Pros share knowledge at football kicking clinic

Filed under SPORTS

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Current and former NFL players were in town this week for the One On One Kicking Clinic. The three-week clinic is an elite training facility and camp for kickers, punters and long snappers across the globe for all ages ranging from grade school to high school to college to professional leagues.

Coaches, collegiate players and NFL players huddle up during an exhibition at Daytona International Speedway. They were in town as part of the One On One Kicking Clinic, which was taking place down the street at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
(PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM)

The program is designed to prepare players to excel in game situations and to instill muscle memory to become a consistent kicker and punter.

The clinic is held at different sites in different cities nationwide throughout the year. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the site of the one in Daytona.

Allen among pros
On Tuesday, the pros participated in a workout at the Daytona International Speedway.

Ricardo Allen, an Atlanta Falcons safety and former Mainland High standout, was among the professional and collegiate athletes (mostly kickers, punters and long snappers) and coaches who worked out on the Speedway’s tri-oval shaped infield grass.

“It’s great to come home. I try to give back as much as I can. It’s good to be connected to where you were brought up. Before me and Eric Weems, Vince Carter was the biggest thing. I looked up to those guys coming up,” Allen said.

Super Bowl reflection
Allen reflected on his team’s run to the Super Bowl last season.

“It was a dream come true. It didn’t finish the way that I wanted. I made it to the Super Bowl in my third season. I played against the best players in the league, which is something you dream of doing,” Allen remarked.

Getting back and winning will be a tall task.

Allen noted, “We have to play as a team like we did last year. We must stay healthy. We can’t look to far ahead or look down upon any opponent because they are the ones that will get you.”

For youngsters dreaming of a career in the NFL, Allen has advice.

“Believe in yourself. There are people who will try to crush your dreams. No one in this world knows what you can do except for you and God. Put the work in that you put into social media you can be great at anything,’’ he said.

Metcalf attends
Former NFL All-Pro Eric Metcalf, who played 12 seasons as a running back/receiver but excelled as a return specialist, also was on hand.

“A mutual friend who helped put this together asked me to come and help out, so I did,” said Metcalf.

Metcalf now coaches track at University of Washington; he works with sprinters.

Other pros included NFL placekickers Chris Boswell (Pittsburgh Steelers), Cairo Santos (Kansas City Chiefs), University of Florida All-American Caleb Sturgis (Philadelphia Eagles) and punter Austin Rehkow (Buffalo Bills).

Mainland last year
Last year the event was held in Daytona at Mainland High School and Municipal Stadium.

“It’s great of Daytona Beach to have us. We were here last year and the city was good to us so we decided to come back,” said Will Goggans, director of operations for One On One Kicking.

The next level
The event also stresses the importance of special teams in football.

Metcalf expressed, “Most fans don’t put the importance of special teams into perspective. This camp gives everyone an opportunity to see how important special teams are. It gives players a chance to work on their skills to get them to another level.

“The more you can do in college or the NFL gives you a chance to stay around. Knowledge is the key to everything. There are a lot of returners and kickers in the pros that know what it takes to get there and to stay there. For kids to take an advantage of this it’s a great opportunity,’’ he added.

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