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Improve Your Punting Technique

Mar 15, 2008
Since every punter kicks somewhat differently from the next, he should take the stance that is most comfortable to him. Keep arms and hands flexed and in a relaxed position.

The kicker should stand with feet slightly spread, the left foot a bit in advance of the right These instructions, of course, are for right-footed kickers. A maximum of three steps should be taken forward while punting; but if more than three steps are taken, the kicker should be instructed to move back two to three yards.

The punter should face squarely to the front, looking at the ball on the ground through the center's legs. Before the ball is snapped, he should be completely relaxed with the body weight distributed equally on both legs. The weight will be shifted to the left leg as the ball is snapped. The kicker must keep his eyes on the ball at all times in order to avoid a fumble and to mold the ball properly for the actual punt.


The ball should be held in one hand and guided by the other as the kicker advances in his steps. The ball is held in front of the body, out over the kicking leg. The forward point of the ball should be slightly to the left and slightly depressed. The lacing will be on the top, or possibly to the right of center.

The left hand should support the left forward side of the ball, well toward its front. Do not put the left hand over the point of the ball, as is the practice among many novices. The right hand should hold the ball at its rear point. The fingers are spread and up, with the thumb to the left of the laces and the point of the ball lying in the hollow of the hand.

The drop of the ball should be as slight as possible. The kicker should practice kicking the ball out of his hands, thus learning how to avoid a long drop from hands to foot. A long drop of the ball can cause a wobbly, inaccurate kick.

If the kicker is getting too much height and no distance, the ball is possibly being dropped with bent arms too close to the body. Another reason for the kick that is too high could be the position of the toe - it is being pointed upward instead of being kept depressed.


As the ball approaches, the kicker may take a short half-step with the left or lead foot. The ball should be molded into kicking position as the punter takes the first step.

The kicker now takes a full step forward with his right foot . He keeps his eyes on the ball as he molds it in his hands. In fact, he should not take his eyes off the ball until it actually leaves the kicking foot and is lofted in the air.

The next and last step will be directly forward with the left foot. As the left foot reaches the turf, the whip of the right leg should be started.

The right leg starts from an extended position and becomes fully flexed to create the potential energy for the kick. The toe should be pointed forward, downward, and slightly inward. The ball should be met on the instep when the swing of the leg is about the height or a little above the hip. This will vary with kickers as nature seems to tell the individual when his leg is at the highest point of acceleration.

For proper distance, a high trajectory, and a good spiral, the punter must follow through with his kicking leg . Without the follow-through, his timing and distance will suffer. Lack of follow-through will indicate that the kicker's timing is off and that he has made contact too late, causing a shanking of the ball off the side of the foot. I'm sure we have all experienced this type of kick.

Remember, as with all aspects of football, practice makes perfect.
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