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Could NFL kickers use their own coach?

 

BY GREG AUMAN

Times Staff Writer

TAMPA - At nearly every level of football, kickers operate with an unusual level of autonomy, practicing alone or off with the punters and snappers on a separate field, largely away from the rest of their team.

But as the Bucs move on from a disappointing season and the difficult departure of kicker Roberto Aguayo, there's a question to be asked, not of Tampa Bay so much as the league: Why do NFL teams not have kicking coaches on their staff ?

'My opinion - and this is my opinion only - is that A, there's not a ton of guys that are qualified, and B, in my experience, every kicker falls into one of about six kicking guru circles and that's who they listen to,' Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. 'They go there in the offseason and work with their guys.' Very few NFL teams have a coach working exclusively with kickers. Most have a specialteams coordinator and an assistant, but they're tasked with returners, kick coverage and protection units.

The Ravens, coached by former special-teams coordinator John Harbaugh, have a kicking coach on staff, Randy Brown. His role is part time; he also serves as mayor of a small town in New Jersey. Baltimore has had one of the league's best kickers, Justin Tucker, who has developed into a Pro Bowl talent under Brown.

'It's more of an economic business reason than any other reason,' said Tampa's Tom Feely, who has worked with hundreds of kickers over 47 years in coaching, about the dearth of NFL kicking coaches. 'If you're only going to have two special-teams coaches on staff, are you going to use one of those two for one or two players?' Feely sees positive progress in the area just the same, naming the Ravens, Broncos and Saints as teams having a kicking-specific coach on staff. One reason for the lack of coaching attention is a residual effect of kickers being valued less - in the draft, in salary - and being seen as easily replaced, he said.

'I think they look at kickers as pretty interchangeable parts,' Feely said. 'If one goes bad, it's pretty easy to find another on the market that can slip right in and play two days after they sign a contract.' Last year the Bucs traded up into the second round to draft Aguayo, only to see him struggle and finish last in the NFL in field goal percentage (71). His success or failure came under largely the same supervision as most NFL kickers are given.

Former Bucs kicker Michael Husted, who remains the team's No. 2 all-time scorer, works as a private kicking coach in California. He said his NFL coaches weren't former kickers but were generally assistants who had been around kickers long enough to spot mistakes: 'A good second eye: 'Something doesn't look right there,' ' he said.

But 15 years after his retirement, not much has changed.

'It's considered a lower pri ority,' said Husted, who said he called the Bucs to offer to help Aguayo last year but never got a call back. 'It's the nature of the position, from Pop Warner to the NFL. The dedication to put time into it isn't what it should be, but whenever something goes poorly, it becomes an issue.' With kickers working in the offseason with multiple specialists - one for mechanics, perhaps; one for the all-important mental aspect of kicking - Feely said that sometimes even the best kickers can be overcoached in the current system, rather than undercoached.

'I've always said you can have too many coaches,' he (Tom Feely) said. 'Kickers who do the circuit sometimes listen to too many voices. I 100 percent agree that there comes a point where you need to pick your coach and stick with that guy. The kid has to stay with one technique, find somebody he trusts and block out the others.'

That personal loyalty is one reason a team-hired kicking coach might not mesh with every kicker. Nate Kaczor, who played as a long snapper and has spent nine of his 10 seasons as an NFL assistant on special teams, said his role is to work in conjunction with a kicker's personal coaches.

'The balance is to know what the guy they work with talks about, learn your guy and stay in touch with what they're working on in the offseason,' Kaczor said. 'Most kicking coaches would not make a lot of adjustments during the season. It's a good balance to have (kickers) work with their guys in the offseason and for the special-teams coach to help them synthesize that.' Koetter said the Bucs worked in conjunction with 'two or three guys' who worked with Aguayo and have similar relationships with the coaches of Nick Folk, whom they signed in the offseason and is now the Bucs' No. 1.

The NFL continues to evaluate how a coaching staff is best put together, but for most teams, that does not include a kicking coach.

'People that don't agree with that will say, 'Every team has a quarterback coach,' but my answer to that is that the quarterback does more than just one thing,' Koetter said. 'A kicker basically comes down to his stroke, his footwork … and I don't think there are a ton of qualified guys out there.'

Associated Press

The Ravens' Justin Tucker is one of the best kickers in the NFL.

Baltimore is also the rare team that employs a kicking coach on its staff.

Posted 21 days ago

New Small Group Weekly Lessons held in Lithia, Fl.

Feely Athletics announces starting a small group lessons for both high school and middle school kickers meeting weekly on Monday afternoons (4:00 pm) at the: Fishhawk Sports Complex Football fields 16120 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, FL 33547 For more information, contact: Coach Tom Feely 813-205-5008

Posted 216 days ago

Spectrum Sports Athlete of the Week: Jesuit sophomore Aidan Swanson

By Katherine Smith on Thu, 5 Jan 2017 7:53 PM EST. Jesuit High kicker Aidan Swanson distinguished himself as one of the best in the state this past season. At a national kicking competition, he established himself as one of the best in the country. Kicking comes naturally to Swanson. And it came naturally at an early age. “My dad, he saw me in the back yard kicking a little Nerf football and said why not give this a shot?" Swanson said. "And it’s worked out from then on.” Swanson began working with famed Jesuit kicking coach Tom Feely and soon discovered he had some talent. The Jesuit sophomore recently placed first at the Kornblue Kicking combine featuring the top kickers in the country. “I see a long future for him in football, I really do, and I mean that sincerely," Feely said. "I think he’s got potential to go as far as the NFL.” Last season, Swanson led the Bay Area in kickoffs. As a junior, he's looking to improve in a number of categories. “Next season, I’d love to get my kickoffs five or deep in the end zone and then improve punts, get more hang time, more distance," Swanson said. "And for field goals, I’m just trying to be accurate and make the best I can out of the kicks.” It's that drive to be better, coupled with innate skill that sets Swanson apart. “A, he’s got really good technique," Feely said. "And B, he’s a gamer and those are the two best combinations. I mean, he rises to the occasion when the pressure’s on.” .

Posted 262 days ago

Feely Athletic's Hofrichter & DeStephens Earns 2016 NCAA Football All-American

Hofrichter Named Freshman All-American 2016 FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Redshirt freshman punter Sterling Hofrichter has been named to the CampusInsiders.com Freshman All-America First Team. The award is the third postseason honor for Hofrichter, who was tabbed an All-ACC Third Team performer last week by the conference's 14 head coaches, and an All-ACC Honorable Mention selection in November by media who cover the league. Hofrichter is the fifth Orange player in the last three years to be recognized by the website and the first to earn first-team Freshman All-America honors. Entering bowl season, Hofrichter leads the ACC in number of punts (77) and total punting yardage (3,289). His 23 punts of 50+ yards are tied for the most in the conference and his 24 punts inside the 20-yard line are the second-most in the league. Hofrichter averaged at least 45 yards per punt four times in 2016, including a personal-best 48.7 yards per kick in SU's win against Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech. He also was Syracuse's special teams game captain against the Hokies. NCAA Div. II Lenoir-Rhyne's Michael DeStephens Earns 2016 NCAA Division II Football All-American Honors December 14, 2016 Senior punter from Gainesville, Fla., named to the 2016 CCA Division II All-American Second Team Lenoir-Rhyne University senior punter Michael DeStephens has been named to the 2016 CCA NCAA Division II All-American Football Second Team.Lenoir-Rhyne University senior punter Michael DeStephens has been named to the 2016 CCA NCAA Division II All-American Football Second Team. Wichita Falls, Texas – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Michael DeStephens has been named to the 2016 CCA NCAA Division II All-American Football Second Team. CCA is the Conference Commissioner’s Association. DeStephens, a senior punter from Gainesville, Fla., currently ranks fourth in the nation at 44.2 yards per punt this year. DeStephens also pinned 26 punts inside the 20-yard line this season with his season-long being 60 yards against Wingate on October 15. DeStephens is a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference First-Team honoree (2014-16) and was named to the All-Super Region II First Team earlier this month.

Posted 284 days ago

Top Ten Countdown of Best of Tom Feely’s Protégés

Cody Parkey comes in at #4 of the countdown of Tom Feely’s top 10 all-time kicking protégés. Parkey played for the Auburn Tigers from 2010-2013, before signing with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2014. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he set the NFL rookie record for points scored in a season (150). He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie team in 2014, and was named to the NFL Pro Bowl for the 2015 season. He played three games for the Eagles last season before tearing his groin. Parkey is currently the kicker for the Cleveland Browns.

#5 Bradley Pinion is #5 on the countdown of Tom Feely’s top 10 kicking protégés. He played for Northwest Cabarrus High School, where he averaged 46.1 yards per punt during his senior season. Pinion was rated as the #1 high school punter by 247Sports.com and the #3 rated punter by ESPN. He was named a First-Team All-American by ESPN and played in the U.S. Army All-American game. He was named as a Second-Team All-American by USA Today, the first Clemson kicker signee to earn USA Today All-America honors since Chris Gardocki in 1988. Pinion played college football at Clemson University from 2012-2014. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft (165th overall). He is currently the punter and kickoff man for the 49ers. As of week 6 of the 2016 season, Pinion has had a total of 128 career punts with an average of 44.4 yards per punt, and a career-high 65-yard punt in his 22 career NFL games. He has put 41 of his punts inside his opponent’s 20-yard line, with only 7 touchbacks. On 71 career kickoffs, he has recorded 49 touchbacks.

#6 Taylor Rowan lands at #6 on the countdown of Tom Feely’s top 10 kicking protégés. Rowan played for Western Illinois, where he was a 4-year starter for the Leathernecks from 2004-2008. He broke several school, conference and national records, including being the first WIU true freshman kicker since 1990. In his first year he broke the WIU record for most consecutive PATs (47). As a senior, he broke the NCAA FCS record for most PATs without a miss (129). In his college career he made 11 field goals from 50 yards and beyond (he was two 50+ yard field goals away from tying an NCAA record). Rowan was named an All-American twice, and he made the All-Conference team twice. He later went on to play for the Arena Football League’s Spokane Sentinels, and in 2010 won the ArenaBowl XXIII Championship with the Sentinels. Rowan is currently a free agent.

# 7 ( 2 way tie) The second one at this spot is Ryan Feely.

Ryan became a Division 1 AA All American, twice as a punter and once as a kicker while playing for Jacksonville University.

Ryan was a two-time I-AA All-American by the Sports Network.

As a senior with the Jacksonville University Dolphins in 2005, he ranked sixth in the nation in punting with anaverage of 42.8 yards per punt. Ryan set a school record with a 70-yard punt, and produced 11 punts of at least 50 yards. Ryan was a First-Team All-PFL recipient for the second consecutive year. He led the team with 46 points, making 7-of-11 field goals, 27 PATs, as well as producing 24 out of 52 kickoffs for touchbacks (all but 4 kickoff made it to Jacksonville.

http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/100604/col_16830127.shtml#.V6i0FLgrKUk

http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/092105/spo_19825177.shtml#.V6i1DLgrKUk

Number 7: (2 way tie)

The first on tied for the number 7 position is:

Rob Zarrilli:  Hofstra University (2005-2007) and Souix City Storm Arena Football:

 

Present: Official Voter of the Lou Groza award, given to the best Collegiate Kicker in the country. Selected because of HIS experience and decorated career by the committee. 


*Ranked by Mel Kiper as #2 and #3 Place Kicker in the country throughout senior season and going into the 2007 NFL Draft. 

Arena Football. 

