The Game Winning Kick

The Game Winning Kick

It is what we live for, what we dream of, and for most of us the reason we choose to be a kicker…THE GAME WINNING KICK.  Of course in our dreams we always make the kick.  Reality says that its possible to make or miss that game winning kick and the result may effect the rest of your kicking career.  Great kickers are best judged by the ability to kick under the most extreme pressure situations.  These kicks account for less than 5% of what kickers actually do, but these are the kicks that are remembered the most.  So, the question is, how can you put yourself in the best possible position to make these kicks.  There is no simple answer, but there are ways to give yourself the best odds.

    •    Play multiple sports from a young age (both individual & team).  The more you put yourself in competitive situations growing up, the more confident and prepared you will be down the road.  It is is fact!  The best athletes are the best kickers.  Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but the percentages are clear.  Athletes are the kickers that college coaches want to recruit and NFL scouts want to sign.  See the blog on What Qualities Make Up The Best Kicker: CLICK HERE
    •    Learn proper kicking techniques from a young age (I suggest 7th/8th grade). See the blog on When To Start Kicking: CLICK HERE Creating good habits and avoiding bad habits is one of the best ways to establish great muscle memory.  The longer you wait, the harder it is to break bad habits. 
    •    Kick with confidence.  This comes from preparation.  Kicking is a year round sport.  Once you start kicking in high school, if you want to be the best, there is no offseason.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot play other sports.  This means that you have to make time for kicking no matter the season.  Kick 3-4 days per week, watch film, lift regularly, focus on flexibility, and do your muscle memory drills seven days a week. 
    •    Muscle Memory!  A great kicker does, he doesn’t think.  Do your muscle memory drills seven days a week.  When the time comes, your muscle memory will take over.  No matter how nervous you may get, your body will only know ONE way to kick.  And you will make that big kick. 
    •    Routine, routine, routine!  Practice the way that you want to play in games.  Treat every kick the same from the first kick in practice to the last kick of your career.  Create a routine, both mental and physical, in your setup.  Go through the same mental process.  Once you get used to doing this, you will be able to block out fans, the size of the stadium, the lineman yelling at you, the hash mark you are on, the distance you are kicking from, and most importantly the magnitude of the kick you are about to attempt. 

There is no guarantee that you will make every game winning kick that you will attempt in your career.  In fact, even the best of the best miss from time to time.  But there is a formula for making more of them than you miss.  Never focus on your last kick and always focus on your next.  Work hard, kick with confidence, and train like a pro.  I’ve seen hundreds of Chris Sailer Kicking students hit game-winners, and I’m looking forward to seeing thousands more join that list.  It is the best feeling in the world! 

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Meet the 2012 “TOP 12”

Chris Sailer Kicking Presents the……
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In 2003, Chris Sailer Kicking established the biggest kicking, punting, and long snapping camp the world had ever seen, The National Kicking Competition.  The camp brought in the best of the best from across the nation to compete at one location.  The camp established credible recruiting rankings and evaluations for kickers, punters, and long snappers that college coaches across the country would use for years to come.  The camp, now known as the National Kicking Event, takes place in Las Vegas each year in January.  
Every athlete comes with one major goal in common, making the prestigious “TOP 12”.  This is THE exposure list to be on for national exposure.  The twelve best underclassmen in the nation are identified for the Kicking/Punting positions.  The best of the best are then invited to the exclusive, invite only, “TOP 12” camp that following summer.  College coaches take notice, and scholarships are awarded. 
To get an idea for what the “TOP 12” is all about, take a look at some of the very best over the years:  David Buehler (USC & Dallas Cowboys), Ryan Succop (South Carolina & Kansas City Chiefs), Thomas Weber (Arizona State & Lou Groza Award Winner), Kai Forbath (UCLA & Lou Groza Award Winner), Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State, Lou Groza Award Winner & Dallas Cowboys), & Randy Bullock (Texas A&M & Lou Groza Awards Winner).  Just to name a few!
  
Meet the “TOP 12” Class of 2012

Kickers/Punters

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CONNOR SHENNAN
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High School:
Canton
State:
MI
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
12
Height:
6-2
Weight:
195
GPA:
3.4
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Michigan State
2. Montana 3. Colorado State 4. Mississippi State 5. Missouri
Hobbies:
1. Music
2. Reading 3. Travel
Connor Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because I am a fierce competitor.  I am a clutch player in high pressure situations.  I work hard on and off the field and stay in shape year round.  I have a big leg and take pride in my consistency. 
Chris Sailer Says: “Connor is a big time talent.  He has a strong leg and shows tremendous potential.  Connor has all the tools to prove that he is a scholarship player. Look for him to have a strong spring and summer!”

