The temperatures in late July in Scottsdale this summer have been about 104 to 110 degrees.
Due to the heat Blake punted first each morning at 7:30 AM.
After both of his lessons, Blake had a chance to watch my One on One Punting Lesson with Mitch Berger. Mitch is 14 year veteran NFL punter and was the punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
Mitch and I go way back in time when I brought him into the league with the Minnesota Vikings back in 1996. Mitch lives in Scottsdale part time and is in town during the spring and summer training with me to get ready for training camp. Again this year Mitch is preparing and waiting for that all important phone call.
When I saw Blake in Minnesota at my PRO Development Camp I noticed that he had some alignment, footwork and drop problems. In the photo above you can see how Blake preset his hips to his left with ball lined up and shaded to the inside of his body.
In a kicking camp environment with a lot of specialists its hard to correct everyone problems. I believe its hard to correct a problem by just pointing it out. It takes video, drills and more video and drills with a tone of reps. That is why a One on One Lesson is so much more beneficial to correcting a specialists problems or technique flaws.
These One on One Punting Lessons were exactly what the doctor order and what Blake needed.
I had introduced Blake to my Drop Progression and One Step Drills in my PRO Development Camp but it didn't seem to have the same effect that it did these past two days.
In the next couple of photos you will see Blake finally walking to the power zone, placing and dropping the ball directly out in front of his punting leg.
As Blake continued to work the proper drills and technique the ball was lining up directly in front of his punting leg.
With the proper alignment, approach and drop Blake started to hit the ball more consistently to the top of his foot resulting with more SNO spiral nose over power zone punts. Blake was now punting up and through the ball hitting some excellent 4.7 to 4.9 hang time punts 40 to 45 yards down field.
Blake ended his sessions a very happy camper. He was a little concerned about his punting technique a week before going to camp. He now mentally feels so much better and confident about his punting technique. He also feels that the DVD he received of his lessons will be an excellent reminder going into training camp.
The video sessions and drill work were exactly what Blake needed. He also really enjoyed getting to watch a veteran NFL punter, Mitch Berger work some of the same drills and see up close his punting technique.
It was a real pleasure working with Blake and I wish him and the Minnesota 'Golden' Gophers the best of luck this upcoming season in the Big Ten. "Go Gophers!"