Sioux Fall Storm (Arena League)

*Most accurate kicker in franchise history. (Field goals)

*Second all time in PAT percentage

College Career

1st Team All American (Chosen by Walter Camp,  Don Hansen, AFCA, and FCAC)

2nd Team All American (Chosen by AP and by Sports Network)

2nd in Nation in Field Goals (2006)

1st in Nation in attempts per game and

7th in nation in Field Goal Percentage (Career)

See his story at this link below:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/04/prweb883714.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Number 8

Punter Justin Vogel, Berklely Prep H.S. and University of Florida, and Universiy of Miami

 <------ (Click Here to see UM Hurricanes Media Guide about Justin Vogel)

Ray Guy Award Semi Finalist Vogel, who is now heading into his senior year, averaged 42.5 yards per punt last season, a number that ranked sixth in the ACC. He had 13 punts of at least 50 yards and was a preseason Ray Guy watch list selection.

2015 (Junior): University of Miami:

 Ended regular season ranked sixth in ACC in punting...Averaged 42.5 yards per punt on 67 punts...Had 13 punts of 50+ yards and 21 punts that landed inside opponents' 20-yard line...

2014 (Sophomore): Transferred from Florida as walk-on...Made debut at Louisville handling punting and kickoff responsibilities...Averaged 46.8 yards on six punts against Cardinals with long of 56...Averaged 64 yards on four kickoffs with one touchback...Recorded eight kickoffs against FAMU,a veraging 63.8 yards with two touchbacks.

High School: Averaged 45 yards per punt throughout high school career at Berkeley Prep ... Played defense along with special teams duties ... Tallied three interceptions 

 VOGEL CAREER STATISTICS - PUNTING

SEASON

G-GS

NO

YDS

AVG

LG

I20

50+

2015

13-0

67

2,846

42.5

73

21

13

2014

13-0

52

2,227

42.8

65

21

12

CAREER

26-0

119

5,073

42.6

73

42

25

 

 VOGEL CAREER STATISTICS - KICKOFFS

SEASON

G-GS

NO

YDS

AVG

TB

OB

2014

12-0

53

3,292

62.1

15

1

CAREER

12-0

53

3,292

62.1

15

1

 

Vogel, who is now heading into his senior year, averaged 42.5 yards per punt last season, a number that ranked sixth in the ACC. He had 13 punts of at least 50 yards and was a preseason Ray Guy watch list selection.

 

Click here to see more pictures of Justin Vogel

 Number 9 (2 way tie)

 

The first one at this spot is Kyle Dougherty.

From Merritt Island, FL 

Pllayed and started for  Southern Illinois University 

His complete history is (click) here: 

http://www.kicking.com/view.asp?id=kdougherty

 

# 9 (2 way tie) The fsecond one at this spot is: Corey Smith Corey hails  from West Virginia and played for the University of West Virginia preceded by one season with Alabama.

 His complete history is (click) here: 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIiuIH9DJme/

 

Number 10

Punter Mattias Ciabatti Hillsborough High School Tampa Fl. and Un. of South Florida

 

 (USF Punter 2013-15)

Averaged 42.5 yards for career, pinned 61 punts inside the 20

Selected by the Tampa Bay Times as the Top punter in USF history

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=129840&draftyear=2016&genpos=P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 342 days ago

Jay Feely on Bucs' Aguayo: No kicker worth high draft pick

TAMPA Bay Times by Joey Knight: He neither shanked his response with diplomacy nor muffed it with double talk. When Jay Feely was asked Tuesday about the prudence of drafting a kicker early, the former NFL journeyman, who kicked for seven teams over parts of 14 seasons, opted for a straight-ahead style. "I would never draft a kicker in the first three rounds," the Jesuit High alumnus, who was not drafted coming out of Michigan, said on the Arizona-based Burns & Gambo sports radio show. "I think very highly of the position and the importance of the position, but the difference (between) an average kicker and the best kicker in the NFL is probably about 15 points in a season. You can go and you can find kickers that are very good, very talented, as free agents." Like many in his former line of work, Feely is being summoned to assess the nationally scrutinized kicking woes of Roberto Aguayo, the Bucs' second-round draft choice who has struggled mightily in his first two preseason games. Aguayo's first professional extra point, two weeks ago in Philadelphia, clanged off an upright. On Saturday in Jacksonville, he missed field goals of 32 and 49 yards. In Tuesday's joint practice with the Browns, he missed three more field goals, eliciting a collection of boos, jeers and gasps from fans in attendance. The Bucs and Browns had no team kicking session Wednesday. During his radio spot Tuesday, Feely, 40, began by indicating he didn't think Aguayo — 14-for-22 from field goals of 40 or more yards in his last two years at FSU — was even the best kicker in the 2016 draft. Feely was partial to Duke's Ross Martin, who went undrafted. "(Aguayo) had a great freshman year and they won a national championship, but he never really failed," Feely said. "And not that that's a bad thing, but you have to be able to handle failure as an NFL kicker, which he never really has done. And now he's getting a really quick taste of that and he's struggling with it." Feely pointed out a not-so-subtle rules variation that could be affecting Aguayo: While NFL kickers essentially are using new balls each game, that's not always the case in college. The latest NCAA Rules and Interpretations manual (Rule 1, Section 3, Article 2d) reads: "During the entire game, either team may use a new or nearly new ball of its choice when it is in possession, providing the ball meets the required specifications and has been measured and tested according to rule." "If you have a college team that lets you do it, there's no college rule against it, you can keep the same ball for four years and have that ball brought in for kicking plays," Feely said. But the main difference, he said, is pressure and focus. "I'm sure that what's happened to him is more nerves than anything else," said Feely's dad, Tom, who runs a local kicking academy, feelykicking.com, and watched four of his six sons kick in college. "I've only seen him kick on TV, but I don't think it's an issue of technique at all. I think it's just a matter of finding his confidence level and getting to the point where he can relax. You've got to learn to have fun." Because many are going to have fun with you. Feely was the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit after missing three field goals for the Giants in a 2005 loss to Seattle. Two weeks later, he went 4-for-4 including a winning 36-yarder in overtime at Philadelphia. During a timeout just before the winning kick, the SNL skit was shown on the Lincoln Financial Field's JumboTron. "That Seattle game was the turning point in his career," Tom Feely said, "because after that he realized, 'There can't be anything worse that could happen to me than that, and I survived that.' "

Posted 397 days ago

Kicking Camp Comes to Tampa

Kicking camp coming to Tampa A camp geared toward a neglected football unit is coming to Tampa. By Katherine Smith, Bright House Sports Network The football offseason is filled with numerous seven-on-seven tournaments and lineman camps geared at helping players improve their games. One position that sometimes gets overlooked is special teams - until now. The Rainmaker Kicking, Punting and Long Snapping Camp will feature small group lessons for rising seventh graders to rising seniors that will help understand the kicking and punting game better. There will also be various guest speakers on hand to discuss a variety of topics. Tom Feely, of Feely Athletics, is one of the organizers. His sons have succeeded as kickers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. He will be aided at the camp by various high school assistant coaches. "This is a position that is neglected for variety of reasons," Plant assistant coach Tyler Rhodes said. "That is why Feely Athletics has developed a camp to assist kickers and long snappers with teaching them fundamental and experience techniques. We'll provide the players with the tools they need for successful special teams careers." Unique to this football camp, it's open to girls. The camp is scheduled for July 9 at the Cambridge Christian School in Tampa. For information, call (813) 382-4620 or log onto FeelyAthletics.com.

Posted 482 days ago

For longtime Jesuit coach Tom Feely, coaching is a kick

 

By NICk WILLIAMS Tampa Tribune staff Published: October 8, 2015 

"Whether a one-one-one instruction on a Saturday or a week-long camp or combine featuring hundreds of youths, Feely is nationally known for teaching the fundamentals and techniques of kicking and punting. To date, roughly 15 of Feely’s students have played professional football." 

“I know there’s nobody who’s done more in the state of Florida to help kids get better in the last 15 years from a kicking and punting standpoint,”

Modern-day society tends to measure a coach’s success by wins and losses, championships and streaks. As impressive as those statistics may be on a coach’s résumé, however, a coach’s influence, impact and contributions to a sport can be just as meaningful. For the past 44 years, few have made more of an impact on high school football than Tom Feely. Feely, the longtime special teams coordinator at Jesuit High, has coached hundreds, perhaps thousands, of youths in various sports, but he is known especially for his work in football. Whether a one-one-one instruction on a Saturday or a week-long camp or combine featuring hundreds of youths, Feely is nationally known for teaching the fundamentals and techniques of kicking and punting. To date, roughly 15 of Feely’s students have played professional football. His most notable pupil is son Jay Feely, a Jesuit High grad who went on to play 16 years in the professional ranks, including 14 in the NFL, and now works as a college football analyst for CBS Sports. “I know there’s nobody who’s done more in the state of Florida to help kids get better in the last 15 years from a kicking and punting standpoint,” Jay Feely said of his father. The son of legendary Minnesota and NAIA Hall of Fame coach Thomas Feely, Tom Feely was a running back at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, never once taking a snap as a placekicker. After college, Feely became a high school running backs coach in Minnesota in 1972 before moving to Florida in 1986, and for 10 years he coached football, tennis and wrestling at Zephyrhills High. The majority of his coaching career has been spent at Jesuit, where he’s served as a junior varsity head coach and special teams coordinator under five head coaches. He spent one season, 2012, at Armwood, when his son Nick Feely was a senior kicker on the team. For the first 20 years of his coaching career, Feely worked with nearly every position in football, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s, when Jay became a placekicker at Jesuit, that Feely began specializing as a kicking coach. “We were trying to find places to go and camps, and there wasn’t a whole lot out there,” Jay Feely said. “We tried to put together as much as we could.” Father and son attended a camp in Miami, and another in Nevada. They used all they learned to form their own strategy, one that included mental exercises designed by Tom Feely, who owns a doctorate in sports psychology. Jay Feely later signed with Michigan. “After Jay, I started working with the next kid that came along at Jesuit High School, and then the next kid and the next kid, and it sort of mushroomed from there,” Tom Feely said. Feely began holding camps in Tampa at the University of Tampa in 2004. Some of the first players to attend his camps include current Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey and Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher. Soon, Feely Kicking, now called Feely Athletics, had a national following. The latest of Feely’s students to make the NFL is San Francisco punter Brad Pinion, who would travel with his father from North Carolina to Tampa for lessons. “It’s amazing to see, when you see him at a high school game or a combine or camp, just how many kickers are out there and have improved,” said Ryan Feely, a three-time All-American at Jacksonville and the University of Central Florida who now helps instruct with his father at Feely Athletics events. “You watched them talk to your dad and you see them so thankful. Some kids he’s coached for five to seven years, grade school through high school. It makes you appreciate your dad in a different way.” Recent high school kickers include former Armwood kicker Sterling Hofrichter, now at Syracuse, and Plant senior Stephen Yaffe, arguably the top kicker and punter in the Tampa area. “Growing up, it was always very inspiring to see him with his players,” said son John Feely, now in his fourth year as boys soccer coach at Plant High. “You could see the respect and competitiveness he brought out of them. That relationship is what made an impression on me and why I went into coaching.” All three brothers agree their father is worthy of being in a Hall of Fame, whether in Florida or nationally. “The interesting thing, his career has taken him away from the spotlight with wins and champions,” John Feely said. “With his experience, he could have done more, but he spent his time helping. It’s kind of hard to quantify something like that.” This year, Tom Feely entered his 42nd year as a secondary education teacher. He is currently a guidance counselor at Burns Middle School in Brandon. After four decades and countless players, Feely said the reward isn’t weighed in accolades, but in those proud moments he experiences when a former player blossoms into something special. “I’m sure we all agree, the greatest thing about it is when you see the guys go on to be successful, that you worked with when they were younger,” Tom Feely said. “It’s the one thing that makes all those long hours worthwhile is when you see that happen and they become great young men and contribute to society. That’s the reward in itself.”

