Punting Mechanics 101

Coach Greg Montgomery will be working with select athletes this winter in Houston ,TX and Boca Raton, FL.

These instruction sessions include a full bio-mechanic evaluation, custom workout program, one on one instruction and film analysis.

Contact Greg at gmonty23@gmail.com or 616-975-1788 to discuss his availability.


Punter Scholarships - D1 Athletic Performance Academy in Jupiter, FL

          Just finished up my morning session with Joey Diovisalvi and Jeff Fronk at the D1 Athletic Performance Academy in Jupiter, Florida. With the ultimate goal of attaining college scholarships for my students, I will be working in conjunction with D1 to develop my high school and college punters/kickers. The facility is picture perfect for athletes to prepare, train and perfect the many movements that are needed in every sport. D1 specializes in the sports specific evaluation and training of all athletes. Coach Joey D,  the bio-mechanics and  personal training guru on the PGA Tour, also has The Golf Gym training facility on the D1 campus as well.

            http://d1athleticonline.com/Site_2/home.html  and www.golfgym.com

      When punters/kickers come to our campus, I personally show them the science behind generating maximum foot speed while punting/kicking the football. After my initial consultation and film evaluation, each individual punter will then be evaluated by Coach Joey D, pin-pointing specific areas of the body which need to be strengthened in order to perform at the highest level. Once the athlete is tested, an  in-depth stretching, weight training and conditioning program is developed around the individual needs of each and every athlete.

     The Seven Pillars of Foot Speed

  With the help of  D1 strength coach Jeff Fronk, we've identified the seven pillars that create the foundation for my athletes - Flexibility, Mobility, Stability, Balance, Coordination, Strength and Power. The product of these pillars is SPEED. In the game of punting the football, we're talking about foot speed.

     It is my approach to show each athlete exactly how to generate maximum foot speed and then work backwards from there. Once each athlete is taught  the feeling of generating maximum foot speed, all the other aspects of punting the football such as posture, body angle, stepping pattern and  the drop will simply fall into place.

  Please join us at The D1 Athletic Performance Academy this winter and take the steps needed to become an elite performer.



UG Football

Click here to view these pictures larger

Girls Soccer Success

  One of my biggest thrills was coaching Carl Delmont's girls soccer team (ages 9-11) in Baltimore, MD this past week. The bio-mechanics, process/motion of the 'Set & Pull' technique has proven to be applicable  to all sports.

    I took the time to teach each individual girl how to 'set their leg', 'pull their knee' and 'snap through the ball'. I was blown away with the girls' ability to focus and execute the 'stroke'. It took a half hour of instruction and multiple drills, but they all picked it up by the end of our practice. Balls were flying everywhere.....And yes, I got hit in the head a few times

  My main goal was to show the goalie's how to catch the ball, take their steps, 'stick the drop(ball)' outside their kicking knee as they snap through the ball.

Good stuff - GM


Darkness on the Edge of Town

Marty Godwin and Bruce Springsteen

 I recently returned from an amazing trip to Baltimore, Annapolis and Queenstown, MD. Michael Schaefer, the CEO of The River Plantation and Hunter's Oak Golf Club (http://www.theriverplantation.com/golf_eastern_shore_md/hunters_oak_golf_club.asp) was amazing as well as Hunter's Oak head PGA pro, Billy Horney.

    We had the opportunity to meet with CEO of Freedmont Mortgage Carl Delmont (www.freedmont.com), tennis pro Marty Godwin, CEO at Marty Godwin Tennis (http://www.martygodwintennis.com/),  PGA Tour bio-mechanics and strength coach Joey Diovisalvi (http://d1athleticonline.com/Site_2/home.html) and Orioles' legend Chris Hoiles (http://www.hggsports.com/) regarding a partnership where we will be hosting football, tennis, baseball and golf mentoring and player development camps on the 1200 acre River Plantation facility.

