Ryan's father, Russell Erxleben a three time All-American Punter from the University of Texas and former #1 Draft Pick with the New Orleans Saints, brought Ryan to Phoenix, Arizona for his first punting lesson in May after spring football practice.
Also, in town getting ready for his season was Bryson Rose the Kicker at Ole' Miss. Ryan also got some good time in working on his holding technique while Bryson got some good time working on his field goal technique. In the evening they hung out together and had a good time over at the Mayfair Mall.
Ryan arrived Friday afternoon and we hit the field immediately. As he warmed up I noticed as his kicking coach he had gone back to some of his old habits we had tried to correct earlier in the year. A low drop table and a leg swing that came across his body as a results of his slight but improved crunching action.
We also addressed Ryan's grip of the ball and the inward movement of the ball during his drop. Ryan tried a new grip and liked it. He immediately turned over two or three balls and said, Coach... I like it!
With the sequential photos and use of the video review in the press box we addressed the other two flaws with Ryan's technique and immediately started working on fixing the problems with a couple of drills.
At the end of the first punting lesson we took a break and hit the golf course for a quick 18 holes at Green Field Recreation Park, which is a small muni course.
Ryan and I really didn't have a match because he was not sure of his handicap and I have not played much this year. I have a perfect record so far and I would hate to have a match not knowing all the parameters. Match play is much different than stroke play. However, I will say that Ryan hits a long ball. His drives were traveling over 300 yards and straight.
The second day we continued to work on Ryan punting technique by raising his drop table slightly which also helped him punt up and through the ball better. Our two goals: eliminate the crunch and wiping action of his leg swing.
I believe by the end of day two Ryan's form had improved. He had accomplished his two goals as you can see in the above and below photos. His punts were going higher and further with less effort. I figure if he can hit his punts like he drives a golf ball he will have an excellent college career.
It was once again a pleasure seeing and working with Ryan Erxleben again. I wish him and the Texas Tech Red Raiders the best of luck this upcoming season.