KRISTIAN JAKOWICZ: 2017 Kicker from Sioux Falls, SD. Trains. Just starting to train hardcore with PBJO!!
HIGH SCHOOL: Playing currently at O’Gorman High School.
INJURIES: Hip flexor on kicking leg-Just one day kicking. I felt a little pinch in my hip flexor and Still in recovery. Hopefully very soon I’ll be recovered! Not much change, except that my leg doesn’t go as far back as it did
WANTS TO LEARN: I want to work on distance and height on my field goals and kickoffs to get ready for Kohls in the winter and my up coming last high school season
Glad to have you on PBJO!
All these improvements TAKE TIME!! Be patient and have a open mind – learning about your body from the inside out is the fastest and SAFEST way to develop! BE SURE TO WATCH ALL THE VIDEOS AS YOUR CASE STUDY IS FILLED WITH PLAYLISTS THAT COVER ANYTHING YOU LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN, I RECOMMEND YOU MAKE A PERSONAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL, SO YOU CAN FILM, UPLOAD, AND EMAIL ME LINKS (MiamiEliteKPS@gmail.com) TO ADD TO CASE STUDY WITH NOTES.
Feel free to contact me anytime as I am truly here to help!
(JOINED AUGUST 2016): Signed up for MONTHLY PLAN
(AUGUST 2016): (8/7) Case Study Created, awaiting youtube links so we can get started helping you improve!! He sent video on email. Kristian is strong kicker that looks comfortable off the ground. I like his jab, alignment, arms and backswing. WAY better body control than most at his age. I can help him imporve his Pelvic tilt and CONNECT those ribs to hips a little better so he can access his upper butt (power) and follow thru for a better Range of Motion. (8/21) Asked where he should be kicking the ball, cause he’s having a hard time breaking soccer style (he’ll fight thru it like ALL kickers. (You want to kick with your METATARSAL) Gonna try pilates at his local gym!
(NOVEMBER 2016): (11/16): Kristian talking with Augustana University and NDSU
(DECEMBER 2016): (12/10) Waiting for next FTime to help Kristian with his kicking questions, got pushed back when i was at Army/Navy game (12/24) Missed each other on Ftime call.
(JANUARY 2017): (1/21)
USING THE CASE STUDY
1) LEARN ……………………….. How to move using Classical Pilates
2) INTEGRATE ………………… Into your technique training & weight room
3) TEST ………………………….. During filmed practice (EMAIL YOUTUBE LINKS)
4) CONTACT JO ………………. For film, specific questions and deeper insight
5) IMPROVE & REPEAT……….Learn from each note, coaching video, correct bad habits
KICKING INSTRUCTION VIDEOS
(FIELD GOAL STANCE WITH NEUTRAL HIP PLAYLIST)
PUNTING INSTRUCTION VIDEOS
-Ray Guy ProKicker Instruction: Learn from a Legend
(PUNTING NEUTRAL HIP PLAYLIST)
(#1) ARMS BEHIND BODY
Your arms are smarter than you think!
It recognizes that when you are out of control, your brain is going to fight your body to mess with the motion because it KNOWS you are NOT in position to do what you are about to do.When your shoulders are set at an externally rotated position, your elbow should NEVER go behind your back line when you are IN CONTROL. This means that for a split second, they rotate internally and your arms go behind your back line.
THE MOMENT your body senses your out of control, it sends you a chain reaction to FORCE YOUR BODY TO SLOW DOWN!!
- When your shoulders break, that affects the rib connection and they STICK OUT , turning your back into an UNSTABLE BOW
- When your ribs stick out, your core gets DE-ACTIVATED and your hips separate from your ribs.
- When your hips separate from ribs, your ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT gets even worse
- When APT gets worse, your BUTT DE-ACTIVATES, allowing your kicking knee to go further back then when you run
- When kicking knee back too far, the foot tracks up above mid thigh, your foot energy has no choice but to transfer energy into ground rather than ground-UP!!