Big things on the Horizon. GM

Punting Breakout at Miami(OH)

      This blog entry was written on August 1st 2010. Upon returning from working with my close friend, Head Football Coach Mike Haywood of the Miami(OH) ,  I feel the  obligation to tell all my readers this story. After working two(2) days with the Miami(OH) staff,  punting prospect Zach Murphy, progressed so much, that Zach was offered a full scholarship by Coach Haywood. To quote myself, "This is insane news......."

      Head Coach Mike Haywood was kind enough to have me down to to Oxford to work with his coaches. I instructed them on how to motivate snapper (Connor), Punter/Holder (Zach Murphy) and Kicker (Trevor). One of the first adjustments I like to make, when working with my kids, is creating “urgency” when doing drills, taking reps, reviewing film, preparing mentally and executing on the field.

     It never fails......when UG shows up, the kids are a bit shocked, and taken back by my coaching style.  My game plan is - "I’m here for 2 days, I’m going to hit you with a lot of information and I don’t have time to repeat myself, so listen up".

      One obstacle, when coaching high school and college specialists, is that they tend to lose focus when on the field and in the meeting rooms when reviewing film.  I explain that “we need to pay attention and take advantage of our time". 

        Repetition equates to muscle memory.  No wasted reps........we don’t have time for smart asses and “know it all’s”.  

     I've been lucky enough  to play at the three(3) highest levels in the game of football (high school, college and the NFL). I  know what goes through the minds of a specialist when in the heat of battle.  I’ve practiced, played and spent numerous hours, on and off the field, with Pro Football Hall of Famers Ray Childress, Bruce Matthews, Mike Munchak, Chris Speielman, Barry Sanders, Howie Long and John Elway.

   Having the 'gift' of seeing how these ultimate professionals prepare and execute was special.  I try to integrate a “Linebacker Mentality” with all my Snappers, Holders, Punters and Kickers.  There’s a fine line when it comes to knowing when to “Dial it Down” and stay in the moment.  Focus on the 'process' and execute without thinking(Zen) is the recipe to ultimate results.  

       "When we focus on the things that we can control (the process),  the 'results' will follow" - Nick Saban , head football coach, University of Alabama .

    Getting back to the “Breakthrough at Miami (OH)”...The first day, I worked Long Snapper (Conner) and Redshirt Freshman Punter (Zach Murphy).  Coach Haywood stressed “we need a reliable Punter this year”. I was also informed  that the starting Quarterback was holding for field goals and extra points (PATs).... In a word?,  the starting QB should NEVER be the holder...if you can avoid it.  We don’t want the starting QB in a position where he could get hurt, so Zach Murphy needs to learn how to hold on FG's and PATs........ And he did!.

     After “enlightening” Connor and Zach, we were all on the same page.  Connor impressed me with his long and short snaps.  We basically had to start from scratch with Zach when it comes to holding and punting.  Zach had never held for FG//PATs before.  We broke down “The Art of Holding” and he picked it up quickly.  

      As far as punting, Zack Murphy made all the mistakes that are most common high school and NCAA punters.......... long steps, short drop, sliding hips, picking up his head, taking his eye off the ball, releasing his knee too early, leaning back and cutting the ball.

After filming in the AM, we hit the meeting room for a film analysis and explanation of the 'Set & Pull' punting  technique. I explained the bio-mechanics of punting the football.... the method of creating maximum leg speed with minimal effort.

        Most football fans overlook the importance of the punting game. Just as my Coach George Perles, Mike Haywood understands the punter's importance. As NFL stand out Donnie Jones(St. Louis Rams) has proven, Zach Murphy embraced the 'Set & Pull' punting technique and turned it into dollars. To monetize the value of Zach Murphy's hard work and dedication, by earning a scholarship, Zach saved his family over $37,000/year............. Yes.. that's right ...........a total of over $150,000 over the next four years.

The rest is history........... GM


Patience, Process and Letting Go

      I'm sitting in my hotel room contemplating the word  'destiny'. How do I share my message of hope? How do I get kids to take action? Do I need to package it in a way that kids can digest it? I know my Rise Up Detroit project is noble. I'm working out the details w/ founder Michael Corbin for the everyminute.org relaunch. I'm coaching aspiring punters across the nation. I'm trying to 'help'.

