Author Topic: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline DL

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Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« on: December 29, 2011, 04:59:53 PM »
(My 2 cents from a previous post in italics on xtra points and then I have some open questions after)

The 2 point incentive versus 1 pt. for running or passing it in is a powerful incentive.  That is the rule in our league.

It effectively puts you up 2 scores against those teams that can't kick.     It is a very valuable tool because we also have a 24 point margin where special slaughter rules begin to take effect which pretty much eliminates all hope of comebacks.
So 3 quick scores with 3 two point conversions = game won.   

We almost won the championship game this year against a superior team with a surprising first half game plan that got us up 2 quick scores (16 points).   If we could have managed a 3rd score without them scoring we would have won the game.

The problem I have with kicks isn't so much the distance - it's blocking + executing the snap + hold + kick as a combination.   If any one of those factors is poor it's a miss or block.   It takes a lot of practice to get all that together for kids and even then when they do it under game pressures it's a whole different story.   

A lot of coaches just figure it isn't worth the valuable and limited practice time - especially when many people don't have cross bars to practice with.

It really, really helps (and I never seem to get these, but I know other teams that have them) when you have a kid whose dad was a kicker and/or works with his kid outside of practice on kicking.

I'm not particularly great at coaching xtra points.  Not bad, but certainly no expert. 


Questions for those of you who are really successful at kicking xtra points with young kids (under 12).

1)  How much time in practice do you spend on it and how many days a week?

2)  What is your blocking scheme, kick formation and blocking method?

3)  Do you soccer style kick or straight on kick?

4) Do you have a set number of steps for the kick?

5) Do you snap from greater than 7 yards? 

6) Any miscellaneous tips for success?
 

« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 05:04:51 PM by Daniel Lyons »

Offline CoachJohn

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 06:51:45 PM »
Daniel,

I will be the biggest advocate of kicking for extra points.  We lost one game due to the ability of one team who was able to kick (lost 16-13) and another we could have won if we did kick (lost 14-12).  Unfortunately this was another one of my rookie HC mistakes this past year as I didn't really try to kick until losing those two games.  If you can kick then kick.  So many things can happen when running a normal play during an extra point attempt (a fumble, bad snap, penalty, etc) and we were a victim of all of them.  My season wound up at 3-6 this year and I later found out I had two players who could kick nearly automatically with minimal practice time.  If those two games could have gone in our favor just by kicking my speech at the end of the year would have been different.

At the level I coached this year, we did not snap the ball to a holder.  The QB would take the snap and walk it back to the kicking block location.  The opposing defense could only stand up and rise their arms, no contact was allowed.  Therefore our distance was based on his angle of kick were it could not be blocked.

I only spent a few moments during the week practicing this.  On game day I would send the kickers off by themselves with a holder to practice kicking.  I also suggest find a competent mpp holder, no need to put your starting QB in harms way.

The 2 pt. kick is a powerful weapon in youth football.  Not many can kick a field goal, which makes a team drive for the end-zone to win as I had to do in both those losses.

Coach John
( P.S. and I have both those players coming back next year  ;) )

« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 06:55:51 PM by CoachJ »
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Offline CoachGugs

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 09:30:46 PM »
In my league the defense is allowed to block a kicking PAT so we would have to be able to block it.  I also have 9-10 year olds.  Would you put in the time to get it in if you had a kicker that could do it?
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Offline Tripwire

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 10:09:35 PM »
I coached Pop Warner jr pee-wee 9-11 year olds.

1)  How much time in practice do you spend on it and how many days a week?

We practiced 3 days a week (Mon-Wed-Fri) during the season.  Mon was Def day, Wed was Off day and Fri was both in shells.  Every day after we do a very short warmup (5 or so minutes) we send the kicker over to practice nothing but extra points while our QB's and RB's did handoff drills and the line or d line did blocking/tackling drills for 10 minutes.  Regardless if it was offense or defense day we did it every single day.

2)  What is your blocking scheme, kick formation and blocking method?

There was no real scheme for blocking.  We basically lined up in a Double Wing for our kicking formation foot to foot NOT Crossed up legs, just foot to foot.  We also put the line forward (as opposed to on the heels of the center they were even).  Our WB's pushed anything outside.  I think we had 1 blocked all year.  When we did special teams on fridays we did practice our fakes as well.  Simple sweep by the holder with the WB doing an out pattern just into the end zone.

3)  Do you soccer style kick or straight on kick?

We had a straight on kicker.

4) Do you have a set number of steps for the kick?

We actually adjusted the whole 3 step back and 1 to the side thing to just get a straight up head down, foot just below center of the football, good plant and and kick UP while kicking hard.  It worked like a charm.  All the stuff about moving a certain distance and to the side etc.. is probably better for older kids or kids that are specifically going to be kickers.  But for us we just wanted it over the goal post!  So lined him back to where he was comfortable taking a quick 2 steps and kick.

5) Do you snap from greater than 7 yards?

