Friday, January 21, 2011

National Camp Series Super Camp V Hosted by NFL and College Kickers and Punters

Kickers, Punters and Long Snappers had hands on training and evaluations from an amazing group of instructors including former NFL, current UFL, college kickers, punters and long snappers. Big names such as Craig Hentrich, Michael Husted, Louie Aguiar, Mike Hollis, Lee McDonald, Tom Feely, Dan Orner, Chris Shaw, Nick Novak and many others provided well over 40 years of NFL experience and knowledge.

Greetings from NCS!
We had yet another successful camp this past weekend January 8th-9th in San Antonio, Texas at the famous Alamo Stadium.  The National Camp Series put on Super Camp V, a high school event for snappers, kickers and punters looking to get high level instruction and position themselves to play at the college level.  The weather held up for the most part, being breezy and averaging in the low 50’s.
NCS founder and former NFL kicker Michael Husted remarked, “The quality of instructors for our Super Camp continues to grow every year.  Our network is committed to helping young athletes learn proper technique as well as to help them navigate through the recruiting process so that they can leverage their sport to get a college education.”
The 2011 class had a very strong showing throughout the camp, with many proving they can take their skills to the next level. This year’s class includes a solid group of kickers and punters who can make an immediate impact on a division 1 roster.
Class of 2011 “Significant 7” list includes:
1.     Will Johnson, 6’3, 190 lbs, Kicker, Earl Rudder High School, Bryan, TX
2.     Zachary Douglas, Kicker, 6’3, 190 lbs, Fort Meyers HS, Fort Meyers, FL
3.     Chad Levin, Kicker, 5’9, 165 lbs, Bentonville HS, Rogers, AR
4.     Will Conant, Kicker, 6’2, 195 lbs, Edmond Memorial HS, Edmond, OK
5.     Kyle Lawrence, Kicker, 5'7", 145 lbs, Kecoughtan HS, Hampton, VA
6.     Patrick Toole, Kicker, 5’9, 160 lbs, Wallkill HS, Wallkill, NY
7.     Lawson Furr, Kicker, 5’10”, 175 lbs, Mount Tabor HS, Winston Salem, VA

Campers from the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 also were able to display their skills. The kickers and punters from all four graduating classes were evaluated using NCS' objective point system platform.  During the charting, each NFL associate closely observed their performance and assigned character ratings based upon strength, technique and mental toughness.
Here are Super Camp V's top five from each class in overall field goal, kickoff, and punt averages:
Class of 2011 Kickers and Punters:
Kickers (FG’s ad KO combined)
1.     Will Johnson, 885 points
2.     Zachary Douglas, 855 points
3.     Kyle Lawrence, 838 points
4.     Will Conant, 815 points
5.     Alex Catron, 802 points
1.     Joey Roth, 841 Points
2.     Will Conant, 817 points
3.     Mark Minton, 793 points
4.     Mattias Ciabatti, 783 points
5.     Josiah Yazdani, 758

Overall PointsLeaders (Kicking, Kickoff and Punting Points):
1.     Will Conant, 1,632 points
2.     Will Johnson, 1,607 points
3.     Zachary Douglas 1,596 points
4.     Kyle Lawrence, 1573 points
5.     Alex Catron, 1,527 points

Class of 2012 Kickers and Punters
Kickers (FGs’ and KO combined)
1.     Aleem Sunanon, 857 points
2.     Joseph Speshok, 828 points
3.     Sam Falkenhagen, 826 points
4.     Jake Joyner, 813 points
5.     Bradley Pinion, 776 points
1.     Bradley Pinion, 840 points
2.     Connor Fitzgerald, 805 points
3.     Aleem Sunanon, 763 points
4.     Paul Vogel, 762 points
5.     Alex Boy, 760 points

Overall Points Leaders (Kicking, Kickoffs and Punting):
1.     Bradley Pinion, 1,672 points
2.     Aleem Sunanon, 1,620 points
3.     Sam Falkenhagen, 1,561 points
4.     Connor Fitzgerald, 1,535 points
5.     Justin Vogel, 1,532 points

Class of 2013 Kickers and Punters
Kickers (FG and KO combined)
1.     Kyle Brinton, 772 points
2.     Matt Wylie, 762 points
3.     Logan Gray, 754 points
4.     Jim Cooper, 752 points
5.     William O’Briant 751 points
1.     Austin Barnes, 811 points
2.     Jim Cooper, 755 points
3.     Danny Bowers, 708 points
4.     Blake Brewer, 704 points
5.     Markus Colin, 684 points

Overall Points Leaders (Kicking, Kickoffs and Punting):
1.     Austin Barnes, 1,535 points
2.     Jim Cooper, 1,507 points
3.     Markus Colin, 1,434 points
4.     Blake Brewer, 1,423 points
5.     Danny Bowers, 1,399 points
Link to complete results: 
Class of 2014 Kickers and Punters
Kicking (FG and KO combined)
1.     Miguel Recinos, 708 points
2.     Christian Pereira, 664 points
3.     Max Petty, 468 points
1.     Christian Pereira, 641 points
2.     Max Petty, 571 points
3.     Miguel Recinos, 522 Points

