Blog (Archived): June Private Lessons - Jun 1, 2012 - Jun 30, 2012 [Archive]
Brett Shedivy - Mt. Horeb High School
Today I did a private kicking lesson with Brett Shedivy of Mt. Horeb High School just outside of Madison. Brett will be a sophomore kicker for his team this fall. Brett attended last months Madison Kicking Event, but also wanted to get some one on one instruction in.
We began our session with field goals. Brett has a tendency to attack the ball, rather than his plant foot. This can cause a handful of things to go wrong in our field goal try. We worked on gradually getting better and better at going to the plant area. As the lesson progressed, Brett really began to get into a rhythm. After struggling early on, he finished the day going 18-22 field goals. Other than the small flaw in his approach, Brett really does a pretty good job mechanically. He also does a great job with his alignment on each and every kick he attempts. Brett now has some things to go back and work on. As he continues to correct his line to the ball, he will have the opportunity to develop into a very good kicker in the years to come. As he gets older and stronger, the ball will begin flying higher and further! Good luck this season Brett!
Colin Downing - Whitefish Bay High School
Today I did a private kicking lesson in Madison with Colin Downing of Whitefish Bay High School. Colin will be a junior punter and kicker for his team this fall.
We began our lesson by talking some basic field goal instruction. Before we started kicking on the uprights, I had Colin hit a few balls down the line. He routinely hit the ball with great height and distance. Colin does a great job of consistently making solid contact with the ball. Because he is a fundamentally sound kicker, he also makes his kicks. In fact, he did not miss a single field goal all day until roughly 25-30 kicks into our session. I tell all the kickers that I work with, that if they are good with their eyes, they will make a lot of kicks. Colin does do a great job with his eyes.
After field goals, we moved to kickoffs. The first few kickoffs, Colin was just clipping under the sweet spot of the ball. I explained to him the importance of our steps and how essential they are to the result of the kickoff. Colin has the pure leg strength to take two steps and bang the football into the end zone on kickoffs. I encouraged him to slow down and just focus on making great contact…contact makes the ball go far!
We finished our session with some punting. Colin hit a few big time punts! I told him if he can do it one time, he could do it every time. It just takes work. Colin is one of the better combo guys I have seen in the 2014 class recently. If he continues to work hard at it, he will have a huge season & be a great asset to his team this year!
Charlie Durbin - New Trier High School
Yesterday I did a private kicking lesson with Charlie Durbin of New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL. Charlie will be a junior kicker for his team this fall. This was the first time meeting with Charlie, so we began our workout talking about field goal mechanics. Once we got started hitting balls, I could see right away that Charlie had a big leg. He does a great job on each and every kick of taking his time and making sure his steps and alignment are perfect. The one thing that is currently holding Charlie back, is his line to the ball during his field goal approach. We want to attack our plant foot, instead of attacking the ball. Many kickers who convert from soccer to football kicking, have a tendency to want to do this. At times, you can get away with doing this and still make kicks, and others; it causes a whole host of things to go wrong. Our steps and approach are the foundation of our kick. If those are off, chances are that our field goal will be off as well. Charlie got into a rhythm a few times yesterday where he hit some big time field goals. As he learns to attack his plant foot better, it will put his body in a position to have that success more consistently. He now has a good understanding of what he needs to do to take his kicking to the next level and how he can begin to make that correction. I look forward to following Charlie this year and expect him to have a solid season for his school!
Jade Baldwin - Belle Chasse High School
Yesterday I did a private kicking lesson with Jade Baldwin of Belle Chasse High School in Louisiana. Jade will be a senior kicker for his team this fall. Jade attended last week’s New Orleans Kicking Event but also wanted to spend some time working on his kicking individually.
We started our session with field goals. Jade has the ability to hit a very good ball. Like most kickers, it’s just a matter of continually working to develop that consistency on each and every kick. If you can do it once, you can do it every time. It just takes time and work! If it was easy, everyone would be a great kicker.
I encouraged Jade to have a good routine and stick to it on every kick he attempts. When he really focuses on staying back with his eyes and swinging up, the ball jumps up with great height and distance. Jade got into a rhythm with his field goals and ended the workout kicking very well! After field goals, Jade and I moved to kickoffs. The one thing I stressed to Jade, was doing the exact same approach every single time. Our approach is extremely important…it is the foundation of the kick. If we are reaching one time and stutter stepping the next, we are going to make the kick very difficult. We want a nice fluid approach in a direct straight line to our plant foot. This puts our body position to have success with the kick. Jade hit some great kickoffs and I expect him to have a handful of touchbacks this season. If he continues working hard, he can be a real asset to his team this Fall! Good luck Jade!