      This week I'm at the University of Alabama, helping the coaches learn how teach my 'Set & Pull' technique. Seeing the droves of kids coming in for workouts, it takes me back to my first days in college......wanting success so bad I could taste it. My heart would pound when it was my turn to 'show my wears'. To punt the football. It's taken many years of deep reflection to answer this question  "Why was I  so stressed out when it came to performance?" The answer lies in the work.

    The science of punting was in it's early development in the '80's. With the evolution of film analysis and integration of bio-mechanics, I've finally realized how the punting motion works. The elusive 'why' I'd been looking for all these years. When I was playing, I had no concept of the word 'relax'. My 'repeater swing' needed to be meticulously practiced. Even though I had to re-learn it every day,  I would eventually 'find my groove'. I can remember going in after practice and watching film.  I focused on my body angle, leg extension and foot position at impact. I made sure to finish each kick with my leg high in the air.If  I wasn't doing it to my satisfaction on film, I would go back out and fix it. That's what I 'saw' in pictures while growing up in New Jersey. Legendary punters Ray Guy and Dave Jennings would always finish with their leg  high up into the air. I did my best to imitate this technique my entire career. But in the depths of my subconscious mind, I knew there was an easier way. 

        My 'Set & Pull' punting epiphany came to me in the spring of 2000. Three(3) years removed from the game, I finally understood the concept of 'letting go in order to gain control'. I realized why I had such a tough time having fun playing the game of football. Undiagnosed torn ligaments in my hip and a broken back didn't help things much,  but I knew there was an easier way to create leg(foot) speed.  I didn't have the patience(or bio-mechanic) knowledge to relax and allow my leg to release. My negative mental 'chatter' caused me to drift. I focused on 'results' versus 'process'. I knew I could do better. I wanted to be perfect.

         The game of life has a strange way of teaching us lessons. After all the years of work. The countless  hours of frustrating trial and error. The lesson was this ....  All I had to do was "let go". 

 This is why I teach................GM


Greg Montgomery's NFL Films Documentary w/ St Louis Rams' punter Donnie Jones

   Just finished up the filming of my documentary with NFL Films. The whole crew was great. My parents were kind enough to share their recollection of my childhood and burning desire to become one of the top punters in the NFL. Donnie Jones, my close friend and current St Louis Rams standout punter, flew in to share his 'Monty stories' and experiences while working with me for 3 years at LSU. We discussed the pressure of playing in the NFL........ The main focus being the details, workout techniques and drills we did(do) in order to perfect the the 'Set & Pull' technique. The actual bio-mechanics of the motion we use and teach today.

    The NFL Films crew was especially interested in our underwater punting drills. Do to the fact that water is the most efficient form of resistance, we showed them how we would go through our stepping pattern, maintain sound posture/body angle, the set our leg and then pull the knee(entire upper and lower leg as one piece). The sensation is like swinging  a baseball bat with a 'donut' on it. Once Donnie got out of the water, his leg would feel weightless.....flying up through the ball. Good stuff for high school and college punters and kickers to emulate.

    While on the field, we filmed all of our drills - working our hands quickly on'buddy drops', taking urgent steps and' knee pulls', and finally the 'Set & Pull' - the setting of the leg and pulling the foot through the 'hitting zone'. Donnie's balance was great and his drops consistent. His footwork was 'urgent' yet not rushed. His punts we solid - most over 5.0 seconds hang time. A 'newsflash' for aspiring high school and college punters(and coaches) -  "We're not perfect' .........And Donnie did have a couple 'mis-hits'. But the fact that he  'missed with hang-time' shows why Donnie Jones has proven to be the best in the NFL over the last few years. And that's fact.