Posted 567 days ago

Plant coach rebuilding young Haitians’ lives through soccer

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced more than a million people.

John Feely, then an assistant boys soccer coach at Wharton High, traveled to Haiti shorty after the 7.0-magnitude quake to help some friends with recovery efforts. The friends directed a small orphanage there, which was absorbed by a larger health and orphan organization, Mission of Hope, during the aftermath.

While assisting his friends and Mission of Hope, Feely noticed the passion Haitian children possessed for soccer, but there was no field to play on or any equipment.

“You would see them playing with a water bottle or anything that could roll that resembled a soccer ball,” Feely said. It had a profound effect on him. “There was more I wanted to do down there,” he said.

Feely, who played soccer at Jesuit High and on a college club team at the University of Florida, acted on an idea to develop a soccer program in that area of Haiti. He returned with cleats, jerseys and soccer equipment. And he wasn’t alone. 

Accompanying Feely was his brother, former NFL kicker Jay Feely, who also attended Jesuit High. The brothers held a soccer clinic in 2011 at Mission of Hope. Many of the children who participated were still displaced and living in tents.

Feely then founded World Ministries Football Club, a non-profit geared toward supporting and encouraging youths to pursue an education and playing opportunities after high school. One of the clinic’s first participants, Wedner Delmonte, now plays college soccer at Grand Canyon University.

It was the beginning of a process that has changed the lives of hundreds of youths in Haiti.

Feely, now in his fourth year as the boys soccer coach at Plant High, has made six trips to Haiti in the past five years. Each soccer camp draws 200 to 300 children. This past summer, the camp was held at the Olympic soccer complex built by the nation’s Olympic committee. Feely said some of the young players walked miles to participate in the clinic.

In 2014, Mission of Hope and the Feely Family Foundation announced a partnership to construct an athletic complex and technical school in Haiti. The sports facility is expected to be equipped with soccer fields, basketball courts, a weight training facility, a soccer and track stadium, an 1,800-seat outdoor amphitheater and a public park.

“Soccer transcends culture, so when the Feelys come in, and with soccer, there’s this gap that is bridged,” said Elizabeth Billingslea, director of mobilization at Mission of Hope. “The village that the Feelys continue to do soccer in, the kids know their names. They know what time it’s coming.”

In Tampa, Feely organizes fundraisers to purchase soccer equipment and to rent facilities in Haiti. The funds also help pay for children whose families can’t afford the cost of the ticket to participate in the clinic.

Joining Feely on past trips were his father, nationally known kicking instructor Tom Feely; Land O’ Lakes boys coach Mark Pearson; and Jesuit soccer coach Eric Sims. Over the years, high school athletes from Wharton, Plant, Berkeley Prep and Academy of the Holy Names have helped operate the clinics.

“One of the ways soccer has been great is it brings gospel to the kids as well,” Billingslea said.

Feely also has begun teaching adults in Haiti how to become instructors.

“I think we’re almost to a point they can continue on their own,” he said.

Feely said he and his family would like to expand to other areas of the world, including Africa.

“Although it changes our lives, its not about us,” Feely said. “It’s about empowering them to grow as a community and be self-sustaining and successful.

 

Posted 648 days ago

For longtime Jesuit coach Tom Feely, coaching is a kick

Jesuit and national kicking coach Tom Feely has coached hundreds, perhaps thousands, of youths in various sports, but he is known especially for his work in football. 
 
By NICk WILLIAMS
Tribune staff 

Published: 

 

Modern-day society tends to measure a coach’s success by wins and losses, championships and streaks.

As impressive as those statistics may be on a coach’s résumé, however, a coach’s influence, impact and contributions to a sport can be just as meaningful. For the past 44 years, few have made more of an impact on high school football than Tom Feely.

Feely, the longtime special teams coordinator at Jesuit High, has coached hundreds, perhaps thousands, of youths in various sports, but he is known especially for his work in football. Whether a one-one-one instruction on a Saturday or a week-long camp or combine featuring hundreds of youths, Feely is nationally known for teaching the fundamentals and techniques of kicking and punting.

To date, roughly 15 of Feely’s students have played professional football. His most notable pupil is son Jay Feely, a Jesuit High grad who went on to play 16 years in the professional ranks, including 14 in the NFL, and now works as a college football analyst for CBS Sports.

“I know there’s nobody who’s done more in the state of Florida to help kids get better in the last 15 years from a kicking and punting standpoint,” Jay Feely said of his father.

The son of legendary Minnesota and NAIA Hall of Fame coach Thomas Feely, Tom Feely was a running back at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, never once taking a snap as a placekicker. After college, Feely became a high school running backs coach in Minnesota in 1972 before moving to Florida in 1986, and for 10 years he coached football, tennis and wrestling at Zephyrhills High. The majority of his coaching career has been spent at Jesuit, where he’s served as a junior varsity head coach and special teams coordinator under five head coaches. He spent one season, 2012, at Armwood, when his son Nick Feely was a senior kicker on the team.

For the first 20 years of his coaching career, Feely worked with nearly every position in football, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s, when Jay became a placekicker at Jesuit, that Feely began specializing as a kicking coach.

“We were trying to find places to go and camps, and there wasn’t a whole lot out there,” Jay Feely said. “We tried to put together as much as we could.”

Father and son attended a camp in Miami, and another in Nevada. They used all they learned to form their own strategy, one that included mental exercises designed by Tom Feely. Jay Feely later signed with Michigan.“After Jay, I started working with the next kid that came along at Jesuit High School, and then the next kid and the next kid, and it sort of mushroomed from there,” Tom Feely said.

Feely began holding camps in Tampa at the University of Tampa in 2004. Some of the first players to attend his camps include current Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey and Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher. Soon, Feely Kicking, now called Feely Athletics, had a national following. The latest of Feely’s students to make the NFL is San Francisco punter Brad Pinion, who would travel with his father from North Carolina to Tampa for lessons.

“It’s amazing to see, when you see him at a high school game or a combine or camp, just how many kickers are out there and have improved,” said Ryan Feely, a three-time All-American at Jacksonville and the University of Central Florida who now helps instruct with his father at Feely Athletics events. “You watched them talk to your dad and you see them so thankful. Some kids he’s coached for five to seven years, grade school through high school. It makes you appreciate your dad in a different way.”

Recent high school kickers include former Armwood kicker Sterling Hofrichter, now at Syracuse, and Plant senior Stephen Yaffe, arguably the top kicker and punter in the Tampa area.

“Growing up, it was always very inspiring to see him with his players,” said son John Feely, now in his fourth year as boys soccer coach at Plant High. “You could see the respect and competitiveness he brought out of them. That relationship is what made an impression on me and why I went into coaching.”

All three brothers agree their father is worthy of being in a Hall of Fame, whether in Florida or nationally.

“The interesting thing, his career has taken him away from the spotlight with wins and champions,” John Feely said. “With his experience, he could have done more, but he spent his time helping. It’s kind of hard to quantify something like that.”

This year, Tom Feely entered his 42nd year as a secondary education teacher. He is currently a guidance counselor at Burns Middle School in Brandon. After four decades and countless players, Feely said the reward isn’t weighed in accolades, but in those proud moments he experiences when a former player blossoms into something special.

“I’m sure we all agree, the greatest thing about it is when you see the guys go on to be successful, that you worked with when they were younger,” Tom Feely said. “It’s the one thing that makes all those long hours worthwhile is when you see that happen and they become great young men and contribute to society. That’s the reward in itself.”

 

Posted 718 days ago

Video Documentary on Deflategate and Jay Feely's connection

NBC's first report after Deflagate Hearing.... http://www.nbcnews.com/video/goodell-brady-depart-courthouse-without-deflate-gate-deal-516507715735 First and Second Interview with Jay Feely on CBS after ruling: http://youtu.be/pih7q75CZU4 http://youtu.be/XpQI5G6gmA4 ESPN's Skip Bayless and Stephen A. debate Jay's defense of Tom Brady. You absolutely Must see this! http://youtu.be/y0poUcr6BVI

Posted 747 days ago

Do you know what September 1 means for your recruiting?

fall-school. Any high school athlete and their family has so much to remember to keep all the recruiting dates straight, to know when they can expect to hear from coaches or when they might be in a quiet period for their sport. But of any part of the year, the month of September is one of the most significant. In addition to technical changes college coaches have based on NCAA rules, September 1 — the beginning of the school year — is an important date for your recruiting, no matter your graduation class or sport. Below are a few of the most important guidelines you should keep in mind to get the most out of your recruiting this fall. September 1 Recruiting for Seniors: September 1st should serve as a significant benchmark recruiting date for seniors. The reality is that for many sports, a majority of Division I scholarship offers have been given out and final evaluations will be completed. Division II and Division III recruiting will start to pick up. Although the actual timelines will vary slightly based on sport, every recruit should evaluate where you stand. Are you happy with your recruiting situation? For more on the recruiting realities Division I athletes face, check out 3 signs whether you have what it takes. Official visits will be taken by thousands of senior recruits around the country over the next few months and those are allowed on the first day of classes. Also, September 1st marks the beginning of an Evaluation Period for football players. Other sports will soon follow. If you’re not sure what an Evaluation Period is, resources like the NCAA’s Guide for the College-Bound Athlete or NCSA’s free library of recruiting tools and expertise for your sport can help you get back on track. If there was a lull in your communication with coaches, try to pick back up with them this fall. If you are not in close communication with several colleges by the end of September, you should reevaluate your recruiting strategy. Remember just how many schools are out there, especially outside of NCAA Division I schools; cast your net wide, and use resources like NCSA Athletic Recruiting’s platform to find the right academic, athletic and social matches with schools. out to more and more schools. Remember just how many schools are out there, and cast your net wide. Tweet this! Tweet: Remember just how many schools are out there, and cast your net wide. @ncsa Top Tips For Recruiting This September bit.ly/Sept1Rec Be more direct with coaches about where you stand. If a school is going to be an option for you, great! However, if you sense that the school is not interested in you or it is not a good fit, take that school off your list and move on. It’s important to note that DII, DIII and NAIA coaches often wait until senior year before showing significant interest in recruits. September 1 Recruiting for Juniors: This is such an exciting time to be a junior. Seriously. On this date, DI and DII college coaches are allowed to send written recruiting information. (The specific date is different for men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey.) For many athletes this is the first point where a college coach can show serious interest. If you’ve taken the proper steps to research schools during your freshman and sophomore years you should have a target list of programs put together that you can reach out to. DI and DII coaches are now allowed to respond to your emails, so be sure to include questions. If you’re really lucky? For some athletes this will mark the first point where they start receiving written scholarship offers from schools. No matter what, this is really important: Remember to be on your toes and respond to any information you receive, regardless of your initial interest in the school. The more options you have on the table the better. Always reply promptly and with courtesy (full sentences, a “hello coach” at the beginning of your email, and a thank you at the end). September 1 Recruiting for Freshmen and Sophomores: While juniors and seniors are really feeling the pressure this September, you’re not getting off free either, underclassmen. Many experts have pointed out that the majority of recruits separate themselves from their recruiting competition during the freshmen and sophomore years. The recruits who actively put together a serious recruiting game plan ultimately will have more success than those who wait until junior or senior year. Put together a plan now, instead of waiting until junior or senior year. Tweet this! Tweet: Put together a plan *now*, instead of waiting until junior or senior year. @ncsa Top Tips For Recruiting This September bit.ly/Sept1Rec While recruits cannot technically receive official recruiting letters or phone calls for the most part, they can take several important steps: Receive an initial third party evaluation to determine what you need to improve to reach your ideal level of play and get educated about the recruiting process. Begin building an online athletic and academic resume as you research what colleges and universities interest you. Proactively reach out to college coaches through letters, phone calls and unofficial visits. You’ve seen the same headlines I have. In some sports, college coaches have already begun putting their recruiting lists together as early as 7th or 8th grade. Even more coaches will compile those lists when prospects are freshmen and sophomores. The work that freshmen and sophomore put into the recruiting process will dictate their position junior and senior year. Don’t wait to get started.

