the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, December 19, 2014

FCS Conditioner for Kickers & Punters, 2014 part 2

Our annual Q&A series with college specialists continues with kickers and punters. We asked seniors in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) the following question:
"What's the most important thing you've learned during your college career regarding training & conditioning for specialists?"
Following is the second third of the responses.

CJ Laros, Illinois State
"You can't slack on any type of training. Once you take a short cut or not feel like you want to do one or two things on your program, you'll start to find yourself falling behind. Especially playing at this level, you need to be able to keep up with the speed of the game and with the competition. And when it comes to conditioning, that is one of the major factors in playing throughout the season and staying healthy."

Chase Varnadore, Florida A&M
"It is a must need in order to be a top tier kicker. A kicker can not compete with the best without having strong and quick legs. Also I've learned that squats, box jumps, hip training, quick twitch exercises, and stretching are vital when dealing with training. A kicker can't just do on the field training. They have to get in the weight room and push themselves in order to get a stronger and quicker leg. For conditioning I would say running stadiums, hills, and short sprints."

Ryan Mohr, Monmouth
"Do not over kick. This past season I decided to limit my kicks on a daily basis from the start of training camp in hopes that my leg would not get as fatigued over the course of our four month season. I also implored my fellow kickers and punters to do the same and explained my reasoning to them, but as freshman trying to impress the coaches or find their groove they did not always take this advice and their legs wore out by the end of the season. I on the other hand saw great success as my average did not fluctuate much throughout the whole season and I attribute this to not over kicking."

Bryan Maley, Wagner
"Following the teams strength program is great, it's definitely helps aid in my power and explosion, but the most important factor for me was making sure I stretched everyday and keeping up with injury preventive exercises. As a kicker I feel you have to make sure you keep up with your extra exercises to remain healthy throughout the whole season."

CJ Reyes, Idaho State
"You can not take too much time off if you want to become a great specialist and because I have learned that you really teach yourself how to kick because there is an individual style in the way you kick and if you like a certain style you just need to practice and practice. I have been taught by numerous people, and yes it helped, but I used a little part of everything in the way I punt and I am a big believer of using the style and technique you want and just adjusting it to become the best kicker you can!"

Chris Gough, Villanova
"Reject the idea that intense strength training (heavy squatting in particular) during the season can tire your legs out or somehow hinder your performance as a kicker. I wouldn't encourage any sort of heavy lifting on game day or the day before, but I've found that maintaining a relatively heavy workload during the season has given me an advantage late in the season." 

Greg Peranich, Samford
"It's all about preparation and preservation. I've learned that if you don't take care of your body, it will deteriorate as the season moves on. That will lead to inconsistency. The preparation obviously begins in January. To me, it's all about working hard in the weight room and in the conditioning sessions. Also, being smart on the field, i.e. not over-kicking, which is a specialist's greatest downfall."

Luke Allen, Stony Brook
"I had a limited background to kicking & punting, originally from England I only picked it up my junior year of high school, and had no coaching from then until now, only being able to see how other people did it at places like Kohl's Kicking. Although my way into the game is out of the norm, I think training within it is generally the same: you find what works for you, and with repetition and practice, without over doing it, you find your comfort zone and how YOU can hit your best ball. In terms of conditioning, everything we did, weightlifting and conditioning was the same as the rest of the other players and positions on the team. In terms of lifting, I think this helped me and benefited me, because the specialist position is somewhat "frowned upon," I used the weightroom as a place to earn respect from the people around me. it took time, being from a soccer background, I hadn't lifted weights in my life, but gradually as I worked hard, got stronger, I earned respect from coaches, players and others alike, this past spring I was deadlifting more than half of the Offensive Line. In terms of conditioning, I don't think specialists should work on speed drills like the rest of the players do, because we don't condition much in the season, I found this to be strenuous on my muscles, giving me a couple of issues with my hamstrings and hip flexors."

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