the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Off-season Kicks, part 1

What is the most important thing for a kicker, punter, or snapper to do during the off-season?

We sought a few expert opinions on the matter:

Uwe von Schamann, NFL kicker 1979-1984
"Keep improving on technique, getting stronger and staying in shape. All of that preparation will help your confidence."

"The most important thing to do in the off-season is to get stronger and more explosive and more flexible. A solid strength and conditioning program is very important in addition to everyday stretching for at least 15-20 minutes."

"The off-season is the time to fine tune your fundamentals and your swing. January-April is a valuable time to get on a training program like the one I have followed with Coach Bill Renner. Coach Renner's training program has helped fine tune my technique, core strength, and overall leg endurance. His program tells you how many kicks to kick, the proper lifts to do, and it adds a flexibility component.

For college and high school kickers June and July is a time to work with your snapper and holder and get valuable kicking reps. At that point you should have done enough kicking, punting, or snapping reps that you should not be questioning your technique. It is now time to hit targets and focus on your performance.

Performing on game day is the name of the game and it is time to work with quality reps and put pressure on yourself."

"Make sure the couch doesn't escape from the living room."

"Be consistent. Definitely take some time off after the season. This will vary depending on which level you are currently playing. Give your body a little rest. Then start to get back into working out, light kicking, punting, or snapping.

Don't come out of the gates too fast and/or train to hard too early. The key is to make sure that you hit all cylinders when the season starts."

"Re-evaluate every detail of their mechanics."

"Develop a practice routine that will maximize your training effectiveness. Figuring out how to work smarter is better than "working harder" at times. Learn how to make each rep count of everything so it applies to your kicking. That's how you maximize your off-season productivity."

"The best thing for any specialist to do in the off season is stretch, stretch, stretch!  During the time of off season training, I believe that short sprints and plyometrics are the best thing for physical training… and of course "form" and "technique" training is the most important.  Focus on quality sessions…not quantity!"

"Dancing With the Stars.

Most important thing would be to mix up their training, cross-train between long and short distance, resistance and lifting, practicing and explosive plyometrics."

"Off season workouts must not only be focused on hard work but on smart work. I always ask my students this question when we are kicking field goals in the off many points do you get if you kick this ball through those uprights right now? That's points. You only get points in the games.

My point is that we must not sacrifice form for the finish. What I mean by that is that we must not swing around or change our swing to simply try and make a kick. The off-season is a time to sow into your craft. Meet with a local professional kicking coach (weekly if possible) and work on one thing.......developing ONE SWING! One fluid, timed and consistent swing that will hold up for a season and a career. Do not go out and kick just to kick. Always kick with a purpose!

Don't forget to do your sprints and work on flexibility."

"one word: Practice"

Brad Daluiso, NFL kicker 1991-2001

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