Create An Explosive Sky Kick Return

By FirstDown PlayBook on May 27, 2022

Your opponent knows you have a great returner. You know they are going to sky kick the ball. You have a decision to make. Say okay and let your offense do the work or are you going to try to create a po;ay on special teams?

Big plays are hard to come by. You ask any offensive coordinator what they look for as far as measuring success and the phrase “explosive plays” will come up. What will also come up in conjunction with explosive plays are explosive players.

It’s usually not hard to find the explosive players on a special teams unit when it comes to the Kickoff Return team or Punt Return Team. They are lined up as the returner. Depending on just how explosive they are, some kicking units choose not to kick the ball anywhere near them. The sky kick is a logical call. Putting the ball in these players’ hands with all of that open field can be a dangerous proposition.

Your Kickoff Return Always Starts With a Formation

Punting units can punt the ball away from these returners. If the ball goes out of bounds, it is no big deal as long as there is some yardage associated with the punt. The kickoff unit does not have the luxury of kicking the ball out of bounds. What you see instead is a pooch or a sky kick attempted.

FirstDown PlayBook attended a high school football game a few years back and actually saw this occur five times in the same game. We watched as the obvious sky kick was executed time and time again. We were a little confused as to why the kickoff return unit did not adjust to this.

When it is obvious that the sky kick is coming, the return team can have a plan. Today’s instructional video talks about a couple of ways that you can make an adjustment to the kickoff team’s adjustment. This can give you an opportunity for an explosive kickoff return simply by getting the ball in your explosive player’s hands.