Posted 757 days ago

Important News about Our Coaching Staff

 

Feely Athletics has transformed into a National Network of Elite Coaches for All Positions of American Football! 

We are adding new coaches every day to our staff and they are all ready to serve football athletes of all ages!

We have selected only elite coaches with a rich background in football as players and coaching football.

All coaches have been through thorough training and a comprehensive background check. 

Coaches offer our clients the best individual and small group training and superb camps. 

Check out our ever expanding list of coaches on our Staff page by going to the "About Us and drop to to Staff.

or go this this link: http://www.feelyathletics.com/about/staff

Find a coach near you and make him your mentor and trainor. Teaching football is what we do best!

 

 

Posted 839 days ago

New video interview about Feely Athletics

Check out the video and learn how Feely Athletics separates itself from the competition.

Posted 885 days ago

5 Feely Athletics 1st Team All State

5 Feely Athletic's students selected to:

Florida"s  All State Team;  Kickers and Punter

 

Class 8A 1st Team Kicker: Stephen Yaffe

Class 8A 1st Team Punter: Matt Beadle Florida

Class 6A 1st Team Kicker: Sterling Hofrichter

Florida Class 5A: 1st Team Punter: Zach Gleaton

Florida Class 4A: 1st Team Kicker: Isaac Mercado

* Profiles and Videos found under Coaches Connections on this site

Posted 983 days ago

Legendary kicking coach sets up camp in Dover

Posted: Jan 06, 2015 5:54 PM EST

By: Jeff Tewksbury, FOX 13 Sports

DOVER (FOX 13) -

Tom Feely is the patriarch of place-kicking and punting. The kicking guru has coached thousands of young athletes, and dozens have taken his expertise and turned the lessons into college scholarships and procareershttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png.

His son, Jay Feely, is the best known of his students. The younger Feely has punted in the NFL for 14 seasons.

The long-time proprietor of the Feely Kicking School, Feely, through Feely Athletics, is now coaching all skill positions and even tutoring other coaches.

The first weekend in January, he brought in 30 coaches from around the country, chosen from the 250 who applied, to instruct Tampa Bay area athletes.

The coaches learned from Coach Tom, and then worked with more than one hundred athletes at the Dover Patriots complex in Dover.

The athletes ranged in age from middle school to high school  The instruction focuses on the football fundamentals.

"I told the coaches to keep their drills to the important fundamentals," Feely said. "I want these coaches to deliver something that they will be able to take with them and work on. And then maybe they'll come back."

The January camp ran over the course of two days and was free to the athletes. This was the first time Coach Feely has been able to run a free camp.

"This gave me the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do, " Feely says. "Which is put on a free camp. So that kids that couldn't otherwise go to camp can come and get some great coaching from some great coaches."

The plan is for the free camp to become an annual event. For more information on Tom Feely and his camps, visit FeelyAthletics.com.

Posted 992 days ago

Jesuit special teams coach rebounds from emergency heart surgery in a big way

By LINDSAY LIQUORI, BRIGHT HOUSE SPORTS NETWORK
Last Updated: Monday, January 12, 2015, 5:55 PM
 
 

"I should have had a massive coronary," said kicking guru Tom Feely. "It was a miracle that I was still alive."

One day last fall Jesuit special teams coach Tom Feely, the God Father of Feely kicking felt chest pain. What he thought was heartburn provoked a trip to the cardiologist.

"Looked into the arteries and decided I needed to have surgery, open heart surgery," said Feely.

"We grew up with a dad who was always so competitive, such a fighter," said John Feely. "I knew he'd be okay."

"They told me at the time when I went in that I was going to have six bi-passes or that I needed six bypasses," said Tom Feely. "I had never even heard of that. The most I had heard of was four. Later on I found out they only did three bypasses."

On Friday September 26th, the 62-year old, underwent emergency heart surgery. Three of his six sons by his side, including Chicago Bears kicker Jay, who flew in from Arizona.

“When you hear emergency heart surgery, your first thought is that you might lose somebody; that they might not make it” said Jay Feely. “That’s a scary thought and I was upset that this could be the end.”

"It's going to be fine. Don't worry about it. It's no big deal,” said Feely. “Jay was on the plane and here well before I went in for surgery."
Needless to say Feely missed Jesuit’s game against Newsome that night.

“That’s the first game I've ever missed," said Feely. "In 42 seasons I don't think I've ever missed another game. That was the hardest."

Feely couldn’t be held back for long.

"I found myself having to coach even thought I am still in bed in the hospital," said Feely.

"He really wasn't away," said John Feely. "He was watching the game. He was breaking down film. He was talking to the guys. Guys were visiting him the day after his surgery."

"We found out that surgery went well and I was still getting emails," said Jesuit coach Matt Thompson. "He was breaking everything down, the films of the other teams. So, he was still working from a hospital bed."

Feely spent five games at home while recovering. His triumphant return to the sideline came against arch rival Tampa Catholic in November.

"I wasn't going to miss that game and fortunately they gave me the clearance to start coaching just that week," said Tom Feely.

"He couldn't speak really loud at the end of practice, but every kid was totally glued on him," said Thompson. "In his weak voice he talked about important the TC game was and it was pretty inspiring."

The biggest side effect of his surgery, Feely lost his voice. He improvised.

"I recorded on my cell phone my voice when I was strong in the morning," said Feely. "Ya know, calling for the teams I needed."
It seems appropriate, during his first game back; the Tigers beat TC on a last-second field goal.

"We started being more prepared for the games," said Jesuit place kicker Brendan Gonzalez. "I remember coaches and players would come up to me and Coach Feely was right by my side having complete confidence in me the whole time."

"Having Coach Feely actually guide that, having a specific special teams coach, it really kinda showed how he brings together more unity and more of a purpose," said Jesuit senior long snapper Nick Cox.

"The 50-0, the 25-0, you don't remember those games," said Thompson. "You remember the last second kick. I mean it was perfect for him. It was perfect for Jesuit."

“Obstacles will come into your life, both in athletics as well as in life in general,” said Jay Feely. “You can’t make excuses to not overcome them. You have to find a way no matter what and that’s what he’s always done. That’s what he did with this heart condition.”

How are you able to appreciate the little things in life now after everything you've gone through?

"I so appreciate that and know how temporary it is," said Feely. "We just don't realize that. We take our health for granted and we just don't realize that life is a fragile thing. You can lose it just like that. So, being on the north side of dirt is something I am very happy about."

 

Posted 998 days ago

Feely Athletics Seeking Football Coaches

Attention All Football Coaches Feely Athletics are currently seeking the elite coaches around the country who are among the best in the business at teaching specific football positions. To qualify you must have played in college, have great teaching skills, strong people skills and be of the highest level of integrity.

Feely Athletics provides the highest level of coaching instruction for all positions of American Football including Private lessons, group lessons, and small camps.

Feely Athletics is currently looking for Coaching Instructors for the following positions:

Kicker, Punter, Long Snapper Quarterback, Receiver, Running- back, Defensive Back, Kick/Punt Returner To learn more about the openings, and apply for the positions go to:

https://www.ziprecruiter.com/job/American-Football-Coaches-All-Positions-Anywhere-you-live/703ea749

Posted 1063 days ago

Five Feely Athletics' notable college punters

Five Feely Athletics' notable college punters I have coached through their middle and high school years having great seasons:

1. Justin Vogel, (Univ. of Miami, ranked 4th in NCAA in net punting average. = 42.89 (Justin also handles kick off duties)

2. Mattias Ciabatti, Un. Of South Florida, 2014 Stats he has a 45.5 average with a long of 62 yards and 9 punts over 50 yards.

3. Bradley Pinion, Clemson, was a perfect 8-for-8 on kickoff touchbacks, and placed

two of his three punts inside the 20. For his career, Pinion has 34 punts inside the 20 without a touchback. He has 43.4 Average with Long of 60 yards

4. Tyler Feely, Long Island University, Ranked 25th in nation in NCAA Div. II. with a 41.22 average and a long of 61. 11 punts pinned Inside the 20!

5. Matt Eltringham, Hillsdale College Chargers, Ranked 94th in nation NCAA Div. 2 with a 36.3 average

Posted 1074 days ago

Message from a very alive Coach Feely

News of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! However, I am very lucky guy! While attending a meeting on Thursday I was having significant chest pain so I drove straight to a Cardiologist office near the school I was at. After a stress test they had me drive straight to the Heart Institute at St. Joseph's only a few blocks away. Within an hour I was admitted and completely assessed as needing a triple bypass as all three major arteries were fully clogged, but the heart was not yet damaged at all do to something very rare... My heart had grown numerous smaller collateral blood vessels that had taken over for the major arteries. The surgeons told me it was a miracle ! I should have had a major coronary leading to death but my otherwise perfect health and my diet, and the fact that I have always been very physically active; combined with the collateral arteries, Saved my life. What I have learned from this experience is as follows: Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement and progression there is no life. Hope is a powerful spiritual force that is activated through your positive attitude. God is positive and he wants positive things to happen to you, But that probably won't happen unless you have hope and faith. Expect God to bring good out of every circumstance in your life. Whatever happens trust in the Lord and trust in the power of hope. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Thank you all for your prayers. I am doing great and feeling awesome! Dont worry abot any of our services, My very competetant staff will pick up the slack while I am recovering. I am going to have more time than ever to devote to communication and administrative services!

Posted 1092 days ago

Cody Parkey wins Eagles Kicking Job. (My 14th student to make it to the NFL!

Cody Parkey wins Eagles Kicking Job. (My 14th student to make it to the NFL! See interview before his first start of his career here: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/videos/videos/Parkey_I_Came_Here_To_Win/db0baa07-2087-4190-a0b9-98a490a82fc8

Posted 1118 days ago

Message from Jay Feely

It was an honor to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Michael Bidwell has provided great leadership to our franchise. And, he has been a great personal friend to me.. I will miss him and all my wonderful teammates.