     The one point I'd like to make about 'missing with hang time'. We will ALWAYS have success when we take urgent steps, 'set' our leg(knee) properly, 'work our hands' quickly,  pull our knee(entire set leg as on piece) consistently and float the ball into the 'hitting zone'. The one thing that will set great punters apart from the rest is the hang time of their misses. We're not perfect. And there will be times when we mis-hit the ball. Whether it be because of over striding, an inside drop, taking our eye off the ball, slow hands.......whatever. The fact is if we snap our leg up through the ball consistently, we'll always 'miss with hang time. And that's exactly what Donnie Jones does.

And all the special teams coaches around the NFL will admit - 'We can live with that'.

A big 'thank you' must go out to senior producer Dave Douglas of NFL Films. He captured  my insight on the 'art of punting' in a way that "I" didn't even know existed. Thanks, brother - GM



Nick Saban Kicking Camp Notes

  The Nick Saban Kicking Camp at the University of Alabama was a great success. Over 180 high school athletes showed up for this year's event. Chris Sailer (www.chrissailerkicking.com) and Chris Rubio (Rubio@RubioLongSnapping.com) did a great job running their 2nd annual camp at the University of Alabama. It worked out great. Nick Saban was as cool as ever. Alabama Special Teams coach Bobby Williams got the kids fired up. Assistant Special Teams Coach  Joe Judge brought it all together. Chris Sailer shared his techniques and tips with the many aspiring  kickers. Chris Rubio shared his skill of snapping the football with the long-snappers. And I shared the basics of my 'Set & Pull' technique with the punters. All the campers did extremely well.

     When you break down the art of punting/kicking/longsnapping, the bio-mechanics are very similar. It all starts with your feet and works up from there. The balance needed to execute a kick, punt or snap is vital. Posture is next, by giving yourself the best opportunity to maximize leverage. Coach Sailer and I showed the kickers/punters how the  'snapping' of the leg creates the foot speed  needed to send the ball down field. And Coach Rubio proved why he's one of the best by explaining the motion and follow-through needed to snap the football with a combination of velocity and accuracy. It was a pleasure working with them all.

    I definitely suggest you contact Coach Sailer and Coach Rubio for instruction and/or exposure. Their camps are nationwide and will prove to help you both on and off the field.


The Leg Snap - Down, Up and Back


    Down,Up and Back - Leg speed is achieved setting the leg, pulling the knee down along the arc, up past the ball, and then back to your chest. This will mimic the action of a whip and allow the lower leg snap through the hitting zone.  A great rhythm is achieved by preparing the drop urgently but effortlessly as soon as it hits your hands, letting your feet fall into the ground, floating the ball to the hitting zone while your leg violently snaps through the hitting zone with a good ankle lockIf we release the knee too early, the lower leg will extend (lengthening our leg) and we'll either 1) kick the ground, 2) get the feeling of a “short” drop or“crowding the ball” which will lead to leaning back and bad form(with no power). Patience is vital in order to avoid losing power prior to ball contact . This is why we need to “wait on it”, let our knee pass the ball prior to release of the knee and snap our leg “through the ball” vs. “at the ball”. Remember - Maintaining the arc throughout the swing is vital! Meaning the upper leg never stops - Finish.

 “The SET & PULL 5.0

  • SET IT - Set the leg by pulling the heel to a right angle
  • PULL IT- Pull the knee down, up and through, maintaining THE ARC throughout 
  • LET IT GO – Let lower leg go and then snap up through hitting zone.  The knee should pass the ball and snap the foot through the ball after impact.  Knee should have slight bend at impact AND ACCELERATE THROUGH THE BALL. “Put the ball in the way of a good swing.  Don’t hit the ball.”


How Good Do You Want To Be?

I just got off the phone with an old friend. Retired Detroit Lion's standout LB Scott Kowalkowski. We chatted about current events, the projects we're working on and shared a few NFL war stories. The topic of conversation then shifted.
 Unheralded at Notre Dame, Scott was drafted with the 216th pick in the 1992 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Eventually traded to the Lions, Scott was the epitome of 'The Little Train That Could'. I can relate. No respect.

