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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Canada's Josh Maveety

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Josh Maveety a combination kicker punter from Bishop's University in Quebec Canada flew into Fountain Hills, Arizona for some One on One Punting and Kicking Lessons.

Josh and Canada's #1 ranked punter and 5th ranked kicker Rob Maver worked out back to back for three days. These two big legged Canadians have a passion for kicking footballs and have a goal to be the best they can be and are here in Arizona to take their games to the next level.

Josh who told me that he is more a kicker than a punter has been asked by his team to also handle the punting duties. During the first session I observed Josh and could quickly could tell that this young man has an explosive kicking leg.

As I observed Josh punt I noticed he had an inside drop that caused him to pull many of his punts left. As you can see in the photo above that Josh's first step was inside causing him to also place his drop inside.

I introduced Josh to my Drop Progression and One Step Drills. He quickly started placing the ball directly in front of his punting leg and hitting some better power zone punts.

Josh was an excellent student in the video review sessions. I pointed out a couple of flaws in his fundamentals and mechanics. I showed him video of several drills and came up with a progression to help him repair his problem. In the photo above you can see the ball landing more on the top of his punting foot.

The second day Josh hit three SNO spiral nose over punts to his power zone and said he had never done that before. Josh turned over three punts that must have sailed about 55 to 60 yards with hang times all over 4.7 seconds. The key was placing and dropping the ball directly in front of his punting leg.

Josh was not a natural punter at first but eventually started to look smoother and punt with better tempo and timing. As Josh eliminated pumping the ball and throwing it to his foot his drop improved along with his consistency.

Josh has never been formally coached on punting or kicking technique. He is a cruncher when it comes to both kicking skills.

At the end of each practice we worked about 20 minutes on Josh's field goal kicking technique. As I mentioned in my Blog; Rob Maver, Canadians are allowed to use a one inch block when kicking field goals in college and the CFL.

Therefore when kicking off a one inch block the crunching does not effect a kick as much as when kicking off the ground.

When we started the One on One Lessons Josh was fundamentally more advanced on his place kicking technique. By the end of the lessons Josh had improved in both phases of his kicking game but still is a little more ahead with his kicking technique. Only because he is thinking way too much with regards to his punting technique.

As I told him and everyone else that comes for One on One Lessons. You learn the proper technique and drills to reinforce the correct muscle memory. The key to every ones improvement is to then go home and practice and in about three weeks everything starts to improve.

You start to think less about what your doing and just go do it. Proper drills and the correct technique and muscle memory will be the key to Josh's improvement with his punting and kicking technique.

Josh has a strong leg and kicked several balls over 60 yards during the field goal section. The key is for him not to try to kick hard. He needs to learn to kick with better tempo and timing and the consistency will then improve.

During Josh's One on One Lessons all the kicking and punting was video taped. The video review sessions were very helpful for Josh to see his flaws and correct them. He now has a personalized DVD of all the drills and teaching points for him to go back home to Quebec and to continue to improve his technique.

It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Josh Maveety and I wish him the best of luck this season.

Josh and Rob seemed to really hit it off during their four days here in Fountain Hills, Arizona. I believe the two Canadians have become friends and will follow each others football careers.

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Canada's #1 Punter, Rob Maver

On Monday Rob Maver, Canada's #1 Ranked Punter flew into Arizona for One on One Punting and Kicking Lessons.

Maver is the only kicker in Canada to be in the top five of both punting and field goals. The 22-year-old led the CIS in punting, averaging 46.12 yards per punt. And he was fourth in field goal percentage, making 78.26 per cent of his field goals. Both numbers lead the OUA.

The combination punter/kicker Rob Maver from Brampton, Ontario was named both a First-Team All-Canadian as one of the best special team players in the Country in the punting category and a Second-Team All-Canadian in the kicker category. This past season the third-year Political Science student averaged 46.12 yards on 67 punts and 55.17 yards on 35 kickoffs.

For three days the two big legged Canadians, Josh Maveety (left) from Bishop's University in Quebec and Rob Maver (right) worked on their punting and field goal kicking technique in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Rob contacted me months ago after finding my website (www.coachzauner.com) and checking me out on the Internet. In June he attended my PRO Development Camp in St. Paul Minnesota. At my camp I noticed immediately that Rob has a big time leg. I also noticed he had some flaws in his punting technique.

