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

Monday, September 22, 2008

Austin Anderson Son of NFL Gun

Last summer Gary Anderson, called me to ask if I would come up to Canada and work with his son Austin, who at that time was a senior high school kicker up in Canmore, Alberta Canada.

We not only worked on Austin's kicking but we played a little golf and enjoyed the beautiful Canadian landscape.

It was my first time in Canada and believe me the mountains, rivers and forest areas of Canmore and Banff Canada were gorgeous.




My wife Michelle and I visited the Anderson's and spent a couple beautiful days in Canada.


In the photo below Gary, his wife Kay, Michelle and I enjoy a drift boat experience down the river between Banff and Canmore. Gary Anderson is not only a Pro Bowl Kicker but a pro bowl fisherman and skipper.



When I was the Special Teams Coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings I had the pleasure of coaching Gary Anderson for 5 years. In 1998 Gary connected on 40 consecutive field goals and had the first 'Perfect' season for a kicker in NFL history.


Below is Gary Anderson's testimonial about working with Coach Zauner

“I had the privilege of working with Coach Gary Zauner for 5 years while playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Gary is easily the most knowledgeable kicking coach in the country. His approach of blending all the technical aspects of kicking with a practical common sense approach, is one of Gary’s finest qualities. He can improve any kicker in a very short period of time and put you on a precise road to success. He is simply the Very Best!”

Gary Anderson's Resume:

#1 - 23 Year NFL Kicker – NFL 1990’s All Decade Team Steelers / Eagles /49ers / Vikings & Titans Pro Bowl’s 1984 / 85 / 86 / 93 & 98 – 1998 Perfect Season




Below is an article that was sent to me from Gary and Kay Anderson about their son Austin.

Head Lines: Son of NFL gun has field day with 5 field-goals


Sep 07, 08 Football (M) By Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL -- Austin Anderson, a 19-year-old son of former NFL all-star kicker Gary Anderson, began his collegiate career with a bang Saturday (Sept. 6).


He went 5-for-5 on field goals but it wasn’t enough to help McGill University celebrate their 107th season opener as the visiting Redmen lost 45-17 to the University of Sherbrooke, which is located about two hours east of Montreal. Anderson accounted for 15 of McGill’s 17 points and just missed the team’s single-game record of six field goals, established by Glenn Miller in 1984. Anderson is one of only five players in McGill history to nail at least five in a game. Others include Greg Ashley (1981), Andrew Boon (twice: 1993, 1994) and Anand Pillai (1999).


Anderson, who measures 5-foot-7 and weighs just 145 pounds, hit on distances of 27, 43, 21, 42 and 32. He also had one attempt blocked and averaged 47.5 yards on two kickoffs. Last year, the Redmen became the first Canadian university football team in 28 years to go an entire season without attempting a field goal.


"That's what I came here to do," says the Pittsburgh-born Anderson who has also lived in Minnesota and now calls Canmore, Alta., his home. "I practice all year to be perfect and am glad to see that my homework has paid off so far."


Anderson is hoping to one day become the third McGill player --the first two were both long-snappers -- to play in the NFL:


J.P. Darche is in his second season with Kansas City after seven years in Seattle. And Randy Chevrier, who was drafted by Jacksonville but played for Dallas and Cincinnati, is currently with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.


Over the years, the McGill football program has also produced 56 players for the CFL.


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Lindell's FG Wins Game vs Raiders

The Buffalo Bills won a game on Sunday 24 to 23 when Rian Lindell converted a 38 yard field goal with no time remaining on the clock for a game winner vs the Oakland Raiders.

Back in May Rian Lindell traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Kicking Lesson. Rian was coming off an excellent 2007 season in which he converted 24 of 27 field goal attempts for a 88.9%.

Did he need help? Most people would say No!

However, Bobby April who is the Buffalo Bills Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator thought Rian could improve on his kickoffs and recommended my services.

Rian gave me a call and we talked about my teaching and coaching philosophy. Rian said he's always looking to get better and decided to come out to Scottsdale and work with me.

