The Specialist II: Mike McCabe returns to talk special teams with LGHL

One on One Kicking

Mike McCabe, founder of One on One kicking, goes in-depth in the field of special teams with LGHL.

Former Illinois State punter Mike McCabe was an All-American under now Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Following a great career at Illinois State, McCabe made the step into the NFL, where he punted for the Chicago Bears in the pre-season. Following the short stint with the Bears and McCabe moved overseas to punt in Europe. Unfortunately his career ended earlier than he planned due to an injury.

After leaving the game of football, McCabe decided he wanted to teach people how to kick and punt. He founded "One on One Kicking" which is an organization that has trained some of the best kickers and punters in the nation. According to their website, 98-percent of kids who participate in their year-round training program earn scholarships to play at the college level. One of the main reasons for this is that they preach consistency to the players they take into their program.

Below is a list of notable players his organization has trained since it was founded in 2002. McCabe's organization also trained freshmen Ohio State kicker Sean Nuernberger, who is expected to start for the Buckeyes this season. Nuernberger was considered to be one of the top kickers in the 2014 recruiting class as a whole.

  • Super Bowl & NFL Kickers
    • Garrett Hartley (Saints)
    • Pat McAfee (Colts)
    • Johnny Hekker (Rams)
  • Ray Guy Award Winners (Nation's Top Punter)
    • Ryan Allen (Louisiana Tech)
    • Chas Henry (Florida)
    • Durant Brooks (Georgia Tech)
  • Lou Groza Award Winners (Nation's Top Placekicker)
    • Cairo Santos (Tulane)
    • Randy Bullock (Texas A&M)
    • Art Carmody (Louisville)
    • Jonathan Ruffin (Cincinnati)

McCabe is not the only person who makes One on One Kicking a great place for aspiring college kickers to better there game. Director of Kicking Dan LundyDirector Dawson Zimmerman, and Director of Recruiting Luke Gaddis also play huge roles in making One on One something special.

We had the opportunity to chat with coach McCabe last summer to talk about One on One and the importance of special teams. We're bringing him back for a second time to go more in-depth on the special teams side of the football. Join us in welcoming back the founder of One on One kicking, Mike McCabe.

What is One on One kicking?

It's a training facility and we're sponsored by Adidas. We work the athletes into drill format and try to make sure they aren't kicking more than 30 balls a day.

How did you get into the business and start One on One kicking?

Back in 1988 I was an All-American and went to the Bears. Then I helped coach Miami Ohio and coached with the Hurriances at one time. Then in 2002 I started the national organization with Scout.com. In 2006 I got out of doing combines and now we choose to train athletes and make them better. Today there are no cosntent high school punters and schools want consistent punters. They'll take our kids because they know they're getting guys who are able to be constant.

How much of an impact did Urban Meyer have on your career and what you're doing now?

Big time. He was all about special teams. He trained me to put the ball in between the numbers or out of bounds, which improved my net average. I train my guys the same way he trained me. We train kickers to put it in the end zone or kick to the five with good hang time to give the coverage team an opportunity to make a play.

Being a former punter and knowing most about punting, what do you work on with them (punters)?

With punting the most important thing is ball reception, so we do a ball reception drill and put that together with the first step. Then we also do a drill with two steps. Our third drill is more of an "explosion" drill. We film them from all angles and analyze the tape to see what they need to work on.

We meet two times each month and train all year round. We give the kids workouts to do for when we aren't training together and we're able to tell if they haven't been doing their workouts.

Click here for more on their training philosophy.

What's the most important thing you can entrench in a kid to help ensure success in the kicking field?

Confidence in ability as a player is the most important thing to teach a kid. One can hit a few good balls and then a few bad ones. In college you need to hit 7/10 balls with a 4.69 hang time. We're trying to get them to hit 90%of their punts with great hang time. Kickers we train in the same sense with muscle memory. They train with helmet and should pads in the summer so they're used to what they'd be doing during an actual game.

Why is have a special kicking/punting coach an improvement over learning from a high school coach?

A lot of high schools don't have kicking coaches. Some do and they're fortunate to have a good kicking coach at their school. I trained some guys at a high school in Alabama and some of them went on to be successful at the next level. However, most high schools just have football coaches who are trying to coach the special teams aspect of the game.

Who are the best punters and kickers you've ever trained?

It's really tough to single one guy out because all of these guys I've worked with are so good. (Now Patriots punter) Ryan Allen is probably the best punter I've ever trained. (Ryan) Quigley from the Jets probably has the best mechanics of the guys I've trained. Then also Johnny Hekker (Rams). We've been very fortunate to have so many good kids coming into our program.

Kickers: Nate Freese (Lions) was 20 for 20 on field goals and Cairo Santos (Chiefs) was 21 for 21 on field goals - both in college at Boston College and Tulane respectively.

Below is a list of One on One trained specialist who were on an NFL roster in 2013 (per their website):

Garrett Hartley- New Orleans Saints
Pat McAfee- Indianapolis Colts
Johnny Hekker- St. Louis Rams
Blair Walsh- Minnesota Vikings
Randy Bullock- Houston Texans
Matt Bosher- Atlanta Falcon
Marquette King- Oakland Raiders
Ryan Allen- New England Patriots
Caleb Sturgis- Miami Dolphins
Ryan Quigley- NY Jets
Derek Dimke- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pat O'Donnell- Chicago Bears
Nate Freese- Detroit Lions
Blake Clingan- Washington Redskins

What's the most important thing for kickers/punters to remember?

Kicking is 90% mental, 10% fundamental. Brett Swenson hit 16 or 17 in a row and Dan Conner 16 or so in a row. We use the mental aspect when training them so they have confidence and are driving through the ball.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about One on One?

We love doing camps at place like Ohio State. We look forward to future years of training these kids and really enjoy what we do. If it wasn't for my staff like Dan Lundy and the others who work with us, we wouldn't be where we are today.

We'd like to think coach McCabe again for taking the time to chat with us. Make sure to check out their website and follow them on Twitter @OneOnOneKicking.

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