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

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jon Striefsky, Kicking Lessons

On Saturday and Sunday former University of Delaware Kicker, Jon Striefsky was in St. Paul, Minnesota at Macalester College for a Kicking Lesson.

I first met Jon February 21, 2010 at my College Senior Specialists Combine in Phoenix, Arizona. Jon caught my eye when he had an impressive workout along with several other senior kicking specialists.


Jon decided to come to St. Paul, Minnesota for a kicking lesson. During the two day lesson Jon improved. His foot position on the ball improved and so did the consistency and height of his kicks.

Like many kickers Jon liked to approach the ball fast and hard. I tried to impress upon him to slow down and kick with better tempo and rhythm.

It was a pleasure working with Jon and I wish Jon the best of luck in the future securing either a NFL, UFL or CFL kicking position.

Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Kicking Lessons

Football Kicking Coach

Reid Forrest, Punting Lessons


On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Washington State University's senior punter, Reid Forrest was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Punting Lessons.

When Reid warmed up I could immediately tell this young man had a lively and power full leg. As he continued to punt I could also tell that he had some flaws in his mechanics and fundamentals.

During our first punting lesson I took a lot of video from several different angles. This video would eventually aid me in analyzing Reid's flaws. During our video review session I pointed out why Reid was having some problems punting the ball to his power zone.

Reid's footwork and drop were not sinking up. As we viewed his highlight game tape from the 2009 season, I pointed out some differences in his technique.

Reid proclaims himself as a self taught punter and a pretty good one at that. He has uniquely put together a progression of drills that he felt were giving him the correct muscle memory for himself to be successful. He has been very successful to date.

In my evaluation I told Reid that I felt he could take his game to the next level but needed to have some better fundamentals.

Day two I introduced Reid to my Drop Progression and One Step Drills. He was a quick study and advanced rapidly.


With all kicking specialists I must be careful on how much I give them. In Reid's case he was progressing nicely.

I stressed to Reid and all my clients, that you first come in a learn the fundamentals and drills. Then you take the video and all the teaching points and go home and practice. Punters must work the mirror drill relentlessly so when they go on the field they don't think about some of the most basic fundamentals.

As with most specialists in about three weeks almost everyone makes a phone call to me to say that thing are starting to click and they are making steady progress. They are thinking less and are feeling smoother.

Reid is not only a good punter but a bright young man. He is an entrepreneur and has a very good business sense. He knows this visit was an investment and time well spent. He also knows that he will only get better with practice. He is looking forward to his upcoming senior season.


It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Reid and I wish him the best of luck this upcoming season at Washington State University.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fabrizio Scaccia Arizona Rattlers



The Transformation -Metamorphosis- of Fabrizio Scaccia
A Free Agent to a Professional Kicker.
______________
This is a short blog about a kicker that I was introduced to about six months ago. Fabrizio Scaccia is a kicker who played high school football in Florida. However, due to unforeseen circumstances Fabrizio never played college football. He played semi-pro football for a couple of years and unfortunately lost his college eligibility while taking care of his mother after a accident.
Fabrizio Scaccia was featured in Sports Illustrated -Faces in the Crowd- for kicking a 68 yard field goal in a semi-pro football game.

In December of 2009 Doug Bercu (left) a former kicker at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and fellow alumni called me and said he had found a semi-pro kicker that had a big leg and some unbelievable talent but needed some coaching.
In January of 2010 Doug and Fabrizio Scaccia (right) came to Scottsdale, Arizona for kicking lessons.
Doug Bercu kicked several years after I kicked. So he was familiar with my playing career and followed my coaching career from afar.
Doug who is now a very successful business man and still an avid kicking fan had seen Fabrizio kick in a semi-pro league in Florida and was trying to help this young man advance his career.
Fabrizio made a 68 and 66 yard field goal in a semi pro game and was mentioned in Sports Illustrated -Faces in the Crowd- for his record breaking kicks. Doug was amazed with Fabrizio's leg strength. Doug also realized that Fabrizio needed to become a more consistent kicker and get some exposure to the NFL.
Doug was on the phone and in a couple weeks he and Fabrizio were on a plane to Scottsdale, Arizona for some kicking lessons.
During Fabrizio's first lesson he lined up and drilled the ball high and far. He also hit a couple of stray bullets or shanks. When he kicked his left or plant foot stayed in cement and he crunched like a hurdler.

After Fabrizio kicked the ball he had a very limited follow through. In the above photo I tried to get him to use a little more hip and skip through the ball.

