Pooch punts are my favorite of the three kinds of punts (Field, Pooch and Directional). Anytime I’m standing on my own 35-yard line or farther, I’m looking to hang the ball up 4.9 seconds and drop it inside the 10-yard line. If I can do this, there will be a fair catch sign up every time or my guys will be waiting to down the ball. Being proficient with Pooch Punts allows your defense to work with a shorter field and limits the opposing offense.
I’ve had two touch-backs in my punting career because of how I held the ball. My success with pinning teams deep in their own territory was due to the nose of the ball pointing slightly upwards. When performing a Pooch Punt, the nose of the ball is slightly up and this means I strike the ball a little higher than I do my Field Punts. Remember that by changing the angle of the ball, the drop table will also change, as will your lockout point on the ball. With Pooch Punts, we aren’t looking for as much distance, so changing the lockout point is alright. Locking out at a higher point increases hang-time while decreasing distance. Practice your Pooch Punts when you go out to the field, but don’t dedicate entire sessions towards it, 20-25 balls is a good number.
- Set up cones in a rectangle, on either hashes starting from the seven-yard line to the 12-yard line. This will give you a big target to drop your punts inside of. You’ll have a big target and be able to spot where the ball lands. The goal is to punt the ball inside the rectangle every time.