You just finished your season in December. You had some contact with a few NFL teams during the season. You were all-league and had a successful season. You even hired and agent.
But….you didn’t get invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis. You haven’t talked to any NFL teams since the season ended. Your agent tells you not to worry; just wait for your Pro Day at your own campus. You realize NFL Europe and the Arena League won’t be represented, and only NFL 10 teams last year brought in camp legs. You start to feel neglected. Then…your Pro Day comes. There are more than 10 scouts and coaches in attendance from various NFL teams. You start to feel excited again at the prospect of latching on with an NFL team.
Then it happens…it’s your turn to kick and all the scouts and coaches leave. You’re back to square one. Now feeling quite neglected, you vow to do everything you can to market yourself to the NFL. Here are some helpful tips. • Get an evaluation from The Kicking System. TKS will give you a honest assessment of where you stand within the current draft-eligible and free-agent specialists.
• Get a highlight DVD started. When a few months have passed since the season, you should feel stronger and be kicking great. We recommend our TKS ProDay on April 5 in San Diego to get NFL combine video and stats to add to your game film. TKS works with The Sports TV (www.thesportstv.com), which can produce and integrate interviews and game film for you. If you can make the Pro Day, please set up a private appointment.
• Do your research. Find out which teams will bring kickers and punters to camp. Research this year’s free agents and those who didn’t perform well. Send a DVD to the general manager, special teams coach or player personnel advisor. It’s easy to find their contact information on NFL.com.
• Network. Talk to your college coaches or head coach; they’ve often been in the NFL at one point, or they may have a friend or two who’s a scout or assistant coach. If you had a great season, I’m sure they won’t hesitate to write a letter or make a phone call on your behalf.
Making it in the NFL is long tough road for specialists. Due to the limited number of positions, look into other leagues or other options for your first year or two as you develop and get stronger. Often kickers don’t bust into the league until they’re 25 or 26 years old.
I remember when I was at an NFL combine with Jay Feely after we’d been out of college for a couple years. Jay kicked booming kickoffs that day and a few days later, I found out he signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Kickers have a longer shelf life than other positions, and if you’re willing to be persistent for a number of years, the NFL may be your ticket. I was fortunate enough to get picked up that year with the Minnesota Vikings and Gary Zauner (Special Teams Coach).
For more visit www.kickingsystem.com