During our One on One Kicking Lessons I first learned and analyzed Rian's field goal technique so I could take that information to help him improve his directional kickoff technique.

When Rian came to Scottsdale in May, in his opinion he was just kicking the ball O.K.. As I observed the video he sent me and watched him kick live, he had a tendency to push his kicks to the right.

After our first lesson and during our video review I pointed out a couple of things that I thought were causing him to push his kicks.

In our second session, I introduced him to a couple of drills and concepts that I thought would help him eliminate his field goal tendency and would also help him improve the distance and accuracy on directional kickoffs.

Rian is a student of the kicking game and was like a sponge and absorbed all the information I gave him. He took notes during our video sessions.

He said he was going to go back home with some of the things I had introduced him to and work on them in the weeks to come. He thought the trip was very beneficial!

Click to Listen to Rian Lindell's Testimonial:


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Congratulations to Rian Lindell on his Game Winner vs the Oakland Raiders!




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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Abdollmohammadi 1 on 1 Lesson

On Thursday and Friday Romeen Abdollmohammadi was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons. Romeen was the kicker a Washington State the last two years and has aspiration of becoming an NFL kicker.

Romeen is a stocky 6' 230 pound strong legged kicker who is trying to refine his skills and become a more consistent kicker.

In the first One on One Kicking Lesson Romeen kicked and I observed and analyzed his form and technique. I immediately noticed two things; 1) when he marked off his steps he was inconsistent from kick to kick and 2) he was a "Cruncher".

After the first lesson we went back to my office and reviewed the video. Romeen had not seen himself up close on video for a while so the observations I made on the field became crystal clear after seeing himself in slow motion on tape.

Just like most of the punters and kickers that come to Scottsdale for One on One lessons they all give me background information, show me drills they use to stress fundamentals and tell me the instructors that they have gone to and what they teach and emphasize for teaching points.

During the second lesson we tried to get Romeen to work on being fundamentally sound. In the photo below we worked on getting a consistent starting position and approach on every kick. Romeen's perfect triangle was 101" x 80" x 135" down the middle, right and left hash marks.


As Romeen got more consistent with his 'Perfect Triangle' he started getting a more consistent 'Perfect Plant' which resulted in a more consistent foot on the ball contact.


When Romeen started kicking the first day he was "Crunching" down like a hurdler. He told me that is what he was taught. In the photo below and during the lessons we tried to focus on Romeen keeping his head down but his torso more upright.

As Romeen stayed more upright he started to kick and skip up through his kicks better and the balls started flying further and with more elevation down the middle of the goal posts.

In the first lesson Romeen kicked and did a little pirouette and sometimes fell back off his kicks.

My final point of emphasis for Romeen was to kick up and through the ball and end up on balance down field. In the photo below he is working a drill to accomplish this.


We finished the second lesson working on kickoffs. As Romeen kicked I observed that he hit many of kickoffs with a lot of spin. This is a problem many kickers have. In the photo below you can see the foot to ball contact position Romeen had on one of his better kickoffs.

The key to any kickoff man's success is a consistent approach, a consistent perfect plant and a consistent foot to ball contact.


During my two days of working with Romeen he was a very polite young man and a pleasure to work with. He is a student of the game and picks up coaching concepts quickly.

I gave Romeen a couple of things to take home to work on that I felt will help him take his game to a higher level. Like everyone else, after two to three weeks of working drills he is going to see positive results.

Romeen got better in the two days working here in Scottsdale. However, more importantly he knows exactly what he must do to get better and refine his game.


Click below to view Romeen's Testimonial:


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Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

English Rugby Mates Interview


Last week Tom Collins and Huw Collins were in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons.

The two English brothers played professional rugby for the Harlequins and Saracens and are now trying to make the transition from kicking rugby balls to footballs in the NFL.

Below is a two part interview of me asking the two English brothers questions not only about making the transition from rugby to kicking in the NFL but also their thoughts and views on several topics related to football and rugby.

Click to listen to Coach Zauner's interview with Tom and Huw Collins:


Part One of Interview


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Click below to listen to Part Two of Interview:


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Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's One on One Interviews & Blog!

