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March 13, 2014

SCVARSITY Specialist-Kicking Training Days

South Carolina Varsity Specialist Training Days
Across the country, there are plenty of examples each year of scholarship kickers getting beaten out by walk-ons who go on to have big seasons. The reason for that is because of the lack of evaluation of the kickers at the high school level. Without proper evaluations, it is impossible to not only rank players, but also to project how they are going to perform at the next level. That is especially true of kickers, as so much changes when they go from kicking the ball off of the tee in high school to kicking off of the ground in college.

OUR PHILOSOPHY ON COACHING KICKING
This may seem simple, but kicking boils down to two components: Foot Speed and Direction

Foot speed is the most difficult to develop and to teach. Much the way you can't coach a 100mph fastball, foot speed has a natural component to it. Band work, and pool resistance work is the best way to develop leg speed in my opinion. The important thing is to keep the leg lean. Building muscle mass is not going to increase leg speed. Think "pitcher" not body builder.

We use the comparison to golf in explaining this because the components are very similar.

Direction boils down to three main components: LINE, PATH AND FACE

LINE:
Just like golf, if your alignment is bad, a perfect shot will miss the green. The same is true for kicking field goals. If alignment is bad, the good kick will miss the uprights. This can create problems as the FG kicker will try to adjust other parts of the kick when in reality those parts were perfect.

PATH:
The path of the foot is like the arc of a golf swing… I analyze where the top of the arc is and where it bottoms out. Is the path our outside in or inside out path? Where on the arc is the striking position? Depending on the arc and the factors mentioned, the plant foot may need adjustment. The secret to fixing path falls with the first step of the kick. A right footed kicker determines the path with his right foot. As he takes his first step, the right foot will set up the path. A first step toward the holder will result in a path that is outside in and result in a miss to the left. A first step to the left (very rare) will create an inside out path that will likely miss to the right.

FACE:
Much like in golf, the perfect alignment and the perfect path can be destroyed by an open or closed face at impact. Depending on the foot position technique of the kicker (Canter, American SS, Wedge) the face of the foot can look very different. Video analysis will determine the foot position of the kicker and will make teaching foot position much easier. It will be up to the kicker to learn how to kick with his nature foot position or to try to change his foot position. Over the last 2 decades taller folks have become NFL kickers because they either naturally have a wedge style or have learned to adjust to a wedge style of ball striking.

In analyzing kickers, I begin with foot position and work my way backwards, and foot position choice will influence the path and alignment. Wedge kickers tend to be "tighter" or have less angle at alignment while European style kickers have a sharper angle. The angle influences the path of the leg and the follow through. We can talk more about this live.

Like a golfer, every swing is different. Knowing the different ways to successfully strike a football is the key to coaching. It is not a one size fits all kind of a deal.

EXPOSURE:
SCVARSITY.com is the exclusive South Carolina high school football website for Rivals.com, a division of Yahoo Sports. Our affiliation with Rivals.com as one of their first sites allows our athletes to have a chance to be featured on the leading national recruiting website and the nation's largest college and high-school online media property. SCVARSITY.com promotes and supports South Carolina High School football players, coaches, and fans throughout the year. We have extensive ties to the high school football community including coaches, players, and media promotions.

When choosing a camp be discerning on why some camps / instructors are only around and show up during camp season. Ask yourself what do they provide the rest of the year. Ask why SCVARSITY.com is the most visited website for South Carolina High School football in the nation over the past fifteen years. Ask how we have helped hundreds of athletes throughout the last decade achieve their dreams and recognize their abilities.

COACHING:
I am excited that to join forces with kicking coaches Mark Fowble and Reid Morton, as well as Dr. Jay Patel, in the designing of our camp instruction and evaluation format.

Coach Fowble - Current kicking coach for Newberry College working directly with placekickers, punters, holders, and snappers. Played high school at Richland Northeast ('84-'87). At one time, held the field goal record in South Carolina, which was 57 yards in 1986. Continued career as a scholarship player for NC State under Coach Dick Sheridan. Was respected for his kickoff power and trajectory; played in four bowl games with the Wolfpack. Had invited tryout for the Houston Oilers (92-93) and spend time on the Oilers practice roster before going into private business.

Coach Morton - Morton is a graduate of Irmo High School, where he was a 2nd team All-American. Still considered one of the state's top kickers in history, kicking 15 consecutive field goals in a season, all from 47 yards and out. Scholarship athlete for the University of South Carolina where he was a 4-year letterman. He made the Freshman All-SEC team. Holds 4 school records at South Carolina, 1 Carquest Bowl Record, SEC record for PAT's in a game and at completion of career was ranked 12th in FG percentage in SEC history. Joined Coach Lou Holtz' staff as a graduate assistant in 2000 and coached on the Outback Bowl Champion team. Coached Gamecock kickers and punters Jason Corse, Dan Weaver, and Tyler Dean.

Coach Adam Holmes - Coach Holmes was recently named the Athletic Director/head football coach for Grey Collegiate Academy. He has spent the last 6 years as the head coach of the Orangeburg-Prep football team in SCISA. Holmes was a four year starter as a long-snapper for the University of South Carolina and has continued private instruction through his coaching career.

Dr. Jay Patel - I'm very excited to have Dr. Jay Patel on our team. An outstanding high school quarterback and kicker, Jay spent one year on the Auburn football team before stepping away from the game to pursue his passion in education. Earning a PhD in Kinesiology with specialization in sports biomechanics, Jay is a leader in his industry. He has worked as a consult with Auburn University from 2010 - 2013 doing high speed video and biomechanics analyses with their kickers and punters, as well as worked with several Olympic athletes in swimming and track and field. He also taught undergraduate biomechanics for three years and worked closely with the Strength and Conditioning group while there. He is a member of NSCA and ACSM.

ABOUT THE TRAINING DAYS
First of all, our training days are designed for kickers, punters, and long snappers. Holders for kicker are allowed in training day with the kicker at no charge. We want you working with your holder.

Our desire is to instruct and evaluate the football specialists of South Carolina so that we can more accurately rank/rate them and include them in our prospect list when solicited by the college coaches, as well as include them in our annual Recruiting Guide published for the recruiters.

The "training days" are two-hour sessions spent with our coaches once a month for a five month period. They are spaced four weeks apart so that the player may take the training and evaluation recommendations and work on those things and return for follow up evaluation and corrections. This is a system that we have proven effective with our quarterbacks and wide receivers with QB1 Training Days and are implementing it with the specialists.

Training Days are held on Sunday afternoons from 2pm - 4pm. Scheduled dates are February 23, March 23, April 27th, May 25th, and June 22nd in Lexington, South Carolina.

All players registering for the 5-Training Day Package will also be automatically registered for the SCV All State Football Scouting Combine on April 26 at no charge. This is an event that has dozens of DII coaches on hand (DI and DIII are not allowed to attend per NCAA rules).

You may certainly pay and attend a single camp, but it would be to your benefit to be at all of the camps because of the progressive training structure based on monthly evaluations.

COSTS
Like all of South Carolina Varsity's events, the Specialists Training Days are far less expensive than the rest of the market. While a single camp is $100.00, the entire five training day package is just $300.00 (60.00 per session) and both have the option of paying over time through pay pal should you choose to do that.




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