I am so grateful for the time I have had in the NFL. I've gotten to live out my dreams as a kid. How cool is that? On Monday, Feely bid his farewell to the team:

Posted 1126 days ago

Jay Feely Plans To Win Kicking Battle

(Jay Feely is Cards Walter Payton Man of the Year) Current Cardinals kickers Chandler Catanzaro (7), Jay Feely (4) and Danny Hrapmann (2) are fighting for a spot on the roster. Jay Feely turned 38 one week ago, the age when most players are long into NFL retirement. And even though there are two others pushing for his spot as the Cardinals’ kicker, the 14-year veteran has no plans to spend the winter in Arizona as a vacationing snowbird. “I still feel like I’m one of the best kickers in the NFL, and I’ve felt that way over the last five years,” said Feely, who has hit 128-of-151 field goals (84.8 percent) in that span. “I feel like over the last five years I’ve kicked better than I ever have in my whole career. Until nobody wants me, and until I’m not one of the best guys and don’t perform, that’s when I’ll be done. But I still think I’ve got a lot left in me.” The Cardinals signed Danny Hrapmann in January and undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro earlier this month to compete with Feely. Hrapmann, who went to training camp with the Steelers the past two years, has a strong leg despite his 5-foot-9, 164-pound frame, regularly booting kicks the deepest among the trio during organized team activities. “One word people have always used is there is a lot of ‘pop’ to my leg,” Hrapmann said. “I’m a small guy, which is kind of fun for me, because they look at me like, ‘He can’t kick.’” Hrapmann connected on 53-of-72 field goals (73.6 percent) at Southern Mississippi from 2009 through 2011 and was 6-of-6 in the 2012 preseason with the Steelers. He didn’t kick off from the 35-yard-line in college because he played before the rule change, but would figure to be an asset in that department for the Cardinals. “I wouldn’t say (it’s) easy, but I expect that out of myself,” Hrapmann said. “I feel like I should (get it to) the very back or out (of the end zone). That’s kind of where I’m holding myself, where the standard is. That’s a big plus if you can do that as a kicker.” Catanzaro hit 67-of-82 field goals (81.7 percent) in his four seasons at Clemson, including just one miss in 14 tries as a senior in 2013. He’s jelled quickly with long snapper Mike Leach and holder Dave Zastudil on field goal attempts. Their consistency on placement “is like a JUGS machine out there,” Catanzaro said. He didn’t do many kickoffs in college because punter Bradley Pinion held those duties, but is intent on showing he can do so in the NFL. “After the Orange Bowl was over that’s something I really emphasized, getting the consistency in the kickoffs,” Catanzaro said. “That’s something I’ve definitely got to prove here. I feel like I’ve done a good job so far and I’ll just continue to try to hit my best ball.” Last offseason was trying for Feely. A stress fracture on the inside of his right foot limited his preparation for the 2013 season. Instead of the usual regimen of running up hills, sprinting and practicing kicks to fine-tune his leg, he mostly had to sit around and wait for the injury to get better. “I couldn’t kick, really, the whole offseason until training camp,” Feely said. “I was a little behind. I knew I was going to be, but I had to let it heal. With the trainers we had talked about what the best strategy was, and it was not kick, let it heal. So the first couple weeks I knew I was going to be a little rusty and be behind.” He missed one field goal in each of the first two preseason games, and the Cardinals were also looking for more consistent deep kickoffs. The team briefly brought in Dan Carpenter as competition, but that only lasted one game as Feely won the job, and he hit 22-of-24 field goals to begin the season. Near the end, though, the accuracy dropped off, as four of his final 12 attempts went wide. While the injury was in the rearview mirror, Feely believed the effects lingered. “I felt like the last three, four weeks my leg was tired,” Feely said. “It didn’t hold up the way it normally would, and that was directly related to the inability to train the way I wanted to.” Feely was set to become an unrestricted free agent in March but re-signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Now healthy, he said he’s “well ahead of where I was last year, and I feel good about it.” The kickers spend a lot of time together, and Hrapmann and Catanzaro praised Feely for making them feel welcome. Feely took Hrapmann golfing last week and gives pointers when he can. “I’m not going to be a jerk to guys just because we’re competing against each other,” Feely said. While there can be wrinkles, the kicking competition seems like one of the more cut and dried positions to assess. The coaches can track the accuracy on field goals and chart the kickoff distances. Even though the three players are jostling with each other for the same spot, ultimately, their performances are very individualized. “Whoever is best, that’s who is going to win the job,” Feely said. “I can’t worry about what they’re doing or how they’re kicking. I just have to focus on myself and try to be the best I can be to help this team any way that I can.”

Posted 1153 days ago

Sterling Hofrichter commits!

Congrats to Sterling Hofrichter. He is the first one of my guys from the class of 2015 to be offered and commit. They are getting the best!

 Sterling Hofrichter:

Two Time Top Tier All American

  • Position/school: PK, Armwood

    Year: Senior

    Ht/Wt: 5-9/160

    By the numbers in 2013 Season

    98.5 Percentage of kickoffs that were touchbacks

    97 Points, first on the team

    57 Longest field goal, against Lennard

    10 Punts, of 21, that were inside the 20

    9 Field goals in 14 attempts

    1 College committed to, Syracuse

Posted 1186 days ago

Sterling Hofrichter commits!

Congrats to Sterling Hofrichter. He is the first one of my guys from the class of 2015 to be offered and commit. They are getting the best!

Posted 1186 days ago

The Most Awesome Camp Ever!

Join us during this summer in Minnesota for our 5 day intensive training vacation for kickers, punters and long snappers. The event runs July 21-25, 2014 At the famous Eagle Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake Mn. near Park Rapids. Located at cool and beautiful Eagle Lake, 8 miles north of Park Rapids, Mn. And just 12 miles south of Itasca State Park (the origin of the Mississippi River) this location is the ideal place for a family vacation, and an athletes dream place to train! To learn more go to www.EagleBayLodge.com. Comprehensive Training: Coach Tom Feely believes in teaching his students to become great coaches. His athletes learn not only how to do the skills, but also the science behind it. Many of his students actually become great coaches of their specialty. This camp offers the opportunity for every student to get maximum attention and training. Here is the daily breakdown of what takes place. The following are some things we will cover during the camp: Performance of the skills (skills training). Training your body: weight training, flexibility training, speed work, and position specific drills and exercises that can be used all year around. Cognitive knowledge: Psychological understanding of this specialty's unique demands and a video analysis of student's day's performance. What Else Is Included? You will challenge your courage at the Character Challenge Course. Lodging, Parents are welcome to rent a cabin when available, or students will be housed in a cabin at the resort) All meals and snacks are provided. Access to all recreational activities and amenities of the resort. Go to EagleBayLodge.com to all the resort's facilities and amenities. Travel arrangements: We will assist you in every way to make arrangements for your travel needs. Email Tom@FeelyAthletics.com for assistance. For more information, directions, or to reserve additional cabins, visit www.EagleBayLodge.com

Posted 1221 days ago

Tribune's All Hillsborough County Team

Congrats to Sterling Hofrichter, Austin Iglehart, Austin Cobb, Stephen Yaffe, and Rhett Waldron, for making the Tampa Tribune's All Hillsborough County Team. All five have attended Feely Kicking events and four have trained with me through their high school years.

Posted 1370 days ago

Feely Honored as NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Kicker earns weekly award after booting game-winning field goal in Tennessee Jay Feely kicks his 41-yard game-winning field goal in overtime against Tennessee. The Cardinals tried their game-winning field goal in overtime at Tennessee on third down, assuring themselves a second chance in case of an error but also eschewing an opportunity to get closer. “We were close enough,” kicker Jay Feely said. “The wind was in our face a little bit, but as long as I hit the ball well, we should make that kick.” Feely did, a 41-yarder that was his third of the game and the seventh overtime-winning field goal of his career. For that effort, Feely was WE'RE SORRY, BUT THIS VIDEO IS NOT AVAILABLE. WATCH MORE VIDEOS VIDEO LOADING REPLAYFeely game-winning 41yd FG @ TEN awarded the NFC special teams player of the week award, the fourth such award for a Cardinal this season. Previous winners were quarterback Carson Palmer for offense and linebacker John Abraham and cornerback Patrick Peterson for defense. It was nice comeback after a rough game for Feely the week before when he had missed two field goals, including a 25-yarder, and even training camp, when the Cardinals brought in Dan Carpenter for a couple of days to compete with Feely. “I think you have to prove yourself every day,” Feely said. “In this league I think it’s all about production. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, it’s what you do today and what you do going forward. We have a great operation with (holder) Dave (Zastudil) and (snapper) Mike (Leach) and I. We are comfortable and guys have been doing their job for a long time. You don’t have to worry about it and guys will go out there and do their job.” Feely now has 11 game-winning field goals in his career, and two this season after his boot late in the Tampa Bay game in Week 4. Feely has 110 points this season, the third time in four Cardinal seasons he has reached triple digits. He was named special teams player of the week two times previous, with the Cardinals in 2010 and with the Falcons in 2002.

Posted 1377 days ago

Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely has experience rising above

By Bob McManamanazcentral sportsThu Nov 7, 2013 7:05 PM

Remember back in training camp when Cardinals coach Bruce Arians seemed to have about as much use for placekicker Jay Feely as a bride searching for a wedding dress in one of those SkyMallmagazines?

Well, the Cardinals are halfway through the season and Feely has managed to not only remove himself from Arians’ doghouse, he’s become one of the coach’s good buddies.

There was Feely after the team’s last game, his arm around Arians’ shoulders as the two made their way out of the locker room following Arizona’s win over the Falcons. And there was Arians, inviting Feely to participate in his charity golf putting event this past weekend.

If there was any bad blood between the two after Arians chastised his kicker over and over during the preseason and briefly brought in a second kicker, Dan Carpenter, for competition, it’s long gone.

“I’m old enough that my feelings don’t get hurt by anything anymore,” Feely said this week. “You’ve gone through enough professionally to know that decisions aren’t personal.

“A team’s job, a management’s job, is to try and find somebody better. That’s what they do at every position and mine is no different. My approach was just to prove to them that I’m the best option. I try to do that every day.”

Feely enters Sunday’s game against the visiting Houston Texans on a hot streak. He’s made 28 of his past 29 field-goal attempts dating to last season, including 13 in a row. That gives him four of the six longest consecutive field-goal streaks in franchise history.

His 82 career field goals with the Cardinals are just four behind Neil O’Donoghue for fourth place on the club’s all-time list. His 347 points place him ninth in team annals, just behind Sonny Randle (360).

“Just kicking extremely well; field goals and kickoffs,” Arians said of Feely. “His kickoffs have been out of sight. I can’t say enough about how Jay answered the bell and I’m looking for him continuing to do that.”

Arians didn’t rule out that the signing of Carpenter, who lasted all of three days in camp, served as extra motivation for Feely.

“Competition,” he said, “does a lot of things. I had a lot of confidence in him anyway. But he handled that challenge and has handled everything else well the rest of the way.”

Feely has faced stiffer tests than this during his 13-year NFL career. The biggest one came in 2005 when he was kicking for the Giants and missed three game-winning field-goal attempts in a game against the Seahawks.

He missed just left on a 40-yarder at the end of regulation. Then he missed short on a 54-yarder in overtime. And finally, he missed wide right on a 45-yarder in OT and the Seahawks ended up winning, 24-21.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he learned he was being skewered in a skit on “Saturday Night Live.”

“The Long Ride Home: The Jay Feely Story,” depicts the kicker’s brutal game in Seattle and portrays him trying to land the Giants’ charter jet after the pilot collapsed.

Naturally, that ended badly, too, with Feely unable to stop the jet as it skidded off the runway and sank into a lake.

“That Saturday night I was in bed sleeping and I think I got 50 text messages from friends and family saying, ‘Dude, they’re killing you on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ ’ ”

Feely said he didn’t bother turning on the TV to watch, but he saw the skit the next week when the Giants played the Eagles in Philadelphia.

“And of course, the game goes into overtime,” he recalled with a sigh. “I’ve got a game-winner to win it in overtime and they called timeout. Then they play a montage of my misses and the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit right up on the Jumbotron during the timeout. That’s Philly — the City of Brotherly Love.”

Feely told himself not to look up and watch.

“But it’s like a car crash,” he said. “You can’t help but take a peek.”

Talk about pressure. Feely said he knew his career was on the line with that kick. Miss it, and the Giants would cut him the next day. Miss it, he said, “and I’m probably not going to get signed by anybody.”

He didn’t miss.

Kickers can never let their minds wander. They can’t allow themselves to think about the implications at the moment, however big they are.

“I know there were times early in my career when I did allow my mind to wander and I wasn’t as disciplined as I should have been and I missed a kick because of it,” he said. “But you learn from those mistakes.”

