His uncle Ray Armijo told me that he knew of me when I was the Special Teams Coordinator and Kicking Coach for the University of New Mexico from 1986-87. He accompanied Greg on the trip . Ray was instrumental in Greg choosing Coach Zauner, LLC services.
Ray Armijo & Greg Rivara
At the start of the first punting lesson I observed Greg warming up and working his drop drill. The sequential photo series showed me that Greg not only placed the ball outside his hip but also had a very straight ball.
When he started to punt the ball I could immediately tell that this young man hand a very explosive leg. I could also see that this young man was lacking some good basic fundamentals. Uncle Ray also knew that and that is why Greg was here for a One on One Kicking and Punting Lesson.
The sequential photos also revealed that when Greg punted, he also fell back and off to the side after each punt. He was punting at the ball not up and through it. My job as a kicking coach was to get him to improve his drop and also punt up and through the ball.
After reviewing the sequential photos on the field and analyzing the video in the press box I started to work on refining Greg's punting technique. I showed him video of several NFL punters I had been training: Jon Ryan (Seattle Seahawks), Brett Kern (Tennessee Titans), Dave Zastudil (Cleveland Browns), Rob Maver (Calgary Stampeders) and Drew Butler, University of Georgia Punter and 'Ray Guy Award' Winner.
We went back to work on the field for the next couple of hours working my Drop Progression, Modified One Step, and Mirror Drills. Greg was a quick study. He picked up the drills and executed them almost to perfection.
He started to punt up and through the ball and transfer his weight correctly. He was becoming more consistent in hitting (SNO) Spiral Nose Over punts to his power zone. He was learning to punt with better technique and less muscle.
Most young punters and kickers just try to muscle the ball or kill it.
Greg was learning quickly during his punting, kicking and kickoff lessons that technique was much more important than brute strength.
We finished the second lesson working on some directional punting technique.
During the third lesson or extra period we worked on Greg's field goal and kickoff technique. Once again Greg was a quick study. What he learned from punting he applied to his field goal technique. Greg started to kick up and through the ball on both his field goals and kickoffs and the ball was going further and straighter with less effort.
It was a real pleasure meeting and working with Greg Rivara and Ray Armijo. Greg is a very smart young man and student at the University of New Mexico. But what also impressed me was his relentless work ethic.
During his two days in Milwaukee he not only worked hard on the field but was a perfect student working my mirror drills back at the hotel. Greg will be successful in whatever he decides to do or take on in life.
I wish him the best of luck this year at the University of New Mexico. Greg brought a University of New Mexico -Lobo- shirt for me to wear with pride. Go 'Lobo's'