Friday, September 12, 2008

English Mates Get Kicking Lessons



This week Tom and Huw Collins flew into Phoenix, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons all the way from London England.

They win the prize for the kicking specialist traveling the furthest to have One on One Lessons with Coach Zauner. By the way it was a fourteen hour none stop flight from London, England to Phoenix, Arizona.

Tom and Huw are brothers that have a dream to become NFL kickers. In the past three days I spent with these two young men they are definitely focused and on a mission to become the best they can be and give it their best shot to make it to the NFL.

Both players have played professional rugby in England and now are trying to make the transition from rugby to football. Tom played rugby for the Harlequins and Huw for the Saracens.

In the above photo, Tom (right) is the oldest brother at 26 and Huw (left) is 22 years of age. The two young men were not only a pleasure to work but also fun to be around.

Both brothers are fanatical about their diet and training routines. In the time I spent with them they never ate any bad food. Matter of fact they gave Shane (my assistant) and myself a lot of heat about the food we were consuming.

Tom and Huw have gone to a couple of other kicking instructors around the country and finally landed here in Scottsdale. Mike McCabe who has his own kicking service in Florida called me a couple of weeks ago and told me that he was recommending these two men to me because he felt I could help them get more exposure to the NFL.

I appreciate Mike's referral!

Our One on One Kicking Lessons started on Wednesday. The two brothers wanted to kick together so we alternated sets and I had my first One on One Kicking Lesson with two players.

These two brothers were inseparable during the time I spent with them.




In the above photo, Tom the oldest brother kicked and I observed. During the first lesson Tom was a little inconsistent. We video taped every kick so we could analyze his technique. Like always I asked Tom a bunch of questions and he gave me answers.

With both brothers, I needed to find out their kicking back grounds and exactly what they really know about kicking a football and what their mind set is.

In my coaching career I have coached a couple of rugby players and I love their athleticism and toughness.

Mick Luckhurst also from London, England was a rugby and football player at Cal. Berkeley. I coached Mick in the early 1980's and he went on to kick for the Atlanta Falcons for about 8 years.

Like Mick, these two men are both good athlete's. Mick played a couple years of college football so he had kicking experience with pads and a rush during game situations.

Questions that must be answered in the future are 1) what is the level of their kicking ability, 2) is their talent level good enough to be NFL kickers and 3) will they be able to kick with pads, a rush and in game situations?

After the first lesson, during the video review with Tom I pointed out a couple of flaws I had observed on the field and they became crystal clear once Tom observed them in slow motion on the video.



In the second One on One Lesson, I emphasized the One Step Drill with Tom. We needed Tom to kick up and through the ball and reduce the amount of crunching on impact.

In the above photo Tom is working on kicking up to my hand firing the hip muscle and finishing his kicks.



By the end of the second lesson Tom was kicking more consistently and finishing his kicks as you can see in the above photo.


Listen to Tom Collins video testimonial after working with Coach Zauner:



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Huw Collins started kicking and once again I observed, analyzed and asked questions. The first thing I noticed is that Hue was very inconsistent with his steps and approach distance.

As soon as we addressed his perfect triangle issue Hue started kicking much more consistently. In the photo below Hue is working his steps back, target line and angle to the ball.


Once Huw started getting his 3 steps back and 2 steps over with same approach distance of 114 inches he started getting his perfect plant more consistent which resulted in better foot to ball contact.

Huw and Tom both have pretty strong legs, however if any kickers steps and approach are different on every kick the results will be vary.

In the photo below you can see Huw achieving better impact on the ball because of a more consistent 'Perfect Plant'.


At the end of the first lesson just like with Tom we analyzed Huw's technique. I pointed out a couple of things I felt would help Huw be a more consistent kicker.


In the second One on One Lesson Huw worked on the One Step Drill and improved quickly. Once he became more comfortable with the One Step Drill he started kicking the ball straighter and further with less effort.