The memories returned for Feely during the Cardinals’ off week when the team invited two Navy SEALs to address the players. The message that rang the loudest, Feely said, was when one of them told the group that to be elite, you cannot have a fear of failure.

“I’ve heard Mariano Rivera say the exact same thing,” Feely said of the longtime Yankees closer. “After he failed in the World Series against the Diamondbacks, he became a much better pitcher because he was able to overcome it. He failed on the greatest stage possible and it didn’t break him.

“That’s how I felt going through that ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. I was an average kicker before that kick (in Philadelphia) and then I think I’ve been one of the better kickers after it. ”

Posted 1417 days ago

Tampa Tribune: Kickers special this season

Prep Football Notes: Kickers special this season

By Nick Williams of Tampa Tribune Sept. 27th 2013

Sterling Hoffrichter (1) (2) (3) (4) who punts and kicks for Armwood, has made four of five field goal attempts.

Field position and clutch kicking can alter the outcome of a football game. And this season throughout Hillsborough County, special teams players are proving just how valuable they are.

One only has to look at the opening play of the Armwood-Hillsborough district game in which junior kicker/punter Sterling Hoffrichter’s onside kick was recovered by Armwood.

Standouts in this year’s group include Hoffrichter(1) (2) (3) (4) Berkeley Prep’s Austin Iglehart (1) (2) Jesuit’s Rhett Waldron,(1) ((2) (3) Newsome junior Austin Cobb(1) Sickles’ Daniel Lezotte, Riverview’s Brandon Stage (1) (2) (3) Plant’s Hunter Anderson (1) (2) and Bloomingdale senior Lucas Jose(1) (2) (3) who earlier this season made a 53-yard field goal.

In the season opener against Tampa Bay Tech, Cobb went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts with the longest being 38 yards, and with the addition of an extra point, led his team in a 23-12 win.

In fact, this season might showcase the best group of kickers the county has seen in a while.

“In terms of numbers of kids that are really good, yes,” said Tom Feely, the special teams coach at Jesuit and founder of Feely Athletics, a Tampa-based kicking program. Feely’s son, Jay, played at Jesuit and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.

Carrollwood Day sophomore Stephen Yaffe (1) (2) (3) (4) was named a Top Tier Freshman All-American last year while Hoffrichter was selected to the All-American Sophomore Team.

Before the season, several Hillsborough County kickers and punters were named finalists of the 2013 Top Tier All-American Watch List. Waldron, Stage and Jose made the Class of 2014 list, Hoffrichter was selected to the 2015 list and Yaffe to 2016. The list was comprised during a national tour of evaluation camps.

Feely, a Top-Tier evaluator, said Tampa is known for producing the country’s top kickers and would not be surprised if few more All-Americans emerge after this season.

“We did this all over the country and the Tampa area dominated when we put numbers side by side,” Feely said. “You usually get the best kickers from Tampa, Dallas and Los Angeles and I’m starting to see some from New Jersey.”

Feely said kickers and punters can sometimes get overlooked.

“How many times do you see games come down to a kick?” he said. “Long snappers, too. If you don’t have a good long snapper, you don’t have a good kicking game. That’s critical, too. Punting is all about field position. If you’ve got a good punting team and can move the chains 35 yards that makes a huge difference. Kickoff is all about field position.

Footnotes: (1) denotes Student of the Feely Kicking School and attends Feely Athletics events. (2) denotes Top Tier All American participant (3) denotes Top Tier All American Watch List 2013 season (4) denotes selected to the Top Tier All American List for 2012

Posted 1459 days ago

Tampa Bay players are Top Tier All American Kicking/Punting 2013 Watch List Finalists

Posted Sep 9, 2013 by Nick Williams of Tampa Tribune

Updated Sep 9, 2013 at 08:41 PM

Several Tampa Bay area kickers, punters and long snappers were named finalists of the 2013 Top Tier All American Watch List.

Top Tier evaluator Tom Feely, creator of Feely Athletics, a local kicking program, said the finalists stood out at two Top Tier Evaluation Camps in Minnesota,
Florida and Colorado. Below are the Finalists divided out by class and their qualifying specialty.

Field Goal Kicking: Class of 2014
Brandon Stage, Riverview High School, Riverview, Fl.
Lucas Jose of Bloomington H.S. Bloomington, Fl.
Rhett Waldron of Jesuit High School, Tampa Fl.
Nathan Bender of Hudson High School Hudson, Fl.
Sean Young of Admiral Farragut Academy St. Petersburg, Fl.
Nathan Mesher of Canada

Field Goal Kicking Class of 2015
Sterling Hofrichter Armwood High School, Seffner Florida
Daniel LaCamera, East Lake H.S. Tarpon Springs, Fl.
Zachary Gleaton, Zephyrhills H.S.
Charles Stejskal, Maple Lake H.S. Annandale, Mn.

Field Goal Kicking Class of 2016
Stephen Yaffe, Carrollwood Day School, Tampa, Fl.
Mac Brown, St. Thomas Academy Mendota Heights, Mn.

Kick Off Kicking: Class of 2014
Brandon Stage, Riverview H.S., Riverview, Fl.
Nathan Bender of Hudson H.S. Hudson, Fl.
Rhett Waldron of Jesuit H.S. Tampa Fl.
Matt Glasenapp, Lincoln HS, Lake City MN
Lucas Jose of Bloomington H.S. Bloomington, Fl
Alex MacGregor, Zimmerman H S Zimmerman, Mn.
Jannik Fredrichsen, Wayzata H.S.Wayzata, Mn.

Kick Off Kicking: Class of 2015
Daniel LaCamera, East Lake H.S. Tarpon
Zachary Gleaton, Zephyrhills H.S. Zephyrhills, Fl.
Sterling Hofrichter, Armwood H.S., Seffner Fl.

Kick Off Kicking: Class of 2016
Stephen Yaffe, Carrollwood Day School Tampa, Fl.
Mac Brown, St. Thomas Academy, Mendota Heights, Mn.
*Honorable Mention: Gavin Haag, Berkeley Prep Tampa, Fl.

Punting: Class of 2014
Jannik Fredrichsen, Wayzata H.S. Wayzata, Mn.
Sean Young of Admiral Farragut Academy, St. Petersburg, Fl.
Alex MacGregor, Zimmerman H S Zimmerman, Mn.
Nathan Bender of Hudson H.S. Hudson, Fl.
Nathan Mesher of Canada Canada (Grade 12)
Sterling Hofrichter, Armwood H.S. , Seffner Florida
Daniel LaCamera, East Lake H.S. Tarpon Springs, Fl

Punting: Class of 2016
Stephen Yaffe, Carrollwood Day School, Tampa, Fl.
Mac Brown, St. Thomas Academy Mendota Heights, Mn.

Long Snapping Class of 2015
Garrett Thomason, St. Petersburg High St. Petersburg Fl.
Alex Dequaine St. Francis H.S. Zimmerman, Mn.

Long Snapping Class of 2016
Brandon Fields, Wekiva H.S. Fl.

For more Information about Top Tier All American Camps, visit http://www.toptierallamerican.com

- See more at: http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/C667/#sthash.ZwIr7zuI.dpuf

Posted 1476 days ago

Feely Athletics Joins Kicking For The Dream’s Effort to Fight Ovarian Cancer

Phoenix, AZ  June 21, 2013

National Camp Series (NCS) Associate Tom Feely, of Feely Athletics, has joined Kicking For The Dream’s effort to fight ovarian cancer according to NFL Kicker, and Kicking For The Dream Founder, Billy Cundiff.

Cundiff says he is honored to have someone of Feely's stature participating in Kicking For The Dream.

"Tom is a legend in the kicking community," says Cundiff. "He is a great coach and incredible human being. We are honored to have Tom join Kicking For The Dream."

For Feely, who is involved in many charitable activities, Kicking For The Dream is just one more opportunity to make a difference.

“I am proud to be a participant of Kicking For The Dream as this is clearly a very important cause and I am excited to be able to help make a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer,” says Feely. “Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer appreciates the necessity to support research to one day overcome this disease.”

Feely says Kicking For The Dream is not just about reaching out to young kicking specialists, but about making it personal as well.

“Today we will empower the young men and women I encounter through football to also make a difference,” says Feely. “Today I will make a difference.”

Go here for Tom Feely’s Kicking For The Dream page.

Feely has been coaching football every year since he began in 1974 serving as head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator. He currently is the Special Teams Coordinator at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida.

In 1980, he earned his Master’s Degree in the field of Counseling. That same year he began his counseling career working primarily in the field of college counseling and scholarship acquisition. He served as Director of Guidance for St. Thomas Academy (1980-1986) and also for Zephyrhills High School, Florida (1987-1996). In 1996 Tom was awarded the “Counselor of the Year” by the University of Miami.

Feely began his specialty as a kicking coach in 1992 when his oldest son, Jay Feely, was 14 and became interested in becoming a kicker in high school. Jay became a high school Blue Chip All American and thus helped launched his father’s reputation as a gifted teacher of kicking and punting.

Feely is among a number of NCS Associates to announce his support for the Kicking For The Dream project. Last month, NCS Founder Michael Husted was the first to support Cundiff’s project.

The National Camp Series (NCS) is a nationwide network of expert kicking coaches with NFL and College level playing experience. According to Husted, the goal of NCS is to provide effective instruction on the field and guidance off of the field that will allow student-athletes the ability to leverage their sport to get a college education.

Go here to find out more about the National Camp Series.

Cundiff, who has been an NFL kicker for over 10 years for teams such as the Cowboys, Saints, Browns, Ravens and Redskins, launched Kicking For The Dream in May of 2013, as an effort to support Colleen’s Dream Foundation, a foundation which raises money to support research for the early detection of, and improved treatment for, ovarian cancer.

He says Colleen’s Dream Foundation started in 2012 as a result of his mother-in-laws’ battle with ovarian cancer.

“Colleen felt it was important to raise money for research that will lead to reliable early detection testing and improved treatment for ovarian cancer,” says Cundiff. “Because so little is known about ovarian cancer in proportion to other women’s health issues, we have an incredible opportunity for research and education.”

Cundiff says he appreciates having Feely’s support in this effort, and looks forward to working with all the NCS Associates who are willing to support the Kicking For The Dream project
.
“I talked to a number of NCS Associates at this year’s NCS Super Camp and there was a great deal of interest in participating in Kicking For The Dream,” says Cundiff. “I will continue to reach out to all the NCS Associates over the next few months to enlist their help as well.”

Go here for more information about Kicking For The Dream.

Go here for more information about Colleen’s Dream Foundation.

Go here for more information about NFL kicker Billy Cundiff.

To donate for Kicking for The Dream go to: http://donate.kickingforthedream.com/feelyathletics

 

Posted 1555 days ago

The Recruiting Labyrinth-part 1: The Core Components

The Recruiting Labyrinth-Part 1: The Core Components

 

In my first installment of this series on the recruiting process for kickers, punters and long snappers, titled "Recruiting Reality Changes with the Speed of Light" I discussed how technology, and social media, has changed the recruiting process dramatically, and those changes are soon to be overshadowed by even newer innovations. The trick is to take every advantage of these technological opportunities to gain an edge on the competition, but in so doing one needs to start with a overall plan.

I have had five sons of my own go through this process, and the methods and strategies I used were different for each one of them because I wanted to discover or create a better "mouse trap". I have also used what I have learned from those five experiments to help hundreds of others get discovered and eventually placed in a college football program.

The recruiting process, while it has some similarities with other football positions, is also quite unique from the other football positions, thus a different overall strategy is in order. I will be discussing most of the strategies that can or should be employed in a comprehensive plan for a football kicker, punter and long snapper.

