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 28, 2009

Lichtenstein Earns Big East Honors

Those who think a kicking specialist has little importance in a football game would have a hard time convincing Syracuse University of that.

Check out this article where my former One on One student Ryan Lichtenstein kicked a 41 yard field goal on the final play of the game to help Syracuse win against Northwestern.
Ryan was named 'Big East Special Teams Player Of The Week'.

Below are a few photos of me working with Ryan.

Ryan Lichtenstein and Coach Zauner

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

CA Redwoods UFL Training Camp

Coach Zauner in Training Camp with the UFL (United Football League) California Redwoods in Casa Grande, Arizona. The California Redwoods and the Las Vegas Locomotives are both training at this brand new facility. All photos by my media guy Craig Kasnoff.

Weight Room is being filled everyday with more weights.

Head Coach Dennis Green with Coach Zauner (Special Teams Coordinator)

Coach Zauner talking personnel with Coach Green

Coach Green, Larry Fitzgerald Sr. and Coach Zauner watching practice

Coach Zauner talking with assistant coaches before special teams practice

Coach Zauner organizing special teams practice

Coach Zauner working punt cover drill

Coach Zauner with Steve Hoppe, special teams assistant.

Coach Hoppe organizing punt rush scheme with return team

Coach Zauner working with Punt Return Team

Derrick Frost Punting during Special Teams Period

Coach Zauner uses camera to analyze Frost's Technique

Coach Zauner notices Frost over striding and falling back.

Derrick Frost working on shortening steps & drop

Nick Sundberg snaps to Derrick Frost while Coach Zauner times getoffs.

Coach Zauner taking photo's of Parker Douglass

Coach Zauner analyzes Parker Douglass technique

Coach Zauner trying Parker Douglass to use a little more hip!

Kicker Parker Douglass - South Dakota State works on timing

Nick Sundberg - Snapper from Cal. Berkeley

Derrick Frost - Punter from Northern Iowa and NFL Veteran

Coach Zauner talking to kicking specialists after workout

Derrick Frost, Coach Zauner, Nick Sundberg & Parker Douglass

Assistant Coach Zauner with Head Coach Michelle Zauner

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chris Bodnar, Just Call Him Bigfoot

The following are excerpts from an article in the Canadian paper, The Star Phoenix about Chris Bodnar, a punter I have been working One on One Punting Lessons with from Canada.

It's always nice to be recognized for accomplishments, whether your the kicker or the kicking coach.

There is a link to the full article at the end of the excerpts.

Bodnar's total punting yardage for the season surpassed the one-mile mark -- that's the equivalent of 1,760 yards -- during last weekend's 18-14 win over the Regina Thunder.

Bodnar did more than average 46.3 yards per punt in that game, though. He also went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and twice he kept drives alive by scrambling for first downs on third-and-medium.

For his efforts, Bodnar earned national recognition as the Canadian Junior Football League's special teams player of the week. He leads the CJFL -- comprised of the Prairie Junior, B.C. and Ontario conferences -- in both punting average (44.0 yards) and field goal percentage (9-for-10, 90 per cent).

Several CFL teams have taken notice of Bodnar, who is eligible for next spring's CFL draft. He has spent the past couple of years training with Arizona punting guru Gary Zauner. And, in an effort to make himself more versatile, Bodnar has stepped up his field goal training, too.

"When I came into the year, field goals were my weak point," says Bodnar, who had only cursory knowledge of placekicking when he took over that role with the Hilltops midway through last season.

He has proven a quick study, though, and is hoping his ability to both placekick and punt will make him more attractive to CFL teams.

Chris Bodnar deserves this recognition for his success. You can click on this link for the full article.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Coach Zauner Joins UFL

This season I will be the Special Teams Coordinator for the newly formed United Football League's (UFL) California Redwoods.

This will only be a short 'break' from my consulting business as the UFL's 'Premier' Season will run from September to November.

I am excited about being part of the launch of this new league, and once again I have the fortunate opportunity to be working with Coach Dennis Green, who will be the Head Coach for the team.

I plan to continue my blog, though it will focus on other issues and projects other than my consulting and 'One on One' lessons.

I plan to resume my consulting in December with a possible kicking specialists camp held in Australia. This camp would focus on 'evaluating' Australian kickers for my next Free Agent Specialists Combine currently scheduled for early 2010.

While in Australia, I will also be looking at offering 'One on One' lessons for those Australians interested in playing professional football in the United States.

I have a full 2010 agenda planned for coaching and consulting, and which you can view on www.coachzauner.com.

I have no idea if this UFL 'Premier' Season with the California Redwoods will turn into additional seasons of UFL coaching, but I am not closing the door to a future coaching position on a professional team should the right occasion arise.

I love coaching, so we'll just have to wait and see what the future brings.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Scottsdale CC Kicking Specialist's

Tyler Rosenfield / Dillon Jackson / Josh Hubner

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week I worked with the kicking specialists at Scottsdale Community College here in Scottsdale, Arizona.
During the spring I met head coach Doug Madoski at SCC and he mentioned should I have some available time during the season if I would be willing to come out and spend a couple days with his kicking specialist's.
During the spring I was actually giving One on One Punting Lessons to Arizona's All State Punter Josh Hubner who is 6'2 225 lbs and was one of Desert Mountain High Schools top athletes. I mentioned to Coach Madoski if he didn't have a punter he should look at Josh.
So, when I showed up at practice on Tuesday there was Josh. Josh is a young good looking athlete that has a lot of potential and must continue to work on the basic fundamentals like all kickers and punters. During practice Josh hit several Power Zone Punts with excellent distance and hang time.