Next, when Fabrizio attempted to kickoff his big leg did not translate into big kickoffs. The distance that he was kicking field goals of 63 to 65 yards diminished to 6o to 65 yards even with a longer kickoff approach.
In my opinion Fabrizio had a massive leg. However, his field goal and kickoff fundamentals, mechanics and technique were very suspect.
Fabrizio had a dream like many young kickers, to eventually have a chance to kick for a professional football team (NFL,CFL or UFL).
Since January I have spent a lot of time working with Fabrizio on refining his technique and working on the mental side of the kicking game.
Early in the year he attended my Free Agent Specialists Combine March 27, 2010 and did just OK.
Just before my Combine he had been working hard on making a swing change on his field goal and kickoff technique. I must say that he was probably thinking a little bit too much going into the event.
During the Free Agent Combine there was a group of 30 free agent kicking specialists and I must say the group was filled with talent. The competition was fierce and as I said earlier Fabrizio did just OK.
After my Free Agent Combine I kept working with Fabrizio on his field goal technique . My goal was to get him kicking with better technique, tempo, rhythm and look smoother.
He was learning to not only swing easier but more efficiently. I wanted him to hit the sweet spot of his foot to the sweet spot of the ball more often. I was adamant on trying to get him to slow down and work on better timing, tempo and rhythm.
In coaching kickers, punters, and snappers, the (Part / Whole and Whole / Part) method of teaching has been the key to my success working with specialists.
To date, Fabrizio has spent hours upon hours working my mirror drill at home or in the gym.
I still remember when he first kicked for me he crunched, kept his left foot in cement and had very little follow through.
In April he was kicking much better and went to a open workout with the Las Vegas Locomotives. In May he was invited back to a final workout with the Locomotives and was edged out by Brooks Rossman another One on One client of mine.
More importantly Fabrizio was getting more confident with his new swing. He was kicking much better and more consistently with better technique... smoother!
His muscle memory was becoming more automatic. He was starting to kick and skip through every kick and not crunch. He was kicking without thinking. He was starting to look like a professional kicker.
In May he attended my PRO Development Camp in Casa Grande, Arizona and he was again still improving. He was kicking the ball higher, farther and with better accuracy.
My PRO Development Camp ended on Sunday morning May 23rd. At about 2:00 PM I received a phone call from Coach Guy the Head Football Coach for the Arizona Rattlers. He needed a kicker and he needed a kicker right now. His kicker was going on his honeymoon and he needed a kicker for Friday nights game. He asked me for a list of local kickers that I thought were good enough to tryout on Monday or Tuesday.
I didn't even have to think twice. I said, I have a man right here." Fabrizio.
Fabrizio went to the Rattlers workout facility on Monday and had a great workout. He was signed on Wednesday.
To date he has played in three games and the Rattlers have won all three games. He has placekicked extremely well and his kickoffs are high, long at the top of the net.
He has missed two extra points but on both the snaps were way off target. The holder had to get up off the ground to catch the ball and scramble to get the ball down for a kick.

As you can see in the above photo, Fabrizio is staying more upright with his torso and he is kicking and skipping through the ball.


On a shortened AFL football field Fabrizio must two steps all his kickoffs. If he were to take a normal approach he would put almost every kickoff over the net. In most cases you would want that type of kickoff. However, in the AFL a kickoff over the net is a penalty.

Due to the rules and to help his coverage team Fabrizio takes just a two step approach. As directed by his coaches he strategically kicks the ball to specific parts of the end zone net to give his coverage team the best opportunity to cover his kickoffs.

I must say meeting and working with Fabrizio has been a real pleasure. It has been very gratifying watching this young man work hard and get better.

Click Here to view a short video of Fabrizio's new kicking technique on YouTube.

I wish him the best of luck this season with the Arizona Rattlers. With his commitment to training and staying focused may he continue to travel on his 'Path to the NFL'.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Kicking Lessons

Kicking Coach

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Joe Liscio Punting Lessons

On Tuesday and Wednesday Joe Liscio and his father, Mike were in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Punting Lessons. Joe has just transferred from a college in Connecticut back home to attend Montclair State University.

Joe is friends with Marco Capozzoli another Montclair State University specialists. Marco was here for my College Senior Specialists Combine February 21-23, 2010 and also participated in several One on One Kicking Lessons. Marco has recently taken his game to the next level and has done extremely well in a couple of Combines and has recently signed with Tulsa Talons in the AFL League.

Marco had a lot of good things to say about his One on One Kicking Lessons and that was just another reason why Joe Liscio decided to invest in a trip to Arizona.

