The Kicking Unit's second ever kicking camp was held in Rockwall, Texas on April 15, 2017. The attendees ranged in ages from 13-18 and included specialists of all skill levels!
The weather was a 80-85 degrees with a steady S/SW 15-20 mph wind. Awards were given out for Best in Field Goals, Punts, and Kick-Offs along with a "Rising Star" award.
Field Goals: Lucas Maher - Won the field goal competition with a 55 yard field goal and went 90% (9/10) during charting. It is also worth noting Lucas nearly connected on a 60 yard field goal prior to hitting his final 55 yard field goal. Pretty impressive for a freshman in High School! Not to mention he was runner up in kick-offs and punts!
Punts: Brady Obholz - Won the punting competition with a punt that had to clear 38 yards (net of a 15 yard snap) and a 3.9 second hang time. Although the criteria was 38 yards, Brady's final punt went well past the mark and hit a hang time close to 4.4 seconds! Brady was also perfect (10/10) during charting field goals, runner up on our field goal competition (hit the upright on his final 55 yard attempt), and hit multiple kick-offs 60+ yards.
Kick-Offs: Carl Teller - Won the kick-off competition with a huge 72 yard kick-off. Carl's consistency is what helped him clear multiple hurdles during the kick-off competition. Carl also connected on multiple 50 yard field goals and finished third in field goals and punts.
Rising star: Buck Buchanon - Although Buck was the youngest kicker at the camp, he was still able to compete with the big dogs. What he lacked in power he made up for with his determination, consistency, and willing to take feedback and correct mistakes. Which ultimately earned him The Kicking Unit's Rising Star Award!
Other Notable Performances: Beto Diaz - Beto showed well in all three phases at the camp (field goals, punts, and kick-offs). Even though he didn't walk away with any awards, he will be someone to keep an eye on in the future. He pulled up just short on a 45 yard field goal, hit multiple 55 yard kick-offs, and hit several BOOMING punts that turned over.
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 instruction, charting, and competition sessions for field goals, punts and kick-offs.
A big thank you goes to everyone who attended this camp! For those in attendance, let us know how we did so we can improve on our next camp. Please leave a comment below, leave a review, or shoot Coach Cameron and email (email@example.com). Also, if interested in a lesson let us know as well.
Check out the pictures from the camp on our facebook. Share via social media and #KUnit #TheKickingUnit
The Kicking Unit
I've heard it a number of times from players I coach.
"How can I take my game to the next level?" or "What do I need to do play in college?"
We all watch professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, Olympics, etc. and ask how do they do it?
We all want to be them but not many know the amount of work it takes to become them.
All we see is the finished product crossing the finish line, the 60 yard field goal game winners and the classic buzzer beater. Along with the glory and praise they receive from victories and national championships.
Many of us do not realize all of the hard work that takes place behind the scenes.
This leads me into the real question.
What does it take to become great?
Through my experience, all athletes who have achieved high levels of success seem to carry a few key characteristics. Characteristics that help push them to the next phase of their career. I’ve listed just a few that I feel will help take your game to the next level.
Characteristics of the Elite
Never Accept Mediocrity. Not finishing sets, going 70% through drills, slacking because your coach isn’t watching. All are signs of mediocrity and can lead you down the short path of being an average athlete. Being average might work for a small portion of your playing career but ultimately it will be the difference between playing in college (or the pros) and not. Strive to get better every day you’re at practice or working on your craft. Set goals and go all-out to achieve them. Never accept mediocrity.
Over Prepare. Late nights and early mornings. Hours upon hours of countless reps drenched in sweat while everyone else is asleep. Work hard and reap the benefits. Over prepare yourself for your next opportunity and be ready for anything thrown your way.
Be Coachable. Listen to what your coach is saying. Take a stab at the advice you’ve been given from your peers. If it works for you great! If it doesn’t, no sweat. That is how you develop further as an athlete. Take advice/criticism, pull out the weeds, and keep what works for you in your tool box. Perfect your craft and become an expert in your position.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure. The cliché phrase may seem simple but it does hold truth for athletes. With my experience in sports I can heavily relate to the topic. Worrying about making a mistake will make you tense and uncomfortable during a game or even practice. Relax and stop worrying about not being perfect. All athletes make mistakes in their career. That is just a part of being a human being. The trick is to be sure you never make the same mistake twice. Correct your mistakes and become a better athlete.
“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm
Become Obsessed. While this may not seem reasonable to some, obsession is a common trait with some of the all-time greats. Obsession might have a bad rep in context but I see it as an essential trait you need to achieve your goals and ambitions in life. Live it, breathe it, eat while watching or reading about it, and go to sleep dreaming about it. Become infatuated with what you’re are doing and tell me it doesn’t make you better at what you are doing! Jump in with two feet and fully commit to becoming the best athlete in your sport.
Tom Brady, “There isn’t a moment that I don’t think about playing. As I walk by the mirror in the morning I’ll go through a throwing mechanic. It’s just ingrained in every aspect of my life. There’s no off button.”
Eliminate Excuses. Get rid of the excuses for why you can’t do something. If things don’t work out in your favor, accept them and correct them. Don’t point the blame on one of your teammates or anyone else. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “Oh I couldn’t go practice because my parent’s got home late and I didn’t have a ride to the field.” Or “I would have made it if it wasn’t for [insert excuse here].” GET RID of EXCUSES and take responsibility for any mishaps that might have happened. Don’t have a ride to the field? Find a way to get better around the house or in the driveway. Avoid the excuses and accelerate your success by being accountable.
These are just a handful of characteristics Coach Cameron and The Kicking Unit staff try to ingrain in the players we train on a daily basis. We feel if you live by these you will see high levels of success on and off the field. Have any other characteristics to add to the list? Leave a comment and let us know.
When you are ready to take your kicking/punting to the next level sign up below. Check out our Next Level program starting this month!! Also, check out our Dallas Kicking Camps for 2017.
The Kicking Unit
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.
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