January 6, 2013

Long Snapping Lesson with James Ring and Nick Clements

Jan 6th 2013 was my first lesson of the new year which I have a feeling is going to be a great year for my long snapping students and myself! I have been working with James Ring for a few weeks now and he has been progressing nicely.

Nick Clements is a new student who I first worked with at our Dec 29th camp in Vadnais Heights MN. Nick is a post college long snapper who played for St. Scholastica in Duluth MN. He has had a few arena football tryouts but wants to enhance his long snapping in hopes that it will help him latch onto a team.

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, James Ring came to me a newbie long snapper with limited mobility due to tight muscles. Over the past few weeks through prescribed stretching by myself and constant drill work James has come along nicely!

Last week James struggled to complete the motion of locking the knees during the leg drive drill. After working on his own and stretching, this week he not only was able to hit the correct positions, he was doing it while being loose! Now we just have to put this motion together with a full snap and James will be money! He is so close right now!

Like I said earlier, Nick came to camp Dec 29th and that was the first time I was able to work with him. He had some flexibility issues as well but mostly with the wrists and hamstrings.

During todays long snapping lesson we worked both guys equally, doing the same drills for both as they needed to work on the same things. I like to start lessons the same way every time, I feel that you can never do a drill too many times.

Once you have become good at a drill, there is always room to become an expert. We started working tight wrists. Instead of just focusing on the proper hand positions this week we added speed. When you snap you don't really want to be moving your hands slow...Slow hands = slow ball.

We focused on accuracy and hand position along with speed. Nick had problems with keeping his wrists tight on the follow through, one thing I like to do is to use a rubber band to "cuff" snappers hands together so that they cannot spread their wrists apart. After working with the band we saw major improvement with Nick's follow through.

With long snapping it is always easy to get caught up focusing on all of the small fundamental actions that are involved in the whole motion that is long snapping, so towards the end of the long snapping lesson I decided to see how my guys snapped when they don't think about the little things.

The past few weeks James has been hitting positions more and more consistently so from now on I am challenging him to be as fast and explosive with his movements! The last drill we did to take their mind of the little things is having them snap back and forth for points but before each ball that they snap they have to do 1-3 drills that we had worked on during the lesson.

After they had completed the drills I made them snap the ball as soon as they had got set. This eliminates the problems of taking too long and thinking about what you need to do. We saw MAJOR improvements in spiral, snap speed, and accuracy!

Overall both guys got better today. Both guys are hard workers and can take this as far as they want to.

-Kyle Stelter

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