Published on

Coffin Corner Kicks: Pinning Opponents Deep

  • avatar
    Sports Tips

Coffin Corner Kicks: Pinning Opponents Deep

Special teams play in football can quite often be the unsung hero of many a victory. Among these special teams tactics, the coffin corner kick stands out as a weapon of finesse and strategy. The perfect coffin corner punt—a kick that lands out of bounds inside the opponent's 10-yard line—can drastically alter the landscape of the game. In this article, we’ll break down the strategies and techniques to help punters master this art.

Why Coffin Corner Kicks Matter

Coffin corner punts are all about field position—a critical aspect that can swing momentum your way. Pinning the opponent deep forces them to drive the length of the field, increasing the chances of your defense making a stop or a mistake happening on their part. Let's get into the nitty-gritty of executing these kicks to perfection.

Core Aspects of Coffin Corner Punts

1. Aiming

The first step in the art of the coffin corner punt is impeccable aiming. Your aim is to place the ball out of bounds inside the 10-yard line, preferably even closer to the goal line but avoiding a touchback. Here are some tips:

  • Target Zones: Work with your special teams coach to define precise target areas near the sideline, usually within the 10 to 15-yard range.
  • Visual Cues: Use reference points on the field (e.g., the sideline pylons, yard markers) to help guide your aim.

2. Angle Control

Having sharp control over the angle at which you kick is crucial to steering the ball towards the sideline.

  • Foot Placement: The angle your foot strikes the ball at will determine its trajectory. Square your hips towards the target angle and adjust your foot position slightly to the inside.
  • Drop Technique: The way you drop the ball from your hands can heavily influence the angle. A slightly angled drop, tilting towards the sideline, can provide the necessary spin to navigate out-of-bounds.

3. Precision and Practice

Like any specialized skill, it takes quality reps to hone your precision. Here's a simplified practice drill:

Sideline TargetsPlace cones at 10, 15, and 20 yards from the sideline. Aim for the space between the cones and the sideline. This will help refine your placement and accuracy.
Directional PuntingPractice kicks where you place the ball at different levels along the sideline. This can mimic real-game scenarios where aim might need tweaking mid-kick.
Hang Time FocusIncorporate hang time into your practice to ensure that the ball remains airborne long enough to reduce returns but still lands before the end zone.

Coaching Wisdom: Integrating Coffin Corner Tactics

As a coach, embedding the coffin corner punt into your Teams arsenal requires systematic practice and situational awareness:

  • Pre-game Walkthroughs: Incorporate coffin corner punt drills into your weekly pre-game routines.
  • Game Situations: Use film sessions to point out strategic moments where a coffin corner punt would be advantageous, so players understand the ‘when’ as well as the ‘how’.

Player Knowledge: Tips from the Pros

NFL punters and special team experts often share nuggets of wisdom that can make all the difference:

  • Mental Calibration: Legendary punters like Ray Guy often emphasize visualization techniques before the kick. See the ball landing at the 5-yard mark and rolling out of bounds.
  • Weather Considerations: Adjust for wind and weather conditions—strong winds can skew your directional accuracy but can be accounted for with appropriate adjustments in your technique.

Final Thoughts

Mastering the coffin corner punt adds a powerful tool to your punting toolbox and can significantly contribute to your Teams winning strategy by relying on precision, practice, and strategic application. Make sure to continually refine these techniques, and watch as you turn field position into a game-day advantage.

With these insights, you're now armed to practice and teach the finesse required for these game-changing punts. Keep your eyes on the prize—the sideline, just short of the end zone—and remember: practice makes perfect.