MICHAEL GEIGER

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High School:
Ottawa Hills
State:
OH
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
2
Height:
5-9
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.9
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Oregon
2. Michigan 3. CAL 4. Virginia 5. Michigan State
Hobbies: 1. Sports
2. Piano 3. Faith
Michael Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because I strive for perfection. Every time I kick a ball I intend for it to go right down the middle. I think I have worked hard to reach the level that I am at, but my work ethic will help me to keep improving. I am also a fierce competitor, and seek out any opportunity to compete. I hold myself to a very high standard, in hopes of achieving my goals.
Chris Sailer Says:
“Michael is simply an outstanding kicker.  He is smooth, accurate, and extremely consistent off the ground. His field goals are by far #1 in the nation at this point. Kickoffs are also solid and he is proving to be a capable punter.  A great competitor that kicks well under pressure.  Michael is a great college prospect that should be one of the very first to pick up scholarship offers in the Class of 2013.  OFFER NOW!!!”

JIMMY HUTCHINSON
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High School:
Harrison
State:
GA
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Punter
Current National CSK Ranking: #
1
Height:
6-3
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.7
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Auburn
2. UCLA 3. Ohio State 4. Miami 5. South Carolina
Hobbies: 1. 
Sports 2. The Lake 3. Friends & Family
Jimmy Says:
“I am the best punter in the nation because of my excellent work ethic and drive to be the best. Every time I practice, my goal is to get better in some way each time. I will always give my 100%.
Chris Sailer Says: “Jimmy is an outstanding punter.  He has a great frame ahd shows great explosion. Jimmy has shown great improvement each time we have seen him. A great athlete that has all the tools.  He excels under pressure.  A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.  Great D1 prospect. Huge pick up for Auburn!


TY CUMMINGS
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High School:
Southlake Carroll
State:
TX
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
1
Height:
  5-11
Weight:
180
GPA:
3.3
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Oregon
2. LSU 3. Houston 4. Auburn 5. Miami
Hobbies:
1. Football
2. Family 3. Friends
Ty Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because I have the strongest leg and my accuracy is much improved. I have worked extremely hard on the field and in video to improve as much as possible over the years and now I am always ready to make a kick when it matters.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Ty is simply an outstanding kicker.  He has perhaps the strongest leg in the nation and hits a very consistent ball with great height off the ground.  Kickoffs are at the top of his class and are D1A ready! Fine young man with a great attitude and excellent work ethic.  Has made it very clear he will stay at the top of this recruiting class.  A definite scholarship pick.  OFFER NOW!!!”

MATT WOGAN
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High School:
Porter Ridge
State:
NC
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
3
Height:
6-2
Weight:
195
GPA:
4.08
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Oregon
2. Auburn 3. South Carolina 4. Florida 5. Houston
Hobbies:
1. Hunting
2. Fishing 3. Working Out
Matt Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because of my my work ethic, integrity, and leadership. My work ethic is fast and hard which helps me finish. I have great coaches that provide me with the tools and drills I need to be the best. Also my integrity, I do the right thing when nobody is watching, on and off the field. Integrity brings out character and it shows who you really are. My leadership is not only on the field, it is in the classroom, in the community, and on the field. I try to make people better by leading by example and by my actions.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Matt is a phenomenal kicking prospect.  He has the strongest leg in the nation and shows huge talent. Kickoffs are top 2 in the nation in the Class of 2013.  A great athlete with an even better attitude.  The sky is the limit.  A D1 Scholarship Pick without a doubt.  OFFER NOW!!!”

JONATHAN KING
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High School:
Farragut
State:
TN
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker / Punter
Current National CSK Kicking Ranking: #
4
Currnet National CSK Punting Ranking: #2
Height:
6-1
Weight: 160

GPA:
3.0
Top 3 Colleges Choices:
1. South Carolina
2. Auburn 3. Tennessee
Jonathan Says:
“I am the best kicker/punter in the nation because of my strong work ethic, my passion for football, willingness to be coached, team player, my positive attitude, and my desire to be the the best I can be while glorifying God.”
Chris Sailer Says:
“Jonathan is an oustanding kicker/punter.  He has great technique and kicks with excellent consistency.  Very smooth.  Field goals are near the very top of his class.  Kickoffs are also top notch.  And might be the top punter in this class. Has a great attitde and kicks well under pressure. The #1 combo prospect in the nation as of 4-6-12.  Big Time Prospect. OFFER NOW!!!”

JORDAN DASCALO

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High School:
Taft
State:
CA
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker / Punter
Current National CSK Kicking Ranking: #
11
Current National CSK Punting Ranking: #11
Height:
6-1
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.1
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Ohio State
2. LSU 3. Oregon 4. Flroida 5. Arizona State
Hobbies:
1. Kicking
2. Punting 3. Weight Lifting
Jordan Says:
“I am the best kicker / punter in the nation because is my work ethic and strong mental side to the kicking and punting game.  I believe no one can compete with me on either skill.”
Chris Sailer Says:  “Jordan is a very talented kicker. He has a strong leg and shows great potential. Has shown outstanding improvement each time we have seen him.  One of the strongest legs in his class.  Also shows punting potential.  A fine young man with great work ethic.  Is going to be a top combo prosepct in this class!  Fine prospect.”

