Happy New Year K-Unit Family!
We are excited for another exciting year of growth, new personal records, and most importantly helping all of our athletes achieve maximum success!
Let's make it great together.
See below for a few reminders/updates for 2017:
1. The Kicking Unit is happy to announce Coach Ryan Williams as our Head Deep Snapping Coach for Dallas and the surrounding DFW cities. Coach Ryan played Hs football at Southlake Carroll and in college for the University of North Texas and Texas State University.
A little back story on my relationship with Ryan... To keep it brief, I originally met Coach Ryan at the Super Regional NFL Combine in Detroit. We were two of 20-25 specialists invited to the event to compete in front of NFL coaches from every team. After the combine we both received an invite for a private workout from the Dallas Cowboys. At our private workout(s) with The Dallas Cowboys we were the only specialists in attendance. He was snapping to me and all eyes were on us. Unfortunately, neither of us received a call afterwards but it was still a great experience.
Recently I asked Ryan to join The Kunit team because I have personally seen some of the best snaps of my career come from his wheel house. I know he has the right skill set and attitude to show younger athletes how to get the job done! He has the work ethic it takes and has seen all there is to know about deep snapping.
With that being said, if you know of any snappers who are looking for some pointers feel free to send them our way. Want to setup a team lesson with your personal deep snapper? Let us know. We will be looking to setup group lessons so we can start working on the full picture (Snap, hold and kick) to make lessons as game realistic as possible. Read more about Ryan here.
2. Don't forget to sign up for our new "Next Level" program starting in March. Limited to the first 5 sign ups for quality assurance. You won't want to miss this!
2. Sign Up for The Kicking Unit's 2017 Kicking Camps!
3. We hold weekly lessons so let me know when you'd like to set up a time. Typically lessons are Saturdays in Colleyville and Sundays in Rockwall Heath.
Thanks for a great 2016,
Starting in 2017 The Kicking Unit will be introducing our new Next Level Pre-Season Training Sessions. The goal of this program is to help each kicker/punter prepare for the Next Level of their playing careers and to help achieve their spring, summer, and fall football goals. In this program each and every player will receive a training eBook that breaks down the fundamentals of the field goals, kick offs, and punts. Our coaching staff will show each player skill specific workouts and warm-ups for both kickers and punters. Every Next Level athlete will learn from on field demonstrations, instructions, and slow-mo film sessions. Each Next Level Session will focus on kicking and punting and consist of basic to advanced drills, including game like scenarios.
Basic Package $1200- This package is for serious kickers/punters who want to develop into an elite specialist by training with an expert during the off-season. The Next Level Off-Season Program includes ten sessions (first session is two hours long, every session afterwards is 1.5 hours long). The first session will include an intro to the program, which will include teaching before players hit the field. Afterwards, each specialist will be filmed, and receive a goals sheet from their coach. Attendance at the initial session is critical for each and every Next Level training member. It will lay the foundation for the next 9 practices.
Advanced Package $1500- This package was created for kickers/punters who want to not only develop into an elite kicker/punter but also want to gain exposure. This package includes the same ten sessions as the basic package but also includes camp admission at one of The Kicking Unit's 2017 one-day kicking/punting camps, a player profile on The Kicking Unit's website, unlimited access to Coach Cameron via email, and one exclusive/private one-on-one private video lesson with Coach Cameron.
Sessions will be from 3:00PM - 4:30PM except for the first session which will run from 2:30PM - 4:30PM. Location will be at Rockwall Heath Hs.
Here are the 2017 training dates for the Next Level Off-Season Program:
Location will be at Rockwall Heath Hs.
Ready to get started? Sign Up Today!
For payment options please email Coach Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to everyone who came out to our Inaugural Kicking Camp in Dallas, Texas. The weather was a perfect 70-75 degrees with little to no wind, couldn't have asked for better weather! We had a great small group of very competitive kickers ranging in ages from 13-18. Awards were given out for Best in Field Goals, Punts and Kick-Offs along with a "Kicker in The Clutch" and "Rising Star" award.
Our goal for this camp was to create a competitive and fun environment for every player to help get them ready for their upcoming Spring Football practices/Fall Seasons. The camp consisted of charting sessions for field goals, punts and kick offs and we also had a few other competitions that allowed every player in attendance to compete against each other.
Feel free to check out some of the pictures from our camp below. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about future camps or lessons.
The world of kicking got a nice wake-up call this past weekend when kicker Blair Walsh, place-kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, missed a 27 yard field goal that could have won his team the game and sent them to the next round of the playoffs.
