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

Monday, April 23, 2012

CFL Kicking Specialists Schiavone & Shaw

Grant Shaw and Derek Schiavone in Sunny Scottsdale, Arizona for a Three Day
One on One Punting and Kicking Lesson with Coach Zauner.
A few months ago I received a call from Edmonton Eskimos Special Teams Coordinator, Rick Campbell about sending two of their kicking specialists to Arizona for some One on One Kicking and Punting Lessons. 

Since that time Rick moved to a new position with the Calgary Stampeders as their Defensive Coordinator but Grant Shaw and Derek Schiavone stayed on course this past week and flew to sunny and beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona for their One on One Lessons.

Derek Schiavone and Grant Shaw are both Canadians.   The CFL (Canadian Football League) has an import and non-import rule for players and a smaller limit on roster sizes.  

Most Canadian teams try to keep their import roster positions for quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, and defensive backs or other specialty players.  So, if the team like Edmonton has two or three Canadian Kicking Specialists they can use their import tags on other key players.

Derek Schiavone is the kicker for the Edmonton Eskimos and had a pretty good 2011 season kicking 85% of his field goal.  But, like most specialists would like to get better.
Derek Schiavone Working on Foot To Ball Contact Position
During the three days of One on One Lessons we focused on better ball sticking, form and his trajectory on both field goals and kickoffs.  The emphasis was on technique, technique and more technique. 
Derek Schiavone Working The Target Zone Drill 
Derek had an excellent soccer background and was a quick study.  I introduced him to several drills and he picked them up quickly and progressed at a rapid pace.  He enjoyed the drills and my philosophy of coaching kickers.
Grant Shaw Holding for Derek Schiavone during One on One lesson
After three days of kicking I could see a lot of improvement in Derek's  field goal and kickoff technique.  But it is not what I think that counts but what my students think.

Click below to listen to Derek Schiavone's Testimonial after his three day One on One Kicking and Kickoff Lesson with Coach Zauner:

The Edmonton Eskimos traded the Toronto Argonauts for Grant Shaw.  They also recently signed long time All-Star CFL Punter Burke Dales from the Calgary Stampeders.  Derek Schiavone is the Eskimos Kicker.  Where does that leave Grant Shaw? 

Grant is a unique kicking specialists.  He has a big kickoff leg, can punt but also plays on defense.  So, when I talked earlier about the import / non-import roster numbers, Grant is a bonus player for any Canadian Team because of his versatility.

After spending three days with Grant I believe he knows his role.  In my opinion Grant has a lot of potential. However, he needs to improve his punting fundamentals.  If he works the drills and improves his consistency he could eventually become just a kicking specialist and play wherever he wants to play. 
Grant  Shaw Working the Drop Progression and One Step Drill
During the three day One on One Punting and Kickoff Lesson I changed Grants grip and drop.  I introduced him to my Drop Progression and One Step Drills.  As his drop improved his punting improved.  

We next stressed punting up and through the ball rather than punting and falling backwards.  Grant being a good athlete was once again a quick learner.  He improved during each coaching and video session.  Technique, technique and more technique.  
Grant Shaw Working on Punting Up and Through the Football
Grant like Derek has some new technique and drills to work on.  They each received a video or DVD of each lesson to remind them of all the coaching points during the lesson.  The key to their progress is first buying into what they learned and next going home and practicing. 

As I tell all my One on One students.  It takes three to four weeks of drill work to acquire the new muscle memory so the are not thinking as much and just going out and kicking and punting.   I believe Grant and Derek are both driven to improve.

Click below to listen to Grant Shaw's Testimonial after his three day One on One Punting and Kickoff Lesson in Scottsdale, Arizona with Coach Zauner:

Derek and Grant both enjoyed my 'Natural Style of Kicking and Punting' and I believe it will make them both better kicking specialists. 

It was a real pleasure meeting and working with both Derek Schiavone and Grant Shaw.  I want to wish them and the Edmonton Eskimos the best of luck in this upcoming CFL season.

Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coach Zauner Speaks At U. of Alabama Clinic

Coach Zauner's
One on One Lessons, PRO Development Camps
College Senior and Free Agent Specialist's Combines and....
Speaker at 2012 U. of Alabama Coaching Clinic 
Coach Zauner Speaks At 2012 U. of Alabama Coaching Clinic
Hello all, my name is Nicole Flanary and I am a member of Coach Zauner’s staff and an incredibly passionate sports enthusiast. I recently had a conversation with Coach upon his return from Tuscaloosa and wanted to share with you my thoughts on a few things.

Days after finishing the Free Agent Specialist's Combine, Coach was already on a flight across the country (I’m 23 years old and I don’t know how he does it).  He received an incredible opportunity to speak at The 2012 University of Alabama Coaching Clinic alongside some of the most influential icons in football. Lou Holtz, Bill Parcells, John Pagano (San Diego Chargers Defensive Coordinator), Bill Musgrave (Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator and Mickey Andrews (Long Time Florida State Defensive Coordinator) were among the elite group of keynote speakers at the annual event hosted by one of the most tradition-rich institutions in the country.