BRET MILLER

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High School:
San Clemente
State:
CA
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
10
Height:
6-1
Weight:
190
GPA:
3.5
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1.
South Carolina 2. Southern California 3. Oregon 4. SMU 5. TCU
Hobbies:
1. Kicking
2. Sports 3. Friends
Bret Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because of my persistence and strive to become greater than I already am, my confidence that I can make any kick under any pressure, and the fact that I push myself everyday to do something to maintain my position as the best. I believe I have been blessed with a special talent that will lead me to great accomplishments.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Bret is an oustanding kicker.  A good looking athlete with a strong leg.  Makes kicks with great height and consistency off the ground.  Has shown great improvement each time we’ve seen him.  Bret proves time and time again he is one of the very best in the nation.  A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.  Huge future here!  Outstanding D1 Prospect.”

ALEX BIBY
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High School:
Jupiter
State:
FL
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
6
Height:
5-10
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.9
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Clemson
2. Auburn 3. Florida 4. Texas 5. Florida State
Hobbies:
1. Kicking
2. Lifting 3. Surfing
Alex Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because of my superior work ethic, leg strength, and dependability.  I’m the kind of guy to go out with my snapper and holder after practice or on weekends to get reps in. Whatever it takes to make the coach feel secure that I’ll put it through on a crucial long field goal or kickoff through the back of the endzone, I’m going to do it. It’s one thing to kickoff 75 yards or hit a 60 yarder in practice, but I’ll be the guy to have the focus and preparation to do it on Saturdays.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Alex is an extremely talented kicker.  He shows excellent leg strength, technique, and consistency.  Has all the tools to be top kicker in his class. Kicks very well under pressure.  A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.  Alex has a bright future.  Should have a great offseason impressing college coaches nationwide.  Outstanding prospect.”

JAY MATTOX
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High School:
Las Vegas
State:
NV
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker
Current National CSK Ranking: #
5
Height:
6-0
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.57
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1.
Oregon 2. Arkansas 3. LSU 4. Georgia 5. Any D1
Hobbies:
1. Kicking
2. Weight Lifting 3. Friends
Jay Says:
“I am the best kicker in the nation because of hard work and dedication. I have a huge love for kicking and I try to craft myself so I can be the best I can be, hopefully one of the best in the country. I work hard in the weight room and on the practice field so when it comes to game time, I’m ready to perform. I also believe I have a good mental game. I stay calm when I’m sent out to attempt a field goal, especially if it is to win or tie the game. I take direction well and always know there’s room for improvement. I look forward to playing at the college level.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Jay is an oustanding kicker.  His field goals are smooth and consistent.  His kickoffs are near the top of his class.  He kicks extremely well under pressure and has a strong mental game.  Has a big time future with continued hard work. Look for Jay to impress D1 coaches this May in Vegas and this summer at college camps.  Great prospect.”

CHRIS CALLAHAN
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High School:
Second Baptist
State:
TX
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker / Punter
Current National CSK Kicking Ranking: #
8
Current National CSK Punting Ranking: #10
Height:
5-11
Weight:
175
GPA:
3.37
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Ohio State
2. Mississippi 3. Texas A&M 4. Georgia 5. Baylor
Hobbies:
1. 
Golf 2. Travel 3. Music
Chris Says:
“I am the best kicker/punter in the nation because of my drive to work hard on and off the field.  Whether in the classroom, the weight room, during practice or in the offseason, I find myself driven to improve my technique and leg power. My mental strength, focus, confidence and passion for the game gives me an edge. In my efforts to become an elite kicker and punter, I have been coached and trained by many great specialists in the nation. Since my freshman year I have started on the varsity team. During that time, I have matured as a young athlete as well as a young man, learning the characteristics of a wellounded football player and leader.”
Chris Sailer Says: “Chris a an outstanding kicking prospect.  He has a huge leg and hits a great ball off the ground.  Shows D1 talent at all 3 positions. He is smooth on field goald, big on kickoffs, and a capable punter.  Should have a nice Spring and Summer!  Big time prospect.”

DAVID PETRONI
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High School:
Buford
State:
GA
Graduating Class: 2013
Position:
Kicker / Punter
Current National CSK Kicking Ranking: #
7
Current National CSK Punting Ranking: #8
Height:
6-0
Weight:
170
GPA:
3.8
Top 5 Colleges Choices:
1. Auburn
2. Ohio State 3. Georgia Tech 4. Mississippi State 5. Boston College
Hobbies:
1. Tennis
2. Guitar 3. Friends
David Says:
“I am the best kicker / punter in the nation because I do my best, every day, to outwork my competition. My goal every time I kick is to be better than I was the day before.”
Chris Sailer Says:
“David is an oustanding kicking prospect.  A great looking athlete with a strong leg and nice technique and consistency. He gets great height on his ball.  Does extremely well under pressure. Also a strong punter.  A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.  Is going to be a fine college kicker/punter! Great prospect.”

All information current as of 4-6-12

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I am a Junior, And It’s March!

I am a Junior, And It’s March!

One of the most common questions that I get is, “I am a junior, and it is March, what am I supposed to do?” 

The class ahead of you has signed scholarships on signing date and panic sets in.  First some advice – Do Not Panic!   It is extremely early.  Majority of the K, P, & LS in the class ahead of you are still deciding where they will go college.  Be patient, but have a plan. 