Immediately following the miss nearly every fan and critic were quick to blame Walsh through social media.
Nobody was worried about the fact that Walsh was one of the main reasons the Vikings were even close to winning the game that ended 9-10. The 3 field goals Walsh successfully connected on throughout the game were nearly meaningless due to the final result of his last attempt.
Not to mention the conditions the teams were playing in. Temperatures, which bottomed out at -6 degrees with a wind chill of -25 degrees, tied for the third coldest NFL playoff game in history. Less than ideal kicking conditions to say the least! Especially from the eyes of a specialist.
Frigid temperatures can make for a tough time for kickers and punters. Imagine having to stand on the sideline, trying to stay loose and finding a way to keep your legs warm. Playing out in the cold is one thing, but being a kicker or punter during one is completely different. With the limited amount of plays a specialist receives in a game, it takes a little bit more work to stay locked in and ready to go at all times.
Unfortunately, fans, critics and media all see one thing. The end result of the play. You can become a Hero or a Zero in the blink of an eye.
That’s what makes the art of kicking and punting so unique in comparison to any other position on the field. Specialists are expected to be 100% every single time. No questions asked. Anything less and get ready for the stereotypical “You had one job”.
It doesn’t matter if you are kicking into a 30 mph wind, you have a bad snap/hold, you’re injured or any other unfortunate circumstance. You are expected to be perfect every time you step on the field.
So what does all of this mean for us specialists?
Make every kick the same.
Practice, scrimmage, PAT, 50 yarder, or a simple game winning field goal. It doesn’t matter. Make them all the same and never pull up short.
Make your routine a habit. Picture yourself making the game winning field goal. Self motivate yourself before every kick. Tell yourself you are about to split the uprights.
Develop your muscle memory to run through each kick with precise mechanics.
Game winning field goal or a simple kick in practice, it should all be the same. Focus on the details of your kick and maintain the exact mechanics each and every time.
Lock in the details.
How many deep breaths will you take before the kick?
When is the last time you look up at the field goal posts?
When do you start your approach?
Build up your muscle memory so you can be sure to tune out the crowd and lock-in the task at hand.
Follow the same steps every single rep and find your comfort zone.
We all miss.
Even though creating good habits won’t eliminate a missed field goal from time to time, it will nonetheless allow you to become more consistent with your craft. Consistency is a specialist’s key to success.
In the times that you do miss, and yes we all miss at some point, be sure to take the blame. Be humble, take responsibility of the mishap and never point the finger at someone else. Even if you do kick the laces because of a bad hold or have to hesitate because of a high snap, always take the blame and work out the details later. See below how Blair Walsh reacted to the media after the game. Notice that he could have blown up and called out his holder for the bad hold, what did he do instead? Took full responsibility and remained confident in his ability.
While success is never guaranteed, especially for specialists, eliminating some of the noise around your kick will, more times than not, help you drill your kicks.
In the end, before you judge another kicker for his miss, take a step back and analyze what went wrong. Watch the entire thing through. How was the hold? How was the snap? Did he look like he was going to make it, or was his body posture and facial expressions telling a different story? Did he pull up short or follow all the way through with his kick?
Learn from other kickers mistakes and help yourself avoid a costly miss.
For those that missed the missed field goal by Blair Walsh see it at the top of this post. You be the judge. Tell us what went wrong. Should he have made it even with a bad hold?
Also, see what kicker Kai Forbath, kicker for the New Orleans Saints, has to say about the topic.
Are you new to kicking and not sure what equipment you need for an upcoming kicking camp and/or kicking lesson? No problem, The Kicking Unit has you covered.
Things You Will Need:
1.Field Goal Kicking Tee
3.Field Goal Kicking Holder
For kicking cleats any type of soccer cleat or a low profile football cleat will work. The Kicking Unit always recommends purchasing Nike Tiempo or Copa Mundial cleats. Both of these cleats have a proven track record with not only all of our kicking coaches, but also multiple players in the NCAA and NFL.
Kicking/Soccer Cleats can be purchased at your local sporting goods store, online, or any soccer equipment retailer.
For Youth and Beginner Kickers 1-3 good leather footballs should be plenty. Ideally as a kicker grows up we recommend trying to get closer to 5 leather footballs.
For Youth Kickers ages 9-12 we recommend purchasing Wilson TDJ leather footballs and for Youth Kickers ages 12-14 Wilson TDY leather footballs.
If you are a beginner kicker in high school we recommend the Wilson GST Leather footballs.
The Kicking Unit recommends investing in leather footballs mainly because 1) You will only use leather footballs in a game (at all ages) and 2) They end up lasting longer than the composite/rubber footballs.