Overall Points Leaders (Kicking, Kickoffs and Punting):
1.     Christian Pereira, 1,305 points
2.     Miguel Recinos, 1,230 points
3.     Max Petty, 949 points
Super Camp V was capped off with a head to head tournament for all kickers and punters to display their ability to perform under pressure. It is an equal opportunity for all kickers and punters to prove they are among the top by taking home the champion’s trophy. Here are the results from each class’s head to head tournament:
      Class of 2011 and College Transfers
                        Field Goals
                                          1st Joseph Cannon
                                          2nd Mattias Ciabatti
                                          3rd Will Johnson
                                          4th Chad Levin
                        Kick Offs
                                          1st Will Johnson
                                          2nd Brian Davis
                                          3rd Zach Douglas
                                          4th Tanner Tongate
                                          1st Joseph Cannon
                                          2nd Scott Ayers
                                          3rd Joey Roth
                                          4th Zach Douglas
      Class of 2012
                        Field Goals
                                          1st Connor Fitzgerald
                                          2nd Camden Bohnert
                                          3rd Brooks Abbott
                                          4th Jake Joyner
                        Kick Offs
                                          1st Blake Lucas
                                          2nd Sam Falkenhagen
                                          3rd Camden Bohnert
                                          4th Justin Vogel
                                          1st Andre Vasquez
                                          2nd Worth Gregory
                                          3rd Camden Bohnert
                                          4th Alex Boy
      Class of 2013
                        Field Goals
                                          1st Jim Cooper
                                          2nd Logan Gray
                                          3rd Kyle Brinton
                                          4th William O'Briant
                        Kick Offs
                                          1st Jim Cooper
                                          2nd Danny Bowers
                                          3rd Blake Brewer
                                          4th Logan Gray
                                          1st Brett Rattan
                                          2nd Blake Brewer
                                          3rd Austin Barnes
4th Jim Cooper
Congrats to all of the Head to Head Tournament Champions!!
All of us at NCS want to thank all of the kickers, punters and snappers for attending our Super Camp V in San Antonio, TX. It was a successful weekend for both players and instructors. Please stay tuned for information on more NCS events in the future at  We look forward to working with you in the future!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Italian National Rugby Team

I recently had the opportunity to teach two coaches from the Italian Rugby National Team as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup in September.  Philippe Doussy and Daniele Porrino flew in from Milan, Italy last week to learn about American Football Kicking.  Rugby has a free kick which is similar to kicking field goals in American Football.

Not many people know that there is a "free kick" rule in American Football.  Whenever there are two minutes or less in a half, a punt returner can let the referee know that they are going to "fair catch" a punt and that they would like to execute a "free kick."  This free kick allows for a kicker to attempt a field goal without a rush.  Opponents must line up at least 10 yards away from the spot of the kick.  The kicker can then take as many steps as they'd like to try and make the field goal which will result in three points if the kick is good.

In Rugby, there is a designated player that takes all of the free kicks.  Unlike American Football, after the kick, the rugby kicker doesn't go off the field and grab a cup of Gatorade.  They must stay on the field and continue playing.  So, on top of having to be an accurate kicker, they must run, catch, pass like everyone else on the "pitch."

As we exchanged philosophies, we discovered the rugby kickers approach the ball at a much more wider angle than American kickers.  They also take many more steps to the ball.  Therefore, there is more room for error.  Their belief is that they can get better torque on the ball with their hips.  I explained that the principles are the same, consistent set up, distance from the ball, and approach to effectively transfer one's energy into the ball.  However, I felt that if trained properly, we could improve their accuracy rate.

Our first couple of sessions took place on the field.  I had NFL prospects John Koker and Jared Ballman demonstrate American Football kicking.  John Koker has one of the smoothest forms that I have seen.  Both John and Jared have strong legs.  My point to the Italian coaches was that you can still use your hips when kicking the American style, which uses a more narrow angle approach, and still generate solid power and accuracy.


Besides John and Jared, Dallas Cowboys' punter Mat McBriar was getting a light punt in as he prepared for the Pro Bowl.  There is a "spiral" kick in Rugby, but it is used while the player is running.  All and all the Italian coaches were able to see first hand proper kicking and punting techniques.

Our next session was focused on tackling.  Former NFL long snapper and Husted Kicking coach Mitch Palmer spent a couple of hours reviewing with Daniele and Philippe proper tackling techniques.  During this session Mitch also demonstrated snapping a football.  In rugby, there is a throw-in where one player is hoisted up in the air by a couple of team mates to receive the ball.  They were impressed with how the football was handled and the smooth technique used to generate power and accuracy while long snapping.   Who knows, maybe they will start throwing the ball in with the new technique...

Our last couple of sessions were focused on Sport Psychology and Position specific training for kickers.  While I was playing in the NFL, I spent a few years training under Mackie Shilstone.  Mackie had developed a training program specifically for kickers.  Focusing on the core, a stable torso, speed and flexibility, this program significantly improves the necessary muscles utilized while kicking field goals.  There were many great exercises that Mackie taught me that I was able to show and teach Philippe and Daniele.

My time spent coaching Daniele and Philippe were great.  I learned a great deal about rugby and was able to share with them through proper demonstration American Football kicking.  I have no doubt that they left with a great understanding and appreciation for the craft.  I look forward to the opportunity to visit Italy and see how they are implementing our style of kicking with the National Team as well as the younger players in their academies across the country.