Blog (Archived): May Newletters - May 1, 2012 - May 31, 2012 [Archive]
Jake Dragoo - Edgewood High School
Today I did a private kicking lesson in Madison, WI with Jake Dragoo of Edgewood High School. Jake, who will be a junior kicker next season for his team, was a member of my Wisconsin Spring Kicking “Event Elite”. Jake earned his place on the Event Elite at last Sunday’s camp but also wanted to get together for a quick one on one lesson.
Mechanically, Jake does a pretty good job with his field goals. He is very disciplined with his steps and line to the ball, which puts him in a great position on every kick. During today’s session, we really worked on his kicking swing. For many young kickers, understanding the correct kicking swing can be a challenge. When Jake keeps his eyes back and swings up and through the ball, it is a great result! He has the ability to hit some big time field goals. The goal for Jake is to replicate that same ball over and over again.
After field goals, Jake and I moved to kickoffs. Again, I thought Jake did a pretty good job with his kickoffs. Right now he is simply using his leg strength to get the ball down field. After today’s session, I think he understands what he needs to do in order to add height and distance to his kick. When he starts to use his whole body effectively, he will see a dramatic change in his kicking power.
We ended our lesson by working on some punting. Jake has the tools to develop into a good punter for his team. If he continues working hard at it all summer, Jake will be a real asset to his team this fall.
Arnie Fitzwater - Augustana College
Yesterday I did a private punting and kicking lesson with Arnie Fitzwater of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Arnie, who will be a senior this season, was an All-Conference performer as a junior last season. Arnie has attended one of my kicking camps but wanted to also spend some time together individually.
We started our workout with punts. It was a very windy day, so we focused on being fundamentally sound. Mechanically, Arnie does a lot of things very well. As a result he’s a consistent punter. Currently he is doing a couple minor things with his body position that are holding him back in achieving his full potential. We worked on a couple things and Arnie began getting into a groove. He showed the ability to routinely hit the ball with great hang and distance while getting the ball off in quick manner.
After punting, we moved to field goals. Arnie hopes to improve on his field goal kicking over the course of the summer so he can put himself in position to also compete for the kicking job. Overall, he did a great job. If he can slow down his tempo just a touch, he will find how much easier it is to be good with his eyes and swing up and through the ball. This will help him be a more fluid and consistent kicker. Arnie had a great day both kicking and punting. I believe he will build on the season he had last year and have an even bigger, better season this year. Good Luck!
Nick Taylor - Winona State University
Today I did a private kicking lesson with Nick Taylor of Cary, Illinois. Nick will be a redshirt freshman kicker at Winona State University this fall. Nick wanted to get together to work on his field goals and kickoffs.
Right off the bat, I could see Nick had a good leg. After stressing to him the importance of having a good routine and sticking to it on each and every kicking session, we began our workout on the end line. This is part of a warm up routine where we’re focusing simply on our mechanics and trusting that the ball will end up right down the line. Nick’s very first kick did exactly that, banging off of the top of the upright. Nick does a very good job with his alignment and footwork on field goals. As a result, he is a guy that continually makes kicks. I encouraged Nick to continue swinging up and through the ball while holding his eyes back a split second longer. You could see his ball jumping up with better height and distance. At the end of our field goal session, we moved around hitting game situation kicks. Nick finished the workout going a perfect 11 for 11 from various distances. If he continues to work hard all summer on his field goals and kickoffs, I believe Nick will be a very solid kicker next season for Winona State! Good luck!
Michael Loncar - Hudson High School
This evening I did a private punting lesson with Michael Loncar of Hudson High School in Wisconsin. Michael will be a senior punter next season for his football team. After just a couple warm up punts, I could see that Michael has a big time leg! He is a big, strong kid who is also pretty fundamentally sound. It is clear that Michael has worked hard at his punting. He has a good understanding of his own unique style and can already feel when he makes a mistake in his punt. Michael showed the ability to hit some huge hang times. Like most punters and kickers, Michael’s goal will be to continue to develop his consistency on each and every punt. He is one of the more polished high school punters that I’ve seen in awhile. If he continues to develop over the course of the summer, he is going to have a great senior season and will put himself in position to be a great prospect for a college football team. Nice job Michael!