Don’t let the prices of the footballs scare you off. We understand that the leather footballs aren’t cheap, especially for a younger kicker, but they will last for years!
One-Stop Shop for all of your football kicking equipment
For all of your equipment essentials head over to our Store page and purchase field goal tee, kick-off tees, and wizard kicking holders.. Also, feel free to let us know if you have any questions by visiting our contact page or emailing Coach Cameron at Cameron@kickingunit.com.
Of course the position of the quarterback will always be the most important job on the football field, but this video brings up a good point. At times specialists are looked past and picked last when it comes to the NFL, College, and High School football.
For specialists, we are heroes when everything goes well and the unknown guy who messed up when things go south.
Unfortunately, this is just the nature of the position we hold on the team and some things may never change. At least in our minds kickers/punters/snappers are people too.
Let us know what you think about the video. Do you agree? Or are they pushing the envelope just a tad?
Are you trying to decide if you want to spend the money on a kicking camp and not sure if it will really benefit you? Or perhaps you are doing so well in games that you think it won’t even matter (teams will find me with NO PROBLEM)? Whatever the reason is that led you to this post, just know that college/pro recruiting and exposure for kickers, punters and snappers is completely different than any other position in football.
Kickers, punters and snappers are different breeds when it comes down to this type of stuff. It’s a tricky game that could leave you without a home (team/school) to play at if you don’t attack it correctly.
For specialists, unless you are at a big 6A high school or D1 college, it is tough to be found with just stats and game film. You could be the utmost important person on the team or in the little town you are from, but still all the right names will never have a clue who you are if you don’t take a proactive approach to gaining exposure for yourself.
For other positions on the football field, if you are a standout you will more than likely be found. For them, camps help as well, but if you have “game changing” stats, videos and highlights than you will, 9 times out 10, find a home with ease.
This is no knock to the amount of hard work it takes to get to the next level or how difficult it may be at times, just know for the specialists it’s a little more of a bumpy path. You have to take the steps it takes to get your name out into the world and for us this includes going to Kicking, Punting and Snapping showcases, combines and camps.
Coaches nowadays are hand picking the players they want simply because of how simplistic the overall process is. Think, specialists are typically picked last when it comes to scholarships or filling roster spots. Why go watch this kid at a game when a) I have no time left to go watch a stinking kicker and b) I have kicking companies across the U.S. ranking these kids for me? Stats, game highlights and videos all at the click of a button. In fact, most coaches team up and form relationships with these companies therefore it’s even easier for them at the end of the day.
For most, finding a kicker for their team is a simple phone call away to their favorite kicking company. Trust is formed with a lot of these kicking coaches. So much in fact that they can merely recommend the kicker, punter or snapper they best see fit for their team and a college or NFL team simply take their word and sign them up.
From a coaches perspective they have cut the time and money it takes to recruit their specialist. Why wouldn’t they take this approach?
For these reasons, it is very important that you try and attend as many camps (without making your family suffer financially obviously), showcase events and combines as possible. For most high school kickers this could be anywhere from 3-5 camps year-round so you can get your name out to as many coaches and teams as possible. Yes, this process can cost you a little bit of money but think would you rather spend a little money now or spend a lot of money later for college?
For college seniors taking the next step up, you know the process by now. You know the top dogs in the game. Attend a few combines and be honest with yourself. How are you in comparison to the competition? Can you truly compete at the highest level? Evaluate your stats in comparison to the others and decide if the dream is worth chasing. Also, know that on average it takes 3-4 years for most specialists to get into the NFL. Chase your dreams while also being 100% realistic and honest with yourself.
Look at the camps as an investment to yourself (or son/daughter). Depending on which camps you attend, the better chance you have of being discovered. The more camps, combines and showcases you attend the more lines you have in the water and ultimately the better chance you have of getting your school paid for or better yet, a professional contract.
Which Kicking Camps Should I Attend?
Finding the right kicking, punting and/or snapping showcase/camp for yourself can be quite a task in itself. I’m sure by now you have received multiple showcase or college camp invites saying you have been specifically picked out of a crowd, or “formally invited”. More times than not these letters are generic and being sent out to nearly every high school in the United States. Not to say these are bad, just don’t think you are hand selected because you will be quickly reminded once you show up and see hundreds of kids at the camp. If you are uncertain if it is generic look for hints. Find out if the letter is personalized to you or if it is generic (Is it hand written or name specific to you. Does it say “recruit” instead of your name?). Be the judge, more times than not you can figure it out pretty easily. Most University Camps will send a generic letter out to specialists so just keep that in mind.
