High School Kicker

Discussion of technique and strategy.

High School Kicker

by Nesci » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:29 pm

I'm a high school kicker looking to make a career as a kicker or punter, at least a scholarship at minimum. I just started kicking a couple weeks ago and so far so good, but I want to take my game to the next level. What kind of training should I be doing on my own aside from team practices? Thank you ahead of time :)
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:42 pm

Man it's questions like this that are a kick in the butt for me to do a YouTube video on punting at some point, but heck even that has its limitations. Or maybe you can find a decent video after going through a whole lot of absolute crap on YouTube on the matter? At least you have team practises but at the amateur level too bad there are not many special teams coaches.

Here are just some ideas to consider if you have limited resources.

With no real coach if you happen to know any rugby players who play fly-half or fullback or otherwise in that sport who want to kick around a football as they can usually readily, go for it I say as you will might learn a trick from them.

It is easier to just show someone in person how to punt the ball directionally and for height and for distance and how to do it a bit better even into the wind.

And it's a real trick and really hard to perfect on which even the pros are short, but I figured it out with no professional coaching, to make the ball spiral sometimes so that it hangs more and travels farther.

A good punt starts with a good routine three steps with an improving toss. If your toss is way off believe me so will be your punt no matter what your rhythm. Get your toss and rhythm right first.

Maybe also you can find some guidance on YouTube on ways to strengthen your abductor and adductor muscles if not already using the machine for that in the gym or other exercises including some martial arts and yoga.

Whatever you have done so far, practise also kicking to each sideline as is becoming a skill more in demand, aka the "rugby style" kick.

My background is more in soccer and rugby, but if you play those games too they will also help your touch on a football in my humble opinion. In fact you might find you can punt a football farther than a rugby ball, even though they weigh about the same, because the football has less drag over its entire surface.

For sake of kicking field goals, well I'm not as good as I'm not reliable yet beyond 40 yards, so can't say as much on that though I had seen a great video by a world class rugby player on YouTube that has helped me from a few yards farther out with either ball.

Perhaps you will notice as well beyond 40 yards it is not really too hard to get distance but definitely the accuracy seems to go way down at some point due to so much less margin for error.

It's guys like Paul McCallum and John Carney that keep me doing it for fun to vary things up in working out even at age 39 this month.

Wish me luck on my next workout at the local high school tomorrow here near Tampa and keep at it and good luck. :thup:
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Re: High School Kicker

by Nesci » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:58 pm

Thanks a lot! I have been checking a lot of the instructional videos on youtube and I'm finding them very helpful. As for the work outs, I am starting yoga and I regularly work out at my school's gym. I also play soccer in the Canadian Soccer League so that's where I get my power from. I'm putting more of my focus now into football and I think with all of the practice I'll be able to consistantly punt and kick long, high and accurately. Thanks a lot for all the help and advice and good luck with you're workout!
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:54 am

Hey okay good stuff sounds like you are well on track Nesci.

I'll comment more later once I drop 5 pounds and am back in form too. There are certain plyometric and other drills than I have found helpful as well.

Also certain shoes work better than others, and nowadays for football or rugby that is not many of the newer models of soccer cleats. Leave those for soccer if they work for you, although I am old school and just go for the actual black leather soccer shoes that work for all three sports.

Also IMHO if you are paying more than $100 for a pair of shoes and are at the amateur level, you are paying for the pros to wear their shoes for free and paying way too much. I have found awesome deals since 1996 via www.soccer.com (and before when it was only a print catalogue).

Much of the world possesses greater players than we have here in North America at also the amateur levels who play in cheap shoes or less mind you, so you don't need those expensive shoes that it seems some suburban snob soccer jerks are trying to show off everywhere unless you can get them on sale. Nike especially caters to these folks the most in their marketing, but one is really paying for it if they spend that kind of money for those shoes.

Also for sake of any running do it on grass or sand not on any roads -- such will keep your knees and hips more durable over your looming long career. :thup:
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Re: High School Kicker

by Cover_0 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:07 pm

If you can afford it try to enroll in a kicking clinic preferably put on by a CFL club or privately by an ex-pro kicker.

If you are serious about pursuing a career in football it would be a worthwhile investment.
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Re: High School Kicker

by Nesci » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:15 pm

Thanks Paulo. I'm with you on the soccer shoes, I own and use classic adidas black kangaroo leather shoes. Not into those fancy nike shoes made of plastic. They are 6 studded shoes, does that make a difference? Alright I definitely won't run on roads! Yeah Cover_O I'm going to try and get into a clinic as soon as my season is over. Thanks for all the help guys! I went to my local stadium today, hopped the fence with some friends and we hit some field goals. I hit a 50 yarder! From 55 I could JUST get the distance but always wide left. I was wondering if it matters how many steps I take? I take 2 back and 1 left, is this good, bad, does it matter?
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:21 pm

Nesci wrote:Thanks Paulo. I'm with you on the soccer shoes, I own and use classic adidas black kangaroo leather shoes. Not into those fancy nike shoes made of plastic. They are 6 studded shoes, does that make a difference? Alright I definitely won't run on roads! Yeah Cover_O I'm going to try and get into a clinic as soon as my season is over. Thanks for all the help guys! I went to my local stadium today, hopped the fence with some friends and we hit some field goals. I hit a 50 yarder! From 55 I could JUST get the distance but always wide left. I was wondering if it matters how many steps I take? I take 2 back and 1 left, is this good, bad, does it matter?