Scott Kowalkowski ended up playing 11 years in the NFL. ELEVEN. Eight(8) with the Detroit Lions and three(3) with the Phiuladelphia Eagles, the team that originally drafted him.When I was his teammate with the Lions in 1994, Scott was the leader on special teams. He was the first man down on kickoff coverage and always had 'bad intentions' when he hit you. He was a football player. He outlasted probably 90% of the draft picks prior to him in the 1992 draft. So much for Mel Kiper.

When I hurt my back prior my junior year in high school in 1981, I was the starting middle linebacker on my high school team, a starting  'first shift ' defenseman on the hockey team and number one pitcher in the rotation on the baseball team. After visiting the New York Jets team orthopedic surgeon, I was given devastating news. No 'contact sports' ever again. I could either spend 12 months in a body cast or use daily swimming as a method of rehabilitation. I chose the later.

When returned to my home in Shrewsbury, NJ,  I wrote down on a piece of paper, "In the year 1988, I will become a professional specialist in the NFL". And I did it.

The moral to the story here is that when we put our minds to something, anything is possible.

And with a warrior spirit, the cream always rises to the top. I proved it., Scott Kowalkowski proved it.

Note to punters - Do you have the patience and desire to implement the 'Set & Pull' punting technique?  Do you want to be the best and know exactly where the ball is going when  it leaves your foot? Or you happy with the 'hit and hope'  approach? The antiquated  'over stride, short drop, lean back, cut across , "Peter!"  ball that usually doesn't turn over and bouces backwards when it lands?

Just a thought............. punters(coaches and parents) . GM


Mind Over Matter

I can vividly remember my epiphany. My dream to restore the confidence to compete at the highest level in the National Football League. I had to dig deep. My quest? To find the timing, the fluid rhythm, the zone......... once again.

This article was written shortly after completing my comeback into the NFL in 1996. A prime example of the  power the subconscious mind,  I trained mentally and physically for 3 months prior to contacting teams regarding workouts. I blocked out the fact I was recovering from a torn labrum in my  left hip(plant leg), a torn quadriceps in my kicking leg and a lingering fractured L4 in my lower back. I blocked out the fear of failure. I blocked out the performance anxiety. I blocked out the pain. 

The reason I've chosen to share this article -  When you put your mind to it, anything is possible.  I had not yet attained the hard knock wisdom and spiritual enlightenment that has led to my development of the 'Set & Pull' punting technique,  but this challenge definitely paved the way to become the coach and mentor I am today. 

I hope this article inspires you to become the best at whatever you choose to do in life. And to never take 'no' for an answer.........  GM

Montgomery gives adversity the boot; Comeback: Greg Montgomery returns to the NFL with the Ravens, trying to re-establish himself among the league's elite punters after a year's sabbatical.
The Baltimore Sun - Sept 06,1996 By: Gary Lambrecht

