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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hidetetsu Nishimura One on One Lesson

Kicking "A Universal Language"
One on One Kicking Lesson
with Asia's #1 Kicker Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura
2007 World Cup Korea National Team

#1 Asian Kicker Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura Visits Arizona
In April of 2011 Hidetetsu Nishimura was in the United States participating in the National Elite Pro Football Combine in Detroit, Michigan.  Hidetetsu qualified for the finals by being one of the best kickers in the Regional Combines.

This year he was in the United States in Los Angles for a CFL (Canadian Football League) tryout with Edmonton Eskimos.

Hidetetsu's agent, Jonathan Malveaux of the Ares Group, contacted me after the Eskimos workout about the possibility of doing a kicking lesson while he was in the country. The day before Hidetetsu was due back for Japan, Jonathan called me telling me that he had extended their stay to work with me.
Coach Zauner Demonstrates Warm Up Drill
My first lesson is what I call an 'exploratory lesson' to get a better understanding of the specialist's routine and techniques, and this exploratory lesson was an experience I will never forget as a kicking coach. When I first picked up Hidetetsu from the airport, I tried to explain what a desert was, I could see the look on his face that he didn't quite understand me, however when he saw a snake he immediately said, "I don't like!" which I can easily relate with.  I could see the communication barrier was going to be a challenge of my coaching ability, but a challenge I was more than willing to accept.

My initial thought as I was going to start my first kicking lesson with Hidestetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura was that this One on One Lesson was going to be similar to the the movies Robinson Crusoe or Robinson Crusoe on Mars.  
Hidetetsu Nishimura 'Testu' Struggled With His Perfect Triangle
When I first saw Hidetetsu warming up, I could immediately tell he was an accurate kicker, but I felt like he could be an excellent kicker if he hit the sweet spot of the ball more often. In order to do, this I used my perfect triangle drill, which helps kickers kick from a consistent distance from the ball. This proved somewhat difficult, but Hidetetsu did understand what word 'same' meant and was able to grasp the concept of having a consistent approach using the tape measure.
Coach Zauner Emphasizes Perfect Target Line
I found the best way to communicate with Hidetetsu was using mirror drills and having him mimic my actions before each kick. Although he is a accurate kicker, his target line was slightly off. I knew that if I could show him the perfect target line by using one eye to aim and judge the wind better, he could improve even more.
Coach Zauner Shows Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura Perfect Foot Position of Football
On the first day of the kicking lesson, during the video review session and sequential camera shots, I noted that his foot position was a little low on the ball, which resulted in a ball that spun to much and did not have as much distance. On the second day, we worked on his foot position to help his power on field goals and kickoffs.  By the end of his two day One on One Kicking Lesson Hidetestu 'Tetsu' Nishimura started hitting the sweet spot of his foot to the ball and both his field goals and kickoffs were traveling further and straighter.
Coach Zauner Makes Coaching Point on Kickoff Technique
During the kickoff session, we addressed the hurdle technique, by using the mirror drill again. His agent had also pointed out to me that the part of his game that needed the most improvement were his kickoffs. After working several drills, his first kickoff went five yards deep in the end zone, and I could see by the surprised look on his face he was very pleased by the results.
Most of Language was Sign Language - The Fist Pound... Good Job!
Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimuria Shows Off Coach Zauner Logo
As the kicking lessons continued our understanding of each other became more clear through sign language and mirror drills. I felt that Hidetetsu left Phoenix not only with a better understanding of kicking, but also a new appreciation for the game and its components.

As a football kicking coach this was one of the most difficult One on One Lessons I have coached, it was also one of the most enjoyable and gratifying. I learned that football, and in particular the kicking game, is a 'Universal Language' such as math and music, it just takes dedication and love for the game to understand it.

I want to thank Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura for coming to Arizona and being the perfect student.   I know he will go back to Japan and come back a better kicker next time.  He is very committed and driven.  I wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing him in 2013 at my Free Agent Specialist's Combine. 

Hidetetsu 'Tetsu' Nishimura and Coach Zauner
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Brad Maynard's Punting Lessons

Brad Maynard Chicago Bears Punter For Several Years
Recently Brad Maynard, a 15 year veteran NFL punter was in Scottsdale, Arizona for a two day One on One Punting Lesson.  Brad has played for the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and most recently with the Cleveland Browns and is preparing for another season.  However, he is not sure with what team at the present moment.

Out of the blue, Brad called me about a month ago asking me to put another set of eyes on his technique and check out his drop.  He said there was something wrong with his drop but was unsure what it was but knew that it had to be corrected.  His agent Chad Wiestling told him I would be the person to see.  

Chad also is the agent for Nick Novak who played last season for the San Diego Chargers.  Nick was here for individual Kicking Lessons in 2010 and 2011 and also attended my Free Agent Specialist's Combine. Chad was happy with Nick's kicking lesson results and was hoping to get his veteran punter client the same help he wanted. 
Coach Zauner Address Maynard's Grip and Drop
During the first punting lesson I just let Brad show me and tell me how he has punted for over 15 years.  We video taped all of Brad's drills and took camera shots from many different angles to pick up any flaw he might have in his drop.   
Video Camera Picks Up Everything
After the first session we went back to my office and reviewed the sequential camera photos and video and decided what the problem was. Brad's drop was moving.  His drop was sometimes moving inwards, upwards and sometimes both.  The key to any punters success is a Perfect Drop. 

I looked at Brad's grip an made some suggestions.  I introduced him to some of my drills that I thought would correct his problem.  Brad being the pro he is tried everything.  
Brad Maynard Works on Nose Down Drop
As Brad worked the drills his drop started to improve.  The football was now nose down on almost every drop and he started to turnover every ball.   After two days of work I believe Brad was very happy with the results. 
Brad Maynard Works on Punting Up and Through The Ball
At the end of the second session Brad worked on his directional punting technique which he was and is still a master of.  He placed the ball to both corners with excellent precision. In my opinion Brad and Jeff Feagles (N.Y. Giants) are two of the best directional punters that have been in the league for years.

Click to listen to Brad Maynard's Testimonial after working a two day One on One Punting Lesson with Coach Zauner in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It was a pleasure meeting and working with Brad Maynard who to me is a Pros Pro. Brad at the present time is working to refine his technique so when he gets his next chance he will be ready. Even after this years 2012 draft there are still teams in need of a punter.  When the opportunity comes Brad will be ready.   It was a great pleasure and opportunity to work with Brad and I wish him the best.
Coach Zauner and Brad Maynard   
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