Tyler's father Bill Dore' brought him to Arizona to work on the very basic fundamentals of kicking. Tyler has played football in middle school and has shown he can kick the ball pretty good with just raw talent. Bill wanted to expose Tyler to a kicking coach that would teach him better technique. Now enters Coach Zauner.
During the first kicking lesson I watched Tyler stretch and immediately start kicking. He did not use any type of kicking drills like the no step or one step drill before kicking his field goals. He just started kicking. When asked why he doesn't use any warm up drills, he said, "Because I also play another position and I don't have time." Good answer.
As Tyler kept kicking I could tell that he had a good kicking leg but very few solid fundamentals. In the first kicking lesson I took a number of sequential photos to analyze his form. I started working on the basic fundamentals of kicking using the sequential photos as teaching aids.
When Tyler first started kicking he just kicked and kept his plant foot in cement. There was no kick and skip. He just kicked and pivot and fell off to his left. Some kicks went straight but many were pulled to the left. He also had a occasional push to the right.
We worked a couple of drills to get Tyler to kick up and skip through the ball and stay squarer down field.
Next we worked drills for him to lock his foot and knee upon and after impact. He got better but still needs to improve even more.
After the first lesson we went back to my office and reviewed his video. Tyler had never really seen himself kicking on video. During the video review session the slow motion and stop action shots made everything crystal clear on what he needed to improve on.
He also viewed video examples of drills and techniques of many NFL veteran kickers I have trained. Examples of Gary Anderson, Garrett Hartley (New Orleans Saints), Josh Scobee (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Billy Cundiff (Baltimore Ravens).
Saturday night at the hotel and Sunday morning he worked the mirror drill. He worked on kicking and skipping up and through the ball and walk down field. We also addressed the correct position of his torso and left arm.
We finished the last day working on kickoffs. We took the fundamentals of field goal kicking that Tyler had just learned and incorporated them into his kickoff technique. I stayed very basic. We worked a short 4 step approach with the proper kicking fundamentals. I did not introduce the hurdle technique to Tyler during this kicking lesson.
I get calls and emails all the time from parent asking if I will work with middle school or high school kickers. My answers is: "Why not teach and coach them the correct way from the start. If they are good they will get better much quicker and have success."
Tiger Woods started very early in life learning a perfect golf swing and it paid dividends for him. If a kicker's parents have the ability to get kicking lessons for their son it could be a excellent investment into getting a free education by earning a full ride football scholarship.