During pre-season football in July and August, coaches install special teams plays. Typically, the kickers, punters, snappers, and holders have practiced alone during the spring and summer, with no simulation of rushing and blocking ---- and with no helmets and pads. What worked well in isolation often works poorly when the other players are added, and coaches incorrectly attribute the failure of the play to the skills of the kicker or punter. A staff that is willing to take recommendations can identify the following factors through a team visit:
- Causes for variation in timing of special teams plays
- Combinations of players who will work best together (like which snapper or holder for a particular kicker)
- Alignments that will improve player consistency
- Methods to provide positive reinforecement
- Changes in shoes/equipment to enhance performance
- Adjustments to snapper and/or holder positions to facilitate better ball control
- Suggestions for punt and kick-off coverages to take advantage of the skills of the punter and kicker
Coaches should never attempt to change the style of a kicker or punter during or immediately preceding the playing season. A team visit in the fall, therefore, would not be for the purpose of teaching individual skills. (If a former back-up player must become an emergency starter, training suitable to the individual would be provided.) With college teams, the focus of pre-season visits is to develop the working structure within the unit of kickers, punters, and snappers. Players often request a visit for a special practice during the open week on the schedule.
During spring football practice, a team visit can provide:
- Position-specific drillwork
- Individualized goals for player development over the summer months
- Instruction for coaches/parents about how to practice
Visits can also be scheduled at times of the year when the coaches are not allowed to conduct organized practices. Players and their parents may arrange for use of the facilities, keeping in mind the needs of other sports teams.
To arrange for a team visit, please call Coach White in Athens at 706-549-2695. Housing and gas should be included. Travel expense should be figured at 30 cents per mile round-trip.