Jacob Ibach - Eden Prairie High School
Today I did a private kicking lesson with Jacob Ibach of Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. Jacob, who plans on walking on at Baylor University next year, attended Sunday’s Spring Kicking Event and wanted to get some additional one on one work in as well. Jacob has come back strong from an injury he suffered last fall. Sunday was his first day back kicking following that injury. Today we began the transition to kicking off the ground. Many high school kickers struggle with this transition. That was not the case today for Jacob. He did a great job in the windy conditions and really got into a groove towards the end of our session. When learning to kick off the ground, you must be mechanically sound. Any mistake you make from a mechanical standpoint is magnified when kicking field goals off the ground.
We finished our workout with kickoffs. Jacob has a strong leg and consistently drove the ball into the end zone with a wind at his back. Right now, he is doing so with pure leg strength. When Jacob learns to use his whole body and explode up and through the kick, the ball will continue to sail higher and further. If Jacob continues to work hard throughout the summer, I think he can eventually be a very good college kicker!
Brock Skow - Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, IA
Today I did a private kicking and punting lesson with Brock Skow of Cedar Rapids, IA. Brock will be a senior punter and kicker for Kennedy high school next season. Brock has attended multiple TMKicking Events and wanted to also get some one on one work in.
Brock and I started our workout with field goals. My philosophy with kicking is that there is no “correct” way to kick. Each kicker has their own unique style. I did suggest that Brock make a slight change in his field goal approach. After cleaning of a few things mechanically, Brock began hitting a great ball. The problem was, it was consistently being pushed slightly at the right upright. I made a small adjustment in his starting position and he began to slowly straighten his ball out. We ended our field goal session with game situation kicks, and Brock finished with a solid session going 8 of 10 on mid-range field goals.
After field goals, Brock and I worked on kickoffs. Brock displayed the ability to drive the ball into the end zone with a wind at his back. Right now, he’s doing so with pure leg strength. I encouraged him to stay up and continue exploding up and through the ball. I think he has the ability to hit even bigger kickoffs if he is able to do this.
We finished our session with punting. Punting has always been Brock’s strong suit. Again, he does a great job and shows the ability to hit some huge punts. The goal, like all of us, is to continue to develop his consistency with it. Mechanically he does a pretty good job. We talked about making one slight adjustment in his drop. If Brock continues to work hard over the summer, he will be a real asset to his team this fall!
Aaron Jamieson - University of Central Missouri
Yesterday I had a private kicking lesson in St. Louis, Missouri with Aaron Jamieson. Aaron will be a senior kicker at the University of Central Missouri this fall. Aaron and I have been trying to get together for a while now. It just so happened that I was swinging through on my way to the Minnesota Spring Kicking Event.
After seeing two of Aaron’s warm up field goals, I could tell in a hurry that he had a big time leg. Aaron is a very good kicker. He has a ton of natural kicking ability, but he’s also gotten there because of his work ethic. He is a perfectionist and strives to hit a perfect ball on every single kick. On kickoffs, Aaron consistently hits a ball with more than 4 seconds of hang time. He still has a couple of things to work on mechanically that will help him continue to develop his consistency. I believe he now has a better understanding of his kicking style and what he needs to do to better himself.
I really enjoyed working with Aaron because he was eager to learn and was able to take my coaching and implement it on the next kicks. I expect him to have a great senior season. With continued hard work, you never know what can happen after that! Good Luck!
Anthony Chiapetta - Pittsburgh, PA
This weekend I did a private kicking lesson with Anthony Chiapetta of Pittsburgh, PA. Anthony began his kicking career at Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio and is currently in the process of deciding what to do with his kicking career after transferring. Anthony and I met up and were fortunate enough to use the facilities that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh share.
Anthony is a good kicker that works extremely hard at his craft. He has a great understanding of his kicking style and takes the training side of it very seriously. Because Anthony is recovering from an injury on his kicking leg, we weren’t able to kick 100%. Although he was not kicking full, I could still see his potential. Anthony is a fundamentally sound kicker, and that’s why he makes kicks. At times, I think it is a little easy for him. I showed him a couple things that I really believe will take his kicking to the next level. As he continues to challenge himself by fighting to get up and through ball a little more on field goals, he will see the ball consistently travel higher and further.
Anthony and I watched his film following our session. After visually seeing himself, I think he now has a good understanding of what he needs to do in order to become a great kicker. I hope Anthony overcomes his injury soon, because he can be a real asset for a college team in the fall!
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