Emphasizing ‘A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting’®, Coach Zauner’s teaching philosophy facilitates an environment where kicking specialists develop the skills, technique, and confidence to achieve their maximum physical and mental potential. At an amateur and professional level, Coach Zauner, LLC programs and events provide a kicker, punter or snapper ‘A Specialist’s Path to PRO Football'®...Coach Zauner, LLC Mission Statement

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Degrees of Desperation

Usually I like to write blogs about kicking specialists.
I’ve been training kicking specialists for over 30 years, and it’s never stopped being fun for me to work with, and talk about, a kicking specialist who has the motivation, and desire, to improve their skills and technique.
And over the last few years -since the advent of blogging- I’ve not only coached a lot of kicking specialists and I’ve also posted a lot of blogs about them.
Working with a kicking specialist and talking about them; that’s my definition of joy.
However today’s blog is not about a kicking specialist, it’s about a kicking coach, and it’s about the business of giving kicking lessons.
It’s also about how -on occasion- the joy of being a kicking coach, can get tainted when the ‘business’ of kicking lessons collides with, and overshadows the act of actually giving the lessons.
And that’s what happened this last week.
It was probably on Tuesday when it was brought to my attention -by both an agent and a kicking specialist I work with- that another kicking coach had used me in an e-mail promotion they distributed.
At first I thought it was odd. I mean, why would another kicking coach want to talk about me while promoting their kicking services.
When I asked for more information, the kicking specialist said this coach was pretty much trashing my services in his e-mail with claims of how much more ‘affordable’ his services were than mine.
At first, I thought it was no big deal. I mean, so what if some other coach needed to trash me in an effort to build his business. As long as the coach was being fair and honest, I have no problem being compared with any other coach giving kicking lessons.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been teaching kicking specialists for over 30 years and I have a Masters Degree in education. I’ve had a wonderful 13 year career in the NFL as a Special Teams Coach/Coordinator and have helped many kicking specialists reach their dreams of playing professional football, or have helped them stay in the game.

I have a pretty good track record, and reputation, for being able to deliver results.

And yes, it’s true my prices are higher than most kicking coaches. But I feel quite confident I deliver value for any client who retains my services. And the reality is, I’ve more than a few testimonials on my website; coachzauner.com to attest to that.

So I didn’t think being used as an object of comparison was such a big deal. It is going to happen when you’re in business. As I said, I -and many clients- do believe I deliver value for what I charge. And the reality of any product or service is ‘better’ quality usually comes with a higher price tag.

I mean, I can’t for a moment imagine Butch Harmon worrying about other golf coaches saying his prices were too high (considering the value he delivers). Nor do I imagine his clients complain either!

So I was ready to just let it go as something that goes along with the ‘business’ part of giving kicking lessons. That was until I actually saw the promotion myself.

As it turns out, what this coach said about me and my services was both inaccurate, and in my opinion, quite deceptive.

Not only did he quote my prices wrong -which were listed on my website- but the way he compared his services with my services was in no way based in reality. He was comparing the price of my individual lessons with the cost of attending a kicking camp with perhaps 30-40 other kicking specialists. And then he claimed he was comparing ‘apples to apples’.

He wasn’t.

The fact was -and is- if he had used comparable services, the price he quoted for my services would have been approximately half of what he stated in his e-mail.

Once I saw this I immediately called him, pointed this out, and asked him to correct this. I followed the phone call up with an e-mail requesting the same.

And that is why I am writing this blog.

I am assuming many kicking specialists -and agents- received this promotional material from this coach. And I am assuming that many of them believed the information to be true. However, it is not.

And even though I requested this coach send out a ‘correction’ e-mail, I have no idea if he has, or if he will. Therefore I am taking the matter into my own hands.

I love being a kicking coach. It is what I live and breathe for (just ask my wife Michelle). And I honestly believe I have -and do- bring value to any, and every, kicking specialist I work with.
And that is why the e-mail, sent by this coach, troubles me so much.

It would have been one thing if this coach had actually compared services and prices. That would have been -and in business is considered- a fair practice. But to do that he would have had to ‘actually’ compare the services offered.

And comparing services means not only comparing each coach’s ability to help a kicking specialist improve their skills and techniques, but to also compare each coach’s ability to help a kicking specialist fulfill their dreams of playing professional football.

On both counts, I am willing to be compared with any kicking coach in the market. And I am willing to do so at the prices I charge for my services.

I have no idea why this coach decided to use my name in his e-mail promotion. Perhaps it was because -as one well respected kicking coach suggested- it’s the only way he knows how to promote his business.

Perhaps. But that reminded me of a quote by the famous English writer Anthony Burgess who said, “We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.”

Well, it’s 76 degrees and sunny here in Arizona. And I am glad to have finished this blog so I can get back to doing what I love most; working with kicking specialists and then talking about them in my blog.

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