University Kicking, Punting and Snapping Camps
If you are a specialist in high school you have probably already received these University Camp invites. Most are generic and sent out to tons of kids throughout the country. Some are personalized if you are lucky enough. If you receive a personalized letter from a coach try your best to attend their camp and contact him via email or phone. Send him your film along with any stats. If you are a Sophomore, Junior or Senior I would recommend sorting through the generic camp invites and picking out 2-3 to attend each year. Most of these camps are in the summer so plan accordingly. You don’t want to attend them all during the same week. Spread them out so you can make sure your legs are fresh!
University camps are typically run by kicking companies and are a great opportunity to showcase your talent in front of the university’s coaches. Do well (top 2 in KO’s, punts or FG’s) and don’t be surprised if you don’t see continued interest from them, or better yet a scholarship.
High School Kicking, Punting and Snapping Camps/Combines
There are tons of camps for you to attend throughout the year if you are a high school specialist. Picking which ones will help you the most can be very difficult at times! Decide where you are at for your age. Are you really killing the ball? 50, 55, 60 yard field goals no problem? If so, you might try to attend a few high school combines/showcases so you can show the world the talents you possess and compete against hundreds of other kids. Are you average/intermediate and want to develop your skills a little further? You might try an instructional kicking camp so you can find the missing piece to the puzzle.
These camps you simply show up, along with hundreds of other kickers and punters, and show what you got. Little to no instruction is given so there is more time for competition. Recommended for kids who are really doing well with their form and have been kicking awhile. Most of the time you will be given a rating according to how you perform at the camp. Great opportunity if you show well!
Instructional camps are recommended to any specialist who is looking for a little advice on how to take their skills to the next level. At The Kicking Unit’s kicking, punting and snapping instructional camps we breakdown each part of the kick, punt and snap. Our staff take a very detailed and precise approach with our instruction so we can be sure that you can take home the correct fundamentals that we taught you.
In the end the moral of the story is YES you should attend camps, combines and showcases if you are serious about taking your skills to the next level. They are essential to a kicker, punter or snapper’s exposure and will help you make it on a college or professional roster. For specialists, recruiting can be a very tough process that has many hurdles. If you are proactive you can get where you want to be whether that is at a big D1 school or the NFL. Find them so they can find you!
Good luck out there. If you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below or contact Coach Cameron directly at email@example.com. Also, let us know if you would be interested in attending our inaugural kicking camp or kicking lessons in Dallas, Austin or Houston Texas!
This video goes to show that your field goal kicks don't always have to be the prettiest to get the job done. Though this kicker from Midland Lee was cutting it a bit close, at the end of the day the stats still show him making it!
Share your thoughts on the video in the comments below or feel free to share your crazy football kicking videos with us.
It's that time of the year again...FOOTBALL SEASON, the greatest time of the year. It is time for you to earn your spot on the new team, stay healthy (not kicking too many balls during camp) and maintain the form your coaches have taught you during the off-season. Make sure every day you are striving to get better. Remember you do NOT have to kick a million balls to get better at kicking/punting. Limit yourself to 30-40 balls a day and warm up properly before you go out and kick. Things as simple as making sure you are ending up in the right spot after taking your steps every time to walking up and down the field dropping the ball to get the right drop every single time on your punts will go a long way in putting you ahead of your competition. Pay attention to the details now so they won't creep back and haunt you when game time comes around.
A Few Tips:
Be the Rabbit- It sounds goofy, yes, but act like you always have someone chasing you for your spot. No one is guaranteed a starting spot on the team ever (at least in our eyes)! Even if you are a 3 or 4 year starter, you never know when that can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Work your tail off every day and it will pay you dividends when the game is on the line and your coach calls your name to kick the game winning field goal.
Be Proactive- This goes for everything from staying healthy, stretching daily, icing and rehabbing any sore muscles to working with your snapper and holder before game time. Prevent injuries by warming up correctly every day (ride the bike for a little take a jog, high knees, butt kicks etc. and then stretch out), take ice baths and feel free to ice your legs after a long practice of kicking. A little ice goes a long way to helping you stay healthy throughout the season! You also want to be proactive with your snapper and holder. Make sure your total operation (snap, hold and kick) is flawless. It won't matter during the game that you can drain 60 yard field goals all day if you, your snapper and holder are all off cue. Work with them before and/or after practice to help make the snap, hold and kick look as effortless as possible.
