The 2011 Boise State University Camp was the first college kicking camp I ever coached at. I was enjoying the ride while learning from Billy Cundiff and hearing about his training methods and disciplines. It was a treat for all the camp participants as well as myself. At lunch, there was a young man getting some extra work in with his father and younger brother on the turf. I remember seeing him kick one ball and instantly, I could hear how the ball came off his foot. It was the sound of a thump and I could see that this kid had some God given ability to kick a football.
I approached this family and introduced myself. The fathers name was Mike Johnson and his two sons, Zak and Parker. Little did I know, that I would spend the next five years coaching Mike's sons and becoming a friend of the family. Not only have I been blessed with the opportunity to coach these two fine young men, but I have learned a great deal from them as well. This is why Zak Johnson is our Spotlight Specialist! Zak encompasses all 10 Lifetime Kicking Core Values and has done a phenomenal job at staying humble while embracing his success on the football field.
Zak is currently a redshirt Sophomore at Idaho State University and has started for the team the past two season. This past fall was great portrayal of Zaks integrity, character and perseverance. Zak went through some adversity when he tore his ACL on his plant leg in the 4th game against UNLV. One of the problems was that he didn't even know it was torn until the end of the season. Zak played the rest of the season with a torn ACL and did his job to the best of his abiity. He was even asked to do things out of his comfort zone like roll punting which requires a lot of torque in the plant leg knee. No matter how unstable his knee felt, he did everything his coach asked him to do.
Zak is leader among his classmates, teammates and friends. Zak is also involved in the campus ministry Fellowship of Christin Athletes. I have seen how Zak's faith in Jesus has helped shape the culture of excellence in the world around him. I want to personally thank Zak for his commitment to excellence on and off the field and for showing us all how to live a humble life of faith! Actions speak so much louder than words and Zak's actions have spoken wonders to us all! I am so proud to call Zak a student of Lifetime Kicking Academy as well as a friend!
Q and A
Q: Zak, what was your biggest challenge this year?
A: My biggest challenge this season was balancing being an all around kicker. I had to punt and do all the place kicking. It was hard at first to switch my mindset in the middle of the game, but as the year went on, I got more comfortable with it. That is until the 4th game when I tore my ACL. After that, every time I went out to kick, I would have no idea if my knee would hold up. Because of that, I had to put my Trust in God to keep my knee strong every single kick. And He did just that!"
Q:What is your focus this off season?
A: My focus this off season is to do well in school and most importantly, grow in my relationship with God, my family and my friends. I know I will also have to work my tail off to get back to where I can kick a ball and returning to my form.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: "Here Comes the Boom" because it is a great comedy and shows perseverance.
Q: What is your favorite place to eat in your college town?
A: "El Jacalito" because they have the best burgers in Pocatello.
Q: What tips do you have for high school kickers?
A: "First off, practice perfect form. The best way to excel in kicking is to strive to perfect your form, and most importantly, be consistent in that form. Secondly, when you are preparing for college, DON"T BE SHY! Get your name out to as many college coaches as possible. Lastly, and most important, HAVE FUN! Do as many sports as possible (college coaches like that) and have fun with your friends and family. You will never get this time back.