A good punter must be able to repetitiously coordinate all factors involved if he is to be consistent. Punting is a skill which is composed of factors that are exemplified by the power of a weight lifter; the balance of a tightrope walker; the flexibility of a gymnast; the quickness of a sprinter and the fluid motion of a ballet dancer, all while being just as consistent as a golfer in contacting the golf ball.
Punting is a skill based on various laws of motion and mechanical principles.
Punting requires not only the integration of those laws and principles but also the efficiency of human performance with the end result being determined by the optimum performance of each. This integration of principles and performance need to be included in a punter’s punting lessons.
Punting is a complex skill and has to be rated as one of the most difficult skills for the coach to teach and the athlete to master. Therefore proper punting lessons are the key to a punter’s success.
Due to the degree of intelligence needed to understand these laws of motion and basic mechanical principles, there have been few teachers or coaches who have been technically trained to properly instruct a person on the art of punting. This has resulted in many misconceptions concerning the mechanics and training of punters by members of the coaching and teaching profession. It also means it is difficult for a punter to find good punting lessons.
DESIRABLE PHYSICAL QUALITIES FOR A PUNTER:
FLEXIBILITY: The potential punter should possess freedom and ease of movement of muscles and joints. His athletic performance will be improved through gains in flexibility, because body parts are allowed to move through a greater range of motion with more freedom and ease. Therefore flexibility should be part of a punter’s punting lessons.
STRENGTH: Strength is the force which a muscle is able to exert. If the punter can, with proper punting mechanics, properly transfer the strength in his leg to explosive power, the transference of forces will be imparted with greater efficiency. Therefore strength training should be part of a punter’s punting lessons.
BALANCE: Body balance is essential for good results. If the punter does not begin on balance, he will not finish on balance. Remember, at the end of the punt, the punter is balancing on one foot. Therefore balance training should be part of a punter’s punting lessons.
INTERGRATION: The punter's muscles must not only have sufficient strength, speed of movement, endurance and power, but also the ability to apply the proper amount of muscular tension with timing and direction to achieve success.
Therefore techniques to practice integration should be part of a punter’s punting lessons.
CONSISTENCY: The coordination of the preceding qualities will determine how consistent a punter is going to be. Tests for consistency are usually determined by: (1) punting average, (2) hang time and (3) accuracy. Therefore, tests for consistency should be part of a punter’s punting lessons.
While conducting punting lessons, coaches should not over-teach or try to make too many corrections at any one time.
We can all remember several major league base-ball players who had awkward stances and swings, but were still excellent hitters. The same will be true of some punters. It should be understood that professionals get away with some bad habits because they are professionals, and have a lot of God-given talent.
The most important thing is consistency. If an athlete is successful and is consistent, do not worry too much about his style.
It is very important for the beginning punter to master the basics of punting. This is why proper punting lessons are the key to a punters long term success.