Rob, has aspirations of being a professional punter and is bound and determined to be the best he can be and take his game to the next level. During my PRO Development Camp he liked my teaching and coaching philosophy of A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting approach and what I was teaching with my power zone punting technique.

Rob and I have talked a lot in recent months and knows that to be noticed and make it to the NFL he will have to take his game to the next level. He feels that I am the man to take him there.

So, for three days on the practice field Rob punted and kicked and for two nights at the Holiday Inn, Rob and Josh worked their drills. For both Canadians this was a business trip to get better.

Rob Maver Working My Drop Progression Drill

During my PRO Development Camp in Minnesota I noticed that Rob had a big leg but a very long three step approach and some very slow get offs. I mentioned to Rob that you can't punt in the NFL with handling times of 1.6 to 1.8. I told Rob we needed to train him to punt with handling times of 1.25 to 1.35 and total get off times of two seconds or better.

At the end of the first day Rob was killing the ball. He was punting the ball high and far. He hit six big time punts in a row with 4.8 to 5.2 hang times. I didn't want him to get a big head so I started to stress get off times. When I put the clock on him and stressed faster handling times he started to hit some stray bullets.

In the video review I pointed out to Rob what he needed to do to get faster. Eliminate unnecessary movement. In the photo below you can see Rob catching the ball into his body. That's a 'NO NO'!

He also was not timing up his jab step when catching snaps. He would catch the ball and spin it without moving then take three steps. That is also a 'NO NO'!

Rob Maver working my Jab and Catch Cone Drill

At the end of the second day we worked on Rob's directional punting technique. In Canadian colleges and the CFL the Canadian fields are much wider at 65 yards and the Art of Directional punting is very important.

We took Rob's power zone punting technique and incorporated it into his directional punting skills left and right. Once again Rob ended the second day of punting with six consecutive SNO spiral nose over punts to the sideline.

Rob Maver Directional Punting Right

Rob came to improve his punting technique and got a bonus. He also improved his field goal kicking technique. At the end of each practice we worked about 15 minutes on his field goal technique. In Canadian colleges and the CFL the kickers are allowed to use a one inch block.

Once again Rob showed a big leg and some excellent potential as soon as he hit his first kick. As he continued to kick I pointed out a couple of minor inconsistency's with his technique. He was a quick fix.

Immediately after I would make a correction, Rob would hit a better ball and feel a better kick and contact on the ball.

At the end of the One on One Kicking Lessons Rob was no longer crunching. He was kicking up and through the ball and transferring his weight down field with much better tempo and timing.

Rob Maver with Excellent Field Goal Technique

Rob ended the three day session with some kickoffs. He he some excellent kickoffs but I could tell his leg was getting tired. He mentioned he usually doesn't work on kickoffs until right before the start of the season. He looked pretty good to me.

It has been a real pleasure meeting and working with Rob Maver. He definitely has showed me why he is the #1 College Punter in Canada. I would hope that after our One on One Punting and Kicking Lessons he will continue to be the #1 ranked punter and improve his field goal kicking ranking to also be the #1 ranked College kicker in the Canada.

I would also like to see the NFL bring some of the top Canadian and Australian draft eligible punters and kickers to the NFL combine to compete with America's best. The NFL is always trying to go global...why not the the kicking world.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PRO Development Testimonials

In my first year of hosting three new camps I am pretty happy with the results. Coach Zauner's Free Agent Specialists Combine in April had 41 free agent in attendance. Viewing the talent were Special Teams Coaches, Scouts and Pro Personnel Directors from (26) NFL, (4) UFL and (2) CFL Teams. View Video

July 2009 PRO Development Kicking Camp

This past weekend I finished my second PRO Development Kicking Camp at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. By design I want the camp numbers to be between 18 to 24 specialists. I would like to have (6 to 8) snappers, punters and kickers so they can work together in groups of three.

The camp is designed so I can work with every specialists and help to make him better. Each specialist is video taped in many drills and evaluated in video review sessions.

Click below to view the testimonials of Nick Novak, Danny Dutmer and Dave Peck. Hear what these three free agents specialists had to say about Coach Zauner's PRO Development Kicking Camp. College Specialists are not allowed by NCAA rules to give testimonials to endorse any camp.

In June Coach Zauner hosted his first PRO Development Kicking Camp. Also at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

June 2009 PRO Development Kicking Camp

Click below to view the testimonials of A.J. Schable, Ryan Dougherty and Niko Rechul. Hear what these three free agents specialists had to say about Coach Zauner's PRO Development Kicking Camp in June.

