In this issue:
- Bad Kicking Days are Here to Stay.
- National Signing Day.
- Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein Long Kicks Training Video.
- Upcoming Events.
BAD KICKING DAYS
When I work with kickers who I don't know really well, I usually ask something along the lines of, "How far do you usually kick when you practice on your own?". I am trying to gauge kicker's average power and consistency. I usually get an answer that describes kicker's range on a good or great day. Nobody has ever said to me," Some days, I can't hit an ocean kicking from a cruise ship deck." But every kicker has bad days. And they never go away. They will be part of your kicking career in high school, college, and/or NFL. Your goal is to learn from them and make them less frequent and less painful.
Questions to ask yourself during a bad kicking session:
- Am I physically or mentally exhausted?
- If I take easier swings - 80% effort, can I increase consistency and get through the day?
- What is going on with ball flight? What could be causing that?
- If I film few kicks and send to my kicking coach, will he look at them and be able to help me? (yes and yes)
- What did I do for few hours prior to the kicking session?
- Do I have some muscle tightness that is causing my swing to be off?
- Is this performance a little worse than my average day (which is normal), or is it way off?
- What are my thoughts between kicks? Following good kicks? Following bad kicks? What was my main focus/general thoughts before the kicking session started?
I suggest writing down your answers somewhere and continue to add after every bad day. Over time, you will start to see a pattern. You will identify your "triggers" - habits and behaviors that promote a bad day. And then you can make your kicking life better by changing your environment before you put your cleats on.
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
First Wednesday in February is a National Signing Day for football recruits. Yes, there was an early signing period in December. But for most kickers (last priority football position typically considered after a college team signs their 3rd string receiver and a defensive end who will never see the field), this is the signing day that matters. After Wednesday, February 6th, you will fall into one of two groups - signed or unsigned.
Signed - Congratulations! It is a very exciting day. Long process that started few months or few years ago has finally come to an end. You know where you are going in the fall. Now you can relax and complete your senior year. As far as kicking is concerned, try not to take too much time off. Kicking in college is not much different from kicking in high school in some ways. You will still be on your own when it comes to kicking practice and preparation. Except that you will have more football and school commitments. This is why many kickers get worse when they get to college. They don't kick enough. My advice to you is simple - keep kicking and figure out the other stuff later.
Unsigned - This is not going to be fun for you. When I went unsigned as a high school senior in 1996, all I had to do is not look at USA Today sports page where the complete list of high school football signees was published. But you will have to see an endless stream of social media posts with pictures of kickers seating at a table with a pen and a smile, or wearing gear of the schools that they will be attending in the fall. It is gonna sting a bit. But trust me when I tell you that if you treat this like a minor bump in the road, that is all that it will be. There will still be schools looking for kickers in the spring. There will still be big school looking to add walk-ons in the spring. Nothing is over unless you decide that it is over. Keep kicking. Take a little break from the recruiting hassle if you need to. And then think about where you want to go to school. When you find the school, reach out to coaches. I personally believed that if I improved my skills and became good enough,, there is no reason that I would not make the team. And that is how it worked out for me. At the end of the day, it comes down to how good you are as a kicker. Recruiting process is not an exact science. Players fall through the cracks. If you want to kick in college, climb out of it.
Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein
If you watched the Saints-Rams NFC Championship game, you definitely saw the two clutch kicks made by Rams Kicker Greg Zuerlein - 48 yarder to send the game into overtime and 57 yarder in overtime to win it. He has been one of the top NFL kickers every year since entering the NFL. Greg has also been a part of The Kicking Coach family since 2010. Some of you might have seen him coach at the Iowa camp in Oskaloosa or Illinois February camp in Pekin. With pleasure, I would like to share several of his training kicks from the last few years. If you are looking for a kicker to look up to, for his technique, for his attitude toward the game of football, and for the way that he conducts himself on and off the field, Zuerlein is your guy.
And to give you a little background on Greg's journey into NFL...he attended a division 2 college in Nebraska...after his school dropped football as a sport, transferred to another d2 college...suffered knee injury and missed a year of college football...did NOT get invited to the NFL combine in spite of going 23/24 on FGs as a senior (9/9 on 50+ yarders!!!)...had tryouts with only 2 NFL teams (top college kickers will have 6 or more at least)...Rams drafted him in the 6th round...the rest is history.
No step drill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYBc2S6jKFM
*observe how steady his entire body is through the swing and how long his kicking foot stays open.
Field goals - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tcJ0fHFurk
*key concepts to look at: steady approach, relaxed, tall posture, open foot on and beyond contact, straight swing. The reason why he is always kicking 60+ yard field goals is so that we are not kicking into a street, parking lot, runners, etc. #gregthelegproblems
December through March
- Small group indoor training in Chicago. Twelve 90-minute sessions on Saturdays at 5:30PM with functional strength training session afterwards. Most session sold out or near full. Attend as many as you wish.
MORE INFO HERE.
February 18th 2019 (Presidents' Day) - Avantis Dome in Pekin, IL.
March 9th 2019 - Tiffin University, OH (Northwest Ohio)
March 24th 2019 - William Penn Univ.,Oskaloosa, Iowa
Individual training is available in Chicago throughout the winter. Indoor space is available on weekdays. Weekend training is limited to outdoors on mild weather days.
May 11,12 - Hillsdale, Michigan
May 25,26 - Chicago, Illinois
June 1,2 - Ashland, Ohio
July 20,21 - Chicago, Illinois
July 27,28 - Ashland, Ohio
August, 3,4 - Brighton, Michigan
For all event details click below to