How to Punt a Football : Distance vs. Hang Time: Football Punting

How to Punt a Football : Distance vs. Hang Time: Football Punting

Hi, I’m John Millar here with Expert Village
to teach you how to punt a football. The whole point of the punt is to get as much field
position as possible. You’re going for net punting yards. That means how far you kick
the ball past the line of scrimmage minus how far they return the ball. There’s a tradeoff
between distance kicked and hang time, how long the ball is in the air. You can kick
it really far, 70 yards, with a line drive and that gives their returner 20 yards untouched.
That gives them time to set people up, juke them and score a touchdown, possibly. So,
the 70 yard punt is not good because the net punt might be negative 30. They might get
into the end zone for a touchdown. So, it’s a tradeoff between how high you kick the ball
and how far you kick the ball. A good rule of thumb, especially for college or pro punter
is to get at least two tenths of a second longer hang time than distance. If you kick
it 40 yards you want a 4.2 second hang time or greater. Distance vs. Minimum Hangtime
35 yds 3.7 sec 40 yds 4.2 sec 45 yds 4.7 sec 50 yds 5.2 sec More hang time is always good.
If you have a short punt that only goes 30 yards then you want a 3.2 second hang time.
That’s because your coverage team doesn’t have as far a distance to travel down the
field, they’re a lot closer. That also means that when the returner comes up to catch it
he gets a little scared and more likely to call a fair catch. Let’s say you boom a punt
and hit one 50 yards. That means you need to have at least 5.2 seconds of hang time.
That’s a really long, high punt. What you don’t want to do is out kick your coverage.
You don’t want to have a great punt that gets returned so you have a bad net. You always
want to set your team up and put them in good position to gain a lot of field position to
give your defense a chance to work with something. Punting is all about the net punt and the
field position you gain for your team. That’s the trade off of hang time and distance. The
more hang time, the better.

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. hey man,
    im really gettin into punting.
    i was ranked 30th in the nation on maxpreps this year as a sophmore,
    but unfortunatly i tore my acl and had season ending surgery, this off season i plan to use some of your tips and work my way for a division I scholarship.
    thank you for posting your videos,
    you should show some drills to practice these techniques.

  2. your videos are awesome. they really taught me alot about football, dont listen to anybody who says your videos suck, they're just jealous because they suck ass in football

  3. Are those distances you use in your formula at 1:03 from the Line of Scrimmage, or from where the punter is standing? Thanks!

  4. i usually kick it way too high but i dont know how to stop it from happening i mean i get the distance but the hang time is a lot

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