We actually lined the block up much closer.  We were told that the kicker would be fair game to hit if we did but our o line didn't allow much in.  We moved it 3 yards behind the center.  Better snap, closer and the way we kicked it up anyway, we didn't worry about it being too low.

6) Any miscellaneous tips for success?

Practice it!  I know a lot of coaches don't spend time on special teams (at least a lot) and we didn't either!  But 2 points is so huge in our league and in the past we weren't taking advantage of it.  We won some games because of it including a regional game 15-12.  So my advice is after your warmups, set aside time for basics.  Send the QB's to handoff to the backs, the line to work on form just for 10 minutes before the true practice starts.  And while they are all doing that get your kicker over there just practicing form and kicking.
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Offline davecisar

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 09:45:42 AM »
At the youngest age groups in our 100 team league- you get 2 points for a PAT. Once you get to 7-8th grade- 100% HS rules- 1 pt for PAT,  minus the MPR requirements and running back weights. Ive had my kids in about a dozen out state tournaments (unlimited weight) and about 75% give 2 points for a PAT at the 3-4, 5-6 grade levels. About half do so at the 7-8th grade level.

One year we played in an out state tournament- the team we were beating was down by 8. With 15 seconds left and no timeouts- they scored but couldnt put together a PAT team- they werent used to kicking PATs, their league didnt give 2 Points for them. They looked silly.

We almost always kick
At 3-4 grade this year- our kid made over 70% of his kicks
At 5-6 grade this year- our kid only made about 50% of his kicks

Last year my 5-6th grade kicker was hitting about 65% of his kicks, played big part in helping us win the Division title game, hitting all his PATs and hitting a pair of 30 yard punts out of bounds. Out of the 40 teams in that age grouping- he was probably in the 70-80th percentile or so, from what I saw- had film or saw about 25 of the 40 teams play.

When you play in big tournaments or competitive leagues, often times it's the kicking game that makes the difference. At the AYF and PW National Championships the last 3 years, Ive seen VERY good special teams and very consistent kickers. Rare that you see a team with kids who cant kick or punt well there. Also saw some unreal onside kicks, much more consistent than my kids have ever been able to do.

We use the Kohls Kicking video approach to kicking
Soccer Style
3 Step
Plant foot 9 inches to side of block, even with or slightly ahead of the block
Special teams is about 20% of our practice time after the first 3 weeks
Our placement depends on the kicker- from 6-7 yards
If there are kicking camps in your area then send your kicker there AND go with- there were 3 local ones here last year
Buy the Kohls kicking DVDs or attend one of his clinics- they do a very nice job
We also do "win the game" pressure situations- something I borrowed from some basketball book I read. All our players not on the PAT team jumping up and down and yelling- distracting the kicker. All the parents standing right behind the kicker- several next to the holder etc- yelling and jumping around. If he hits the PAT- we mob him, practice is over and we celebrate- he won the game on a last second play. If he misses we run 10 minutes of full speed non contact punt and kick coverage drills- which they hate doing. Prepares kids for the pressure.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 10:00:41 AM by davecisar »
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Offline DL

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 10:34:27 AM »
The problem I have isn't usually the kicker.  It's the blocking and the snapping and hold.   

The times we don't get an xtra point executed is usually as a result of a block or a rushed kick from an overload to one side that confused our outside guys, a kid just jumping over the A gap, or a kid simply not getting his body weight low enough and getting pushed aside.  The defense is usually very motivated to block the kick as well and is often bringing much more effort than our kids are in blocking for it.

Another problem is executing a snap that is hard and crisp.  Often times the center will kind of lob it back to the holder giving the rush time to get there.  I started bringing a stop watch to practice and timing the snaps and holds.  I forget what the optimal time was (should have wrote it down), but I found that if we could get our snap and hold in a certain amount of time the kick was very, very difficult to block even with botched blocking. 

Usually by game 5 or 6 we can make 75 - 80% of our extra points.  It's just a long time coming.   

I usually use a double tight, double wing formation for kicks. 

I see a lot of other teams that are good at xtra points using an unbalanced formation to one side with 2 staggered wings on the other.

        OOOOCOO
                         O
                            O
                  O
              O

I think this formation encourages teams to attack the wings (since that looks more vulnerable) and the coaches put their 2 best players there.

On the other side, it looks like you can come off the edge, but with the unbalanced you have a long way to go to get to the kicker.

I may try this formation in the future.

Swinging gate is of little value because the greater threat is the kick, not the pass and run for 2 pts.









Offline jrk5150

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 11:01:16 AM »
I'm also at the Jr. Pee Wee level.

Every year we've been able to cobble together a snapper and holder, but never had a consistent kicker.  This year, we thought we had one, but he kept coming up short.  We tried a few in games, hit the cross bar once, but short the rest.  Fortunately, we didn't need the kick.  Then about 2/3 of the way through the season, I saw him at soccer wearing these rocking soccer cleats, so told him to bring them to practice.  Boom - they made a 5 yard difference, easy.  Went from making 1-2 out of 10 to making 7.  Kicked two in games after that, but we only tried three, one got blocked.

