Longsnapper Elbow Pain

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It’s about that time of year in the football season when my elbow would start flaring up with pain. The pain would be on the inside of my right elbow. I would snap through it and not know how to fix it. Anti-inflammatories and ice were used to try to stop the pain but that did not help. My brother in law ,Dr. Tommy John, who is a chiropractor and runs a performance and healing center in San Diego told me that I needed to get the muscles around my elbow stronger. He was right! He told me to make sure my forearms were as strong as I could get them.  He gave me a few exercises to do. 1.Forearm Curls- I would use a … Read More

Technique Flaw

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In my last blog post, I discussed why longsnappers struggle with the transition from College to the Pros and I mentioned a technique flaw in protection. Let me explain further. Many young snappers are working on snapping as fast as they can and with that they are locking out their knees in the follow thru. This will help you at a young age when you are not strong enough to generate power with your snap. But as you get older and want to move on from college to the pros this will cause an issue. I understand the thought of using your entire body to generate speed but in the Pros you have to “get out” after your snap and protect. When you lock your … Read More

From College to the NFL

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The NFL Draft is right around the corner. Pro Days are wrapping up and now it is time to wait to see if you get drafted or sign a free agent contract. Aspiring longsnappers are checking out NFL rosters to see who needs a snapper or where they could go and compete to win a job. Realistically there are about 5 to 10 jobs that can be won each year. GM’s and Special Teams coaches get comfortable with “their” guys and don’t want to worry about replacing them. College snappers will be looking at which NFL guys are getting up there in age or are too pricey. Teams that are up against the cap have historically cut specialists (punters, kickers, longsnappers) who are making too … Read More

Longsnapping Workouts

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As my career progressed so did my workout routine.  I evolved and adapted over time. I do not feel that there is a specific workout to make your snaps faster. You use your entire body to longsnap so I focused on getting my body as strong as possible overall. When I was in high school, I did your typical Olympic style lifting. I would bench press, squat, hang clean, power clean and do all of the other auxiliary lifting like curls, shoulder press, etc.  I will have to say, I wasn’t much of a workout warrior then. I enjoyed the basketball court too much. While there is not one perfect ‘longsnap’ workout, this was one of my favorite auxiliary moves. It was a modified lift … Read More

How the Journey Began

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I have an older brother by 5 years. He came home after his freshman season of playing on the University of Notre Dame’s football team and was looking for a way to get on the field quicker. He thought being able to longsnap would help him out in that regard. My dad contacted a family friend, Rod Dowhower, who coached for the Atlanta Falcons at the time, to find out any information on the art of longsnapping. Coach Dowhower gave us a small two page pamphlet with an outline of some basic information on how to longsnap. My brother and I took the pamphlet and a football to the front yard and began working on longsnapping. This was 1989, the summer between my 7th and … Read More

Laces Out

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First off I want to say this post is not to call out the Minnesota Vikings specialist. I wrote this to educate the football fan about longsnapping and what all goes into a field goal attempt. (And to plug Longsnapper.com) I have had my fair share of laces issues and been part of the problem on missed kicks. Just ask all the holders and kickers I have played with. Many people have asked, “Is it possible to snap a ball and consistently get the laces facing forward?” The simple answer is yes. As an NFL snapper you are asked to be precise not only with your placement of the ball on field goal snaps but you are asked to have the laces facing forward when … Read More

How much did I practice?

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I get asked all the time, “How much do you snap during the week?” I had two different routines for practicing. I would have an offseason routine and an in season routine. During the off season I would try to snap 5 days a week. Each session I would go until I felt good about the work I was putting in. Some days might just be 20-30 snaps. Some days would be an hour long. The reason why I would snap at least 5 days a week was so that the ball never felt foreign to me. I wanted the football to feel like it was part of me. Yes, I would take a few weeks off after the season and not workout or snap … Read More