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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, let us know if you would be interested in attending our inaugural kicking camp or kicking lessons in Dallas, Austin or Houston Texas!
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