Damn you are well on your way Nesci no doubt especially if you are hitting 50 yarders wow! And enough leg for 55 from the ground or a small tee too? Wow! And cool you hopped the fence. And yeah definitely if you can get to a serious clinic you are well on your way.

On the shoes you have the best in kangaroo leather. :thup: Six studs or wet/soft pitch boots are great for such conditions as you might have there already. All the same I have found standard moulded cletes to be more versatile and even black leather training shoes when there is drought as in the summer when the cletes won't dig in and even slide at times (whether playing soccer, rugby, or just kicking and punting a football for that matter). Also the type of grass makes a huge difference on the shoe you choose as well, which is why I have at least two pairs on me at all times when I go to train.

Down here most of these shoes can work too because our soil is somewhat sandy, and I am not quite used to it yet instead of firmer turf as I had in PA and in IN en route down here and am still trying different shoes for this sandy grass we have down here.

Though it is intended for rugby, check out the video on kicking by England's legend Jonny Wilkinson. Since I had viewed this video two years ago, my kicking technique had improved greatly (until I got out of practise over the last few months): http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-kick- ... ugby-6295/

The trouble is I can't find the video pictured in the top right from 2007 anywhere now, so you'll have to do some digging.

Wilkinson's technique works for football as well to answer your question about steps. First and foremost you have to feel comfortable though. For me I've been taking 2 steps back and 2 shorter steps to the left, so I am going to try your approach of only 1 big step left next time to see how it works for me as maybe it will give more distance and less swing anyway.

I had a hard time kicking field goals against some wind to get distance on Sunday on my kicks but I did well on the punts. In fact my kicking form was awful and miserable, but I did get at least the direction down in the end and hey I had not been at it in weeks. Mind you as well it is a "cooler" 29-30 degrees C down here during the sunny days now, but it is not as humid as it was even a few weeks ago.

For punts, though still not quite in top shape and AFTER all my workout I was sending them 50 yards foot to ground directionally to the sideline with a spin much of the time and with a great roll away whenever they hit ground (woe to the return man who does that on any of my punts). I would think you could top that with your leg strength, but so can I with a few more workouts.

Keep us posted here or via e-mail. :thup:
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:03 am

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... placements

Here goes Nesci and all ...it's here in town so maybe I should get serious and just try out? Or you?

Man if a guy like that can make an NFL team why not? Without some specialised coaching at this point I might not beat that average by much though (you have to subtract on average about 11 yards from the foot-to-air distance acccounting for the punter's distance from the LOS), but I know lest the rest of my teammates fail in protection that I am not going to kick less than a 30-yarder net in the worst case lest we have to play in a driving tropical depression or worse. And hurricane season is practically over anyway now.

And again woe to the other team if the return man forgoes the chance to catch or can't make it, as that only would work in high favour of my average because at least I have a solid good "roll."

Anyway headlines like that are great motivation for kickers like us no doubt.
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Re: High School Kicker

by Billy_Soup » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:38 am

Page not Found
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Re: High School Kicker

by backer@oldclarke » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:03 pm

Billy_Soup wrote:Page not Found

NFL home page is all I got after the click.
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:36 pm

backer@oldclarke wrote:
Billy_Soup wrote:Page not Found

NFL home page is all I got after the click.


Sorry, here is the correct page:
http://gridironfans.com/forums/latest-n ... bryan.html
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Re: High School Kicker

by Paolo X » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:43 pm

Nesci you around? The latest on your training? Other punters and kickers and rugby players out there?

I'm back at it now for mostly fun with new different boots after visits to the doctor and top-quality orthotics in cooler weather at last, as in only 23 degrees or so down here :) , and I am getting more accustomed to this sandy grass.

Honestly the feel on the sandy grass out here is slightly harder than it is to kick on even wet, uncut grass that is short of drenched in cooler weather.

Basically I am re-starting the cross-training for rugby and soccer in the spring but not yet 100% in my plant/left leg, but still I train with the football too.

I am getting back into the rhythm to have my punts back to what they were last month at well over 50 yards directionally, with at least my place kicks from 40-43 yards and drop kicks solid on distance from 45+ yards but not yet enough on direction with most of them narrow misses after warm-up.

I did hit a place kick today with the rugby ball once from 41 yards and on a drop kick on the first attempt from 43 yards -- both right up near the middle too. The drop kick had plenty on it too.

My better skill by far is punting, for I just don't have enough range for place kicking.

Drop-kicking to goal is mostly just for fun. I practise on kickoffs and drop-outs for rugby as well.
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