What is the punters role?

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The Punter is responsible for kicking the football toward the opposition’s end zone and away from his own. This is done in an attempt to make the opponent’s ease of scoring more difficult due to their less advantageous field position away from the offensive team’s end zone.

If you’re playing this Special Teams position, you will typically be called upon to perform this action when it is fourth down. Other criteria would be if it’s unlikely your team can manage a first down because of its yardage away from the 1st down marker and your team is too far from being able to kick a field goal.

When playing this position you will find that, unless you’re also playing other positions, your playing time will be limited. Depending on how well or poorly your team’s offense is executing its plays will determine how many times you get out on the field. If your team is moving the football freely and scoring a lot of points, you will have fewer chances to show your leg strength. Whereas, if the opponent’s defensive squad is managing the game, be ready to put your leg to good use.

Positioning and focus.

During the huddle it is your responsibility to determine where you should position yourself to receive the snap.

It is important to have had some preparation prior to the game in regards to how well the defensive front is able to break through offensive lines. This may influence the distance from your Center where you receive the snap or the side of the field you might kick toward in order to keep your kicking foot furthest away from the stronger rushers.

What is the punters role?

Once in position, check the defensive line for any over-load of rushers, taking note on which side this is occurring. In most instances, you’ll want to punt away from the over-load as following-through into it increases the likelihood that your punt will be blocked.

Once you’ve taken all information into account, position yourself ten to fourteen yards deep behind your Center. You might also suggest to your Punt Protector that he position himself on the side that you’re feeling most vulnerable.

Coverage responsibilities.

It is vital when playing this position to ignore all defensive attempts at intimidation. You should remain focused and in control regardless of what they might bring. Always visualize the perfect kick and follow-through with that goal.

After punting the football you become the Left Safety during the Special Teams coverage in an attempt to prevent the Punt Returner from gaining big yards and potentially scoring on the play. Typically this entails you covering 15-yards behind the 2nd offensive wave toward the Returner and 5-yards outside of your contain man responsibility.

When it comes to your coverage responsibilities, the majority of time you’ll be the last of your teammates to advance toward the Returner and are therefore considered the “last line of defense”. If the returner should get past you, in all likelihood, he’s scoring. Be prepared to be involved and ready to implement aggressive tackling skills.

Pregame preparation.

Planning and practicing for game-day situations during practice sessions will build up confidence to execute advanced techniques during game play — even when under pressure.

Build your skill set by practicing your ever expanding knowledge base of this position’s techniques. It is best to always think for the end result. You should not spend time thinking about bad days. Learn by your mistakes and move on.

Work on your ability to quickly make decisions regardless of the situation during game play. Although outside the normal scope of this position, practice fumble and ball-tip drills on a regular basis. It is vital that you can react quickly under all circumstances – even if it doesn’t have to do with your primary responsibilities.

In regards to strength training, try to refrain from leg work at least two days before a game. Doing so just prior to game time may affect your leg muscles as they need time to rest for best game day performance.

Game day preparation.

When preparing to go out on the field always warm-up and do a stretching routine every time, before any practice and prior to every game. Just before a game you should then do at least 15 practice leg swings into a kicking net or simply swing your leg into the air without the football.

Start your swings slowly, gradually increasing the force of your swing until you have reached your normal kicking level. Do not overexert your muscles early in your warm up session as this is the time that you are most likely to tear a muscle.

In your mind visualize perfect techniques every time you kick the ball. This will psychologically prepare you for how to successfully punt the football as you will have the proper techniques clear in your mind. Always remain focused on the basics because, when used correctly, the fundamentals always work best.