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GUEST EXPERT ARTICLE

Catch to Kick
Greg Montgomery
Article posted on 9/3/2013

In a typical NFL game, the punter has 1.2 seconds to punt the football. I'll say it again. From catch to kick, it takes One Point Two Seconds to complete the punting process. No time to think. Only time to react. Muscle memory takes over and it seems like a blur.

We must learn to 'slow it down'. And in order to do this, your mechanics must be sound and mind totally clear.

As you can imagine, anxiety is very common in professional sports. And athletes handle this in many different ways. Why do we get so stressed out before (and during) games? This is supposed to be fun. What are the triggers? How do we deactivate the source? Is it possible to play 'stress free'? In a word, yes.

When I played, I did my best to block out the pressure. I used to take a deep breath and just do it. But no matter how hard I tried, I always struggled. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? For me it was the frustration of not knowing EXACTLY how the mechanics worked and playing with pain. The constant desire to prove myself. Never wanting to let my teammates/coaches/fans down. Wanting to be 'perfect'. My unquiet mind.

It turns out it all was an illusion. I created the pressure by constantly focusing on the 'results' versus the 'process'. And I truly didn't know exactly how the punting motion really worked. That's because it's never been taught....... until now. The Set & Pull 5.0 ........ The Move.

This is why I enjoy coaching so much. Sharing my wisdom. Giving punters the tools to be great. My 12 years removed from professional football have been spent dissecting both the mechanics of the punting motion and the mental skills needed in the punting game. How the body and brain work under pressure. How to relax and allow our body to unfold naturally. How it serves no purpose putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Worrying about things we can't control. Wondering if the coaches are happy with our performance. Wondering if the wind will be blowing left or right on game day. Wondering if we're going to get a good snap. Hoping we'll have a good drop. Wondering. Thinking. Worrying.

Relax. Read and React. Pay attention to the process. The results will come.

The trick is to entirely remove 'results' from our mind. We have 1.2 seconds. The catching of the ball, the setting of the leg, the pulling of the knee, the release of the drop and the snapping of the leg. All in 1.2 seconds. It happens that fast.

I've learned that our minds are extremely powerful. I've learned that we're actually in control of our thoughts. 'The Zone' is a skill that needs to practiced. Learning to 'watch our thoughts', quiet our minds and stay in the zone can lead to unbelievable results on and off the field.

There's a saying - "If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you'll end up pissing on today".

Focus on what you can control. The present. The process........ The Catch to Kick.

This what I do.

This is what I can teach you.


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Football is one-third offense, one-third defense, and one-third special teams
-- George Allen

Doug and Tommy's Frequently Asked Questions: "I can easily kick 20 and 25 yard field goals consistently. The ball looks to be good from another 20 or so yards back, but as soon as I move back to kick, the ball falls short. Is this a mental problem or should I do drills to increase distance? I think that it is partly mental because the farther I get from the uprights, the less confident I feel. What do you think?" -- Click here to read our answer

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Kicking.com: Catch to Kick - by Greg Montgomery