Life is still a party to Greg Montgomery. But the years have taught him to turn the volume down while living it to the fullest.
Put him on a Harley motorcycle. Give him a pair of skis on a killer slope. Or a surfboard on a cool wave. Either way, Montgomery is a happy man. He is the first to admit he has lived a charmed existence.
Take, for example, the way he turned the most crushing news of his youth into a career as one of the NFL's premier punters.
Montgomery was a jock of all trades at Red Bank High School in Little Silver, N.J. Baseball, soccer, football, golf and, especially, ice hockey. You name it, the kid could play it well.
At 17, he envisioned himself skating in the NHL someday soon. Then, one day in football practice while he was blocking a dummy, Montgomery felt pain shoot through his lower back. One doctor's exam took his breath away again. He was told never to play contact sports again, or risk permanent damage to his spinal cord.
Montgomery, now a 31-year-old employee of the Ravens, had a sacral lumbar injury that caused bulging in his disks and nerve aggravation in his spinal cord. He said it was alleviated through rehabilitation and the strengthening of his stomach and back muscles. "I'm totally cured now," he said. "There's no more risk." But back then, "I was devastated. I thought my life was over,"
said Montgomery, who had played linebacker and tight end. "But I always had strong legs, so I started working on my kicking more.
"Looking back, it was almost a blessing. It put me in a position where I could get better at something and maybe be the best at something."
If he retired tomorrow, Montgomery could look back and say he was the best at something. In 1993, his sixth season with the Houston Oilers, Montgomery led the league with a 45.6-yard average and was a first-team All-Pro.
Then he signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions in 1994, and went to his second Pro Bowl with a 44.2-yard average.
Then Montgomery walked away from the game for a year. Huh? Healthy players in their prime and at the top of their games don't do that anymore, do they? Well, most players aren't like Montgomery. When he strolls into the Ravens' locker room, Montgomery can't help but stand out. For one, he's 6 feet 4 and 215 pounds, towering size for a punter. Then there are the blue-tinted, prescription glasses, the goatee, the sideburns, the Grateful Dead tattoo on his right arm, the chaw and the swagger. He could pass for a character out of "Easy Rider."
"He's what you would call `out there,' " kicker Matt Stover said of Montgomery. "Greg kind of makes himself known. And he doesn't care what you think about him. Accept him for what he is. Greg is sincere."
Ask him about why he ditched the NFL for a year, and Montgomery cites two reasons -- contract squabbles and burnout.
After his second Pro Bowl appearance, he tested the free-agent market and said he got nothing but insulting offers, as teams across the league were strapped by the salary cap. And the grind of living up to his own, high expectations had begun to wear on Montgomery.
"It was the pressure I put on myself, the stress of it all, maintaining the status of being the best," he said. "You can't blame people for getting caught up in the stats, because this game, this society, promotes it. Any player in pro sports will tell you what they know now, they wish they knew when they were young."
When he was younger, Montgomery was well-versed in playing hard. Off the field, one beer would turn into two, then three, then a very late night. Most times, it didn't matter what night of the week in which the party unfolded. He remembers waking up in his share of foggy states.
His partying ways bought him a one-way ticket out of Penn State, where he was recruited as a punter. He transferred after his freshman year to Michigan State -- where his father played quarterback in 1957 and '58 -- and earned a scholarship after walking on.
"I was immature, partying a lot, didn't stay focused, and Joe Paterno didn't like that," Montgomery recalled. "The type of people who went to Penn State at that time weren't like me, and many people aren't like me. I take pride in that."
Penn State's loss was Michigan State's gain. Over three seasons with the Spartans, despite playing in the bad weather that dominates the Big Ten, Montgomery averaged 45.4 yards per punt, the highest career average in school history. He was drafted in the third round in 1988 by the Oilers.
With his strong leg and the cozy indoors of the Astrodome, Montgomery thrived instantly in the NFL, even while he lived on the edge off the field. He continued to party liberally as a young player, and would play ice hockey -- against the advice of his doctors -- in the off-season.
Montgomery said he grew up a lot during his self-imposed sabbatical. He realized how much he missed the game on Sundays. He started listening to his body more, cutting the late nights short and spending more time in the gym. He traded in his Harley for a Buick. He even fulfilled a dream by opening a coffee house/bar in Houston, called "Strict-9," a play on his uniform number.
All the while, he continued to practice his punting, and when the Ravens lost Tom Tupa to the New England Patriots, Baltimore hooked Montgomery with a five-year contract.
Since the day he reported to minicamp, Montgomery has felt like a new punter. Much of that has to do with his new approach.
His average no longer captivates him. In the Ravens' season-opening, 19-14 victory, Montgomery averaged a seemingly ordinary 38.0 yards on six punts, but his performance was outstanding. Four times, he pinned Oakland inside its 20. The Raiders had 14 punt return yards.
"As an older player, this approach is something new for him, and it has rejuvenated him," Ravens special teams coach Scott O'Brien said. "It's a new challenge. Greg is quite a colorful guy. He's not intimidated, and he has fit in well from the beginning." Montgomery said his best punting is yet to come. He said, physically and mostly mentally, he has never felt this fit. He has averaged 43.7 yards for his career, but the last thing on his mind these days is gross average. He wants to be the first punter in NFL history to average a net distance of 40 yards. That is the truest gauge of a punter's performance.
"Punting is not about having a 50-yard average. It's about being the best you can be in the situation you are given,"
Montgomery said. "It's about paying attention to details. I'm into the art of punting like never before. I'm fixing the little things I've never bothered to fix. I've still got a long way to go to be the guy I can be."