Steps In The Plan:

1. Create your recruiting team.  It should involve people such as: 1. You, 2. Your Parents, 3. Your High School Coach, 4. Your K, P, LS Coach (Sailer or Rubio), 5. Your High School Academic Counselor & 6. A Recruiting Service (NCSA). 

2. Set your college goals.  Where would you like to play?  What schools match your academic interests?  Which schools match your social interests?  Which school match your athletic interests?  Create a VERY broad list of schools that may meet your needs. 

3. Work with NCSA to contact these schools.  Create your own email list to contact these schools.  This list should have a minimum of 100 schools on it (D1, D2, D3, and NAIA).  It should include schools from all divisions and all conferences.  Contact these schools with an initial email.  State your interest to play college football for them.  Link your highlight video. Link your Chris Sailer Kicking Profile Page.  Link your NCSA profile page.  List your contact info, your High School coaches contact info, your kicking coaches contact info, your GPA, and any test scores.  Inquire about their college kicking camp for the upcoming summer.  Ask for the date and express your interest to show them your ability to play for them.  Inquire about their Junior Day.  Finally, ask to be on their Recruit List for their games for the upcoming season. 

4. Set up some Spring Visits.  These could be Junior Days, attending Spring Ball Scrimmages, or simply taking an unofficial visit.  Try to set up college campus tours.  Try to set up meetings with coaches and academic counselors.  Get out there face to face and educate yourself. 

5. Attend Chris Sailer Kicking Nike Spring Camps and the 10th Annual National Kicking Spring Event Sponsored by Nike.  These camps are crucial for your exposure.  Coaches are starting to make their recruit lists for your Class.  You need to be at the Spring Event to get on these lists.  Don’t be fooled, Chris Sailer Kicking is #1 in the world when it comes to placing players in college!

6. Set your summer schedule.  No such thing as a vacation for you this summer.  Attend Chris Sailer Kicking Camps.  Attend College Camps (Try-Outs), Take unofficial visits.  This is your time to shine.  This is when you will earn a scholarship or walk-on.  Try to get to as many parts of the country as possible. 

This will set you up to have contacts and a great recruitment following for your upcoming senior season.  Be realistic in the colleges you are targeting.  Target schools that you have the ability or potential to play at.  This will be a Spring/Summer to remember if you do it correctly.  Best of luck!

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Using a Kicking Tee

Using a Kicking Tee

I am often asked for advice on the use of kicking tees.  The most common questions are, “What tee should I be using?” & “When should I transition to a shorter tee or the ground?”  Here are some key pointers and my overall advice on the use of a kicking tee. 

Tee Rules:
Junior High & High School – You are allowed to use a Field Goal Tee and Kickoff Tee of up to 2 inches.  The most common tees are 1 and 2 inch tees.

College: You are NOT allowed to use any a Field Goal Tee.  You are allowed to use a Kickoff Tee of up to 1 inches. 

Advice for a Junior High School Kicker…..
    •    You are in your early development stages.  I usually encourage kickers to begin training in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years.  When you begin, take advantage of the rules and use a 2 inch tee both on Field Goal & Kickoff. 
    •    Use the standard Black Field Goal Blocks that you can find at local sporting good stores and www.WizardKicking.com and use the Black Ground Zero Kickoff tees available at www.WizardKicking.com.  Do not use the old school orange “Toe Style” Kickoff tee that you will find at department stores.
    •    Learn proper technique and mechanics from a young age.  Purchase the Chris Sailer Kicking Instructional DVD, attend Chris Sailer Kicking Camps, attend Chris Sailer Kicking Lessons from the beginning of your kicking career.

Advice for a High School Kicker:
    •    In 9th grade chances are you will still be in your early development stages.  Stick with the 2 inch tee at this time.  Again, take advantage. 
    •    10-12 Grades….read carefully:
    •    TRANSITION TO A 1 INCH TEE AND EVENTUALLY THE GROUND WHEN YOU ARE READY FOR THE THOSE TRANSITIONS.  YOUR KICKING COACH SHOULD BE ABLE TO HELP YOU MAKE THIS CHOICE!
    •    Learn proper technique and mechanics from a young age.  Purchase the Chris Sailer Kicking Instructional DVD, attend Chris Sailer Kicking Camps, attend Chris Sailer Kicking Lessons from the beginning of your kicking career. 
    •    Eventually you will start to get frustrated with the 2 inch Field Goal and Kickoff Tees because you will start clipping them at contact.  If this is happening and you are using the proper technique, THIS is the time to transition to 1″ tees at both skills.  Same applies for the transition from the 1 Inch Field Goal Tee to the ground.
    •    You should make transitions when your technique is good enough to do so.  You should not need to force a transition. 

11th grade offseason….. read carefully:
    •    If you want to play college football, this is the time you should be ready to kick Field Goals off the ground and Kickoffs off a 1 inch tee.  If you have been learning and training properly, this transition should be natural for you at this point.  If not, you will have to force this transition. 
    •    College coaches will want to see you kick off the Field Goals off the ground and Kickoffs off the 1 inch tee at their summer kicking camps / try outs.  Whether they ask you to or not, kick field goals off the ground and kickoffs off a 1 inch tee at these camps.  This is the only way the you will earn a scholarship. 
    •    During your 11th Grade Year it is also very common for the top kickers in the nation to kick Field Goals off the ground and Kickoffs off a 1 inch tee in Vegas at the Chris Sailer Kicking National Events. 
    •    If you make the “Invite Only” Chris Sailer Kicking “TOP 12” & “Event Elite” Camp, you will be asked to kick Field Goals off the ground and Kickoffs off a 1 inch tee.  This camp takes place in the summer.