During Joe's two punting lessons we worked hard on his drop, footwork, eliminating a crunch and punting up and through the ball and transferring his weight properly.

Joe is a former football player and punter. He has a very aggressive personality and sometimes that doesn't blend well with punting and kicking. In other words, he just wants to kill the ball and punt it has high and far as he can hit it.

Joe got a little frustrated during the second day. He wants immediate success. Immediate success during a swing change doesn't happen over night. I told Joe it will take two to three weeks of drill work to achieve the correct muscle memory.

When he did everything right he hit some excellent Power Zone Punts. At one point during a drill, Joe turned over 4 straight SNO spiral nose over punts to the power zone. He smiled and knew he was on the right path.

I know if Joe goes back and works the Drop Progression, One Step and my modified Punting Drills and concentrates more on timing, tempo and rhythm rather than killing the ball he will see rapid improvement.

It was a pleasure meeting and working with Joe Liscio and I wish him the best of luck this season at Monclair State University.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!
Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tom Malone USC Punting Lesson

Last week former Tom Malone former USC and free agent punter with the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots was here in Scottsdale, Arizona for two One on One Punting Lessons.

Last year Tom was visiting a friend in Arizona right before the UFL season started in September and asked if I would give him a quick workout. At that time I was the Special Teams Coordinator for the California Redwoods and we already had former NFL punter, Derrick Frost under contract.

I told Tom I would be happy to take a look and give him my quick evaluation. I could tell that this young man had a big leg but was also very inconsistent with his drop and footwork.

In May after Tom was released by the Seattle Seahawks he attended my Arizona PRO Development Camp in Casa Grande, Arizona. During the three day camp I pointed out some flaws that I saw in Tom's technique and I mentioned that a One on One punting lesson could really help him.

In two punting lessons Tom bought into my Power Zone Punting Technique. We worked on his drop and footwork. I introduced him to my Drop Progression and One Step Drills at my camp but now we were trying to perfect everything.

click for The True Value of Good Technique blog...

Tom has amazing potential if he just learns to control his energy and power. Punting and kicking are just like hitting a golf ball. The key to his success will these words: timing, tempo and rhythm. If he can achieve these three things he will improve his consistency and impress coaches on any professional team.

At the end of the second day Tom was swinging up and through the ball and ending up on balance. I told him to punt for the next three weeks at about 60 to 75%. Work more on technique and less on how high and far the ball travels.

Click below to listen to Tom Malone's Testimonial after working with Coach Zauner.

video

It was a pleasure working with Tom in a One on One environment. I hope the work we did on his drop, footwork and timing pays dividends in the future. I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of an NFL or UFL punting job.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Eric Frieman Vanderbilt U. Kicking Lessons

On Friday and Saturday June 4-5, 2010 Eric Frieman and his father Adam were in Scottsdale, Arizona for Kicking & Kickoff Lessons. Eric is a walk-on kicker at Vanderbilt University. In the spring Eric tried out for the team and has been asked to come back in the fall.


Before the first football kicking lesson Eric informed me that he has never received any type of kicking instruction. Being an excellent soccer player he just goes out and kicks. He knows making field goals is his priority but he also realizes that he needs to have better form.

He also informed me that he made most of his field goals in spring practice but didn't kick the ball the same way on each kick.

Eric is like most soccer players that want to become field goal kickers. They have strong legs and natural kicking talent but as soon as they starting kicking a football they get a little robotic.

The simplest form of instruction from any high school or college coach is the statement to, "Keep your head" or "When you feel a crunch your kicking good."

These are the only two comments that Eric has received from people around him. As long as he puts the ball through the goal post most coaches are happy.

Eric wants more out of himself. He wants to look smoother and kick with more power and better consistency.

During Eric's two kicking lessons we went over basic fundamentals. We worked on his perfect triangle, foot to ball contact, eliminating the crunch and kicking up and through the ball.

In two lessons Eric was a quick study. The video review session was a learning experience for him. The flaws that I pointed out on the field became crystal clear during the slow motion and stop action video analysis of his technique.

I came up with a set of drills and Eric went back to the hotel and practice most of the afternoon and evening.

The second day it was like day and night. Eric and Adam both could see the transformation in his technique. They were both very happy with Eric's progress.

Click below to listen to Adam Frieman's testimonial about his son Eric's Kicking Lesson with Coach Zauner.

video

It was a pleasure finally meeting and working with Eric Frieman and I wish him the best of luck this season at Vanderbilt University.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Kicking Lessons

Football Kicking Coach

Aaron Perez UCLA Punting Lessons

On Saturday and Sunday former UCLA Punter, Aaron Perez and his father, Louis where in Scottsdale, Arizona for a One on One Punting and Kickoff Lesson.