Next year I plan to host even more camps and clinics around the country to help out kicking specialists and Special Teams Coaches.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

July PRO Development Camp

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I hosted my July PRO Development Kicking Camp at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. I had 17 kicking specialists attend the event. The perfect number of participants would be 24. I ultimately wil strive to have 8 snappers, 8 kickers and 8 punters so everyone works together in three man groups. My original idea was to keep attendance at a manageable number of about 20 to 25 specialists. I wanted to make sure I could work with each individual or group and make sure they improve. I have noticed and heard that many specialists go to camp and I ask them what they learned and the reply is nothing, nobody really gave me any individual attention. In this camp everyone gets a lot of my time and individual attention.

My idea for this camp was to have 3 specialists from one school come and work together or put 3 free agents specialists together and work to prepare for their fall training camps. The idea was to get better individually and as a team. In my first year of doing these camps I did not get the groups of three players from any one University. However, I did get a lot of excellent specialists and they worked extremely well together. Kicking Specialist Group - Nico Grasu (Washington State) Jake Webber (Portland State) and Nick Novak (Maryland & NFL Kicker). Punting Specialist Group - Blake Hauden (U. of Minnesota), Justin Kucek (U. of Minnesota), Troy Cates (North Texas State), Alex Groh (Occidental), Phil Azarik (Bucknell), Derrick Frost (Northern Iowa & NFL Punter), Daniel Eidson (Westminster), Chris Husby (St. Thomas). Long Snapping Specialist Group - Zack Abrams (Northeastern U.), Dave Peck (U. of Wisconsin), Justin Humphrey (Sam Houston State), Sam Scroggins (West Virginia State), Danny Dutmer (U. of Wyoming) and Kayl Anderson (U. of Kansas). During this camp I try to cover as many aspects about kicking, punting, snapping and holding. Attending participants get to view all my private training and technique video tapes that are not available on my website; http://www.coachzauner.com/ I try to make sure all the punters know how to hold for field goals. In the photo above I am working with all eight punters showing them my tripod method of holding and spinning the ball. It has been a very successful technique for several NFL punters. In the photo above Nick Novak is working a drill to refine his field goal technique. He is trying not to crunch as much on impact. In five practices Nick made a considerable amount of progress. On Saturday evening Nick won the individual field goal contest. Nick was 7 for 8 on field goals inside 50 yards and in the bonus round he made field goals from 51, 54, 57 and 61. He finally missed at 64 yards. In this camp all field goal competition is with a snap and hold. Phil Azarik a 6'3 and 215 pound free agent punter from Bucknell University had some very impressive punts during the PRO Development Kicking Camp. During competition Phil hit a 64 yard open field punt with a 4.89 hang time. Also, during competition Danny Dutmer from the University of Wyoming had a excellent day during the 'Perfect' Laces Drill and also in my Ball and Strikes snapping drill at 15 yards. Dave Peck (Wisconsin), Justin Humphrey (Sam Houston State), Kayl Anderson (U. of Kansas) Sam Scroggins (West Virginia State) and Zack Abrams (Northeastern) all had excellent camps and improved during each practice.

I must say this was an excellent group of college and free agent specialists and I believe all the participant gained a lot out of attending this PRO Development Kicking Camp. During this Camp their was a presentation on the mental side of the kicking game. On Sunday morning we finished the individual punting competition and progressed into team competition. We select two teams and had a battle of kicking specialists. I organized a game that I have used for many years with my kicking specialists when I was a coach in high school and college. The guys loved it. Everyone was involved and everyone had to perform. Points were accumulated by doing their individual skill and bonus points were earned for an excellent kicking or punting performance.

The game came down to the final field goal kick. Nico Grasu (Washington State) made a 50 plus field goal into the wind with a snap and hold to give the victory to the good guys. The bad guys were the other team.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ryan Senser Evaluation

On Thursday a day before my PRO Development Kicking Camp I met with Ryan Senser at Macalester College for an evaluation. Ryan was in town for a couple of days. He was passing through Minnesota on his way back home to Ohio from the Seattle Seahawks mini-camps.

Ryan is a free agent snapper who graduated two years ago from Ohio University. Ryan was signed in the spring by the Seahawks but was recently released when they signed Bryan Pittman from the Houston Texans.

Ryan went through his warm up and snapping routine as I watched and evaluated his technique. I asked Ryan a lot of questions and he gave me some excellent answers.

