Vol.2, No.3

High school football punting drills

the best way to teach high school punting drills

A football punt
Photo Credit: Jasen Leathers
The best way to teach high school football punting drills is to repeat them. Repetition is the keyword here. This is effective due to the fact that more practice results in fewer mistakes made. The fewer mistakes that are made in practice result in fewer mistakes made on the football field. And this of course leads to greater success, improved performance and more notches in the winning column.

There are several ways to conduct these drills. One way is to actually have a player punt the balls. Another way is to purchase a football punting machine. Yes one does exist and has been used by thousands of teams over decades. It resemble a pitching machine or an automatic tennis ball launcher. One just drops a football into the machine calibrates the distance and whamo-bango off goes a punt.

Whichever type is chosen can be used to help defend against the punt and can be used to practice scoring plays with the punt. So it is used to train the

both defensive and offensive teams on how to score or to prevent scoring. This can all be done at half speed to prevent injuries and if a punting machine is used it will prevent strains or overuse of the punters leg.

In the pursuit of perfection it is important to attempt various types of kicks. Some are high kicks and some are low kicks. Some are meant for getting long distance some for short yardage. There is even the on-side kick to consider. Whatever the kick it is important to remember that repetition is tantamount to success. If the players are kept at half speed then many more plays can be practiced than at full speed with pads and helmets on.

When working with the punter it is important that he practice power kicks and also that he try accuracy. It can mean the difference between losing and winning in a very close game. The coffin-corner kick got that name for a reason.

The punt receiving team needs to work on receiving the ball and trying to make as many yards as possible. There is one play in particular that can be highly successful. That is to return the punt with a line of blockers who place themselves side by side about two yards apart on the near sidelines making a protective wall the punt returner runs behind for protection.

There is also a defensive play that works very well and that is to have the snapper release after the snap without blocking anybody and then following the football down field directly to the man who is about to receive the punt and tackling him right then and there.

Of course there are many many other plays and there are indeed variations of the above plays. There just needs to be found time during practice to go over them step by step so that each man knows his responsibility. If even one mistake is made the whole team suffers.

There is also the fake punt that is available in a teams arsenal. If used correctly it can catch the other team off guard and perhaps score a touchdown or gain big hunks of yardage. It can also be risky. It is a play of deception and if not used correctly can prove costly. Sometimes to live by the sword is to die by the sword.