Kickers and punters,
It's finally that time of year! For many of you, fall camp and "hell week" begins either this week or next. After all the hard work you put in during off-season training, you can finally showcase your improved skills, line yourselves up for a tremendous season, help your team win, and maybe even get to that championship game. Believe me, we can't wait to watch you!
CAPITALIZE ON FALL CAMP. There is much we can accomplish during this period to improve our craft and get ready for the season. Many of us will have "2-A-Days," long days out on the field where we need to both continue to improve our craft but also manage our leg's health so it stays healthy and fresh. A few tips as we head into fall camp:
1. Managing "2-A-Days:" Do not fall into the trap of over-kicking at both practices. Make your morning practice a drill practice by working your steps, drops, shoulder-line, foot position, follow through, etc....Get extra stretching in during your morning practice and ask a trainer to help, if one is available. Relegate your afternoon practice to an actual kicking practice, but go easy during camp. By drilling during your morning practice, you will have a great warm-up and review of fundamentals that will help you during the afternoon. The last thing you need is to over-kick and develop nagging injuries that will prevent you from having an optimal season.
2. Ice, Ice, Ice: After EVERY practice, ice your legs by either jumping in an ice bath or by wrapping bags of ice around your legs - both legs, 25 minutes each. Make sure you are icing your quad, hamstring, and hip flexor. Icing will help your legs come back, and it will help prevent injury.
3. BE PART OF THE TEAM: Do not be the guy that spends half of practice in the training room. There is no excuse for that. You have the opportunity to get work done on the field; the best kickers and punters capitalize on that opportunity. None of us have the luxury of wasting time in the training room or hanging around on the sideline. Use the practice time to work! At the end of practice, during team, head over to the sideline to support your teammates.
4. Engage Your Snappers And Holders: Engage your snappers and holders early in camp. Work with them before or after practice. The three of you are a team, and the more you practice together, the more cohesive and efficient you will be when the season starts. Don't wait for your position coaches to plan your workouts. Take the initiative, grab your snapper and holder, and start working.
5. Stay the course: Camp is NOT the time to make major changes in your technique or with your equipment. That is done in January or February at the start of the off-season. Stay sound and committed, especially fundamentally, with what you have been doing during the off-season. Of course, small tweaks are ok and will be needed throughout the season but avoid making major fundamental and technical changes during camp. Rather than revert to something new, focus on improving your current technique. Kickers, if you have been on a 1" block, do not try to switch to the ground, etc...Punters, do not revert to a new drop during camp. Stay the course, fellas.
I am extremely excited about this year's football season, and I cannot wait to watch you all! As always, please contact me directly with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff at Kicking1on1 is here to support you through the season, and we look forward to helping you put together a tremendous year, anyway we can!
See you on the field,