          After playing the entire year in 1996, I was reminded of why I took the year off in 1995. My aggressive punting technique led to my body breaking down again(hips,back,legs). And my performances suffered as a direct result of NOT 'knowing the answers to the test'....the EXACT bio-mechanics of punting.......the effortless and effective 'Set & Pull technique' was a few years away from development.

Even though I never regained the magic of the late 80's and early 90's, I proved  that I could play in the NFL again. 

                    And now I want you teach you  .................GM


Set & Pull .......... The Secret Sauce

      Field position is one of the key ingredients to winning in the game of football. An effective punter that can change field position is a priceless commodity. The process of punting has four major elements: 1) The Posture/ Body Angle, 2) The Footwork, 3) The Drop and 4) The Leg Snap.

       Mastering each element will be only made possible by being mentally and physically prepared to compete every time you step on the field. By following faithful daily routines of drill work and conditioning, the punter will be able to repeat the one fluid motion needed to achieve maximum hang time, distance and precise placement.

    Here are just a few points that will give you the best chance of becoming an efficient punter:

 Being "grounded" both mentally/physically; maintaining the proper body angle throughout the punt

“Letting your feet fall into the ground” on the approach.

"Letting your hands work” on the catch/grip of the football.

 "Allowing(guiding) the drop" into the hitting zone. 

 "Set it"  - Setting the leg(knee) and ankle

"Pull it" -  Pulling the knee violently along the arc

"Wait on it" - Allowing the knee to  pass the ball before releasing the lower leg  up and through the ball.

"Cracking the whip" - the feeling of properly snapping your lower leg as your knee(quad) comes BACK towards your body.

And ”finishing” the kick - Snapping your lower leg through the ball with the femur(quad) continuing along the arc of the swing(ie golf/baseball).

         Due to the aggressive nature of the game of football, patience and timing must be mastered through mental preparation, repetition and muscle memory. The philosophy of the “Set and Pull 5.00” technique is to maximize foot speed with minimal physical effort by allowing your lower leg to properly release; violently snapping your foot through the hitting zone.

 The purpose of this blog is to educate and enlighten all those interested in punting the football. Athletes, coaches and parents will all benefit by embracing the principals of the "Set & Pull' punting technique. It's simple, repeatable and produces consistent results. Not to mention the cost of college in the year 2015 will be roughly $100,000.

More to come. GM


The Set & Pull Philosophy

       By promoting proper balance, a clear mind and effortlessly fluid motion, Montgomery gives every athlete the ability to violently snap his/her foot through the hitting zone. In contrast to traditional punting teachings, Montgomery teaches ‘get your leg in’ vs ‘getting the drop out’. What this means is that when a punter extends his leg too early, the hitting zones is further away from the body. Most coaches try to remedy this error by telling their students to ‘get the drop out further’. This is perfect example of treating the symptoms vs treating the illness.

        Wait On It

If you study the golf swing, as well as the baseball hitting motion, you’ll see similarities. The one that will stand out is the setting of the hands. The way I came up with the S&P 5.0 was finally learning that your hands must not release until they pass the ball in golf and baseball. This being said, in the punting motion, your knee serves as your hands. As the punter is gliding into his plant, with the leg is Set, you simply Pull the leg (using hip flexor) and when in proper position, ‘allow’ the leg to snap through the ‘hitting zone’. The knee actually passes the ball and releases on the way up through the hitting zone. By waiting to release the knee, your leg will be shorter and the hitting zone closer; hence ‘Get your leg in’. 

. All punters and coaches experience the frustration of inconsistency. What's the source? Too much effort and not understanding how the punting motion REALLY works.

With patience and focus,  the Set & Pull technique will allow your leg to snap faster and more consistently. With dedication to 'The Move',  you'll make the transition from 'ball hitter' to 'ball striker'.


