Marshall's father John called me a couple of weeks ago and wanted me to give his son a kicking lesson before the high school football season started. He wanted me to put another set of eyes on his son and give him any help that he might need.
John mentioned that Marshall is an very good and accurate high school kicker but his short coming was on kickoffs.
I accepted the kicking coach assignment. However, because the season was right around the corner I was being very sensitive about changing anything toooo much.
So, during the first kicking lesson I watched Marshall warm up and go through his kicking progression. I asked Marshall a lot of questions to see how much he really knew about his own kicking technique. The answers he gave me really helped me learn more about him faster.
I also took a plethora of sequential photos to analyze his form and technique. I started taking photos during his no step and one step drills. In the photo below you can see how much Marshall crunched. Is crunching good? NO
Next, I looked at how he lined up his kicks and how good his foot position was on the ball. He made just about every kick. However the photos and video confirmed later at the video review that his target line was consistently off. The good news was he was kicking exactly were he was aiming. He had more of an aiming problem than a kicking problem.
Next we focused in on Marshall's foot position and aiming point on the ball. Once again the photos revealed that he was consistently contacting the ball a little bit to low causing a fast rotation of his field goals and big time on his kickoffs.
When the first kicking lesson ended I had enough sequential camera photos and video to make a point on how I thought Marshall, who in my opinion is a good high school kicker, could improve his kicking even more and take his game to another level.
Once again I was keeping in mind Marshall's football season was right around the corner the next weekend.
On Sunday we started the second lesson. Marshall had three days to think about what I had presented to him Thursday night. He had already started to implement some of the drills and techniques I had showed him.
Marshall is an excellent student and bright young man. What I had showed him all made sense. And because he was a former soccer player and a natural kicker my presentation made a impact. I introduced Marshall to my Coach Zauner Natural Style Kicking Technique.
On Sunday I took Marshall through my kicking progression. We started with a modified one step drill emphasising foot to ball contact. We progressed working on Marshall staying more upright and kicking up and through the ball rather than at it.
Marshall hit a couple of balls during my goal post line drill that had perfect rotation. The balls traveled higher, further and straighter. Marshall knew he was on to something that was going to make him even better kicker.
We went through and documented Marshall's perfect triangle. Next we incorporated his perfect triangle into left and right hash mark kicks. We focused on lining up his kicks better and drawing a more exact target line. Marshall was once again a quick study. He made almost every kick but was hitting the ball further and with a better rotation.
We ended the kicking lesson working on Marshall's kickoff technique. We tweaked a couple of things and shortened his approach. Running into a kickoff from a further distance doesn't insure a longer kickoff. Matter of fact most kickers hit the ball further and more consistently with a shorter approach. The reason..... you should take a kicking lesson and find out! Marshall knows and it paid dividends for him.
He ended the lesson hitting a couple of kickoff (7) seven and (8) yards deep. He was smiling and so was his father John.
It was a pleasure meeting and working with Marshall. I wish Marshall Dirksen and the McClintock Football Team the best of luck this upcoming season... Go Marshall!