All Star Tips

-Balance and Coordination-

Having balance and coordination plays a key role in the success of a special teamer. One must be able to perform certain unnatural movements in order to kick, punt, snap, hold and return.
When you first learned to walk, your body and mind had to adjust and find balance and coordination so you would not fall over or run into things. The same goes for running and even sitting down. These are all examples of natural movements and reacting on instincts. The way to become better at your special team position is to develop certain balance for the actions you perform and then having the coordination to do it strictly on instincts. Make those uncomfortable feeling positions natural to your mind and body.
There are two things one can do to help improve their balance and coordination.
The first thing is Stretching. I would recommend stretching at least one time a day and twice if you have a workout or practice that day. The best time to stretch is in the morning. This will increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles as well as lengthen them further helping the body perform better. That is why stretching is so important before any workout, practice or game.
Balance drills are helpful in training the mind to adjust to the certain uncomfortable movements felt while kicking, punting, kicking off, snapping, holding and returning. Balance drills need to be done before every workout, practice or game. One needs to mimic actions of their special team’s position during warm-up. These are drills that must be done with the focus on being able to control all of your body movements. So do them slow and steady.

-Fundamentals and Tips to Remember-

In order to get ahead of the competition, one must know their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Watch film if available. Watch your opponent during pre game warm-up.
Each player should also get to know their fellow special team players to the best of their knowledge. Kickers and punters should spend more time with their snapper than anyone else on the team and vice versa with the snapper. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Every chance you get, practice with some returners. A returner can even return kicks on field goals as well as punts. This way kickers and snappers don’t have to continually chase balls and in turn everyone gets more reps.

- Trust yourself and the technique that feels comfortable to you
- Always check the wind
- Stay in control of your body movements
- Be consistent in your approach, with your kick, and in your follow through - Keep your ankle locked
- Keep your head down
- Find the sweet spot

-Warm-Up Drills-
It is very important to get the body used to movements that will be taking place once the game has started. Each player must use actions in their warm-up that will be used during the game. This will get the mind acting in a more instinctive way and will enable the body to respond in a more natural way. The body cannot perform at its best in a cold state. Blood needs to be pumping and oxygen needs to be flowing. Focus on the individual position warm-ups that you did with your position coaches.
Warm-up Running- high knees, butt kicks, skips, kicks-front-back-side, swinging gate (10 yards distance)
Stretch for 5-10 minutes- hamstrings, quads, calves, groin, back, neck
Balance Drills- left over right heel to toe, swing out left over right heel to toe, kick up left over right heel to toe (10 yards distance)
Partner Sweet Spot Kicking and Punting- 10 yards no step (5 apiece), 20 yards 1 step (5 apiece), 30 yards 2 step (5 apiece)

- high knees, butt kicks, skips, back peddle, karaoke 

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