Usually during a first lesson I like to cover the basics of what I teach and get a feel for what the student knows and can do already. We started off by checking his grip which was good, we were on the same page, then we went into how to properly release the ball. James was able to get a spiral before but was not releasing the ball quite the way I would like him to.
After doing a few long snapping drills that work on keeping the wrists tight and flicking the ball James was able to see a big difference in the tightness of his spiral. The next thing we focused on was the right way to move your arms while snapping.
When long snapping you do not want to have your arms straight the entire time. To get good velocity you need to use the whip action of your forearms. (If you do not know what I am talking about you can schedule a lesson and I can show you) James is a very fast learner and picked everything up quickly.
After we had worked the hands and arms it was time to incorporate the legs. As we all know, long snapping is not just an upper body movement and action. Snapping is a full body function that should get you tired if you are doing it properly.
We started out by working the lock and slide. James was having trouble with this due to tight hamstrings and lack of flexibility. This is also a tough motion to master your first time as well. We trained this for a while then added the arms to the mix.
James was hitting correct positions which was awesome to see! We are going to keep drilling the lock and slide every lesson in order to get him long snapping consistently and with speed.
This is usually caused by too much sitting or not stretching properly. Remember long snappers... stretching will help you a ton! I prescribed him a heavy dose of stretching, but not just any stretching...I want all my snappers doing all the same stretches they have done before but not for 20-30 second holds.
My guys do the stretches with 3 second holds to maintain explosive muscle tissue. When you stretch for long periods of time doing long holds you stretch the ligaments and muscle to the point where they become less explosive. Along with stretching he will be foam rolling daily, especially his hip flexors, hamstrings, and low back. If anyone has any questions of this please let me know and I can help you out!
Overall we had a great day of long snapping and long snapping instruction. Like I said before, James is a very fast learner and I think will become one of the top snappers because of it!