I also worked with three long snappers. One of the special teams coaches mentioned they were having some snapping issues. I took all three snappers for about 45 minutes and went through some fundamentals and drills. Just in that short amount of time all three snappers improved and thanked me for my assistance.

When I went back on Thursday it was special teams day. Scottsdale CC was preparing for their game this weekend with Mesa Junior College.

During practice I worked with the kicking specialists on more basic fundamentals. We worked on snapping 'Perfect Laces', the hold and timing on field goals.

Tyler Rosenfield Snapping 'Perfect Laces' to Josh Hubner

Josh Hubner Holding for Dillon Jackson

I have been giving a lot of One on One Lessons this year and I must say it was good to get back out on the field with the entire team and coach. I wish Coach Madoski and all the players at Scottsdale Community College the best of luck this season.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

'Kicking For The Gold'

Coach Zauner

Kicking a ball for an Olympic gold. Wouldn't that be great. That's why I launched the Kicking For The Gold website.

While watching Michael Phelps win all his gold medals for swimming during the 2008 Olympics, I once again started wondering who was the greatest kicker in the world. Or to be more specific, who would be the best in the world at ‘kicking a ball’ for distance and accuracy.

I’ve worked with some of the greatest kickers and punters in the NFL, so I know some of the best kickers and punters in American football. But what happens when you throw into the mix soccer, rugby and Australian rules football players. Who, out of all these individuals, would kick a ball the highest, the furthest and with the greatest accuracy.

Considering ‘kicking a ball’ is perhaps the most wide-spread sports activity in the world, wouldn't it be fascinating to find out just who is the best at it! And what better way to find out then by making it an Olympic event."

Although I am getting interviews regarding 'Kicking For The Gold' from some of the top kicking specialists in the world, I would like to have input from every kicking specialist or anyone who is a fan of kicking.

To ensure everyone can voice their thoughts on Kicking For The Gold I am asking kickers -or kicking enthusiasts- to create a video and post it to YouTube with the tag: 'Kicking For The Gold'.

These videos should include a persons thoughts on how 'kicking' as an Olympic sport might be implemented. Should it be an individual or team sport? What kind of ball might be used? Should a new universal ball be created specifically for the event?

And perhaps most importantly, who do you think would be the best 'kicker' in the world? Would that be a football, soccer, rugby, or Australian rules football player. Or would it be someone who has never played the game?

Post your videos to YouTube and I will select some to post on 'Kicking For The Gold' website and this blog.

Here is a YouTube sample video created by James Wilhoit, former kicker from the University of Tennessee.

Perhaps together we can convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take this idea under consideration for the 2012 Olympics.

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Visit: 'Kicking For The Gold ' Website

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Connor Hughes One on One Lessons

On Monday and Tuesday former University of Virginia kicker, Connor Hughes was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons.

After graduation Conner was signed as a free agent and went to mini camp in 2007 with the New Orleans Saints. He was cut and signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers and later sent to NFL Europe.

Conner has had an excellent college career and has a taste of the NFL. He like many kicking specialists that have had excellent college careers and have been in a couple of NFL camps are all trying to figure out why NFL teams are not giving him and others like him any more tryout looks.

In my opinion the new decade of GM's and Directors of Pro and College Personnel have very little patients for developing kicking specialists. They think the answer to replacing their kicking specialists is through the most recent draft. Kicking specialists are like a fine wine, they take time to mature.

The only problem today is there is no place to mature and develop. The 80 man NFL roster limits and the absence of NFL Europe and Arena 1 football are causing the American kicker, punter and snapper to become a dying breed.

Hopefully, the United Football League (UFL) and the four teams this year with the possibility of the league increasing to 8 or 10 teams in 2010 will produce more job opportunities for kicking specialists in the near future.

On Monday,Connor kicked and showed me a good leg but some inconsistency because of some minor technique flaws. Conner is a former soccer player and was a natural kicker.

However, in the last couple of years Connor has received some instruction and advice from a couple of special teams and kicking coaches that I think have slowed or hindered his development.

On Monday we reviewed his video and he mentioned to me that he has unknowingly changed his kicking technique. We watched video of several other NFL kickers and I came up with a progression of drills that I thought would give Connor the proper muscle memory to be a more consistent kicker.

At the end of the second session Connor was very happy with the way he was kicking field goals and kicking off.

Connor finished his day kicking field goals with a snap and hold. Lending a helping hand snapping was Nick Sundberg from Cal. Berkeley and holding was 14 year NFL punter Mitch Berger. I worked with Nick and Mitch after Connor finished his One on One Kicking Lessons.

Connor Hughes, Nick Sundberg & Mitch Berger

Click below to listen to Connor Hughes testimonial on working with Coach Zauner:

It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Connor Hughes. He is a fine young man and has a lot of ability. I know that if he works the drills and technique and gets the proper muscle memory he will impress the NFL scouts and coaches at my March Free Agent Specialists Combine.

I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of securing a kicking position in the NFL or UFL.

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