We finished the second lesson kicking field goals from both hash marks and from various distances. Huw had an excellent day kicking field goals. Huw made a couple of kicks from 51, 53 and 55 yards.


I believe both young men improved not only on their technique, but also their distance and accuracy from the first to the second day.

They are committed to getting better and said they would be back in a couple weeks.


Listen to Huw Collins video testimonial after working with Coach Zauner:



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www.coachzauner.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

'Kicking for the Gold' Interviews


Last week Thursday, Friday and Saturday Jon Ryan, who was recently released by the Green Bay Packers was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Punting Lessons.

You can read and listen to Jon Ryan's blog and interview entry on September 7th.

After two days of instruction I sat down with Jon and did a very informal One on One Interview asking him several questions many young punters and kickers would love to ask an NFL player but never get an opportunity to ask.

At the end of our interview with topics related to his punting career I asked Jon, who is a Canadian and has one of the biggest legs I have seen when it comes to punting a football, this question:

"How would you like to be 'Kicking for a Gold Medal' in the 2012 London Olympics?"

You can view Jon Ryan response in the video below.


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Shane Phillips an Australian born punter came to the United States and played his college football at Alcorn State University. He is now living a dream to become an NFL punter.

I interviewed Shane and asked him, "What do you think about 'kicking a ball' being an 2012 Olympic event and 'Kicking for a Gold Metal' representing your country?"

You can view Shane Phillips response in the video below.

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Jon Ryan New Seahawks Punter


Last week Jon Ryan came to Scottsdale, Arizona after being release by the Green Bay Packers and out of work. Last night Jon called and told me he was going to sign a contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

It's funny how that all works in the NFL. NFL stands for 'NOT FOR LONG'!

Jon said he flew to Seattle on Monday morning and worked out that afternoon. He said, "Coach I had a great workout session with the coaching staff, their going to sign me and I want to thank you for all your help!"

Jon was in Scottsdale last week for two days of One on One punting lessons. I introduced Jon to my One Step Drill and we worked on some basic fundamentals.

Jon left on Saturday knowing exactly what to work on but more importantly his confidence was renewed.

I basically told him the talent I saw in him and the ability he has to be a great punter and I felt he had one of the strongest legs I had seen throughout my coaching and consulting career.

Confidence is everything to an athlete.

Go to www.coachzauner.com, and view the September 6th Coach Zauner's Blog entry to view my One on One Punting Lesson with Jon Ryan and listen to Jon's testimonial.

Congratulations to Jon Ryan, Seattle Seahawks new punter!


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Coach Z's Press Release to IOC

On Monday at 12:01 we sent out this press release to the media all over the Country and World.


COACH GARY ZAUNER REQUESTS THE IOC TO INCLUDE ‘KICKING A BALL’ AS A 2012 OLYMPIC SPORT

Coach Zauner requests the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add the sport of ‘kicking a ball’ to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Fountain Hills, Arizona - September 4, 2008 -- Coach Gary Zauner, one of the leading football kicking coaches in the United States, has requested the International Olympic Committee to include ‘kicking a ball’ as an Olympic sport for the 2012 London Olympics.

“The activity of kicking a ball goes back thousands of years.“ says Zauner, “and almost every country in the world currently has a sport which includes kicking a ball.” Zauner adds. “The IOC should recognize the global popularity of kicking a ball, and in its purest form, add it as an Olympic sport event.”

Zauner, who was a National Football League (NFL) Special Teams Coach for over 13 years, coached some of the greatest kickers and punters in NFL history including 17 Pro Bowlers. He is currently a kicking consultant working with some of the NFL’s top kickers and punters (for more information please go to www.coachzauner.com).

Because of his close connection to football, Zauner says he understands why so many American football fans would like to see football included as an Olympic sport, but that is not what he is requesting of the IOC.

“As someone who has been involved in the art of kicking a football for over 35 years, of course I’d love to see the sport of American football included as an Olympic sport,” says Zauner. “However, I realize football will have to become a more international sport like soccer, before that happens.”

Zauner says ‘kicking a ball’ as an Olympic sport is something that could be considered now, and certainly should be considered for the 2012 Olympics Games in London.