Be a Student and an Athlete- A lot of times we forget that we are still students, but always remember if you can't make the grades you simply won't play. You don't want your grades to be the leading factor that makes you lose the kicking battle during the season! Take care of your business on and off the football field and reap the rewards.
Miss and Forget- Every single kicker or punter reading this right now will miss a field goal or mishit a punt this season, it’s just the nature of the beast. Whether it is during charting at practice or even during a game, there is simply no way around it. As a specialist our jobs come down to the very fine details. This leaves us more vulnerable to making mistakes in comparison to other positions. Unfortunately for us, we don’t get 100 reps during a game to make things right. This leaves us under the spotlight when we do have a hiccup. We want you to move past those mistakes when they happen. Don’t let them get in your head after missing a field goal or shanking a punt. Instead, come back stronger on your next attempt. You never know when you will be back on the field after your previous mishap so it’s best to Miss, Forget and Move on.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch- It’s a long season and you know it. By the time 2 or 3 games go by your legs are pretty sore and probably not as loose as they need to be. This is exactly why you need to be stretching 3-5 times a day for 5-10 minutes. A little stretching here and there will go a long way to helping preserve your flexibility throughout the season. Normal stretches will be all you need to do (nothing crazy). Set a schedule and stick to it. Stretch when you wake up, stretch mid-day, before/after practice and then one last stretch before you go to sleep.
Be sure to send us any stats, accomplishments and/or videos from your games. We are looking forward to hearing about all of your success on and off the field.
Being a kicker…Everyone wants to be one but not everyone is willing to put in the work it takes to become one. Training to become an elite field goal kicker takes a ton of hard work, but it will all be worth it once you nail a game winner to clinch the last playoff spot for the district.
Kicking comes with its highs and lows but most people only remember kickers when they mess up. The Kicking Unit’s goal is to help eliminate those moments by helping you diminish any inconsistencies you have as a kicker. We do this by providing you with helpful skill specific drills to help you master the art of kicking.
We breakdown every single part of the kick for you including:
Foot-to-ball contact: In order for a proper field goal kick you need to have the correct foot-to-ball contact. Our coaches will show you the importance of lining up the sweet spots on your foot and on the ball. We stress this step the most because this is simply the most important step to kicking. Without it you will be unable to get the maximum amount of power and accuracy out of your kick.
Plant Foot Placement: For most kickers this step can be one of the most vital parts to a kick. Landing the right plant spot can be the difference in making the game winning field goal and missing it. One of the only ways to ensure you are landing on the right spot every time is to build up your muscle memory. The K-Unit gives you multiple drills that help with this process but ultimately this will come down to how hard you work to become consistent with your overall kicking approach.
Proper steps: Of course anyone can step back a few yards and kick a field goal, but we show you the proper steps you need to take for your field goal kick. Of course there is not one right way to take your steps, but we will teach you what we have found to be the most productive and consistent through our days of kicking.
Overall mechanics and approach: Just like golf, if your mechanics and approach are off your entire shot will be skewed. At The Kicking Unit’s lessons and camps we show you the proper kicking mechanics you need to focus on in order to get the most out of your field goal kicks. Mechanics we touch on include overall leg swing path and the follow through after your kick.
These are all things The Kicking Unit touches on at our kicking camps and lessons. We show you the importance of each step of kicking and what happens when you mess them up. We push you to develop that edge that you will need for your upcoming season. This in result, leads to more success and consistency at the end of the day. Ultimately, this ties back into the big picture by helping you get ready when your name is called on during game day!
How do I Sign Up for a Lesson?
Simply fill out our lesson registration form and one of our coaches will contact you to set up a lesson. Also, feel free to contact Coach Cameron directly at 214-354-8606.
Lessons are typically held in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding nearby cities. We also have monthly lessons in Austin (Westlake area), Houston (Conroe and Tomball), and San Antonio. We also can arrange a private kicking lesson in your home town upon request (contact Coach Cameron for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Kicking Unit offers 1-on-1 private kicking and punting lessons ranging from 45 minutes ($100) to 1.5 hours ($200), as well as, small group lessons of 1-2 hours long ($70 per hour). Our group lessons are typically kept at a 4-1 student to coach ratio to help maintain a high level of quality. These lessons are only available after an initial lesson has been completed.
During and after your lesson, The Kicking Unit will give you plenty of kicking and punting tips to help you become the best punter or kicker you can possibly be. We are working on the clock for you 24/7 and will do anything in our power to help you out.
Are you ready to get started?
Sign up for a kicking and punting lesson today so we can set your foundation the right way! (See registration form here) Feel free to contact The Kicking Unit directly at 214-354-8606 or email us at email@example.com
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