First, before you set out to pursue a college scholarship, make sure you have, or  will have, the necessary skills that put you in range to compete at that level.

Often, I hear from parents and players statements that are based in myths that are not reality. Getting a scholarship, and even a walk on slot on a college team is very competitive and difficult today, especially for kickers. It is simple economics,  the supply of quality kickers coming out of the high school ranks continues to increase much faster than the demand for quality kickers by colleges. More kicking coaches are in the market training more kickers and the quality of skilled kickers has increased tenfold. To best situate yourself to be competitive I recommend these initial Core Components to a successful campaign:

1). Find a very competent kicking coach with a solid reputation and strong college connections and train with him as often as possible.

2). Become a kicker and a punter, or a long snapper who plays another position.

3). Take the most rigorous courses you can in high school and get the best grades possible.

Lets look at why these so important that I mention these three components  before any other strategies.

  1. Find a very competent kicking coach: Since I became an Associate with the National Camp Series back in 2006, I have had the honor of meeting many great kicking coaches from around the U.S.  One thing that has resonated loudly in watching the kids perform at our camps is that the ones who perform the best in our evaluations are the kids who are trained by these coaches. These, ultimately are the same kids that get scholarships in college because their skill level  is superior to those not being trained, and their kicking coaches are helping them get placed. Coaches who are affiliated with a network, such as the National Camp Series, have the advantage of helping each other find schools for each other’s

Athletes. We routinely share information about colleges we know that are looking or help each other find a home for a not yet placed athlete.

(2) Become a kicker/punter: This goes back to my economics law of supply and demand. The supply of good kickers is very high today, but the supply of good punters has not caught up yet. Most college coaches desire a combo kicker/punter guy so he can bring in or travel with fewer specialists. It is my observation that the majority of the first kids to get offered are guys who are combo kicker/punters and they are good at both.  The same principal applies to long snappers. Your stock value increases if you are capable of playing more positions than just one.  This is true for college and the pros. The guys who play several positions and are good long snappers are more likely to get scholarship offers than a long snapper is who can't play another position at that level. 

3) The third of the above Core Strategies sounds like a pitch from a guidance counselor (which I am) but it still holds true for my athletes. The better your academic profile, the more opportunities you will have to be recruited. So many colleges have restrictions on who they can recruit because they have academic standards that demand well prepared student/athletes.  The better the student athlete's transcripts are the more potential colleges they will qualify for and the more one's chances of getting a great education will be.

As good friend and colleague of mine, former NFL kicker, Michael Husted, frequently points out to his student-athletes that what they are doing is "leveraging their athletic skills to get an education". That clearly puts this into perspective as we get so hung up on the trappings of this process that we lose sight of our ultimate goal; To get that college education, in order to be able to have a better life. You are using your sports skills as a tool to help make that happen. 

In part 2 of the Recruiting Labyrinth I will explore some of the ways to increase your visibility in a very large and dark ocean starting with the freshman year and working through the senior year of high school. Stay tuned for "Becoming a Light Tower"

Tom Feely

Posted 1558 days ago

The Recruiting Labyrinth: Part 2; Becoming a Light Tower

The Recruiting Labyrinth: Part 2; Becoming a Light Tower Have you ever been in a boat late at night, trying to find your way back to the dock and you can' t even see the shore? You know it is there, but it seems so distant and you get a huge knot in your chest for fear that you may run into some unknown object and become stranded, or sink. For most of us setting out to get that coveted college scholarship can be a lot like that. Now turn this analogy around and imagine that you are the Special Teams Coordinator for a college football program and you are given the task of finding and recruiting the best available kicker you can find and you know that your job may depend on how well that new kicker performs during gut check moments when the game is on the line. You, the coach/recruiter may also feel like a boat in a large dark ocean looking for signs of a savior on the shoreline you can't see. Your looking for a light tower to guide you through the trecherous waters. As a student/athlete who desires to be that light tower guiding that coach to find you instead of any of the other thousands of guys he could discover, you need to start as early as possible to build your tower and enable it to shine brightly. Besides the obvious, developing your skills to make yourself competitive at a top level among your peers, you must find ways to help them see you. You must become not only visable, but stand out brightly along side your fellow competitors. it is well documented that only about 1-2 % of high school athletes get those coveted scholarships, but that does not mean that it is too difficult to try. In fact, doing things the right way, and starting those right things early on, with a plan, will increase your odds dramatically. Some kids today are getting offers before they even reach high school. This article is not about, or for those lucky few. This is for the typical student-athlete who may be good enough to play college sports, but needs to get discovered first. Let's start atmthe beginning for that typical prospect to be. Freshman year. while most kids are just glad to be on a team, you are not most kids. You are different because you have a dream. When Magic Johnson was asked how he got to be so good at an early age he responded that most kids he knew would pick up a basketball when there was a game. He was different because as a young kid he would go to the courts so early noone else was up yet. He would imagine himself in a very big game in the future and he would play full court basketball while imagining other players all around him. He always won his game and was always the hero. He concluded you need great imagination to go along with a great dream. Step 1: Build your Light Tower Go to camps that give you quality instruction. Don't choose a college or university camp just yet, but find a great camp that will enable you to refine your skills. There are many such camps to choose from but be certain the camp you choose has a very low teacher-student ratio and that it is not a camp that is primarily taught by college kids, but by qualified experienced adult instructors. One to check out is the Kicking at the Lake Camp which offers a 6-1 student/teacher ratio. Also Check out the Top Tier All American Camp, which has more to offer than most all other camps. Most camps are for the primary purpose of getting discovered by the college putting on the camp, or colleges if it is conducted independently of a college. If this is your intent, as a freshman or rising freshman, then this is fine, but generally speaking these camps do a lot less teaching and a lot more evaluation activities. There is nothing wrong with being evaluated as a freshman so long as you are there for that reason and that the evaluation is designed to compare you with only other freshman. In fact I recommend it as this is a great way to learn to perform under real pressure. One such camp that does evaluations that are based on empiracle data is the National Camp Series camps (nationalcampseries.com). They use a carefully designed mathmatical system called the Kix system which was developed by mearsuring kickers, punters, and long snappers from all over the U.S. and Canada, using the exact same standardized testing plan. Within seconds of inputting the campers results into their web site the camper is automatically ranked nationally with others from the same graduation year. This takes the human judgement factor out of the evaluation that permeates all other similar camps. Human judgement is often influenced by the judge's profit motives. The Top Tier All American Camps (see www.TopTierAllAmerican.com ) offers an National Camp Series Evaluation, then quality instruction in the afternoon, followed by an opportunity on the 2nd day to be further tested to see if you qualify to be placed on an All American Watch List for the upcoming season. Some Final thoughts on Dreams and Fears: True success is not an accident. True success starts with a dream. Realizing your dream is the ultimate reward. Fear is a powerful force that crushes your confidence which destroys your ability to achieve your dream. Fear changes your approach to life, promoting you to not take chances. Fear is the enemy of your dream. Know your fears and overwhelm them with reckless abandon. Make your dream your passion and your mission. Fears will no longer exist. John Lennon wrote "...all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life."

Posted 1591 days ago

Recruiting Realities Changes with the Speed of Light

It was 1994 and my son, Jay Feely (currently with the Arizona Cardinals and in his 12th year in the NFL) was a senior at Jesuit High School, having just completed two very successful years as the football team’s placekicker.  He was fortunate to have had Coach Dominic Ciao as his Head Football Coach, because unlike the majority of coaches I knew, Coach Ciao was a relentless recruiter for his players. It was very rare that he did not place 7 or 8 guys in D1 schools from his crop of graduating seniors. The reality is that many coaches only pay lip service to the importance of the high school coach’s role in the recruiting process, but never really devote the time to successfully promote their guys on the recruiting “bubble”.

As a football coach myself I knew that when it comes to “bubble” players (those who may or may not get recruited) the parent must become an active participant in the process, especially when it pertains to Special Teams positions.

In 1993-94, technology was emerging, but the internet was still in its infancy.  What I did to assist my son’s recruitment was everything the resources I had available would allow, including making hundreds of paper copies of resumes, news articles and VHS tapes of his game highlights and sending them out to everyone I could think of.  That, and the efforts of his coach paid off and he got several D1 offers but none that really appealed to him. Jay ended up accepting a “walk on” offer from Michigan that ultimately did not turn into a scholarship offer until after Notre Dame made a very late bid offering him a scholarship. Michigan signed Jay the day fall practices were to begin.  It was a very stressful ordeal!

Fortunately, two decades later we have many more ways to help our student athletes get recognized by colleges, far more than can be covered in a single article, so for a while, my first topic for this blog, I will post suggestions on how to best maximize your athlete’s exposure, and how to best harness the power of new technologies.  I will also cover important topics such as NCAA and NAIA regulations and other important rules one needs to know without the reader having to wade through volumes of regulatory documents. I will also cover how to avoid the pitfalls most parents unknowingly fall into while navigating the labyrinth we call recruiting.  Stay tuned for Part 1 of Kickin It with Feely:  The Recruiting Labyrinth.

Posted 1595 days ago

Mind game: Crosby's Struggles Not Strictly Physical

 

Mind game: Crosby's struggles not strictly physical

Article Written by Rob Demovsky

Press-Gazette Media3:51 PM, Nov 24, 2012

 

If Mason Crosby has been making kick after kick in practice like the Green Bay Packers insist, then what they have on their hands must be simply a mental issue.

Except there’s nothing simple about a problem of the mind.

In the worst slump of his six-year NFL career, Crosby has missed seven of his last 13 field goals, including four of his last seven.

The low point — or so he hopes — was missing twice from the same distance in last Sunday’s 24-20 win at Detroit. Crosby shoved his first attempt from 50 yards wide right but got a reprieve when Lions coach Jim Schwartz was awarded a timeout just before the snap. Crosby then hooked his second attempt wide left on the final play of the first half. He later missed wide left from 38 yards in the fourth quarter before finally putting it through the uprights from 39 yards with 19 seconds remaining to officially go 1-for-3 on the day.

Just like he did in advance of the Lions game, Crosby said he had another good week of practice leading up to Sunday night’s game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Special teams coach Shawn Slocum said Crosby was perfect in team periods on Wednesday. After not kicking on Thursday, Crosby said he “kicked the ball great” on Friday.

Clearly, though, that’s only half the battle.

“You see a lot of guys that can kick real well in practice,” said Tom Feely, the owner and president of the Feely Kicking School who also studied sports psychology at Florida State University. “Then they get in games, and it’s a totally different story.”

That appears to be the case right now with Crosby, who last season had the best year of his NFL career, making 85.7 percent of his field goals.

If he’s not having problems in practice, then his problems can’t be solely related to techniques and fundamentals. Rather, the issue must be transferring those same techniques and fundamentals from practice to game day, and that’s more of a mental issue than anything else, according to Feely.

“That’s a big factor, being able to be focused and mentally tough and not get your thoughts on the wrong things when you’re about to perform,” said Feely, whose son Jay is the Arizona Cardinals kicker. “Keeping your thoughts correct, that’s half of what I train — thought control and emotion control. I talk to kids all the time about the importance of focusing on the process rather than the results. Focus on the key aspect, which is going to be different from one kid to another, keeping that mindset and focus on the technique, rather than on what happens if the kick doesn’t go through.”

No Packers’ player is closer to Crosby than punter Tim Masthay. The two spend hours together kicking while the rest of the team practices. Like Crosby, Masthay said he doesn’t use a sports psychologist, nor does he think Crosby needs one. But like Crosby’s visualization exercises, Masthay often refers to a book called “Mind Gym,” written by the late sports psychologist Gary Mack.