12th Grade Season:
    •    During your 12th grade year you may choose to use the 1 inch tee once again on Field Goals.  Coaches will often force you to do so.  You may also choose to kick Field Goals off the ground if you feel confident.  This is always a tough call because of the poor field conditions you may see at the high school level and the influence a high school coach will have.  Do what is best for you.  You should be using a 1 inch Ground Zero Kickoff Tee at this point.

College and Pro:
    •    The day after your last game of your senior season, don’t ever use a Field Goal tee again.  You will now be kicking off the ground for the rest of your college and pro career.  Continue to use the 1 Inch Ground Zero Kickoff Tee.

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Signing Date Has Passed…..What Now?

Signing Date Has Passed…..What Now?

First of all congratulations to the many Chris Sailer Kicking Students that were fortunate to sign scholarships to play college football.  Some committed early on, such as Adam Griffith to Alabama over year ago, and some were awarded scholarship offers late, such as Josh Lambert to West Virginia, literally today!  Getting a college scholarship is a huge accomplishment and I congratulate you all. 

However, like we have always said, when it comes to kickers, punters, and long snappers, it is NEVER too late.  Yes, another wave of recruiting has passed, but another is now set to begin.  Signing date has passed, so you are asking the question, “What Now”?  It is not time to cry, to panic, to quit. It is time to focus knowing that only the top 5-10% or so of specialists have made their college choices.  Over the course of the next several months, college coaches will need to find specialists.  They will begin to panic and if you have been keeping up your contacts, they will come looking for you.  You will find a home.

Yes, most D1A Scholarships have been awarded and signed.  That’s okay.  Some will still be available based on numbers, ineligibility, and injuries.  Many D1AA, D2, and D3 scholarships are now available.  Reach out to schools of all levels that fit your needs both academically and socially.  There is money out there.  You will find a school to play football that will ultimately land you a college degree. 

Here is my advice:

1. Create a huge email list of college coaches.  Send them an email saying this… “Dear Coach, my name is (fill in the blank).  I have a strong interest to play college football for your program.  I would love the opportunity to compete and win a job on your team.  If possible, can I visit the campus in the near future and show you that my desire to play for you in sincere.  Please take a minute to view my highlight video link and brief bio showing my qualifications.  Contact Chris Sailer, my kicking coach, as a reference (818-209-8921).  Looking forward to hearing from you. 

The key is not to ask for a scholarship.  Ask for an opportunity to play. 

2. Make calls.  Say the same thing as above.  If the coach doesn’t answer, state the above on their voice mail. 

3. Make visits.  Get yourself on their campus.  Try to meet coaches in person.  Show them that your interest in sincere. 

4. If there is a school that you have already been accepted to academically, use this to your advantage.  Let the coach know because it makes his life a whole lot easier. 

Recruiting is a process.  It takes time.  But the reward at the end of all the hard work in well worth it.  Believe me when I say that there is a great school out there for you where you can thrive academically, socially, and athletically.  Time to get to work and find the right fit.  Many doors will continue to open and shut.  Do not get frustrated.  Stick to the plan.  There is light at the end of the tunnel if you stay the course. 

Looking forward to the receiving your commitment emails.  I will be the first to congratulate you!

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Factors To Consider When Making Your College Choice

Factors To Consider When Making Your College Choice:

It is getting close to that time of year when our Chris Sailer Kicking Seniors will have to make a college choice.  In the next few months, recruiting will pick up, and if you’ve approached recruiting the correct way, you should have options when it comes to making your college choice.  Don’t panic,  that time is not now, but it is coming.  This blog will help you prepare you for when that time comes.  Education and preparation are key. Not everyone will receive a scholarship to the D1 school of their choice.  Most will have to make a choice based on several factors.  I encourage you to read the factors below and take each into consideration when making your college choice.  It is important to realize that each player (family) will prioritize these factors differently depending on finances, goals, etc.  Take a look at some (not all) of the factors you should consider when making a college choice. After each factor I will give you and explanation and opinion. 

THE BIG 3:

1. Education – Your degree will shape the rest of your life.  Football can help you get into a school that you most likely who not have gotten in to on grades (gap and/or test scores) alone.  Case and point, even with great grades and test scores, I would not have gotten into UCLA.  Without UCLA I am not who I am today.  My football playing days are long gone, but UCLA (degree & alumni-Rubio) continue to shape and develop my life.

2. Location – It is important to pick a school where you will feel comfortable living.  Some prefer to stay close to home.  Others prefer to get away.  If you pick and school and don’t take this factor into consideration, be warned, there is a decent chance you are going to want to transfer.  Go to a school where you will want to stay/live for at least 4-5 years, regardless if football works out or not.  Also remember that your alumni can play a large roll when it comes to a future job.  Also, consider the friends you will meet and maybe even a “girlfriend” or future wife!  You will most likely end of living in the place you choose to go to school. 