Crew Jacobs - Jesuit High School
Today I did a private kicking lesson with Crew Jacobs of Jesuit High School. Crew, who will be a freshman kicker next season, attended last weekend’s New Orleans Kicking Event, but also wanted to get some individual instruction before the season started.
Crew is a very fundamentally sound kicker for someone his age. He does a great job with his footwork and alignment while also focusing in on each and every kick he attempts. He is one of those guys who simply makes his kicks. The last 2 sets of our field goal training, Crew went 19-20 on college uprights. He did something that I haven’t had anyone do in awhile, and that’s go a perfect 10-10 on various distances during game situation kicks.
After our field goal training, Crew and I worked on kickoffs. After making a slight adjustment to his approach, Crew began to get into a groove with his kickoffs as well. He began consistently driving the ball down to the 10-yard line with good hang time. For how well Crew kicked today, I still think he has more in him to improve. He has a great attitude and will without a doubt be a guy to watch in the future. As he continues to grow and get stronger, his kicks will continue to sail higher and further! Good luck Crew
Alex Koulpasis - Plaquemine High School
Today I did a private lesson with Alex Koulpasis right outside of Baton Rouge in Plaquemine, LA. Alex will be a senior kicker in the fall for Plaquemine High School. This will be Alex’s first full season with the football team. Last season, he joined the team right at the beginning of the playoffs. Alex plans on attending the New Orleans Kicking event next weekend, but also wanted to get some individual work in before the camp. I’m glad he is taking the initiative now to get the proper instruction he needs. This allows him to know what he needs to work on throughout his summer training in preparation for the season. Alex has a good leg and can do some good things with his field goals. Right now, he has a slight adjustment that he needs to make in his approach that when corrected, will take his kicking to a whole new level. Right now he can get away with it and still make kicks, but it is making his kicking more challenging than it needs to be. Today I explained to Alex the importance of attacking our plant foot as opposed to the ball. This puts our body in the proper position to maximize our full potential as kickers. As he slowly gets better and more comfortable with this, he will see drastic improvement in his field goals. At the end of our field goal session, I had Alex move around the field hitting game situation field goals. He ended the session 8-10 with his two misses being right there as well. He did a great job of dialing in and making each and every kick he attempted count. We ended our workout with kickoffs. Again, Alex showed the ability to hit some big kickoffs. The goal is to now make that good, consistent contact on every single kick. During our next session, I’m going to continue challenging him to get up and through the ball more. Alex has a great work ethic and wants to be a great kicker. I know he will take the advice I gave him today and begin to translate that instruction into his kicking immediately. By the end of July, Alex will be greatly improved and someone his team will be counting on all season!
Josh Pollack - Highland Park High School
Yesterday I did a private lesson in Chicago with Josh Pollack of Highland Park, IL. Josh, who is a former soccer player, will be a junior kicker/punter for his High School this fall. After talking some field goal instruction, I had Josh hit a couple field goals down a line. I could see after one kick that Josh had a very strong leg. What’s even more impressive is that he is already doing some very good things and his kicking off the ground. Right now, Josh’s good field goals are big time kicks! We just need to get Josh to hit that good ball each and every time he lines up for a field goal.
When young kickers begin training off the ground, it is very common for them to go through some growing pains with it. Using a field goal kicking block allows kickers to hit the ball higher and further, while also allowing you to make some mistakes mechanically and get away with it. Because Josh is kicking from the ground, he has to be extremely disciplined with his mechanics.
After field goals, Josh and I moved to kickoffs. I had him show me the approach he is currently using. The longer the approach and the faster your tempo to the ball, the more room for error. Josh’s original approach was both long and very fast. After getting him to slow down and shorten his approach, Josh was able to start making better contact with the ball which resulted in hitting on longer ball with more hang time. Josh already shows the ability to hit the ball deep into the end zone with 3.7+ seconds of hang time. If Josh continues to train hard throughout the summer, he will put himself in a position to have great junior season for his football team!
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