NFL kickers offer instruction and advice at Hanson's camp


New England Patriots' placekicker Stephen Gostkowski (far right) works with aspiring kickers Friday afternoon during Chris Hanson’s kicking camp at East Coweta’s Garland Shoemake Stadium.

By STUART CROSBY A solid number of young prospective kickers were in attendance and listening to a number of experienced hands Friday at East Coweta High School as former Indian kicker Chris Hanson held his second kicking camp at Garland Shoemake Stadium. Hanson, who spent 11 years in the National Football League and was an assistant coach at The Heritage School last year before accepting the head coaching position at Trinity Christian.
"I was pleased with the showing we had today," he said. "It was exciting to see the response and everybody wanting to learn. We want to be able to teach the fundamentals and let the guys have fun while they here." While pleased with the progress of his own camp, Hanson feels similar camps have become important in being a kicker. "The camps help because the kids and even the instructors learn something," he said. "There are a lot of great camps that either work on fundamentals like ours or the ones that are more competitive. The kids want to learn and I am glad to see them here wanting to understand how to be a better kicker." Part of the success of the camp was the appearance of other kicking fraternity members such as Olindo Mare of the Seattle Seahawks along with New England Patriot teammates Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko provided words of wisdom about kicking and life in general. "Having these guys here to share their knowledge of kicking is huge because they can hear it from somebody else besides me," Hanson explained. "They are also character guys and that is huge too especially that they are here devoting their time and instructing the kids." One of the instructors who had knowledge as well as experience to impart upon the campers was Mare who has been in the NFL for 17 years with several teams including the Seahawks. "I am here as a friend helping Chris out. He is an approachable person and a ggod guy to be around," he said. "Hopefully we can provide input to the kids on being a kicker because it isn't easy and it is hard work. The instructors are also benefiting from the opportunity to demonstrate their skill as well offering instruction especially Gostkowski who is recovering from a quad injury that ended his 2010 season and required surgery. "It was pretty painful and I couldn't kick so I had to have the surgery and do rehab so right now I would be working on getting ready for the season and this camp has helped," he said. "I am also glad to be here to help Chris out. Also, there is a lot of talent here and hopefully I can help some of these guys do better." If any of the long kicks he demonstrated to the campers offered any indication, Gostkowski is in good health and should be ready whenever the NFL season starts. To view or purchase photos from the camp, please visit and click on the Chris Hanson camp gallery.

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