Choose what works for you

The Ground Zero Tee has gained huge popularity in the past decade. It’s what all of the NFL kickers use to kick-off.  It’s pretty much what every NCAA kicker uses to kickoff, and it’s become the tee of choice for high schoolers, too.

Guess that’s what you should use, too… right?

Maybe not.

The rulebook in the NFL and the NCAA does states that a kick off tee cannot be over 1″ in height — hence the Ground Zero Tee — but every high school rule book (to my knowledge) allows a 2″ tee to be used.

Did you know that?

Do you think getting more lift on the ball would be a good thing for distance and hangtime?  And if given the choice, would a pro kicker want a higher tee?

You see, you’ve been told by the national kicking gurus that you MUST move to this tee if you’re going to be taken seriously from college scouts.  That’s just not true. If you’re consistently kicking off into the end zone with a 2″ tee, but not with a 1″ tee, which stat, do you think, will get looked at more favorably by those same scouts?

The truth is, you should move to the tee that you kick best with… period. You may find that the Ground Zero produces the best results for you.  Super.  But if not, you may want to find an old Stenerud tee (or an even older Boomer kick off tee) and actually do what’s best for your team.

Here’s a true story…

Notice the crazy 3″ tee on the left of this image?  That’s the tee I used way back in 1984, my senior year of college (I know, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth).  You see, the NCAA changed the rule on kickoffs (yep, even back then) for that single year making it a penalty to kick the ball INTO THE END ZONE.

My specialty was kicking it OUT OF THE END ZONE (from the 40). So I found a 3″ Stenerud tee — there wasn’t a rule against it at the time — and kicked off from the far right hash, aiming for the ball to land on the opposite 5 yard line (in the left corner).  10 guys running down to tackle one returner pinned in with fantastic hang time.  If I did my job, he was lucky to get the ball out to the 15!

Did that stop pro scouts from scouting and signing me?  Nope.  Know why?  Because good scouts can spot a good kicker.  Period. 

Have your best season this year.  Find what works best for you.  And after the season, when the college scout asks you about your use of tees (if he would ever ask), you can honestly say, “I’m working on the transition and it’s going great, Coach.”


If you want to check out other kicking tees, a great website to look for all things kicking related are Wizard Sports, Epic Sports, or look for Stenerud kickoff tees on Etsy or Amazon.