3. Financial Obligation – Scholarship, Partial Scholarship, Walk-On Opportunity, Try Out-Opportunity, etc.  What will it cost you per year to go to school there?  Don’t believe the promises a coach might make you.  Nothing is set in stone unless you sign a full ride scholarship to a D1 program.  Can you afford to pay your way at that school for the next 4-5 years until you graduate?  Look very closely at the amount of money that program is investing in you and how much you and your family will be responsible for.  Student Loans take a LONG TIME to pay off.  Also, the more of an investment a program makes in you, the more they want you.  The more they want you, the better chance you will have to see the field. 

*D1A programs are Full-Scholarship or no (zero) athletic aid.
*D1AA – D2 programs can offer partial scholarships and academic aid.  The more they want you, the better package they will put together for you.
*D3 programs offer no athletic aid.  They can offer other aid (academic / financial).  Again, the more they want you, the more money they will get for you. 

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER:

1. Strength Of Football Program – D1 vs. D2, vs D3, vs NAIA, vs JC.  Even the strength of program within the division (SEC vs. PAC-12 vs. Mountain West, etc.)  It is fun to play on TV, it is fun to play in big time Bowl Games, it is fun to play with future NFL players.  There is even a case to be made that by playing for a big time team, you will have more visibility to the NFL.  Something to think about, but make sure to read the next factor very closely. 

2. When Will I Play? – Realistically, when will you step foot on the field?  It is important to get field time to improve your game and gain experience.  Kicking/Punting is Kicking/Punting no matter what level you are playing at.  Think about it, It is just you and a ball.  If you are good, NFL scouts will find you.  But if you never get on the field, no NFL scout will ever find you.  Choose a school where there is a good chance you will see the field.  Not only will you get to actually play college football (not just watch from the sidelines) you will ultimately be happier. This will drastically increase your college experience.  Where did Adam Vinatieri play college football?  Exactly. 

3. Major – If you have a specific major you know you want to earn a degree in, make sure you find a school that offers that major. 

FACTORS TO PUT VERY LOW ON YOUR LIST:

1. Coaching Staff – Believe me when I tell you, there is a good chance the coach that recruits you won’t be your coach by the time you graduate.  Do not pick a school simply because you like the coach…believe me.  Now, if you do NOT like the coach, this may be a reason to NOT pick a school.  If that coach does end up staying there for your entire career, you will be spending A LOT of time with him!

2. They Recruited Me First – Who cares!  Be patient. Work the system. Use one school to get recruited by another.  Compile options, then pick the school that is best for you.  Do NOT worry about hurting someone’s feelings.  This is your future that we are talking about.

3. They Have Cool Uniforms – Again, who cares!  Whether you like blue, red, green, or purple – play in Mustard and Pink if you have to.  It’s about the BIG THREE (Education, Location, Financial Obligation), not the uniforms. 

Finally, NEVER pick a school where going into it, transferring is an option.  “If things don’t work out they way I hope they will, I’ll just transfer”!  Nope.  Transferring is incredibly difficult for many reasons.  Avoid this situation at all costs.  Even if you transfer, chances are you will end up right back in the same situation.  If you have focused on the BIG 3 (Education, Location, Financial Obligation), transferring probably won’t be in your future. 

There are many other factors to look at (and you should look at) when making your college choice.  This should get you started off on the right track.  Once you have laid out which factors are most important to you are your family, rank each school based on who has the most of what you are ultimately looking for.  Remember this is a choice that will effect the rest of your life, not just the next 4-5 years.  Your education, your degree, your alumni will shape who you are and what you will become.  Take your time and make a choice looking at the BIG PICTURE!

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End Of The Season….What Now?

As most of you approach the end of your freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior season, the obvious question is, WHAT NOW?  All the preparation, all the hard work, the high of the start of the season, the high of the playoffs, the high of attempting a game winner is all of a sudden….over.  You now have 9 months to wait before you kick or punt another live football in a game.  What do most do, they lose focus.  But not you, read on to see what you should be doing now. 

  • You may take a little time off.  Maybe a week or two, but no more than that.  Even during that time, make sure to do your muscle memory drills every day.  Remember this is a year round sport.  If you want to be the best of the best, do your muscle memory drills every day until you retire.  
  • Time to set more goals.  Your first goal should be making the “TOP 12” January 14-15, 2012 at the 10th Annual National Kicking Event – Sponsored by Nike in Las Vegas.  Other goals should include off-season progress (technique and strength), a recruiting game plan, setting winter spring and summer schedules, and starting to think about the upcoming season (how will you improve).  
  • After your week off, its time to get focused on Vegas.  Use the month of November and December the same way you used the months of July and August heading into your season.  You should be that ready.  Lifting, cardio, kicking, punting, muscle memory drills, flexibility work should all be a part of the plan.  
  • Set your Spring/Summer Kicking/Punting calendar.  What Chris Sailer Kicking camps will you attend?  What summer college camps will you attend?  What colleges will you visit?  My advice is to attend the Chris Sailer Kicking Nike Spring and Summer camps in your area and the 10th Annual National Kicking Spring Event – Sponsored by Nike in Las Vegas May 12-13, 2012.  If you are a junior or senior to be – pick some college camps to attend and start getting mentally prepared. If you are a senior to be take some trips to see some colleges (get a feel for each area of the country).  If you just finished your senior year – time to work harder than ever, its almost time for college.  
  • Set goals in the classroom.  See you counselor.  Get everything in line so that you can play at ANY college.  Seniors, football may be over, but school isn’t.  Continue working hard all the way through the finish line. 
  • Players that just finished your senior season.  Stay focused on recruiting.  It will start to pick up now.  Keep all options open and be proactive.  Continue to be patient and know that you will end up in the spot that is best for you.  

See you all soon in at a Nike Fall Camp or Vegas! 

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Qualities That Make Up The Perfect Kicker/Punter

Qualities That Make Up The Perfect Kicker/Punter

This Blog will again focus on one of the most common questions that I get asked.  “What qualities make up the  perfect kicker/punter?”  Many kickers and punters at the high school and college levels possess some of the qualities that make up a perfect kicker/punter, but it is rare however that one player possesses all those qualities.  That player is what we would call…. “A Scholarship Pick”, “An All-American”, or a “NFL Draft Pick”!   Take a look at some bullet points that describe the qualities that I look for, college coaches look for, and NFL coaches look for in a kicker/punter: 

    •    Leg Strength (Potential).  You must have a strong leg.   Get in the weight room and reach your full potential.  The stronger your leg, the more “potential” you will show. 
    •    Flexibility (Leg Speed).  The more flexible you are, the faster your leg will be.  Stretching, yoga, whatever it takes. This is key for adding distance and height to your ball.  And this will keep you healthy!
    •    Technique (Consistency). You may have a strong leg “potential”, you may be flexible and display “leg speed” – but you also must be able to make kicks and be both accurate and consistent at all skills.  Potential will only get you so far. Great technique will earn you the starting position.   Chris Sailer Kicking will help you get there. 
    •    Athleticism (Mental Strength).  This is often the separating factor.  A coach will ask, “Can he do it in a pressure situation”?, “Can I count on him to hit a game winner?”, “Will he be able to catch and punt the ball with guys with 4.4 speed coming off the edges to block his punt?”, “Will he be able to handle the pressure of kicking in front of 90,000 people?”  Kicking with confidence means being prepared.  If you believe in your preparation, you will succeed on the field.  My advice is to play many sports when you are growing up – be an athlete.  Attend Chris Sailer Camps to learn and eventually become your own coach.  Believe in what you are doing because it makes sense to you and you understand “Why” you are practicing those techniques.  Muscle Memory Drills 7-days a week!

The key is reaching your full potential in each of the four categories listed above. How badly do you want to get a scholarship?  How badly do you want to win the Chris Sailer Award? How badly do you want to be the starting kicker at a 4-year University? How badly do you want to make All-American?  How badly to you wand to play in the NFL and kick/punt for a living?  IT IS UP TO YOU!  MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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September Recruiting – What Do I Do Now?

 September Recruiting – What Do I Do Now?

The anxiety that surrounds kicking, punting, and long snapping families this time of year is unparalleled.  It is September and you have not received an offer, you have not received a phone call, you aren’t getting responses from coaches, and the mail has slowed down.  The classic response…..panic.  Let me tell you from experience, there is absolutely no reason to panic.  (For reference read Rubio’s Blog – Waves of Recruiting)  This slow period of recruiting and lack of offers and communication is what 99% of specialists feel this time of year.  12 Chris Sailer Kicking Kickers/Punters have verbally committed to D1 school.  Hundreds are still waiting for that sigh of relief.  Take a deep, remain calm, and keep your focus on the goal.  If you do the right things from now until August, you will end up where you belong!  Read below a few pointers that will help you relieve some anxiety.

1. College coaches are focused on the season right now.  They have the first game of the year coming up and their stress level is off the charts.  Believe me when I say, the last thing on their mind is recruiting a kicker/punter.  They want to win that game, be the coach responsible for the win, and save their job so that they have a chance to recruit you down the line.  I always take my vacation in late August because I know how slow this time of year is.

What should you do?  Focus on the season.  Let your mind at ease when it comes to recruiting.  Start to gather some great practice footage and get it loaded to YouTube for future use.  Also contact any and all schools and ask to be put on their recruit list for their upcoming games.  You will get free tickets and get your face and name in front of that college coach at a crucial time (believe me). 

2. The games begin.  Some college team win games.  Some college teams lose games.  Some kickers and punters have tremendous success.  Other kickers and punters cost their team the game.  Some that were expected to be great, wet the bed.  Some that were expected to struggle, step up.  The bottom line is, neither you nor the college coach can predict what will happen.  But, after 2-3 games college coaches need to make moves to save their jobs and because the head coach is all over them.  So, they open up recruiting again to specialists.

