Perfect Timing?

Our first camp of the season has been completed with 6 participants at the Northshore Kicking Combine. Last year, we held it up in Rhinelander, Wisconsin in the Hodag Dome.  This year, we brought it to Tomasini Stadium on the beautiful Corcordia University campus in Mequon, WI.

Our reference to “perfect timing” has to do with dodging a big thunderstorm just minutes AFTER we finished up.  The ‘question mark” stems from losing a number of campers to Memorial Day Weekend activities. Next year, we’ll find a more amenable date… yett we were very pleased with our campers and the facilities we enjoyed. Look for us to run it again on the CUW complex next year.

Coach Farley started a perfect sunny morning with a bit of stretching and warm ups kicks and punts to get campers ready to perform at their best. The opening drill was a post drill that helps focus technique and accuracy without straining your leg prior to competition.

All three phases of the kicking game were covered (kick-offs, punting and field goals) and with smaller numbers, it was easier to give individual instruction, as well as more mental tips to get better results — for the combine, and more importantly, for the upcoming football season.

A few key take-aways from the camp:

#1 — Find your K-Zone.
The “Kicking Zone” is a Coach Farley creation to generate greater confidence going into your season. The idea of finding the max distance where you KNOW you can make 3-out-of-4 under game pressure is tremendously calming. Typically, that distance is much closer than most kickers believe. Coach Farley added, “The idea is to become brutally honest about where that spot is on the field. Once you prove it to yourself, you can prove it to your coach… and he’ll begin to give you opportunities to make that kick in a game.”

#2 — The Farley 5. 
Every coach or scout has a bit of a chip on their shoulder when it comes to watching film and checking stats on a player. They know alot can be omitted, with only the “good stuff” being shown. So Coach Farley invented a simple filmed drill that any kicker can use to showcase their capability called “the Farley Five”.

Set 5 balls out in the middle of field all 5 yards apart.  The furthest ball should be at your max range with 4 balls 5 yards apart, closer to the goal posts. (For most high schoolers, you’ll kick from the 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 yard line). Have a bigger leg, then start further back. The idea is go swiftly kick all 5 balls in under 1:30 to show recruiters that you can be “a machine”. Ideally, you go 5-5. This may take some doing to finally hit 5 balls in a row, and let’s coaches know that you are disciplined and skilled enough to make these kicks. Can’t connect on all 5?  Move in 5 yards, see if that does the trick.  Then your job throughout the summer is to extend that effective distance.

#3 Take advantage of the Recruiting Clinic
After the combine was over, our counselors gave our campers a tour of the Concordia campus as part of a football recruiting visit. Head Coach Greg Etter and his Special Teams Coach Joseph Federico were on hand to help show-off their school and program. The Falcons have become a formidable D3 force in the always challenging NCAC (Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference).

Coach Farley then shared his views on recruiting, ranking and the current state of affairs in the NCAA (the trouble with the portal, NIL money) and the truth about D1 and D2 scholarships, especially as it pertains to specialists. Parents were pleased to be given a more informative view on what’s in store for their soon-to-be collegian.


The Northshore Combine is part camp, combine and recruiting clinic. If you’re interested in kicking or punting in college, this is a must attend camp for you.


This year, we allowed our counselors to participate in the combine. For so many high schoolers intent on getting ranked and making a college team in the future, it can be a glaring shock to realize how good the competition is going to be. For many high school specialists, they’ve been the “star” since the 5th grade.

Often, college coaches will tell a young recruit the the “job is theirs” without telling them that there is a red-shirt freshman who’s been itching at the chance to become the starter on their college team. For our college guys, it’s a good lesson that some pretty good talent is coming up behind them. The summer is no time to get complacent. Keep improving!

Kick Offs: LOGAN NAVIS / Fr. / Concordia University / 499 pts.
Each participant got five kicks that were filmed and recorded for distance and hangtime. Scores are calculated by taking the distance and adding to hangtime (x 10). So, a 50 yard kick off with a 3.0 hangtime would produce a score of 80 points. This year’s kick off winner was Logan Navis, a college freshman at Concordia University. His “big ball” was a 65 yard kick with a 3.7 hangtime for 102 points. Logan’s kick was very close to a “target” collegiate KO of 65 yards and a 4.0 hangtime (105 points).

Punting: Darysius Stathopoulos / Sr. / Sussex Hamilton H.S. / 360 pts.
Many of our participants struggled on the punting portion. Why? It would seem that more specialists spend time on practicing their kicking than their punting.  However, YOU are the logical choice to be the starting punter as well as the kicker. And if not the starter, you are the logical choice to be the back-up. The motion is much the same, but the technique is harder in punting to be consistent. This is an area where most young kickers can really help their teams by developing competency in punting. High school teams desire to advance the ball a net of 30 yards on a punt. That’s a very doable distance, but it takes direction, hangtime and consistency to achieve it.

Draysius won this portion of the Combine by 1 point over Concordia freshman punter Ben Crouch with a score of 360 points (using the same scoring system as for kick offs). Draysius connected on an 89 point punt (48 yards yards with a 4.1 second hangtime). For high schoolers, a “target” punt would be 90 pts (50 yards and 4.0 hangtime).

Field Goals: LOGAN NAVIS / Fr. / Concordia University / 340 pts.
At Mike Farley’s Kickers Camp, we do things a little differently than some of the other camps. Most “combines” simply run a Move-back-5-Contest to determine a winner. That’s fine, it puts pressure on and basically, the biggest leg wins the day. That’s not what happens in a game. If you read above, you learned that to get chance to kick in a high school game, you need to really know yourself so that your coach trust’s you.

The competition for field goals works in much the same way. Each kicker warmed up with a 35 yard make. Once done, they can go anywhere on the field for a attempt. You get double the yardard you kick from (a 40 yard FG make is worth 80 pts.), but miss it, and you get ZERO. Now, do you really want to crank it out there from 50, or would a 35 or 40 yarder be the better plan? That’s the challenge that each of our kickers faced and the winner of this portion of the combine was Logan (originally from Cedfar Grove High School). Logan connected on 4 of 5 field goals with his longest as his last kick at 50 yards… effectively putting him on top to win the Combine Specialists Award!

What’s teriffic about this structure is that you can use it during your off-season months as a gauge on your progress. Score your own 5 kicks. Your “target” in high school would be to make 4-out-5 from 35 yards out. That’s a score of 240. If you’re 4-for-4, why not go back and hit a big ball? But if you’re struggling, perhaps coming back in would boost your confidence? It’s a game that any kicker can play with real game like results. You’ll be surprised at how much pressure you’ll feel as you near your best score (or avoiding your worst).

Combine Specialist: LOGAN NAVIS tops last year’s winner by 41 pts! Bay / 1,195 pts.
Last year up in Rhinelander, Sturgeon Bay High Schools’s Eli Schuster earned the title with 1,154 pts. Collegian Logan Navis racked up 1,195 to set a new combine record!

As word gets out about the Northshore Combine, we expect a lot more campers ready to challenge these results. Don’t be afraid to chart your own way to gauge your progress as a kicker and punter throughout the summer — and send us your scores!

See Logan’s Northshore Combine winning kick below!

We won’t be running another Combine this year… but we will be running the second annual WISCONSIN KICKING & PUNTING CHAMPIONSHIP on July 13th in River Falls, WI, that’s based on a similar style of competition!