The University of Alabama is consistently a college football powerhouse, not only in the highly competitive SEC, but in the entire spectrum of college football.  In 2012, Head Coach Nick Saban and his team won a highly-anticipated rematch against LSU to win the BCS Championship Game. It was obvious from the moment the teams raced out of the tunnel that the scales were tipped heavily in favor of Saban’s squad, who essentially just looked better in every capacity. But the Tide didn’t necessarily roll to the national championship.

In November, LSU and Alabama took the field for a clash of SEC giants that most college fans had circled on their calendars since, oh, January of 2011. One team would leave with a blemish on their record,  the other would remain undefeated, a shoe-in for the national championship.

9-6. AND the game didn’t end in regulation! The Mad Hatter and the Tigers won the game in overtime when LSU's Drew Alleman put a 25-yarder through the uprights. It came down to a kick.

Where did the Tide miss opportunities? According to Saban, “The things that went wrong? We missed kicks”.

Alabama kickers missed field goals in regulation and overtime of 44, 49, 50 and 52 yards, "None of which are automatic in anyone's book," said Coach Zauner.  "It still comes to a good snap, hold, kick and protection."
Coach Speaks on The Importance of The Kicking Game
All too often, close games are won or lost on special teams plays. Often the angst of fans is aimed directly at the kicker who botched what would have been the game winning field goal, putting specialists in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Coach was invited to Alabama to speak to coaches and players about placing more emphasis on the kicking game during practices and off season workouts. He offers the idea that perhaps more attention to detail, technique or maybe personal will prevent the debacles like Alabama experienced during their  November 5th bout with LSU.
1,400 High School Coaches Attended The 2012 Alabama Clinic
According to Coach, there are key components to sharpening a team’s kicking game at any level – who you play, the amount of time dedicated to specialists at practice, and the investment of the coaches in the philosophy of the kicking game.  

But it still comes down to technique, technique and more technique for all kicking specialists.  There are many good kickers, punters and snappers in college football today but in coaches opinion still lack good kicking fundamentals.  Only the best and most consistent will have a chance to play at the next level.
Emphasis on Giving Practice Time To The Kicker, Punter and Snapper
Whether or not most coaches (and fans, like myself), realize it, the answer may not be to shun specialists for their mistakes, but rather realize their value and pay MORE attention.  Heck, if the best team in the country, headed by one of the most successful coaches in history realizes the need for heavier concentration on special teams play, then perhaps many of us are looking at this through a skewed perceptive lens.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
Spring Practice at U. of Alabama

There’s relatively no one in the world of coaching that garners more respect than Lou Holtz.  Respect he earned through his ability to lead teams to countless victories throughout his illustrious career, a career he told Coach would have boasted a more impressive record had he sought out his kicking expertise.

Roll Tide
Ultimately, there is not one part of the game or one position that wins games. It is the sum of the parts that contributes to a team adding another “W” to the win column. The aspirations of Coach Zauner and the vision of Coach Zauner, LLC is to provide specialists with the tools and techniques to be the very best they can be at what they do.

One on One Lessons, PRO Development Camps, the College Senior and Free Agent Specialist's Combines, Coach Zauner is able to share what he has learned vicariously and otherwise with kickers, punters and snappers striving to compete at an elite level. Through special appearances and events such as speaking in Tuscaloosa, Coach also has a unique opportunity to offer insight to high school and college coaches and professional staffs looking to better themselves and their programs in coaching kicking specialists.

Coach has always believed that the real 'Edge to Winning' is Your Kicking Game.
Coach Zauner, LLC has a litany of upcoming events and special projects and we will continue to keep you posted on everything as it happens!

Thanks for reading and check out www.coachzauner.com for the latest updates, videos and info!

Coach Zauner With Lou Holtz Hall of Fame Coach

Coach Zauner Note: After watching Lou Saban coach his University of Alabama Football Teams for two days I can see why him, his staff and players are one of the top teams in the country year after year.
A Message from Coach Zauner: I thought it was an honor and pleasure to speak at the University of Alabama's 2012 Spring Football Coaches Clinic.  Even after coaching at the highest level it is still an honor to meet coaching legends like  Bill Parcells, Lou Holtz and Nick Saban.  

I want to thank Nicole Flanary for writing this blog.  As we talked about Alabama tradition, the SEC and College Football in general I couldn't believe how knowledgable she was.  I thought it was a good idea for her to write this blog with a woman's perspective and hope everyone enjoyed it.

Stay Tuned for More of Coach Zauner's Blog!

Follow Coach Zauner on www.twitter.com