On Friday and Saturday I had One on One Kicking Lessons with San Diego State's red-shirt sophomore kicker, Bryan Shields. Bryan and his father Bob drove over from San Diego for two days of lessons.
Like most kicking specialist the season is right around the corner and Bryan starts camp next week. Bryan was in summer school taking care of business and was unable to come for lessons earlier. Garrett Palmer who was the kicker at San Diego State last year recommended Bryan to me.
Bryan started the lesson with his warm up and kicking routine. He started with some One Steps and progressed right into his field goals. I quickly could see that Bryan had good pop or explosion in his leg! During the first lesson I observed, analyzed and took mental notes.
We video taped all of Bryan's drills and kicks. In the video review my observations where confirmed by the video tape. Bryan has a lot of potential and has few adjustment to become even a better kicker.
One of the biggest problems Bryan had was lining up his kicks. By this I mean drawing a target line from 3 yards behind the ball, through the ball to his target beyond the goal posts. Bryan doesn't have a kicking problem but an alignment problem. He kicks the ball usually right were he's aiming.
The other problem he seemed to have was his approach was much to fast! He needs to slow down and let his leg do the work. My suggestion was an oxymoron: to get faster get off times, slow down! However, the key factor is to start sooner!
In the second One on One Kicking Lesson Bryan improved in a couple different aspects of his game.
In the One Step Drill he kicked up and through the ball much better and ended up on balance. He slowed down his approach and he made more consistent contact.
In the first lesson he kicked a couple of stray bullets or 'Shanks'. Shanks can be caused by several different factors. In Bryan's case they were caused by his aggressive and fast approach.
In the second lesson Bryan made almost every kick from any place on the field. However, during the video review session we still noticed that Bryan lined up a couple of kicks too far to the right and kicked the ball exactly were he was aiming.
Bryan missed three kicks right! I told him they were not kicking misses but mental misses. He must get better at lining up his kicks.
Bryan's alignment problem reminded me of many golfers. They hit the golf ball right were their aiming however, their set up is left or right. The good news is Bryan knows exactly what he needs to do to get better.
We finished the second lesson with some kickoffs. Bryan has a nice smooth approach and good leg strength. He hit most of his kickoffs inside the 5 yard line.
Below is Bob Shields testimonial about their two day visit to Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Kicking Lesson with Coach Zauner: