December 18, 2012

Special Teams University Long Snapping Lesson With Ross Markham

Tuesday Dec 18th I was able to meet up with one of my students Ross Markham. I first met Ross while I was a counselor at the UW-RF kicking, punting, and long snapping camp back in 2007.

We started doing private long snapping lessons in 2011 so that he could help his chances of making it on the football team for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Ross is currently attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and was the backup long snapper his freshman year. We plan on changing that soon.

Working live snap, hold, kicks

When I first started working with Ross he was like any new snapper who has difficulty picking it up right away. One of the first things that I could see was that he had trouble getting the correct wrist positions due to being inflexible in his wrists.

If you cannot get a proper flick or release on the ball the outcome is going to be a wobbly ball. We did many drills to correct this issue along with flexibility training. Ross has gone from long snapping the ball at 15 yards .9 seconds to his times today which were in the high .7's.

One of the things that has helped Ross tremendously lower his snap times is his leg drive. When we first started leg drive was new to him. Once established and refined leg drive can drastically lower your snap times!

Some other things we corrected were bringing his head down in his stance so that he can bring his eyes to his target faster creating a more accurate snap, and locking out his knees completely. Some long snappers think they have good leg drive but if you look closely you can see that some do not lock their legs out completely. If you slide your feet but do not lock your knees out you are losing power that you just built up with your legs.

At the end of the long snapping lesson today we were able to work with a local kicker and punter to get some live snaps, holds, and kicks in to put a little pressure on Ross and see how he works with a live operation. We were able to make a few adjustments from this and had some great teaching moments.

Ross did a great job today and we saw some great improvement. With Ross's work ethic he can grow to be a great long snapper!

-Kyle Stelter

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