In this issue:

1. Have your best off-season ever by doing these drills in your house. 
2. Kicker Functional Strength Training.
3. Upcoming Events.

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1. This winter started early and started cold. Kicking in the midwest between now and April is not as easy as kicking in Florida. But it is also not impossible. You need to kick in order to improve. If you can’t find an indoor facility, get 5 footballs, dress warm, get outside and kick. Ball will not travel as far. But your skills will improve. You will surprise yourself in the spring with all the power that you added during the winter.
If you are not a fan of kicking cold footballs, I have another option for you. You can get a lot better a lot faster without braving the cold. I am talking about drills....boring, repetitive, non-kicking activity that will launch you past your competition in a short amount of time. Fact: doing drills regularly will make your very good quickly. Even if you had access to an indoor facility, and kicked 3 to 4 times per week, you body will not be able to take more than 300 full kicks in a week. But you can do thousands of repetitions of drills that mimic the kicking motion, perfecting every tiny movement that needs improvement, without wearing down physically.
Let me recap, you can become a great kicker over the next 4 months with minimal kicking - just by putting in 15-20 minutes of drills and exercises, few times per week, in your house. 

Drill 1: Balance Leg Swings. Balance on 1 leg, take 10 controlled swings while trying to maintain balance. Once it becomes easy, add more backswing and swing leg faster. Do the drill with both legs to prevent body imbalance. Time required: 1 to 2 minutes  VIDEO (shown on balance ball at 1:24 mark)

Drill 2: Mark your field goal and/or punting steps, go through 10 approaches with a swing (no ball). Time required: 2 to 3 minutes

Drill 3: Pad contact drill for field goals and/or punts. Balance on non-kicking leg with kicking leg in the full back swing position, kick a pad hard with proper foot position and leg lock. Repeat for 10 kicks. Time required: 1 to 2 minutes.

Drill 4 (for Punters): Simple drop drill with steps. Go through your punting steps with the ball, drop the ball without kicking it or swinging your leg. Try to get a nice bounce off the ground where ball bounces straight up without rolling away or toward you. Get 20 drops. Time required: 1 to 2 minutes.  VIDEO

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2. Strength training for kickers is simple. Become a better and more explosive athlete, and you will kick the ball farther. Most football teams develop a strength training regimen that helps you accomplish that. Exercises that I recommend that you add to the program are the ones that will challenge your body in a kicker specific way - working one leg at a time to improve balance, strength, joint stability and range of motion.

Ideally, perform all exercises for 2 sets. Since they are all single leg movements, your workout is going to look like this:

Exercise 1: 1st set: Right Leg, Left Leg, 2nd set: Right Leg, Left Leg
Exercise 2: 1st set: Right Leg, Left Leg, 2nd set: Right Leg, Left Leg
Exercise 3: 1st set: Right Leg, Left Leg, 2nd set: Right Leg, Left Leg
Exercise 4: 1st set: Right Leg, Left Leg, 2nd set: Right Leg, Left Leg
Exercise 5: 1st set: Right Leg, Left Leg, 2nd set: Right Leg, Left Leg

You do not need to perform these until failure. Aim for effort 7 on scale of 1-10 (10 being the hardest that you can work). Once your posture starts to slack and your joint are wobbly, stop the exercise, rest for a bit and move to the other leg or next exercise. You also don’t need to do all of them, every time. If you have few free minutes, get up, perform one or two exercises, and go on with your life. Your goal is long term consistency. Doing some of them often is better than waiting for the stars to align perfectly - where you are in a gym and you have time and energy to work out. All of these can be performed in your house with little or no equipment or preparation of any kind.
 

Exercise 1 - Step Up/Reverse Lunge VIDEO

Exercise 2 - Single Leg RDL VIDEO

Exercise 3 - Multi Directional Lunge - VIDEO

Exercise 4 - Bulgarian Split Squat - VIDEO

Exercise 5 - Single Leg Box Squat VIDEO


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Winter Indoor Events

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.

December 15th 2018 - Youngstown State University, OH (eastern Ohio).

December 29th 2018 - Grand Valley State University, MI. ( 3 spots left - Enrollment capped at 50 athletes)

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.

For all event details click below to