On Thursday I did a One on One Snapping Lesson with Mark Lathim. Mark is a 6' 230 pound senior snapper at Eastern Washington University. Mark was in Scottsdale, Arizona visiting relatives and decided to stop by to have me evaluate his snapping technique.
Just like kicking and punting lessons I had Mark show me his warm up routine and his snapping progression.
Mark started with the traditional two handed over the head snapping drill and executed it to perfection. Every repetition was a tight spiral.
I asked what's next and he said I just start snapping. As a coach I like some type of progression or drill work, however, I let everyone show me their routine and progression then I make suggestions.
Mark started snapping short punt snaps at about 9 yards. As you can see below he has a good stance and weight distribution.
Mark snapped pretty good at 9 yards hitting his target repeatedly. However, when we moved the distance to 15 yards he started to snap a couple of stray bullets.
Next, I wanted to evaluate Mark's snapping under a rush. I had Mark snap, kick step and vertical set back off the line of scrimmage and block both to the right and left. He snapped pretty effectively for a while then threw a wild pitch or stray bullet.
I noticed that Mark's snapping and protection progression was a little off. I noticed Mark was trying to snap and move left or right immediately after he snapped in order to protect.
Mark or any snappers progression should always be: 1) perfect snap, 2) kick step and vertical set straight back off the line of scrimmage, and 3) blocking assignment. I try to get my snappers to vertical set straight back and move slightly to their gap assignment.
Many of the College snappers that have come to me for One on One Snapping Lessons try to snap and jump out to the right or left about 1 or 2 yards to block their assignment. This action can cause many good snappers to become erratic.
We progressed to field goal snaps. Mark hit perfect laces often but at times had a slight wobble in his snaps. He had the same tendency in his long snaps.
I asked Mark to make two minor adjustments with the ball.
I would tell what these adjustment are but you didn't pay for a One on One Lesson.
Mark not only tried but made the adjustment and the rest of the lesson his field goal snaps and punt snaps had a tight spiral.
We video taped the entire snapping lesson and put all the key teaching points on Mark's DVD that he took home. In the video review, the observation I made on the field became crystal clear to Mark. He knows exactly what he needs to work on to become more consistent.
Mark has excellent snapping speed but like many specialist needs to become more consistent. I believe the two key points I pointed out to Mark during the lesson will help his consistency.
The most important man in the kicking game is the snapper!
So, if your a kicker or punter and want to get the most out of your abilities then make sure your snapper is the best he can be.
During my kicking and punting career I've always been a more effective kicking specialist when I've had a good snapper.
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