How to punt a football?

How to Punt a Football Pinch Perfectly? 

Football teams don’t like to hold up and fail to gain a first down. No football team enjoys having to kick the ball to the opposing squad. Punting a football, however, is one of the most crucial (though frequently ignored) aspects of the game that can make or break the outcome.

Let’s first discuss the reasons why teams decide to punt before we discuss the how.

Why Teams Punt Football?

When an offense fails to get a first down, score a touchdown, or attempt a field goal, the team must decide whether to punt the ball to the opposition or take a chance and try to convert on fourth down.

The wise decision that most teams make is to punt the ball away when the offense is facing a longer distance to get a first down, such as fourth and seven. 

When Should Teams Punt, and Where?

But punting is more complicated than just kicking the ball as far and as hard as you can. The goal is to get the football as close to the opposing team’s end zone as you can without actually kicking it there.

Since that would result in a “touchback,” where the offense would take over on its own 20-yard line, this is not a good scenario. Depending on where the offense is situated on the field, this can be done in various ways.

The punter’s goal is to kick the ball as far and with as much hang time as possible if the offense stalls out in its own territory, such as on its own 20-yard line. 

During the hang period, the punt coverage might sprint down the field and swarm the other team’s returner. However, if the offense stagnates at the 50-yard line, a team with a reliable punter might choose to either kick the ball out of bounds as close to the end zone as feasible. The returner may be forced to call for a fair catch, which would down the ball at the spot where he catches it, by kicking the ball as high as they can inside the field’s perimeter.

The strategies used are relatively similar regardless of whether a booming, long punt or a high, shorter punt is called for in a particular situation.

You may easily learn to punt a football with the precise force and accuracy you require by memorizing these 5 simple steps: 

Football Punting Techniques

First Step: Grab the Football

On a punt play, the punter lines up roughly 15 yards behind the center. When the center snaps the ball back to the punter, play officially begins. Thus, catching the football is the first stage in the punting process. Catch the football with your hands extended straight ahead if it is snapped back to you directly. “Go get the football and don’t wait for it to come to you,” is a proverb. This implies that since you’ll need to position the ball correctly to kick it later, you should catch the football out in front of you and avoid letting it get too near to your body. To ensure you receive the football, you should modify your body in accordance with the snap’s height, angle, or side. Shuffle your legs from side to side while maintaining your body as square to the field as you can. This is the best technique to accomplish this.

Second Step: Hold the Football

When you’ve successfully caught the football, place it in front of you with the laces facing up. With your dominant hand, grasp the ball between your thumb and fingers as if you were shaking hands. Hold the ball horizontally in front of you while extending your arms as far as you can. The ball should now be angled so that it slightly points away from your dominant hand.

Step #3: Move ahead

It’s time to start moving forward with your lower body now that you’ve caught the ball and have it properly positioned in your hands.

Your torso should be square, your feet should be roughly a foot apart, and both feet should be pointing directly ahead downfield. Next, you must advance two steps. You should take your initial stride with your kicking foot and your second with your non-kicking foot. This will enable you to gather strength and momentum prior to kicking the ball. Instead of moving ahead slowly or quickly, the steps should be swift, controlled, and smooth. It will also be harder to punt the football if you take too few or too many steps.

Step #4: Drop the football and kick it

Keep the ball stretched out in your palm parallel to the ground as you take the two forward steps. The actual kick of the football is the next phase in the punting process. Your kicking leg should advance simultaneously with the ball-dropping hand. The goal is to kick the ball as high off the ground as you can while keeping it close to your hand. Don’t let the football fall too far in front of your hand. You should, however, almost kick the ball out of your fingertips. In order for your leg to be able to make direct contact with the football, it must be kicked straight up. Avoid kicking the ball across your body since doing so may weaken its force and lead it to travel toward the sidelines. Your toes should be pointing forward when you kick the ball with the top of your foot. To aid your follow-through and momentum when you release the football from your grasp, lower your dominant hand to the side of your body while lifting your other arm.

Step #5: Carry It Out

The follow-through is just as crucial with a punt as it is with a football toss. Once your foot touches the football, you shouldn’t immediately stop your leg and body in their courses. To give the punt its full force and precision, you should instead prolong the kicking motion throughout. For a punt, you should let your kicking leg extend as high as it will go in the air to complete the kick. When your leg has finished the kick, plant it on the ground in front of your body and use the momentum of your body to advance.

How to Punt a Football FAQs

1) How do you hard punt a football?

Your kicking leg should advance simultaneously with the ball-dropping hand. The goal is to kick the ball as high off the ground as you can while keeping it close to your hand. Don’t let the football fall too far in front of your hand. You should, however, almost kick the ball out of your fingertips.

2) What is the punting skill?

Punting a ball is the act of “striking an airborne ball with the foot” and is a manipulating ability (Payne & Isaacs, 2007). Saskatchewan Physical Education, n.d., states that punting is an advanced development of the manipulative skill of kicking a ball and calls for a high degree of control.

3) Is it challenging to punt?

Pushing and steering are the foundations of beginning punting. Some people pick this up quite quickly and can immediately zigzag up and down the river. At least 15 hours of practice are required to punt at a professional level.

4) What constitutes a good punt?

An effective punter can benefit the offense and defense by putting the team in a favorable field position. Why is a punt good? Both distance and hang time can be improved with a good punt. When the punt is high, the punt coverage defenders can make the tackle before the runner can prepare a return by moving down the field.


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