Zauner admits he is not sure how an Olympic event would be built around ‘kicking a ball’ but says he has a few ideas that could, and should be explored.

“This event could start as an individual event and then be developed into a team competition,” he says. “It could include kicking one type of ball (soccer, football or rugby) or a combination of these balls. Or, perhaps a new ‘universal’ ball would be designed specifically for this event.”

Zauner says it is the ‘skill’ of kicking a ball, and not the ball itself that is the most important thing.

“What is at the foundation of my request is to see an Olympic event that highlights the skills related to kicking a ball, such as distance and accuracy,” says Zauner. “These are the same skills currently used in Olympic track & field events such as the javelin, discus and hammer throw, and the shot put.”

Zauner admits he doesn’t understand how the process of adding a sport to the Olympics works, but says if it has something to do with the global popularity of a sports activity, then adding an event based around ‘kicking a ball’ should be a no-brainer.

Kicking a ball is perhaps the most wide spread sports activity in the world,” says Zauner. “So why wouldn’t it be represented as an Olympic sports event.”

Zauner realizes this is no small request he is making of the IOC, but adds “when you take into consideration the global popularity of ‘kicking a ball’ as a sports activity, then it becomes clear the IOC should give this idea serious consideration.”

Zauner is awaiting a response from the IOC regarding his suggestion and looks forward to discussing it with them should they find merit in the idea.

Until he hears from them, Zauner will continue to do what he has spent most of his life doing; coaching some of the best kickers and punters in the world, and those trying to become the best in the world, on how to ‘kick a ball’ with distance and accuracy.

For more information and copy of IOC letter contact:

Coach Gary Zauner
gzauner@aol.com
612-239-9525
http://www.coachzauner.com/

For Coach Zauner Bio - Images -Video:
http://coachzauner.com/media_center/index.html


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Monday, September 8, 2008

Kicking a Ball & The Olympics

I love watching the Olympics. And this year it was great to see all the attention being paid to Michael Phelps who is now not only considered the best swimmer in the world, but as the greatest Olympian in history.

But as a kicking coach, of course it got me thinking; "just who is, or would be, the best kicker in the world?"

I've mulled this idea over for many years, but during this Olympics, the desire to know the answer to this question was a bit stronger.


I decided to discuss this idea with my media guy, Craig Kasnoff, and between the two of us we agreed the only way to find this out was to have a global kicking competition which included kickers from all sports in which 'kicking a ball' was an integral part of the game. Sports like soccer, American football, Australian football and rugby.

And what better venue to conduct this competition then the Olympics.

It interesting that in the last few months I've been contacted by, and have worked with kickers from countries all around the world.

Today I worked with Jon Ryan from Canada, and this last week I worked with Shane Phillips from Australia and Danny Baugher from America. Next week, I will be working with two world class rugby players from England. The following week I will be working with Romeen Abdollmohammandi who is from Iran.

This past year, I worked with NFL players Sebastian Janikowski, from Poland and also with Mitch Berger and Mike Vanderjagt who are both from Canada. During my NFL career as a Special Teams Coach I coached kickers like Gary Anderson who is from South Africa and Faud Reviez who is of Mexican heritage.

I have recently been contacted by a Chinese soccer player who has aspiration to be an NFL kicker.

Kicking a ball is a global sports activity. So, it is crystal clear, the best way to have a global 'kicking a ball' competition would be to make it an Olympic event.

To this end, we created the following letter and sent it to the International Olympic Committee, requesting them to make 'kicking a ball' an Olympic event.

September 07, 2008


Jacques Rogge
President
International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Rogge,

As someone who has coached 'kicking a football' for over 35 years, and has been an ardent fan of the Olympics for at least as long, I am respectfully requesting the IOC add the activity of ‘kicking a ball’ to the 2012 Olympics in London as an individual or team sport.

My request is not one of frivolity or without fore-thought, but rather an attempt to bring recognition to an activity which is currently perhaps the most practiced, and oldest sports activity in the world; the art of 'kicking a ball'.