We practice Tu-Wed-Thur.  We have one goal post at our practice field.  We send the snapper, holder and kicker over maybe twice a week, bring the team over with them once a week.  He kicks for maybe 10-15 minutes.  Unfortunately, it's a grass field and our whole program practices there, so the kicking area turns to dirt quickly.  And when it rains, which it did a TON this year, it's just a big mud puddle.  So we actually practiced less than we'd have liked.

On the other side, we have never given up an extra point kick against us.  We actually work on a kick block at the very beginning of the year, then go over it whenever we have a game where we know they kick.  IMO, the only reason WE get our kicks off is that most teams don't take the time to prepare a block.  As was pointed out - we don't care if they fake and get the one, so we bring 10 or 11 against your 8 blockers.  We bring two off each edge where you can only block one, which means I have two kids (one from each side) coming full speed off the snap.  Most 10 year old kicks take long enough to get off that we get there.  Or they rush and miss badly.

No idea if we'll have a kicker this year.  I really haven't figured out a way to manufacture one.  They either can do it, or they can't.  We've tried to work with their steps, and angle, etc., but it's never made a difference.

Offline CoachJohn

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 12:05:32 PM »
Quote
A lot of coaches just figure it isn't worth the valuable and limited practice time - especially when many people don't have cross bars to practice with.

Coach Daniel,

The field we practiced at did not have goal post either.  We did have a highschool practice field a few blocks away from where we practiced, but I never utilized it.  I will say this ... From losing those two games (see comment above) and being a carpenter by trade I designed a practice goal post using various diameters of PVC and tie backs.  An easily constructed H post will work fine.  it doesn't have to look pretty, the uprights do not have to tower 20' into the air, but it will get the job done.

I have also seen some coaches kick off the bating area in a baseball field.  I would think that if you could outline the goal area with tape (i.e. yellow duct tape) or secure PVC piping with u-bolts, or secure the entire PVC post to the fenching it would work just as well.
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Offline jrk5150

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 12:10:34 PM »
Actually, if you're at a baseball field with a big backstop, you can just kick into that, you really don't need to mark the goal posts.  Snap from just inside the backstop, and kick from 5-7 yards from there.  No need to have anyone chasing the kicks either, LOL.  Just have the kicker focus on kicking as hard and high as he can.  Might end up doing better in the long run, since he's not getting target bound.  You'll have enough distance before it hits the backstop where you can see the ball going off center and correct that.  Just follow it up once in a while on a regular field to check progress, and so you can get a feel for how high it needs to be passing over the snapper.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 12:15:36 PM by jkoester »

Offline mahonz

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 12:50:15 PM »
Questions for those of you who are really successful at kicking xtra points with young kids (under 12).

If your league awards 2 for a kick and 1 for a run / pass it is imperative to be able to kick. Every time you score and kick while your opponent cant you go up by two scores. Like Dave Cisar, at the 7th and 8th grade levels we revert back to NFHS rules where a kick is 1 and a run / pass is 2 points. At that level if you can kick well now you can add in short FG’s.

1)  How much time in practice do you spend on it and how many days a week?

5 reps every practice.

2)  What is your blocking scheme, kick formation and blocking method?

Foot to foot, two WB’s facing out at a 45 degree angle and everyone leans to the inside. We time the snap and kick. Ball must be away in 2 seconds.

3)  Do you soccer style kick or straight on kick?

Soccer. Better lift.

4) Do you have a set number of steps for the kick?

3

5) Do you snap from greater than 7 yards? 

5 steps from the Snappers butt.

6) Any miscellaneous tips for success?

Offset your holder so that the T is directly behind the Center. Have the holder show both of his hands right over the T so the Center can look at a nice target. Only the big boys can show one hand. This takes some getting used to for the holder for balance. I believe the snap and seat is more difficult than teaching the kick. Its all tempo and has to be quick.
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Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 11:13:18 PM »
We have one goal post at our practice field.  We send the snapper, holder and kicker over maybe twice a week, bring the team over with them once a week.  He kicks for maybe 10-15 minutes.  Unfortunately, it's a grass field and our whole program practices there, so the kicking area turns to dirt quickly.  And when it rains, which it did a TON this year, it's just a big mud puddle.
Do any of the teams resort to the expedient of using the goal from both directions?  Or is the area behind it unsuitable?
Quote
No idea if we'll have a kicker this year.  I really haven't figured out a way to manufacture one.  They either can do it, or they can't.  We've tried to work with their steps, and angle, etc., but it's never made a difference.
Anybody here ever find a talented drop kicker?  Or coach it?

Offline Test Account

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2012, 10:33:09 AM »
Our league at the 3-4 and 5-6gr level for the PAT is 3pts. 2pts for passing into the end zone and 1 for running.

Our 7-8gr level PAT is 2pts. Passing or running is 1 pt.



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Offline Vince148

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Re: Kicking Xtra Points (2 pts.)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 04:08:02 PM »
In our league, the kick is worth 2 points as well AND no rush is allowed. So, the only thing we did was have the kid go to the goal post and kick for 5 or so minutes prior to practice.