Aaron attended Coach Zauner's Free Agent Combine in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 27, 2010. That was the first time I had seen Aaron punt and he made a very good first impression.

Aaron is about 6' 4" and a good looking athlete. He is a former soccer goalie and I could tell immediately that he had a big leg. I could also tell he had a inconsistent drop.

After a couple of discussions on the phone Aaron decided to come to Arizona for some One on One Punting Lessons and I believe after two days he and his father are very happy they made the trip.

In the first and second lessons Aaron worked my Drop Progression and One Step Drills. After the first day and our video review I pointed out to Aaron that his drop was most of his problem and I asked Aaron to try a different drop.

We experimented changing his hand position. After a couple of punts that spiraled and turned over Aaron decided that the change would be good. He didn't feel like it was a major adjustment and went with a drop that had very little movement.

As the lesson progressed Aaron was getting a very consistent nose down drop and was turning over almost every ball to the power zone. He was a happy camper.

I also pointed out during the first lesson and the video review that Aaron was also crunching a little bit too much. He worked hard on the mirror drill that afternoon and evening. On Sunday he was punting much better up and through the ball with less effort.

Click below to listen to Aaron Perez's Testimonial after working a One on One Punting and Kickoff Lesson with Coach Zauner:

It was a pleasure working with Aaron. I wish him the best of luck in reaching his goal on a 'Path to PRO Football'. He is a young man with a lot of potential. As a Coach it is always a pleasure to work with an athlete that is a quick learner and very coachable. Aaron was a PRO BOWL Student.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: http://www.coachzauner.com/

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jon Ryan Seattle Seahawks Punter

Just a quick note about the new Jon Ryan look in the photo below. When Jon came to the field on Wednesday I didn't recognize who he was. When I asked him about the new look he was sporting he said it was for a benefit for a cancer patient, 'Locks of Love'.

My sister past away a couple of years ago from cancer. So, in my eyes Jon Ryan is more than a professional football player he is a Pro Bowl person. Way to Go Jon Ryan!

On Wednesday and Thursday Seattle Seahawks punter, Jon Ryan was in Scottsdale, Arizona for another One on One Punting Lesson. Jon had a week off from OTA's or Mini Camp and decided to get in some technique work.

Two years ago was the first time I met and worked with Jon after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers. After two days of instruction Jon headed up to Seattle and had a very impressive workout and was signed immediately.

For the last two years Jon and I have worked together and each year he keeps getting better. He is a true professional with his work ethic.

His hard work has paid dividends for him and his performance the last two seasons has got him a new six year contract with the Seahawks. As I always say "Work Hard and Good Things Will Happen!"

Jon decided that after a couple of weeks of Mini Camp he could still do better. He mentioned that he was not hitting the ball cleanly the last couple of weeks and wanted a quick touch up.


During the years I have been working with Jon and also during Wednesdays lesson Jon struggled with his drop. Jon has occasionally had a problem with a nose up drop and on Wednesday we were trying to figure out why his drop was moving so much.

After the first lesson the video review revealed a new little problem that I had never seen before. So, once again Jon and I hit the practice field and worked the Drop Progression and One Step Drills to work on a nose down drop.

Once Jon got his drop and his eyes right he was clicking on all cylinders. In the above photo Jon nails a beautiful (SNO) Spiral Nose Over Power Zone Punt about 55 yards with a 5.61 hang time.

Jon was 2nd in the NFC PRO Bowl voting this past season and wants to be first. He is a big, strong and explosive punter. Once he gets his footwork and drop right there aren't too many punters in the NFL that can hit those types of hang time punts except Mike Scifries with the San Diego Chargers.

During Jon's visit Steve Moore (Michigan State) long snapper was also in town for One on One Snapping Lesson. Steve got some extra work in and did an excellent snapping job in the drills and during our open field and directional punting sessions.

The second day we also worked very hard on directional punting technique and I must say that Thursday might of been the best day I have seen Jon directional punt to his left. He was drilling punt after punt out to the numbers with 5.o to 5.4 second hang time punts.

It was once again a pleasure working with Jon and I wish him the best of luck this next season. He mentioned he would also like to get in one more lesson before he goes back to training camp. Jon has improved each year and I don't think he will be satisfied until he makes his first trip to the PRO Bowl. "Go get'em Jon! I'm with you all the way"

The photo below is the real Jon Ryan look!


