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Gaining Possessions Using the Onside Kick

Gaining Possessions Using the Onside Kick

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with Kevin Kelley, Pulaski Academy (AR) Head Coach; 2014 Class 5A Arkansas State Champions; During a 12-year span (through 2014), Kelley's teams have gone 138-19-1, won four state titles and appeared in six state championship games.

Kevin Kelley has put together a championship program that is unique in a variety of ways. His team almost never punts, almost always onside kicks, has averaged 500 yards per game on offense and has had an incredible eight-year run in which his team has been to the state championship game four times, winning twice.

The onside kicking strategy developed when Kelley realized that opponents were starting from their own 33 yard line on regular kick offs and from their 47 yard line on unsuccessful onside kicks. With the onside kick, his team was only giving up 14 yards of field possession, but with a chance to get the ball back.

In this video, Kelley teaches key aspects of the onside kick including how they place the ball on the tee, motions to approach the ball and successful techniques for recovering the ball. You'll see a traditional onside kick, multiple types of squib kicks, as well as a unique drop-kick onside kick.

Benefits to the onside kick:

  • Provides extra possessions for your offense
  • Affects opponents preparation and overall game plan
  • Lessens the chance of a big return
  • Creates field position advantages later in the game by kicking it over the opponent's head
  • Inspires creativity and enthusiasm in your players and coaches
  • Easy to install (20 minutes per week)

Coach Kelley uses game video to demonstrate his multitude of kickoffs. You will see "Onside Left" used with two kickers; the "NBA," which is a long onside kick; the "Super Squib" which is aimed at an opposing player; the "Super Middle" with everyone in the middle; the "Copter;" the "NFL" that drives the ball high into the air; and a "Dropkick" onside kick off that most coaches don't even know its legal!

Kelley discusses the advantages of each kickoff and how to align and kick the ball for each.

With so many misdirection and deceiving onside kick plays, your special teams will finally become truly special! 77 minutes. 2014.