Until last year, I was a National Football League (NFL) Special Teams coach for 13 years. I have coached and consulted some of the greatest kickers and punters in NFL history including 17 Pro Bowlers. Currently, I am a kicking consultant working with some of the top kickers and punters from the college, NFL, and international scene (for more information please go to www.coachzauner.com).

I would also like you to know the idea of ‘kicking a ball’ as an Olympic sport did not come to me as a whim. I have been mulling this idea over for some time now. However it is only now, as my work allows me to focus my attention more towards the art of kicking (rather than just NFL football), that I am able to spend more time exploring this idea.

The art of ‘kicking a ball’ has been around for thousands of years.

History tells us that during the Ts'in and Han Dynasties (255 BC-220 AD), the Chinese played 'tsu chu', a game in which animal-skin balls were dribbled and kicked through gaps in a net stretched between two poles. In ancient Egypt, some ’religious ceremonies’ included a kicking activity which had similarities to current day football. And in Europe, both the ancient Greeks and Romans played a game that entailed carrying and kicking a ball. The Greeks developed their kicking game around 2000 BC. It was call Episkyros.

On the more macabre side, some legends have it that in mid-evil Europe the people of entire villages would kick a skull along a path to the main square of a nearby village. The opposing village would in turn attempt to kick the skull to the first village's square. I am not sure how these games ended, or how they replaced their 'skulls' once a skull became unusable, but this example again points to the fact that 'kicking a ball' (or something of a similar nature) has existed in many cultures throughout the world and throughout history.

And the activity of ‘kicking a ball’ has continued into modern times.

Soccer, Australian rules football, American football, Canadian football, Gaelic football and rugby are some of the modern days sports in which the activity of 'kicking a ball’ is an integral part of the game. These sports are participated in by tens of thousands of athletes (both professional and amateur) and viewed by hundreds of millions (perhaps over a billion) of fans each year.

In fact, it would be hard to find any modern day sport which has more athletes or fans then the sports in which 'kicking a ball' is a key part of the game. Therefore, it is both curious, and I think unfortunate, there is no sport in the Olympics which specifically represents the art of 'kicking a ball’.

As someone who has his roots in American football there is no question that I would love to see it included as an Olympic sport one day. However, I realize American football will most likely need the same international participation and popularity soccer has before that happens. And I want to be perfectly clear, adding American football to the Olympics is not what I am requesting of the IOC.

My request to the IOC stems directly from the fact that ‘kicking a ball’ is simply the most wide spread sports activity in the world. And when you realize this, it only makes sense the skill of 'kicking a ball', in its purest form, becomes an Olympic sports event.

I have to admit, I’m not sure how an Olympic event would be built around ‘kicking a ball’. But I do have a few ideas that could, and should be explored.

This event could start as an individual event and then be developed into a team competition. It could include kicking one type of ball (soccer, football or rugby) or a combination of these balls. Or, perhaps a new 'universal' ball would be designed specifically for this event.

However, the type of ball used is only one of the factors key to this discussion.

What is at the foundation of my request is to create an event that highlights the skills related to kicking a ball, such as distance and accuracy. These are the same skills currently used in Olympic track & field events such as the javelin, discus and hammer throw, and the shot put.

What kind of ball is used, or whether it is an individual or team sport are just a few of the issues to be considered. No doubt more ideas will arise as this is discussed in greater detail.

I’m sure it is not easy to add sport to the Olympics, but when you consider how popular the art of ‘kicking a ball’ is as a global sports activity, it is clear the IOC needs to take this idea into serious consideration.

I appreciate the time you have taken to read this letter.

I look forward to your thoughts on my request.

Sincerely,
Coach Gary Zauner
http://www.coachzauner.com/


Stay tune for more of Coach Zauner's Blog.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jon Ryan One on One Interview



On Friday and Saturday Jon Ryan was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Punting Lesson.

After our punting lesson we sat down and had a very informal One on One Interview.

I asked Jon Ryan questions that hopefully give answers to questions many young punters and kickers think about but never have a chance to ask an NFL player.

