Senior punter Wade Tydlacka struggled during his junior season in 2002 but appears rejuvenated this preseason and is punting the ball as well as he ever has before. Tydlacka is punting the ball with good hang time and distance and has been much more consistent since practice started last week.
Following Saturday afternoons practice, Tydlacka spoke with ITV.
Q: You struggled somewhat punting last season but appear to really be hitting it well this summer? What's the difference?
Tydlacka: Well I think the main reason I struggled last year was that I got off on a bad foot the first couple games and then we started doing the rugby punt, which worked really well at times but when you use the ruby punt more than the conventional punting it's hard to redeem yourself. When I did get in we were back in the endzone....I needed a couple of good punts..safe punts to get myself back in a routine of punting which you need to do in a game. I struggled at times last year and I'll be the first one to say I did but basically the reason I'm punting better now is it's a whole new season.
Q: Did you lose confidence last season?
Tydlacka: I wouldn't say I lost confidence but I knew in the back of my head subconsciously that I wasn't punting anywhere capable as I could...I would say I lost some confidence but I think anyone in the nation would lose confidence if you punted real well in practice or in the offseason and then you knew you could do much better than you were performing on Saturday's.
Q: Any routine or workout changes during the offseason?
Tydlacka: No, I didn't change anything. Our strength coaches are the best in the nation and what they have us doing....this is my fifth year..during the summer it's a routine of what you do..what kind of lifting and running you do...I'm more interested in quality than quantity...The whole summer [working out] I may have had ten balls laying there but I'm concentrating on that one ball only [that I'm kicking]. Whether I hit it good or bad I was trying to focus on that ball and try to visualize the rush and game conditions..I'd say the only thing I changed this summer is the mental aspect.