Football has been the most loved sport in America. Each state has its college and professional teams that compete every season. Whether it’s a kid, teenager, or adult, everybody wants to play football and follow their favorite NFL stars’ footsteps.
If you’re starting to play for a league or just for a hobby, it is quite important to know how to punt the ball. To learn how to do that, follow the simple steps that we’re about to show you.
What is Punt, and why does each team need to do it?
Before you proceed with learning how to punt, you should understand the reason behind punting and why it’s crucial for the game.
Teams need to punt when they have failed to make their first down, scoring a touchdown or kicking the field goal. In some cases, the team uses punting as a game strategy. If the team only needs the fourth down, they’ll try to punt the ball by converting it as a chance to make a touchdown.
This way, the opposing team will be tricked to lose their guard down for thinking that it’s only a regular punt. A lot of teams were able to score a touchdown by just doing this strategy.
But, if they’re still far from fourth and seven downs, the best way to play the game is to punt it all the way instead of risking the game.
Punting the Football the Right Way
1. Catch the Ball Perfectly
- As a punter, you need to be positioned about 15 yards right behind the center where the punt play is located.
- The play shall begin as soon as the center person throws the ball directly to the punter. Be sure that as a punter, you see what’s going on and where the ball is.
- As soon as the guy throws the ball, you will need to catch it precisely. Hold on to it tightly, and don’t let it slip from your hands. Catching the ball needs to be precise and quick as possible so you can transition into the next position without losing balance.
- If the throw was too high or low, you need to adjust your position to catch it nicely as a punter. Observe the center’s hands how it sways the throw and gauge how you catch the ball. Try shuffling your legs from each side while also keeping your body squared up.
2. Hold Tightly on the Ball
- Once you catch the ball, there’s no more room for mistakes. All you need to do is keep it in a perfect tight grip.
- The position of the ball when holding it should be right in front of you and you should position its laces in an upward manner.
- When gripping the ball, use your most dominant hand, holding it tightly between your fingers and thumb.
- Then, have your arms stretched out as far as possible and grip the ball horizontally in front.
- Have the ball angled so that it’s a little bit pointing away from your most dominant hand.
3. Move forward
- You should now be ready to move forward once the ball is securely positioned in your hands. Your feet should be positioned at least a foot away from one another.
- Maintain your feet’s position by having it face straight forward and squared up.
- Then, take two careful and quick steps forward. When stepping your feet, step the foot to make the kick, followed by the other one. By doing this, it helps you position better and gain some perfect momentum before kicking the ball.
- Control your body and do not move either too slow or fast. The steps should be precise, so it won’t be hard to punt the ball later.
4. It’s time to Punt the Ball
- As soon as you’ve made two quick steps, have your hand paralleled to the ground while keeping the ball stretched out.
- Have your kicking leg move forward precisely while also lowering the ball ready to be kicked.
- The goal is to kick the ball as high as possible, so the positioning and kicking strategy are crucial. Make sure that your kicking foot and your hand holding the ball, moves in unison.
- To kick it perfectly, kick it the moment it gets closer to your foot. Not too high nor too low. Your legs have to be as straight as possible so the ball won’t go to the wayside.
- Use the top of your foot, especially your toes positioned upwards to create a sharp and perfect kick.
- As soon as your dominant hand drops the ball, have it drape on the sides while the other arm is lifted way up to keep your momentum and follow through in check.
5. Proper Follow Through
- Your task as a punter doesn’t end after kicking. You’ll have to be quick and do a follow-through. This means you’ll need to keep your eyes fixed to where the ball is going.
- After kicking the ball, land your kicking foot to the ground in front. By positioning this way, it enables your body to stay prepared and in momentum to move forward.
- Never look down after the kick or leave your position. Please wait until the referee declares that it’s a successful punt.
Keep practicing until you perfect your punting skills. Who knows, one day you might become the next NFL star.