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: http://www.coachzauner.com/

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Punting Lessons

Kicking Coach

Steve Moore Michigan State Snapping Lessons

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Steve Moore Michigan State snapper and his father, Randy were in Scottsdale, Arizona for One on One Snapping Lessons. Steve is a former high school quarterback who is working hard to be the starting long snapper at Michigan State University. Steve is 6'3 and 220 pounds and a good looking athlete.
At the present time he is the backup snapper at Michigan State. Steve knows his role and wants to eventually be the starting snapper. At the present time he is committed to working hard to be ready when his opportunity presents itself.
Steve's father Randy Moore is a high school coach back in Michigan and knows the value in a long snapper. The snapper not only has value to the punter and kicker but also the team.
To me the long snapper is the most important or 'Vital' man on the special teams unit.
All good punts and field goals start with a good snap. As I tell all my specialists. I was a much better punter and kicker in high school, college and as a free agent when I had a good long snapper. When I was a short stop fielding bad snaps I was just an average specialists.

Steve happened to get lucky picking his dates for One on One Lessons. Why? Jon Ryan (above photo) who is the punter for the Seattle Seahawks happened to pick the same days. Steve was available after his lesson for some extra work so Jon could work several drills with a snapper. Steve did a great job!

Steve being a good athlete has potential to be an excellent snapper. However, the key to every one's success is consistency.

After the first lesson during the video review I pointed out a couple of flaws in Steve's snapping technique. He and his father agreed. The second day I introduced Steve to my elbow thrust and slide, balls and strikes and perfect laces drills.

Steve was a quick study and picked up the drills and improved rapidly. Because I adjusted Steve's stance and delivery he had a couple of sore muscles after day two. As I tell everyone. It takes two to three weeks to get comfortable with some of the technique changes.

If Steve and other specialists realizes that the changes are necessary to improve, and if he works hard and shows patience the time spent will be worth it to him in the future.

Click below to listen to Coach Randy Moore's Testimonial after his son's Steve's One on One Snapping Lesson with Coach Zauner.

video

It was a pleasure meeting and working with Steve and I wish him the best of luck in the future becoming the starting snapper at Michigan State University.


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: http://www.coachzauner.com/

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PRO Football Weekly Article



Surprise onside kicks a percentage play

By Eli Kaberon
PRO Football Weekly

Following his team's Super Bowl victory, Saints punter and kickoff specialist Thomas Morstead recalled his emotions when New Orleans coach Sean Payton notified him during the long halftime break that he'd be kicking onside at the start of the second half.

"I wasn't worried," Morstead said. "I was just terrified." .....


Longtime college and NFL special-teams coordinator Gary Zauner said that the decision of a kicking team to try an onside kick or not try one at all depends on the opponent's front-line players. If these blockers are staying home and waiting to see if the kick is over their heads, it is smart to kick deep. But if they are sneaking back and trying to get a head start on blocking, they are opening up a gap that would allow for the trick play to succeed. Read more...


Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!
Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Alex Carlton Army Kicker

Alex Carlton - Army Kicker

On Monday and Tuesday Alex Carlton the kicker at the United States Military Academy or Army was in Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Kicking Lessons.

Alexander has two years remaining to kick at Army and came to Arizona to refine his kicking technique. I believe he said he was 18 of 24 last season and knows he could of been better.

As I watched and evaluated him during his first 10 kicks I noticed a couple of minor flaws. My sequential camera gave me some excellent photo series to pick up those flaws.

In the above photo you can see how Alex started kicking the first day. He was a little bit of a puncher. After the first session we went back to my office and had an excellent video review session.

The flaws I pointed out on the field became crystal clear during the slow motion and stop action video replays of himself.

During our meeting I showed Alex video of several NFL kickers and other college kickers that had some of the same kicking flaws that he had. The key was how to fix them.

I showed Alex the correct form and told him to go back to the hotel that night and work the mirror drills.

During the second session we worked a progression of kicking drills and made a couple of minor adjustment. Alex was now kicking up and through the ball much better rather than punching at it.

During my end zone line drill Alex was kicking the ball with better elevation, accuracy and distance.


I believe the couple of adjustments we made and the drills and information he has learned will help Alex improve on his 2009 season of 18 of 24. A key factor in Alex's improvement was his foot to ball contact position. When he struck the sweet spot of his foot to the sweet spot of the ball all facets of his kicking game improved.

It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Alex and I wish him the best of luck this upcoming season. Go Army - Beat Navy and Air Force!

Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Visit: www.coachzauner.com

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com