FRANKLIN, TENN. - The NFL legendary punter and former Notre Dame and Marquette Catholic High School star Craig Hentrich, originally from Alton, is now making a name for himself with his punting and kicking online courses.

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Craig HentrichCraig says his online program will do the following:

Refine your technique

Improve your accuracy

Increase your power

Develop an elite mindset

Master self-coaching skills

Hentrich said he believes his online method is a perfect way to teach punting and kicking. He said in the process, the students videotape themselves and it is analyzed step by step and refined.

“A lot of punting and kicking camps are for rankings and those who attend don’t get a lot of personal attention,” he said. “I wanted to teach online with a more personalized approach and help them learn to be a good punter and kicker. It is a more intricate way that I can teach many details they can tweak or change to make them a better player.”

In a recent interview on the Riverbender.com Our Daily Show! with C.J. Nasello, Hentrich reflected on some of his favorite memories about Marquette High School, growing up in Alton, his time at Notre Dame and his career in the NFL.

Hentrich played 17 seasons in the NFL and was just shy of 50,000 yards punting in 241 games. He is second on the school list at Notre Dame, scoring 294 points, and he made 98.3 percent of his PAT attempts. He was a member of the Super Bowl champion team over New England. He played for Green Bay, the Tennessee Titans, the Oilers and Jets in the NFL.

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Craig was a standout soccer player in Alton and eventually, he and his brother would punt and kick over the soccer goal in their background, and that ultimately led to him refining his skills to make it to a football field.

He was asked if he ever kicked a football barefoot and he replied, one time, but that was enough.

“Dad built a soccer goal in the yard and we did decide to kick a football over it and that is how I got started with a competition with my brother,” he said.

Craig is the cousin of John Hentrich, owner of Riverbender.com. Craig spoke so highly of all the Hentrich family and said John and many of the others have achieved great things in life. When asked what his favorite restaurant to eat in Alton was, he said he hadn’t been back for too many days at a time in a while, but “Tony’s” and the pepperloin steak.

“I am so blessed to have a great family and a big family with so many people who made a name for themselves,” he said. "I was fortunate to play four years in college under Coach Holtz. It was a huge influence on my life. One thing I remember him saying is the pressure you feel is when you are not confident in your abilities. If we are confident, where is the pressure? I learned from him to be confident and trust the process with training and drills. He was right, there is really no pressure if you do the training and drills.”

Craig said becoming a great punter or kicker doesn’t come together in one moment.

“When you are punting it happens so fast from the time you catch the punt snap,” he said. “You have about 1.2 to 1.4 seconds and it is off your foot. You have to train your body so you don’t have to think. If it is done right when the ball was dropped, I knew I was going to kill the punt.”

Hentrich said in the NFL, coaches were a little less hands-on than in college at Notre Dame.

“The hardest thing I had to learn from punting in college to the pros was to figure out directional punting,” he said. “Every team had a great return man.”

One of Craig’s most memorable experiences at Marquette was a game where he kicked a 53-yard and 55-yard field goal in a downpour of rain. One year, the Explorers were one game away from the state championship contest. He said he loved playing with that group and all the coaches he had at that time. Those coaches, too, had a lasting impact on his life.

Today Craig tries to convey to those who study with him is visualization techniques.

“Coach Holtz always said the body will achieve what the body will achieve,” he said. “We spent a lot of time at Notre Dame with relaxation periods to help us visualize big plays and overcoming things that could go bad on the field.”

Craig had a powerful way quote to close his interview with Riverbender.com and he said something any athlete should probably remember: “The mind is a very powerful thing. It is not only the drills and the training but Coach Holtz always made us understand the power of the mind in achieving goals.”

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