“I don’t use it much anymore,” Masthay said, “but that’s because I’ve read through it so many times.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy has been emphatic in his support for Crosby during the slump, reiterating that he intends to stand by his kicker, who before the 2011 season signed a five-year, $14.75 million contract. But at some point if Crosby’s struggles continue, the Packers will have to explore other options. Whether it gets to that point will depend largely on how Crosby holds up mentally as well as physically.

“You’ve got to be able to rebound,” Feely said, “or you won’t last.”

 

 

Posted 1764 days ago

National Camp Series Associate Tom Feely Helping Haiti Through Football

 

AUG
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National Camp Series Associate Tom Feely Helping Haiti Through Football
 
MH: What was the purpose of your trip to Haiti?
 
Tom Feely:  Immediately following the earthquake in Haiti two years ago, my second son, John Feely, who directs the newest division of Feely Athletics called the Feely Soccer Academy, went to Haiti to volunteer at the Mission of Hope. 
 
Upon returning from that experience, John collaborated with the Mission of Hope to start his own organization called the World Ministries Football Club. They have partnered with the Mission of Hope to host four day soccer camps in the town of Titanyen, Haiti. This was a follow-up trip.
 
MH: What is the goal of the World Ministries Football Club?
 
Tom Feely: The goal of the World Ministries Football Club is to encourage and support players to pursue educational and playing opportunities beyond high school.  This includes assisting each player in exploring opportunities beyond high school and enabling or providing scholarships to overcome the financial barriers.
 
The funding for the World Ministries Football Club has come from the Feely Family Foundation which focusses on the protection, education, and rehabilitation of children.  The foundation sponsors the World Ministries Football Club and grants scholarships based on financial need, educational achievement, and community service.
 
Last June, many members of my family, and other relatives and friends, joined the World Ministries Football Club to assist in their activities including the soccer camp and other community level projects.
 
MH: How long were you in Haiti?
 
Tom Feely: We were there for one week
 
MH: What did you hope to accomplish on this trip? 
 
Tom Feely: We hoped to continue John Feely’s mission to forge strong relationships with the people of Haiti and the Haitians that came to the soccer camps. We reached out to help in their communities by assisting with their home repairs, providing badly needed medical and dental care and doing whatever was needed at that time to help this struggling nation get back on their feet.
 
 
 
 
MH: Would you give an overview of your trip.
 
Tom Feely:  After arriving in Prince de Port, the capital of Haiti, we were transported to the Mission of Hope.  The first day was spent in the community nearby where the Mission of Hope had been building 500 small homes for those Haitians that were displaced from their homes due to the earthquake. We mingled with the Haitian people and spent the day learning what their lives are like.  
 
The next four days were spent putting on the soccer camps. We had camps for all ages, including the older teenagers and young adults. Most came to the camp from many miles away on foot (many barefoot).  Each day we had more and more show up for the camps. By the third day we had over 300 participants.
 
 Later we took a day to ride up the mountain to a village that required hiking the last mile or so to get there.  We stopped at a well to fill a jug with about five gallons of water in it to bring the rest of the way to the village. At the village, Jay Feely showed us the new church he and his Church in Arizona were building for the villagers. He was there earlier in May on that mission, as well as this one.
 
MH: Was this trip ‘self-funded’?
 
Tom Feely:  The Feely Family Foundation funded most of the project, but each of us individually also paid all of our own expenses.
 
MH: What were the people like that you met?
 
Tom Feely: Incredible, a real spirit of joy and appreciation for life and the small blessings God has given them.  They were optimistic and grateful despite their circumstances. They were happy in the face of what should be despair. They were friendly and full of genuine love for each other.
 
 
 
 
MH: What were / are the living conditions in Haiti like?
 
Tom Feely: Honestly, I never dreamed poverty could be this bad. Many entire families lived in tents or a makeshift structure of Tarps for walls and tin roofs. The biggest problem is lack of drinking water. Things we take for granted are just not there, such plumbing, toilets, even electricity is hard to find anywhere.  Health issues are as abundant as are the rats.
 
 
MH: How did this trip impact you …Personally?  
 
Tom Feely: I was so moved by these people, their positive spirit despite their extreme poverty that it caused me to change my perception of our lives here in America and what we tend to complain about in our daily lives.  We really have no idea what real adversity is, and we too often feel self-pity for our trivial problems.  It has completely changed how I view my personal struggles and the struggles of those around me.
 
 
 
MH: How did this trip impact you …Professionally?
Tom Feely: The first thing I did when I came home was return to the school I work at to search through an entire room full of abandoned clothing about to be thrown out and took out all the pairs of shoes (tennis shoes, running shoes, cleats, any and all kinds of shoes that were left behind at the end of the school year.  Haitian children simply are too poor to own shoes. I decided to make it my mission to collect shoes to send to them in Haiti
 
MH: Are you planning on returning?
 
Tom Feely: Absolutely! I am hoping that next summer I will be able to return with all five of my sons (last summer Jay and John were there) so we can build the World Ministries Football Club
 
MH: What can be done to help people in need in Haiti and what can an ‘individual’ do to help?
 
Tom Feely:  The answer would depend on ones desired level of involvement. One could simply donate money (badly needed) to one of the many missions in Haiti, to “adopting” (sponsoring) a child’s education, to donating your time and talent in person.
 
 
 
 
There are many organizations and missions serving the Haitian people through churches and other civic organizations.  Our organization, the World Ministries Football Club, accepts monetary assistance to carry out our mission. 
 
Anyone interested should contact John Feely at his email address: feelyJ5@aol.com.
Posted 10 hours ago by Michael Husted NFL Kicker, Husted Kicking, National Camp Series
Labels: michael husted kicking coach husted kicking football kicking camps feely athletics jay feely national camp series kicking camps

Posted 1852 days ago

Kickin it with NCS Kicking Coach Tom Feely

 

Kickin it with NCS Kicking Coach Tom Feely of Feely Kicking
 
 
 
NCS: Tell us about your kicking business.
 
Tom Feely: The Feely Kicking School genesis was born out of unplanned necessity. When 12 year NFL Veteran Kicker, Jay Feely was a 9th grader at Jesuit High School, he was drafted into kicking for his High School team because of his soccer background (sound familiar?).  As a high school football coach, I wanted to help my son become the best at his position. It was 1990 and kicking coaches were very few. Non-the-less Jay and I went on a quest to learn from the kicking gurus of the day. By the end of the Quest we had developed our own new style of kicking, which helped Jay become a high school All American. I,  Coach Feely, began teaching others on my team the new style, and saw kicker after kicker,punter after punter, even several long snappers go on to Division 1 Football, and eventually the NFL. The rest is history. 
 
 
 
 
NCS: Why did you join the National Camp Series and the KIX System?
 
Tom Feely:  Since the beginning, I have embraced the concept of creating a standardized platform for evaluating athletes in an objective way, that can fairly provide an unbiased assessment of the individual's. NCS does exactly that, and to my knowledge, non of our competitors come even close to those objectives, most do not even try.    
 
 
 
 
NCS: What was your high school kicking experience like?
 
Tom Feely: I played during a time when everyone played at least three sports! I played four sports throughout high school and three during college. My father, was a college coach of two sports, and when he was in college he lettered 16 times (4 sports times 4 years). We all would finish one season on a Friday night and start the next season the next Monday morning. That was just normal... sports never ended, they only changed with the seasons. During the only time that I wasn't playing a sport, I was preparing for the upcoming football season. As Larry Fitzgerald once said, and this statement applied to me perfectly, "I wasn't the fastest, the strongest or jumped the highest, but I was hard pressed to find someone who worked harder."
This attitude carried me a long way as an athlete, and a coach.
 
NCS: What was the kicking scene like when you were in high school? Where there a lot of camps to attend?
 
Tom Feely: Camps did not exist anywhere! Kickers were usually large offense or defensive lineman. They kicked straight on with their toes. This was the norm .... it was even true in the NFL.  A 35 or 40 yard field goal was considered long field goal in those days. It wasn't until the 70s that we saw the very first soccer style kickers. No one understood them, their style of kicking, as well as their accent. Consequencly, kickers were considered strange and not a part of the football fraternity. Things are changed dramatically since then. More and more of the NFL kickers are rugged football athletes, thus challenging the stereotype of "The Kicker".
 
 
 
 
NCS: What was your college kicking experience like?
 
Tom Feely: For me, college was a stark  contrast from high school. I went from a team that never lost a game in four years of high school, to a college team that went one and nine during my freshman year. I had to learn how to lose without losing my personal self-confidence. By my senior year of college, we went from being the doormat to champions, with a 10 and 1 record!  These experiences on both  ends of the spectrum help me understand better dynamics of a winning versus losing perspectives. This led to my interest in Sports Psychology, which in turn led to my pursuit of Ph.D.in that discipline. 
 
NCS: Did you pursue kicking at the Pro Level? If so, how was that experience?
 
Tom Feely: No, I recognized that my value was in the pursuit of education on and off the field.
 
 
 
 
NCS: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a kicking coach?
 
Tom Feely: Without a doubt the most rewarding experience for a kicking coach is to see one of my students whom I have been coaching since they were in high schoolschool become an NFL athlete., this is happened to me at least five times now. Most have not had a long NFL career, but it's always great to see their pride as they navigate through the waters of a preseason NFL experience.  
 
NCS: What is the most frustrating aspect of being a kicking coach?
 
Tom Feely: I think the most frustrating aspect of being a kicking coach is the lack of knowledge on the part of many high school and college coaches with regard to how to handle and coach their kickers, punters long snappers and the entire special-teams game strategy. So frequently I witness, or hear about coaching practices that are detrimental to their own success as a team.  It is one of my goals to help bridge that gap in knowledge, hopefully making a difference for my students.
 
NCS: If there is one thing that you could tell aspiring kickers, punters and long snappers out there, what would it be?
 
Tom Feely: I have two messages, both equally important:
To always strive for perfection in everything you do, you will never achieve perfection but in the process you may end up being excellent.
The true test of you as a man is not whether you fail, but how you react to that failure.

Posted 1879 days ago

Best Hands? Patrick Peterson vs. Jay Feely

 

So perhaps you noticed the picture I took last week for a OTA photo gallery of kicker Jay Feely collecting six punted balls without dropping any. Anything to help fellow special teamers, right?
 
Well, Feely saw the picture and used it to challenge Pro Bowl punt returner Patrick Peterson. Could the return man deluxe haul in seven and top Feely? Peterson decided to give it a go Wednesday after practice, taking “kicks” from the JUGS machine. Five worked. Peterson couldn’t pull in the sixth, leaving Feely bragging rights for now.
 
“I let Jay Feely beat me,” Peterson said, shaking his head. “I’ve got to come out tomorrow and get six. … Hey, he’s got a lot of time on his hands. I was tired. But hey, it’s all good.”
 
Feely, who is game to compete whenever wherever against his teammates, remained confident in his ability to beat Peterson in this small sliver of the punt return universe and said he’d be ready to wager his young cohort. Feely also is driven to eventually get seven himself.
 
“The hard part (to get seven) is running to the spot and kind of stick one between your legs and still be ready to catch the ball coming down,” Feely said.
 
The battle is a small reminder of how coach Ken Whisenhunt used to finish up the weeks during OTAs, with intrateam competitions like position players trying to kick field goals or linemen catching punts. Those haven’t been part of what the Cards are doing this summer, with the OTAs trimmed. No matter. In this matchup, Feely thinks he has the mental edge in this battle for volume-catching supremacy.
 
“I’ve been in his head for a long time when it comes to this,” Feely said. “I was giving him a hard time about it."

Posted 1880 days ago