What does it take to be a good long snapper?
More than anything, it's a lot of practice. Here is a blueprint to success as a young long snapper, courtesy of the Youth Football Coaches Association. For more tips on a variety of position, make sure to visit YFBCA.org.
Young players must practice 15 to 30 minutes a day to master the fundamentals and skills of being a snapper. The snapping workout should be divided into two phases.
- Individual drills with a partner - this should be a daily routine prior to actual snapping practice.
- Snapping drills repetitive snapping to a holder, punter or stationary target.
It's important to be thoroughly loose before snapping. Key muscle areas are the groin, hamstrings, arms, lower back, shoulders and wrists. Finish stretching with the clock stretch.
Clock Stretch: This stretch starts with the snapper spreading his feet as wide as possible andwith his back flat, knees slightly bent, arms extended out in front of the body and the hands together. Start at twelve o'clock and go clockwise, then repeat counter clockwise. Touch both hands at each number of the clock during the rotation.
Step 1: Stance - The most important aspect of long snapping is a comfortable stance. He must point his toes straight ahead with feet parallel and his weight equally distributed on the big toes and heels. The distance between the snapper's feet should be no wider than his shoulders. It is important to have a solid base, which allows him to lower his body to the ground. This creates a solid foundation to operate from.
The snapper's back should be flat with knees bent, forming a "Z" in the knees. Weight should be equally distributed between the insteps of the feet, ankles, knees and hips.
Next, the snapper should lay his stomach on the thighs for support. The goal is to have complete movement of arms through the lower body, without losing balance or control.