the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Role Models, Mentors & Inspirations, part 1

During your younger kicking days, was there anyone in particular that served as a role model, mentor, or inspiration to you?
A wide range of kickers and kicking coaches responded to the preceding question with the following answers.

"I had several kicking role models when I was young. Most of the kickers during the '60s used the straight-on approach with the square-toed shoe. And that is how I learned to kick. So I admired Lou Groza of the Browns, who was succeeded by Don Cockroft. And I tried to emulate Tommy Davis of the 49ers, Erroll Mann of the Lions and Raiders, Danny Villanueva of the Rams, Jim Bakken of the Cardinals, Fred Cox of the Vikings, Steve Myhra of the Colts, Jim Turner of the Jets and Broncos, George Blanda and then Roger LeClerc of the Bears and Paul Hornung of the Packers.  But I guess my favorite was Don Chandler of the Giants and then the Packers. We were similar in size and we even wore the same number - 34."

John Matich, The Kicking System
"I was fortunate to work with Ziggy Zigante, soccer and kicking coach. He was the coach that trained me since I was 12 years old. He played a major role in how I kicked the ball and also my physical training. Other than that I was fortunate to watch and look up to John Carney while he was in San Diego for the Chargers. I looked up to John for his mental game. He was always calm under pressure."

"Without a doubt Ben Agajanian was instrumental in my developing as a kicker. I worked with him from my sophomore year in high school through college. He had a free kicking clinic every Wednesday at Long Beach State during the spring & summer and I worked as a counselor at his camps."

Mike McCabe, One on One Kicking
"Greg Montgomery was the best punter of his time."

"Being self taught I believe that actually paying attention to myself and my own kicks (when kicked well) was the biggest revelation for me. Anyone can tell you what they did wrong on any given missed kick, but what can you remember and duplicate when you are kicking well? As I approached the NFL I started watching Jan Stenerud. He had a very "straight on soccer style" that made sense to me, especially since I had already had two left knee surgeries and couldn't tourque on the left side anymore. After being cut by three teams I finally made the LA Rams, and my first game was against the Green Bay Packers, and Jan Stenerud."

Brent Grablachoff, Kicking World
"After having played soccer since I was 5 years old, I decided I wanted to play football. Naturally, I took up kicking and had mild success with it from an early age through middle school. There were still some flaws in my form and I didn’t quite ‘get it’ and always wondered why I couldn’t kick it as far or as straight as I could a soccer ball. So I asked my local high school football coaches and searched on the internet for kicking coaches. I found ‘Coach Steiny’ who I started to work with regularly. Coach Steiny helped me throughout high school not only with kicking fundamentals, but also taught me how to deal with pressure and ran me through a gauntlet of mental training drills. At first, I was skeptical of his training style and I wanted to do things my own way because I thought ‘I knew it all.’ But after a few months of listening to him and following what he taught me, I began to really progress in leg strength, field goal distances, and most importantly; accuracy! Till this day, I still remember myself in high school on that dirt field with Coach Steiny going over these crazy kicking drills and his passion for the game of football, kicking, and coaching. He inspired me to become a kicking coach. So the moral of the story is, I recommend every kicker to find a kicking guru that they mesh well with and trust, and follow what they teach you. In a few months you too should see major signs of improvement and a renewed confidence in your kicking!"

Note: additional responses will be posted in the coming days.


Anonymous said...

I help take care of Ben Agajanian, he is 92 now and still amazing. I met Ben 6 mos ago. I knew nothing about football I just wanted to rent his guest house. Anyway I now know alot about football, mainly Ben and his career. I asked him one day, If there was anything you could do at this age you are now what would it be? He said, To be in the Hall of fame. WOW a trip to the moon might have been easierr. So I have a detailed bio on him all I need to do is submit it to the HOF but I need everyones help , everyone he taught. There are 39 sports writers and 9 are for the 2 senior's that get nominated or roll over each year. I need to get 80% of their votes, I need everyones help to get Ben in the Hall , being that he is 92 and getting forgetful on short term memory, I dont have 20 years to do this, So I thought I would start a kicking caravan, and all of us kick some butt and get Ben in. Any ideas?

again, Im just Ben's helper (not that he needs much help)
the bio I put together on Ben is about 600 pages if football history.
I want to get it published because it would draw alot of attention to Ben and his last wish:
To be in the Hall of Fame 2013, He wants to be alive to receive the honor.

Please write I need all the help, ideas, connections,what ever it takes to make this happen for Ben.
He lives in Palm Springs, he plays gin rummy everyday , beats everyone everyday, and tells me the greatest storiesI know he would love to hear from you! I can read him your e-mail,

Thank you for your time,

Anonymous said...

My son went to his kicking camp in Texas for many years and loves the man . Garrett has been looking for him for years to tell him that he made it and would love to talk to him

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