- Another negative outcome of arching your back: your plant leg/knee has less room to move and does not have the ATHLETIC BEND to support the body on the way UP since your BUTT IS DE-ACTIVATED. For this reason you crash into plant hip flexor and knee (leads to tendonitis).
- Look at the PALMS of FG Kickers. Many of the better Kickers palms track toward the line. Most palms facing down are 99% going to internally rotate shoulders.
- Notice the left toe UP and Plant Knee bend of the balanced K on the left. K on the right has a steel pole for a plant leg about to drive that energy straight up into his hip capsule, making his APT even worse with every rep.
- Notice the back swing of the K on Left with NEUTRAL HIPS compare the the Pelvic TILT on the right. If the butt is activated and hip flexors lengthened it will be IMPOSSIBLE to get the kicking heel so close to your butt.
(#2) BREAKING THE “HELICOPTER” and “THE WINDMILL” Arm Motion
The “Windmill” is a tricky habit to break. 95% of Kickers come from a soccer ball, and this is a natural arm position found in the corner kick with intention to bend the ball towards goal. The main issue is that when you transfer from soccer to football, an unbalanced center of gravity and a hooking line drive sweet spot you have been practicing (for 5-10 years) suddenly has ZERO production to kicking a HEAVIER BALL HIGH AND STRAIGHT = SMALLER SWEET SPOT.
There are 3 causes for the “Helicopters”
- LOWER BODY ‘Over Powers’ the UPPER BODY
- TOP HALF “Beats” LOWER HALF to the Ball
- Internally Rotated Shoulders / lost connecting to LATS
Having the Top Half not as strong as the bottom half is very common in high school (I did this too in HS). All of us grow at different rates, and most of our strength training isn’t properly taught. For this reason, most high school specialists have trouble “CONNECTING” the upper body to lower body through the LATS & TRUE KICKING CORE. This is EXACTLY what learning classical pilates for – to speed up the “PROPORTIONAL CONNECTION” from top & bottom halves so you can manipulate your body better to having proper technique, lift and POWER.
(#3) BREAKING THE “CORNER KICK” CRUNCH
Much like (#2), this PLANT ARM muscle memory driven into your body thru soccer is tough to break. These “connections” can be enhanced through pilates movement and technique videos. Don’t worry, you can absolutely improve by enhancing the following ‘connections’ through pilates movement.
There are 3 causes for the “Corner Kick Crunch”
- LOWER BODY Not “CONNECTED’ to the UPPER BODY
- Connecting LATS to SHOULDERS
- Shoulder Have “Forgotten” Normal Range of Motion Over Time
Notice the back of the shoulder “shrugging” to the ear, and naturally the palm faces the ground or towards the back wall. This movement severes the connection from the shoulder to lat, affect ability to crunch properly. This forces the upper body to crash down. When the body expects the energy from the kick to go “OUT AND UP” from fee to hips, the energy coming DOWN from shoulders puts too much pressure on hips and Plant knee (potential patella tendonitis injury).
You can see a few examples of other internally rotated shoulders. In most cases, the neck and chin are forced out of position as well.
INTERNAL ROTATION OF SHOULDERS CAN RESULT IN MULTIPLE ARM SWING PATTERNS (typically low across body)
(#4) NECK ISSUES
This one is pretty simple to understand, but difficult to integrate! That’s what pilates helps you do, even if you don’t get it right away.
Without question, your neck is pretty darn important because it protects the nervous system connecting your brain to the rest of the body! If you put it in a crappy position, your are going to FUCK UP the signals to the motor and nerve system -allowing your body to move and react properly.
THE BEST POSITION for your neck is when you SNEEZE!! When you sneeze you lengthen your neck, shoulders drop down back to neutral position, and chin DOWN and IN (like we are holding a softball between our chest and chin).
Here’s a quick test:
1.) Can you jump higher than normal when you stick your chin out pre-jump?
2.) Can you run faster when you stick your chin out?
3.) Can you kick a ball with more or less power when you stick your chin out pre-kick?
