some additional One on One Punting Lessons. Because, Derek is an athlete and has kicking skills and a big leg, his coach might a need to use Derek in a dual role this season. Derek, who has never punted wants to spend time learning how to punt.

Derek who will be senior at Baker University and was the Conference Player of the Year as a kicker will be one of the top kickers coming out in the 2009 NFL draft.

Baker University is a NAIA College, so Derek was getting a final tune up in before his season starts next week.

In the first One on One Kicking Lesson I noticed that Derek had changed a couple things from our first meeting. He informed me that he had sustained an injury several weeks ago and had not kicked for a couple of weeks and was also trying to slow down his approach.

The key to making changes or refining your technique is not so much which changes are made but how you make them.

In the video review my observations were confirmed by the eye in the sky. The camera never misses a thing when you have super slow motion at your disposal.

In the second One on One Kicking Lesson Derek was back on track kicking everything right down the middle from any spot on the field.

In the third One on One Lesson with Derek, we spent almost the entire time working on punting fundamentals.

Derek like most kickers has played around a little with punting but has never taken it seriously.

However, in just a few minutes I could tell if Derek spent more time on his punting skills he would be a heck of a combination kicker/kickoff man and punter.

The key for most punters is the Drop! Most of the drills I worked with Derek emphasised the placement of the ball directly in front of his punting leg and getting a consistent drop.

Derek, hit a couple of big (SNO) spiral nose over punts, but also hit some stray bullets or 'shanks'. During the lesson he got a little frustrated with his punting. I told him it's not as easy to learn how to punt because of all the various fundamentals and parts that make up the skill of punting.

During Derek's punting lesson he hit a couple of 45 to 50 yard punts with 4.7 to 5.0 second hang times. He has the leg but its now a matter of consistency. I wish we had a couple of more days to work on his punting but its time to start the football season.

Just a quick update on golf. The last time Derek was in town he lost $1.00 in our skins game. This visit Derek lost his match and had to pay $6.00. Coach Zauner is still perfect for the season. There is no extra charge for the golf lessons.

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