Shield Punt Splits Are Critical
The majority of the high school punt teams have now gone to the shield punt method of punting the football and there is a lot of merit to it when you can release your coverage before the ball is kicked. However, there are some weaknesses with this style of punting the football.
Most of the time those players lining up to form the shield are bigger stronger, and yes, slower players who will struggle to be a factor with coverage. This makes it all the more important to get your other seven coverage players out while not sacrificing your protection.
Every team has slight variations within the same punting scheme when it comes to specifics like the fundamental principles of how they count or what technique they use. One thing that is pretty consistent across the board though is that your splits are going to be critical when it comes to, not only protecting well enough, but also getting your players into coverage.
While we are big believers in implementing a punt protection that not only allows, but mandates, your players make slight adjustments to your splits and technique based on the talent of the protector and the talent of the defender(s). Also to be taken into consideration is the number of rushers attacking any one gap.
As a coach, when you step back and look at the big picture though, you always have to have a starting point for your basic rules for alignments and splits. This short video explains our thoughts on shield punt splits for our system and our rationale for installing it this way.
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