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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:



video

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:



video






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