Long Snapping 101: Fundamentals of the Skill

Step 4: Snapping Motion- The snap is made with arms, wrists and hands moving in a continuous motion. As the snap is made, both the snapper's hands and arms follow through directly at the target, with both hands snapping through the legs as far as possible. Do not let the arms and hands spread after the snap. Snapping is strictly all arms and wrists. After the follow through, the snapper should get his head up, set back off the LOS and "get big" to protect his area, then hustle to his coverage assignment.

More Long Snapping Tips

  • Approach the ball separately each time the snapper snaps in practice situations. Make sure he always resets his feet.
  • Make sure the long snapper varies the rhythm he uses when snapping the ball so that opponents can't zero in on his snapping motion and rhythm.
  • The long snapper must throw strikes. The landmark is inside the punters kicking hip.
  • Never aim the ball on snaps. Snap every time with good technique, speed, accuracy and follow through.
  • The long snapper should strive to get the ball back in 0.70 to 0.75 seconds. The risk of getting a punt blocked increases every 0.05 seconds.
  • During a long-snapper's routine, he must set his feet and emphasize spring in the knees with his weight centered on the insteps. He must look at the target before placing his hands on the ball.
  • The snapper must approach the ball with everything in line at high noon with his body and the ball. He must have the correct grip, with the wrist cocked and back flat. He should pre-cock his hips on the pre-snap and eliminate any hitches.
  • The long snap is all arms, hips, concentration and focus.

    The founder of Youth Football Coaches Association and current director is Joe Bouffard. Bouffard, affectionately known as Coach Bouf, is a veteran of 16 years of coaching experience at various levels that include youth, high school and college. While at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, Coach Bouf employed a passing attack offense that has led to 2007 and 2008 Class MM State Championships. Currently, Coach Bouf serves as offensive coordinator at Fairfield Warde High School in Connecticut.

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