Taylor Yancey and His Father Shaun
Taylor's father Shaun contacted me and asked if I would be able to work individual kicking lessons with his son Taylor while I was in Colorado for Saturdays U. of Colorado vs U. of Georgia Game. Colorado won 29 to 27. I was in Colorado to actually see one of my prize pupils University of Georgia punter Drew Butler perform vs Colorado. Drew on three punts averaged 46 per yards.
Valor Christian High School doesn't look like a high school when you first drive up to the entrance. Valor almost looks like a private college. After a tour of the entire facility I must say that Valor is first class in every aspect of their academic and athletic programs. The people in charge have built this school and program to be the best of the best.
Wednesday afternoon I attended Valor's football practice. I watched special teams practice and evaluated Taylor's kicking form and technique with a snap, hold vs a rush. I also watched him kickoff and evaluated his kickoff technique.
After special teams practice the coaches let me work with all the snappers and holders. A big part of Taylor's problem and most kickers problems is sometimes the snap, hold or protection. In my opinion Taylor was a victim of a little bit of all three.
At the end of practice I recommended to the head coach and special teams coach that they should try a new snapper. Later that evening I worked with quarterback and punter Jack Ramirez on his holding technique.
To me Taylor was going to have a better chance to be successful and help Valor win if Jack was the holder and Max Mccaffrey was the long snapper.
On Thursday I went to practice again and worked with Taylor and his new snapper and holder. To me the new personnel on the field goal unit would give Valor Christian High School an edge in the kicking game over the rivals.
Too many high school games are won or lost in the kicking game just because of a bad snap, poor hold, bad kick or a botch extra point. For the coaches and players to plan and work all week long to be beat by an opponent on a simple thing like a missed extra point or a couple of extra points would be tradgic. My motto has always been the difference between winning or losing is the Kicking Game.... however, that's Coach Zauner thinking!
On Friday night I was curious how the boys were doing during the homecoming game. So, I drove 45 minutes to the game to evaluate Taylor, Jack and Max working together and hope that my coaching had a positive effect on the boys.
At the end of the game the final score was Valor 31 and Pueblo South 2. Taylor made all of his extra points and one short field goal. The boys did good. As I was driving back to Boulder Taylor called and was feeling real good about himself. Valor had won their homecoming game and the boys could enjoy their evening and the homecoming dance and activities.
I advised Taylor to get some sleep on Saturday night because we were going to work more on his individual technique on Sunday.
On Sunday we worked on Taylor getting a better and more consistent foot position on his field goals and kickoffs.
We then worked on Taylor eliminating the crunch and kick with a more upright body position. Taylor needed to kick up and through the ball and skip down field. Taylor has some excellent natural kicking talent but I felt he was being too mechanical. I wanted Taylor to relax and let his soccer skills take over his kicking motion.
At the end of the lesson Taylor was not only kicking up and through the ball and skipping down field but was also kicking under better control. He was not kicking as hard but the balls were flying higher, further and straighter.
Taylor finished his kicking lessons kicking field goals from the left and right hashes with Jack holding. We worked with a snap, hold, and kick. Timing and tempo with good kicking mechanics.
Taylor hit some great balls and I could tell in his eyes he was getting his confidence back. We finished the lesson and Taylor and his father were very pleased with the results.
It was a pleasure meeting Taylor Yancey and his father Shaun. I wish Taylor and the rest of his Valor Eagles teammates the best of luck this season. I hope the coaches realize the importance of keeping the field goal unit together for the sake of the entire football team.