Growing up and starting to kick footballs in 8th grade, I started working one on one with a private kicking coach and this continued until after college and through my Pro indoor football career. During all these years, I only attended 1 general kicking camp in the 9th grade, which was not a college camp. I did, however, attend several invitational college kicking camps in my junior year of High School, which was very beneficial because these were for potential scholarships. These college camps only had 5-10 kids there, and it allowed for great competition, but also personalized instruction by the kicking coach or Special Teams coach that was present. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot, while competing with the top kickers in the country. Thankfully, I was able to pick up a few scholarships at these camps, so it was definitely worth my time! Really the only way to get a potential scholarship for kicking/punting, which is very hard to get still, is to attend one of these invitational college-kicking camps because the college coaching staff wants to see you in person kicking off the ground and wants to make sure that your character is up to par. You won’t get a scholarship by just attending a general big kicking camp, especially with no college coaches present! Going to these big camps may get you good film and on some databases, but again it will not get you a scholarship by being present at these general big kicking camps. You have to attend these college invitational small kicking camps by the end of your junior year to get a real good look and potentially get a scholarship.
Training with a private coach on a consistent basis throughout my kicking career, allowed me to get to know my kicking coach on the next level, always getting great mental advice, and getting ample kicking reps to improve my technique. I was able to develop consistent & solid technique, and was able to get all the individual attention I needed. I was able to ask questions whenever I wanted and essentially have more personalized sessions. Being a visual learner also really helped me while training one on one with my kicking coach. I was able to see what he was doing with his technique and not having to worry about many others interrupting or other coaches trying to teach different techniques. This can cause much confusion and distractions for the kicker, and this is what you encounter at big kicking camps.
I strongly believe in private kicking training vs. having big camps. The main reason why private training sessions are more advantageous than having large camps is the fact that my clients can get FULL kicking/punting reps and it’s more personable for my clients. Getting to know my clients on the next level is crucial because that allows them to instill trust in me and essentially enjoy being at the training session, while learning a lot. During these one on one kicking sessions, I warm up and stretch with my clients. While doing so, we talk about the mental aspect of kicking & punting, which is so important to discuss on a consistent basis. I also talk about life with them and answer any of my client’s questions they might have. I am very patient with all of my clients and take my time with them in each and every session. We go over all the technique stuff, while doing fun drills that relate. Once again, I believe that having big camps causes too many distractions for kids and they usually have to share reps with 20+ other kids. They are not learning the essentials because the coaches are either busy talking to other kids or other coaches, or just not “coaching enough” at these big camps. There is no personable training here. Also, having several coaches at these camps can cause confusion to the kids because they are trying to teach them all different types of technique, and this can cause inconsistency and having the kids think too much about everything. However, I do believe that having mini camps and small group sessions to create a competitive and fun nature between my kicking clients is a must to have every once in a while. This will help them develop a competitive fun nature and thus, not be afraid of competition. During these small group sessions/mini camps, my clients are able to get to know each other and still get ample kicking reps, without having to wait 5 minutes or more to kick or get the next rep. In conclusion, if you want to be a successful-consistent kicker or punter, and want to take your kicking and punting to the next level, private one on one kicking sessions are the way to go!