Enjoy this One on One Interview with former Canadian (CFL) and Green Bay Packer (NFL) Punter, Jon Ryan:



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Stay tuned for more One on One Interviews and Coach Zauner's Blog!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ryan West One on One (S) Lesson



On Thursday, Friday and Today Ryan West came to Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Snapping Lessons. Ryan played his collegiate football at the University of Tennessee and upon graduation was signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan called me about a week ago and wanted to come out to Scottsdale and get an evaluation of his long snapping talent. He wanted to know if he had the talent to snap in the NFL.

In the three days I worked with Ryan I believe he has the talent to snap in the NFL. In the first lesson I saw the raw talent a long snapper needs as far as size, snapping velocity and blocking technique. He is a student of the game and has a passion to succeed.

However, the most important ingredient was he was very coachable. With every coaching point I made and adjustment I asked him to make, he made it.







Ryan pretty much was taught to snap by his father. His father did an excellent job! However, to make it to the NFL, I felt Ryan needed to refine his technique with drills that would help him improve his accuracy and consistency.

Ryan's philosophy on snapping was pretty much come out on the field and start snapping. He really didn't do any type of warm up or drills, except throw a couple of passes and start snapping.

I believe every kicking specialist needs to have drills to stress fundamentals. So, I introduced Ryan to several snapping drills that I have used through my college and NFL career to train snappers.

During the first lesson we video taped Ryan from several angles so I could evaluate his long and short snapping technique. The video confirmed some of the coaching points I made to Ryan on the field.

One thing is for a coach to point out a flaw or make a correction to a player, however, the most important factor is the teaching progression that a coach uses to make the correction.



In the above photo Ryan snapped to Jon Ryan, the former Green Bay Packers Punter who was also in town for some One on One Punting Lessons.



Ryan was taught to snap and protect a certain way! I noticed that his long snapping became a little erratic when he tried to snap and jump out and block a specific side.

In the above photo we worked on Ryan snapping and kick stepping or retreating straight back off the ball and then block a side and it really improved his accuracy.

Again, I must say Ryan took a coaching point and made himself better!



In the above photo Ryan is working on his field goal snapping technique. On 10 snaps Ryan is trying to snap perfect laces 10 for 10. The first day Ryan was a little erratic with his accuracy, on my perfect laces drill. After analyzing his technique I once again gave him a drill to emphasize a minor flaw in his technique to improve his follow through and finish his snaps and he instantly improved. At the end of the second One on One Lesson he finished the day with all perfect snaps.

It's refreshing to work with someone who not only listens but also accepts coaching. And the ultimate high for a coach is you can see improvement.

Ryan has the potential to be an NFL long snapper, however drill work on fundamentals will give him the correct muscle memory to improve his accuracy and consistency.

Now all Ryan needs is for a team to give him a chance to prove himself.


Listen to Ryan West testimonial on working with Coach Zauner


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It was a pleasure working with Ryan and I wish him the best of luck in his quest to be an NFL long snapper.



Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!







Jon Ryan One on One (P) Lesson




On Friday and Saturday Jon Ryan was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Punting Lesson. On Monday morning Jon was released by the Green Bay Packers and on Tuesday he called me to line up a One on One Lesson.

In the first lesson Jon went through a very short warm up and started punting. From the very first punt I could tell Jon had a strong leg!

As Jon punted I analyzed his technique and made several mental notes to myself. Jon has not had much punting instruction but has a tremendously strong leg! As he punted I asked a lot of questions and he gave me answers.

We progressed from open field punts to directional and finished with pooch punts. Jon hit a bunch of big hang time punts but also hit a couple of stray bullets. Jon mentioned to me that he felt a little out of rhythm.

We had enough video of Jon's punting technique in various situations and finished up the first lesson. We head back to my office to analyze the video.


Jon had not seen himself up close on video for a while. Remember, the 'eye in the sky' never lies.



During our One on One Punting Lesson I pointed out a couple things on the field to Jon that I noticed about his drop. The slow motion video made everything crystal clear to Jon.

