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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Indiana University Austin Starr

Indiana University senior kicker Austin Starr was in Scottsdale, Arizona for the past three days for some One on One Kicking Lessons, refining his kicking technique and preparing for his NFL Pro Day this spring. Austin kicked most of his senior season with a hip injury.

Austin is 6'3 and about 200 pounds and is a big, good looking kicker with a good leg. The only reason I say good leg is because Austin just completed his senior season at Indiana and kicked most of the season with an injured hip flex muscle. So, I don't feel he was kicking at 100%.

We kicked for three days and Austin started off in his first session a little erratic. He was shaking his head. It was understandable because following the season he was trying to heal his hip injury and did not kick very much.

I could tell Austin was still a little guarded when kicking because he didn't want to re-injure himself. In the photo below you can see Austins restricted follow through and cutting motion. By the end of his third session he was kicking up and through the ball much better and finishing with his leg moving up and through the ball much higher.

Austins injury might be the result of some poor mechanics due to bad drill work. He told me about some bag drill he does trying to lock his knee before he kicks the ball. He told me he got the drill and a kicking bag at some kicking camp.

Anybody reading my blogs. The foot enters the football and compresses the ball and the knee locks past the point of contact not before. Any drill that emphasizes the wrong mechanics can result in sore muscles or injury. So, be careful in what you buy and what you do.

The second and third sessions went much better and Austin starting hitting some high towering kicks with excellent distance. I told him his best kicks came when it looked like he was hardly trying to kick the ball.

In the photo below Austin is working my end line drill. In this drill we stress accuracy while working on certain fundamentals.

Austin got better with each kicking session and video review. He loved watching the video and took great notes on my teaching points. He also loved the fact he got to take home a copy of the kicking sessions on DVD.

Click below to listen to Indiana University Kicker, Austin Starr's testimonial working with Coach Zauner:

Austin has some NFL kicking potential. I believe when he hurt his hip flexor he changed his kicking swing or motion and started cutting or wiping the ball so his leg or hip wouldn't hurt. This has happen to several NFL kickers I have worked with in the past.

Austin, knows what he needs to do to get better and be more consistent. He has some drills to take home and work on. He wants to come back one more time before his pro day. I know the next time I see Austin he will be kicking the ball with much more consistency.

Austin was a pleasure to work with and I wish him the best of luck pursuing an NFL career.

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