What should you do?  After each game put together highlight clips.  Add of a few of those practice shots you stored.  Get it on YouTube and call it Week 1 Highlights.  Do the same after Week 2 and Week 3.  After 3 weeks, email that film to every single college coach in America.  This isn’t hard.  Get online and find the email addresses.  Or get with NCSA immediately to help you. Or both.  Call any school that you had previous contact with, reestablish the connection and your interest in that school. Call new schools that you have done research on.  Don’t ask for a scholarship, simply express your desire to play for them.  Focus on all levels, not just D1. 

3.  More and more kickers and punters start to get offers and commit.  Odds are, you still aren’t one of them.  It’s ok, don’t panic.  Your time will come when the school and fit is right for you.

What to do?  Keep on the same pattern as #2.  Never get too high and too low.  You will get disappointed more times then not.  Most important keep every option open.  You never know what can and will happen.  I have seen it all.  Load video and email after every game.  Have it ready for college coaches to view.  Be patient and know that your time will come.

Final Pointers:
A. D1A schools will recruit you.  Believe me, they will find the best of the best.  D1AA – NAIA schools need you to recruit them.  Express interest, make calls, send emails, take visits to schools of all levels that have what you are looking for (location, academics, major, weather, etc. etc.).  Small schools would love to get a call from a top 20 kicker, punter, or long snapper.

B. Take unofficial visits.  Get your face in front of coaches.  Set up tours on campuses.  Get to games as as a recruit (see earlier point).  The more proactive you are, the better.

C. The kicker, punter, or long snapper should be the one speaking, not the parent.  The parent can and should help with letters, making film, prepping conversations, etc.  But the coach wants the player to be the one that wants this.  He wants to see the desire and focus of the player.  READ RUBIO’S BLOG FOR REFERENCE

D. It is never too late.  Get this out of your head.  I have hundreds of stories – too many to share (way more than those precious 12 early commitments).  If you are reading this blog and follow what I say, you will be added to that list of stories.  Make sure to get to a Chris Sailer Kicking Nike Fall Camp & the 10th Annual National Kicking Event in Las Vegas.  THESE ARE HUGE FOR YOU! Ask any college coach in America. Recruiting ends in August of your senior year, until then, stay focused on the task at hand.  It will pay off for the rest of your life. 

Best of luck….this is just a sample.  Keep reading the Chris Sailer Kicking Blogs and the Chris Rubio Long Snapping Blogs for more information!  Have a great season and get to work!

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Recruiting – 5 Separating Factors

Recruiting for Kickers/Punters: 5 Separating Factors

Recruiting is a very difficult, yet extremely rewarding process to go through.  Throw in the fact that you are a kicker or punter, makes it that much challenging.  Let’s assume that your on the field talent is identical to the thousands of national prospects going through the same process as you (this happens ALL THE TIME).  College coaches will look for separating factors when making a decision worth thousands of dollars and 4 to 5 years of their time.   They are making an investment and they will do the proper research to find “their guy”.  No matter what level prospect you are, you are competing for a prized position on a football team that will help you earn a valuable degree. Take a look at 5 of the most important separating factors that may land you a big time scholarship or walk on opportunity. 

1. Grades and Test Scores
The prospect with the best grades and test scores (SAT & ACT) will jump out to a big lead.  A coach wants their kicker or punter to cause no problems with admissions and boost the GPA of the football team for years to come.  See you school counselor, understand the NCAA clearinghouse, and seek information for what it takes to get into every school in the country! 

2. Character
No off the field problems.  No problems with a football coach, teacher, etc.  Coaches want a leader.  When a college coach does his research, he will talk to your kicking coach, football coach, principal, teachers, counselors, etc.  The answers better come back clean and with key words such as: leader, punctual, hard working, coachable, etc.  Clean up your facebook, twitter, blog, myspace, etc. now.  It is your online application.

3. Extracurricular Activities
The more you do, the more valuable you are.  Anything you can list on your application such as school president, clubs, charity work, etc. will get you one step ahead.  Coaches love to see a wellounded student athlete. 

4. Combo Player
The more you can do on the field, the more recruitable you are.  If you are a kicker, the question, “Can he punt”?, will come up.  If you are a punter, the question, “Can he kick”?, will come up.  If the answer is yes, you have just taken a major lead in the recruiting game.  If your skill level shows starting ability at both positions, you save a team a scholarship.  If your skill level shows adequate ability, you can be counted to back up the starter on the road.  In college football, due to roster limits, this is HUGE! 

5. Relationship With The Coach
Coaches are recruiting YOU, not your parents.  If your parents annoy a coach, they will not recruit you.  So, you make the phone calls, answer the questions posed on trips and visits, and ultimately show the desire to play for that program.  Parents are encouraged to help you through the process, but coaches want to recruit a self-motivated athlete.   Get yourself in front of that coach as often as possible, make visits, get on the recruit list for games.  The more the coach gets to know you in a positive way, the better chance you have of being recruited.  They will go with who they are familiar with and who they “like” the most in the end.  They will spend every day with you for the next 4 to 5 years, think about it. 

Keep these 5 separating factors in mind and start setting your goals early on.  Everything you do from this day forward will ultimately effect your opportunity to play college football, where you play college football, and the degree you will earn and use for the rest of your life!

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