The Process

Rhythm, timing and patience are the key elements required to
execute an effective punt. From catch to kick, punting is one
fluid motion. After all the work, after all the repetitions, after
the mental preparation, we must trust the process while in the
heat of battle.

A great punt is the product of trusting the

An 11 yard block point is a product of trusting the

A 1.2 second “catch to kick” is the product of trusting
the process.

 A punt with 5.0 second hang time is a product of
trusting the process.

        As in all aspects of life, we have to let go in
order to gain control. We can’t squeeze it, white knuckle it or
force it to happen. We have to let it happen. Less is More -
Once a consistent rhythm is established, less effort actually
produces better results. We need to take a deep breath, relax,
trust the process, and finish.


Random Thoughts on Golf, Punting and Life

                      “Letting Go in Order to Gain Control”

There is a very fine line between success and failure when we finally ‘let go with a purpose. Especially in the game of golf->As in the game of life (punting).

Repetition will instill muscle (brain) memory in order to focus on 1-3 swing thoughts while competing on the golf course and in a stadium filled with 78,000 fans..  I’ve always been in search of the “perfect move” (swing) in punting, golf and ultimately life .  Even though ‘it’ took 45 years to manifest, ‘letting go‘ has given me the gift of ‘control’ on the course…. the practice field………. life.

Being able to “trust the process”, clear your mind and allow your swing unfold naturally is definitely something to strive for.  However, the next step is to “put it all together” and score.  Working on ingraining swing movements into my subconscious mind has put me in a position to “take my relationship” (mind, body, spirit) to the next level.

We all need to free our minds from the limitations that accompany a “results driven mindset”. Thoughts..whispers of  “I’ve never shot 65”, “I hope I don’t pull this putt”, “Wouldn’t it be stupid to snap hook this drive”, all the way to “How will this win change my life?” on the PGA Tour. The same applies to punting the football. Thoughts of "I only have to hit a 42 yd punt to lead the NFL"(true story) or "Just don't shank it"(true story) or " I hope this doesn't get blocked'( true story) can lead to disaster.

I've been blessed to experience ‘it’(the zone) in small  but poignant doses. Though I had much ‘success’(statistically) with my punting, my new goal is to implement this freedom into both my golf game and the game of all punters at the high school, college and pro levels.  Technique and mind set is the secret sauce.

 My never ending quest…my unquiet mind…..the constant grind.  Hilarious, but so frustrating. I knew it(the perfect punt) was ‘in there”, but I squeezed when I should have “Let Go”….physically and mentally. This ‘squeezing of life' served to hold me back in all of my endeavors whether it be on or off the field.

In 2003, I found it! Posture, the drop, rhythm,  leg position at contact. The release of the knee. Accelerating the foot effortlessly THROUGH the hitting zone. Maintaining the arc of the of the swing. Too little too late for my punting career, but I enjoy to share this wisdom and coach my 'Set & Pull' technique (Google ‘Donnie Jones – punter St Louis Rams”) . Letting go in order to gain control is an art.  We have to be prepared for ‘the shift’…..When we finally realize “we are ok” (on the right track), we (the human mind) can do anything…for real!!”  
Quantum thinking prevents us from letting fear (guilt/failure) creep in and plant its evil seed. Know this -  you can compete at ‘levels unknown’.  We have to constantly remind ourselves that‘doubt’  is the number one(1) hurdle that separates the boys from the men.  We must strive to free our minds of negative thoughts, destructive loops of “scenarios”, “what if’s”, and “what will the friends family fans say (think)”. 

We need to let go and allow life to happen; however we can direct it when we relax and respect the process.(Next level, folks).

After proper mental and physical preparation, we must always “trust the process” (i.e. I hit a 65 yd punt in 1998 while in the “chains of a panic attack”).  I didn’t know I had a choice. When all is said and done, we must understand and believe we are in control of all of our actions….catch to kick….address to finish…sunrise to sunset. And that’s it, folks ……… MAGIC.

So the moral to the story is 1) Focus 2) Execute (allow) and 3) Enjoy (let it happen) the ride!