The overwhelming answer to all these are a screaming NO!!! The only problem is that no one until now has been able to teach it to kids developing in high school.
How to FEEL proper chin position: (Check within Instruction Videos UP TOP)
(#5) KNEE PAST TOE COMING ‘INTO’ ONE STEP
The best way to explain this is to take a primal look at what separates human beings from the rest of the mammals: our ability to RUN AND JUMP. We are put on this earth to be hunters and gatherers, NOT kick pigskins 200 feet with 4.5 second hang times. However, IF WE MANIPULATE OUR MOVEMENT PATTERNS, we can DRILL the functional movements of RUNNING & JUMPING into our Kicking & Punting Technique.
Here’s a quick test:
1.) Do you have a better vertical JUMP when your knees are PAST toes (OR) tracking TOWARDS toes? (Vertical shin=good)
2.) When RUNNING are you faster and more powerful when HEELS LAND land BEFORE (OR) AFTER knees?
3.) When LANDING (and squatting), are your knees more stable and controlled on an INTERNAL (OR) EXTERNAL position?
Take look at pics from RG3’s broad jump. You can clearly see before liftoff he has internally rotated (valgus) knees. This is a case of improper movement that can ultimately lead to higher risk of ‘non-contact’ injury.
When this dude lands a box jump, are his ankles, knees and hips more stable with vertical shins? Or the (unstable) knees WAY past the toes.
These same poor running and jumping mechanics show up in the vast MAJORITY of Kickers and Punters because no one knows how to teach it. EXCEPT RIGHT HERE AT PBJO! Here’s a secret, it ALL STARTS WITH BALANCED, NEUTRAL & MOBILE HIPS AND LUMBER SPINE.
CORRECT Kicking foot position “into” ONE STEP
You will notice that in addition to kicking heel tracking past knee, the BACK KNEE is athletically bent enough for strong pushoff from Ball of the foot (NOT THE TOES).
Notice that in addition to kicking heel tracking past knee, the BACK KNEE is athletically bent enough for strong pushoff from Ball of the foot (NOT THE TOES). Very difficult to have mobile hips when you stick your butt out =more likely to hyperextend back knee, meaning your body is ignoring your butt and hamstrings (the power & what keeps your hips neutral).
IN-CORRECT Kicking foot position “into” ONE STEP
Notice in these pics that there are 2 common movement patterns that nearly ALL punters suffer from.
THE FURTHER THE KNEE GOES IN FRONT OF THE TOE YOU = TOO MUCH QUAD…AND YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO STICK OUT YOUR BUTT (PELVIC TILT) TURNING OFF ACCESS TO USE YOUR BUTT/HIP FLEXORS PROPERLY.
UNBALANCED HIPS/ ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT:
- TOO MUCH QUAD
- ARCH LOWER BACK
- ONLY ACESS BOTTOM HALF OF BUTT (Glute Max & Hamstrings)
- SHORTEN PLANT HIP FLEXORS AT CONTACT (We need lengthened)
(DON’T WORRY I DID TOO!).
- (Red shorts) Although back leg athletically bend and appears to be pushing off ball of foot, the kicking knee is PAST toe. This makes the knee unstable, and most likely cause butt to stick out before contact.
- (Blue shorts) Although kicking knee is close to “normal jumping pattern” the punter has back knee hyperextended, which makes is every hard to generate power as you transfer weight. BOTH of these usually result in the athlete leaning back in follow thru (out of control). This STARTS in stance. If hips are not starting neutral, only gonna get worse, usually crashing into hips and knees at contact
(#6) KICKING ARM PULLING YOURSELF “BACKWARDS”
The KICKING ARM can unfortunately cause equal havoc as the PLANT ARM- no surprise here as your arms typically balance out your body TOGETHER if body is out of control. The majority of kids that have this arm habit comes from “soccer DNA” that they are trying to break.