Later in the evaluation I put Ryan through my 'Perfect' Laces and Balls and Strikes Drills. I also evaluated his ability to snap and protect. He did very well in all the drills.

I can see why the Seahawks signed him and understand why they released him. I know Ryan doesn't understand but it has nothing to do with talent.

It seems like all the NFL teams want a guy with experience. Like I told Ryan, how do you get NFL experience until someone or some team gives you a chance to be the guy. I had the same problem for many years when I was trying to break into the NFL as a Special Teams Coach.

As I watched Ryan snap I noticed a couple of minor flaws in his technique. We addressed the flaws with a couple of drills. Ryan was a quick fix. He tried a couple of adjustment and drills and received some positive results.

It was a pleasure meeting and working with Ryan and I hope the hour I spent with Ryan will pay dividends down the road and get him another chance with an NFL or UFL team in the near future.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Travis Cochran USC

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday Travis Cochran who is a kicker at USC and his father, came to Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons. Travis is a red shirt freshmen who transferred from the University of San Diego.

Travis and Tim Cochran

During the first lesson I just let Travis go through his warm up routine and kick. I observed and asked a lot of questions. Like many kickers Travis has kicking talent but has a kicking progression and warm up routine that causes him to a lot of bad muscle memory.

Travis started with the No Step Drill and immediately I could see he was a cruncher. I cringe when I see any kicker warm up using the No Step Drill.

When Travis started to kick field goals I noticed a really long approach. I believe it was 143 inches to the ball. It was the longest approach I had measured in years of giving One on One Lessons.

During the three days we worked on drills to 1) eliminate his severe crunching technique, 2) better foot position on the ball 3) his ability to kick up and through the ball and skip down field and 4) improve his consistency and distance on his kickoffs.

Travis has a passion for kicking and worked hard. He worked the mirror drills at the hotel and during his three day stay he improved in all four areas.

Travis also wanted to improve his kickoff consistency and distance. We worked on a slower and more consistent approach, his 'Perfect" plant and better foot position of the ball. I introduced him to a 2, 4, 6 and 8 step approach. We also addressed his severe crunching when he was doing kickoffs.

At the end of our three day kicking session Travis and his father told me that they had both learned a lot about kicking. Travis is eager to go back home and start work on improving his technique. As I told Travis and all kicking specialists, his improvement will happen two or three weeks after he goes home and practices all the drills.

I try to point out flaws and give all specialists drills to improve their technique. As a consultant I make people aware of a problem and recommend or suggest drills to correct a problem.

I believe Travis now knows exactly what to work on. It will be up to him to go back home and work the mirror drills and drills on the field and put in the time. I believe Travis and his father will be happy with the results.

It was a pleasure working and meeting Travis and his father and I wish Travis the best of luck this upcoming season at USC..."Go Trojans!"

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Mitch Berger Training in Arizona

On Wednesday I got back home to Fountain Hills, Arizona from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and on Thursday I was back on the practice field with Mitch Berger. Mitch and I have had a 15 year relationship ever since I brought him into the league with the Minnesota Vikings.

Last season Mitch Berger was the punter for the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the last couple of years I have again trained Mitch during the Spring and Summer months getting him ready for training camp. Last year Mitch was not with a team at the start of training camp but was brought into as Pittsburgh's punter, Daniel Sepulveda had a season ending injury.

Mitch Berger Punting in Super Bowl XLIII

On Thursday I was back on the field with Mitch working drills and trying to once again get him ready for another NFL season. Mitch is a free agent and like several other veteran punters waiting for an NFL team to bring him into training camp after some of the new rookies show teams that they are not ready for the 'Big Show'.

Like all punters and kickers Mitch has some tendencies that get him into trouble. In the photo below you can see Mitch dropping the ball inside his punting leg.

To correct an inside drop we worked my One Step Drill. (photo below)

Mitch also has a tendency to drop the ball with the nose up. In the photo below we are working my Drop Progression and One Step Drills emphasizing a nose down drop.

As all punters and kickers get older they sometimes lose a little flexibility. In the two photos below Mitch is punting and crunching.

Photo above Crunching (Side View) and photo below Crunching (Front View)

In the photo below Mitch is working a drill trying not to crunch and punt up and through the ball better. After two sessions Mitch feels like he is punting the ball with much better consistency.

Click below to listen to Mitch Berger's testimonial about Coach Zauner.

I will continue working with Mitch this summer and hope once again he will be in someone training camp or on a roster opening day.

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