January 12, 2013

Ohio State Long Snapper Takes Long Snapping Lessons From Special Teams University

In January of 2011 I got a friend request from a long snapper at Ohio State University. This snapper was Tom Heffelfinger.

Tom is a very hard working long snapper who is undersized in stature, but not undersized in effort and ability. As soon as I accepted that request I started getting messages from him. Asking questions about long snapping, how to improve, how to become better.

Even though he was on the Ohio State football team, he was not the starter and very much wanted to get on the field. What started as tips here and there turned into full on virtual long snapping lessons.

Tom would send me film what felt like every week! Every clip of film he sent I could see how determined he was to get better. As you may know I would rather have a student that is the most determined and has a lot of heart over a student that just has raw talent. I know the long snapper with heart will work harder for what he wants.
Tom's form before we started working. The ball is beneath his head and he is really low with his hips.
Tom was obviously good enough of a long snapper to make it onto the Ohio State football team, but there were things I saw in his form that could be corrected.

One of the first things I noticed was that he had no leg drive or a little at the very best. If you have been keeping up with my blog you know that leg drive is key in putting velocity on the football. The second thing I noticed was that he had the ball underneath his head instead of out in front of his head.

When you have the ball underneath your head compared to in front you lose a lot of leverage that your arms can give you. This also plays into hitching with the football. Everything else we worked on was small, fine tuning of how he held the football, small changes in his stance, and tweaking what he did with his head pre and post snap.

Over the next year of sending film back and forth, Tom's film became better and better. From increasing the speed of his snap, to watching his accuracy hone in, watching Tom progress from the tips and drills I was giving him was awesome.

Tom is still working on his craft in an effort to achieve his dream of getting on the field for the Buckeyes. I will continue to do virtual long snapping lessons with Tom because he is a hard worker and very dedicated to long snapping.

If you would like to learn more about what Tom and I worked on or would like to take a long snapping lesson contact Kyle Stelter for a lesson today!

- Kyle Stelter

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