Typically weakness of the connection from lat to shoulders is to blame here. The domino effect can make your shoulders internally rotate & even put your neck in a compromising position that is COUNTER PRODUCTIVE to making proper contact for Kick or Punt. When internally rotated shoulder is out of line, it cannot “BORROW” aid from surrounding muscles (lat, trap, pectoral) for strength and control. The result is an uneven “bicep curl” motion with an arm behind your back. Often if one arm reaches back, the opposite arm reaches forward. After all, your body doesn’t know your kicking, it just doesn’t want you to fall down and break your nose.
NOTE: MANY KICKERS OR PUNTERS COMPLAIN THAT THEY ARE “SLAPPING” THEIR LOWER BACK WITH THEIR HAND AFTER CONTACT
There are 3 causes for the “Pulling Yourself Backwards”
- Weak Connection of LATS to SHOULDERS
- SHOULDERS internally rotated
- Uneven “bicep curl” of kicking arm.
Fortunately, each can be isolated, improved and corrected!
THE “WINDMILL” SEQUENCE
This is 2014 K Blake Horn, current sophomore YALE kicker Senior Season of High School
Approaching the ball, to the common eye looks pretty balanced. You got to pay close attention to what the body is doing UNDER THE DECEPTIVE BLACK SHORTS & SHIRT. Although it looks strong, the left shoulder starting to internally rotate, because the hips are tilted forward (picture is delayed, much higher backswing)
Rather than crunching Plant Arm higher than rib/chest level, you can see arm crunching low hand below the waist.
You can clearly see that although he is strong enough to recover his hip position (PROPERLY JUMP “OUT & UP” Thru the ball – lengthening out of Plant Hip Flexor), his UPPER BODY is NOT CONNECTED to his LOWER BODY. In other words, his LATS and LUMBAR SPINE are not strong enough to support the Upper body as the energy transfers UP through his lumbar spine. Result, the top half CRASHES DOWN. Since the center of gravity is shifted unevenly over the kicking leg, puts a TREMENDOUS amount of stress on your lower back and plant knee (patella tendonitis).
BACK INJURY: Blake had back surgery (fractured vertabra) freshman year at YALE, and was forced to learn the correct way to kick after 4 months recovery and Physical Therapy. I tried to warn him senior year as he was with a different coach, and he paid the price. Happy to say that Blake fully recovered and completely changed his form to protect his body with proper technique.
BEGINNERS: DO (1) Pre-Pilates then (1) Beginner BACK TO BACK 3 times the first week
- See if you feel taller and more grounded the next morning!!!!
ATHLETES: It’s very important you learn about the psoas as it is the ONLY TENDON GROUP THAT CONNECTS YOU UPPER BODY TO LOWER BODY!!!
LORDOSIS ATHLETES: You guys especially need to learn this because you need to learn how to RELAX/LENGTHEN the psoas or it will be extremely difficult to move in a normal range
(1-4) K/P CORE STRENGTHENING, WARM UP, KP SPECIFIC
(5-7) SITTING AFFECTS THE HIPS
(7-11) HIP MOBILITY
(12-18) SHOULDER MOBILITY
(19-26) CORRECT THE ANKLES &FEET
FG KICKING ATHLETES:
Something that we ALL suffer from in kicking FG and KICKOFFS after High School, is the WEAKENING or lack of Internal Rotation of our FEMUR into our Hip Joint. Remember, it is UNNATURAL to kick a football high and far year after year. THE TRUTH IS: unless our hips are pefectly neutral and proportionally strong compared to the rest of our bodies, the vibration of contact WILL take its toll. FOr this reason we need to constantly test and retest our Internal Rotation mobility of our KICKING HIP, and test and retest the EXTERNAL ROTATION of our PLANT HIP over time. The longer we kick with an injured kicking hip, the hip will BORROW strength from the PLANT HIP to compensate. Once those muscles are overused, usually shows up as LOW BACK PAIN in the PLANT HIP.
GO THROUGH THE HOMEWORK PLAYLIST ABOVE TO LEARN ABOUT OPENING HIPS WITH BANDWORK