Jon did not realize that he dropped the ball with the nose up and he was surprised how low he was dropping the ball.

Friday night we discussed in more detail the first practice and Jon thought it would be a good idea to have specific drills to work fundamentals. I showed him drills that I have done with other punters and he agreed that some of these drills would also be good for him.







In the above photo I am teaching my drop progression drill.





After we worked the drop progression drill, I taught Jon my One Step Punting Drill, which is my favorite drill to teach punters. In the above photo we worked on Jon getting a flat or nose down drop. During the this drill Jon boomed a bunch of (SNO) spiral nose over punts with five second hang times.


In the photo below Jon is working on placing the ball directly out in front of his punting leg with a flat drop.


Jon had a big smile on his face because he was hitting the ball high and far with very little effort. He said I feel like I'm coming straight up and through the ball and it feels great! In the photo below you can see Jon's exploding straight up and through the ball.




In the photo below Jon is working on a higher drop table




In the photo below Jon is working on a flat or nose down drop!



During the course of this lesson we stressed the drop progression and the one step drill. We also worked drills to shorten up Jon's jab step and reduce the amount of ground Jon was chewing up on his approach. We tried to shorten his approach and keep him more compact so he could punt up and through every ball with consistency.



At the end of the lesson Jon was getting tired and a little frustrated. Jon like most punters and kickers want immediate success. However, I tell all the guys that come for One on One lessons, it usually takes two to three weeks to get comfortable with the drills. As all the players do more repetitions of these drills with the correct muscle memory they will start to think less and have more success.


I told Jon to keep working the non-punting drills as much as possible and just don't think too much and when he goes to punt... Just Punt!


Listen to Jon Ryan's testimonial about working with Coach Zauner:


video






It was a pleasure working with Jon and I wish him the best of luck in the future. I've seen a lot of punters and there are not 32 punters in the league better than Jon Ryan.



Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jon Ryan Visits for One on One


On Sunday Derrick Frost the Punter for the Washington Redskins called me and informed me that he had been cut by the Redskins and already a couple teams were talking to his agent about flying him in for workouts this week.

When I talked to Derrick, he had no idea the Green Bay Packers were interested.



Early Monday morning I received a call from Gil Scott the agent for Jon Ryan informing me that his client had just been cut from the Green Bay Packers and that one of my long time students, and former players, Derrick Frost had just been signed to replace him.

I was shocked when Gil told me the news. Jon Ryan had just completed an excellent training camp and put up some good numbers and made some big plays!


However, in several published articles, management sited slow get offs, his inability to directional punt and inconsistency as the reasons to make the change.

This Spring Jon's agent Gil Scott was trying to get Jon to Arizona to work on some of these skills, however, we were unable to get together for various reasons.



Tuesday night Jon Ryan and I talked and he confirmed that he is flying into Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Punting Lessons.

Jon would like me or another set of eyes to check out his punting style and make an evaluation.

When I was the Special Teams Coach with the Arizona Cardinals we played the Packers and I thought Jon had a very strong leg and was a pretty good punter, especially punting on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

I don't know how many punters that punt in Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo and New England put up big numbers consistently. The key for most of these punters is consistency and punting for the situation of the game. The weather is such a major factor in passing, kicking and punting in some of these cold weather NFL cities.

Derrick Frost was cut because the Redskins said he trailed off the last couple games of last season. I saw about three of those games on T.V. and the wind was blowing at about 25 to 30 miles per hour.

Derrick out punted the other teams punter but management and press sometimes only look at the stats not the situation.

Jon might have gotten the boot but there will be another team that needs a strong legged punter and it might be a team in a warmer climate.

I'm looking forward to meeting and working with former Green Bay Packer Punter, Jon Ryan this weekend and I hope I can help him with any issues that need to be addressed.


Also, coming into town on Thursday is Ryan West for some One on One Snapping Lessons. Ryan was the long snapper for the University of Tennessee for the last couple of years. He signed a free agent contract in 2007 and was in camp with the Atlanta Falcons. I am also looking forward to meeting and working with Ryan on his snapping technique.

Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blog!