Phoenix kicking school trains aspiring athletes not only for game time, but for life

So you think it's easy to line up and kick an extra point with 50,000 people in the stands and the game is on the line?

Not so much.

But here in the valley, a family with a rich kicking bloodline is trying to teach people the art of kicking footballs, and how to move on when things don't go as planned.

FOX 10's Matt Galka is not a kicker, especially in jeans. But with a few more reps at AZ Kicking, that could change.

"Maybe a couple of months and you might be getting closer," said Alex Zendejas, Sr.

Alex Zendejas, Sr. and Junior starting AZ Kicking and Training a little more than two years ago. The family name is synonymous with kicking at all levels so opening a school was a natural fit.

"Our main focus is trying to build kids. We like to build kids. We like to get them from scratch. Or even if they want to learn, we want to focus on all mechanics of the kicking game," Zendejas said.

"I had never kicked footballs before. It was kind of hard at first, but once I started practicing it got easier," said Victoria McMinn.

McMinn kicks at Ironwood High School. Her background is in soccer, but AZ Kicking helped McMinn go from "the girl on the team" to the kicker that's almost automatic for extra points.

"It's more muscle memory. I just have to make sure I keep my head down and follow through," McMinn said.

And Max Miller has only been kicking for about a year at Pinnacle High School, but knocked down a 45-yard field goal this season.

"Fromt he way you kick the ball to steps, like I didn't know what a hasmark was in football, and that's a very special part of football. It's where you place the holder, where you kick the ball from. They taught me everything from the ground up," Miller said.

And anyone who's ever stepped up to try and make a kick will tell you the most important muscle you're using to put a ball between the uprights is the one between your ears.

"It's more along the lines of form, technique, hitting a good ball, and the biggest thing about kicking is the mental part, and I've learned about that kicking as well and hopefully I can give that back to these guys," Zendejas, Jr. said.

Zendejas Jr.'s experience kicking for the University of Arizona in the Territorial Cup is well known around here. But both he and his father use that as an example of how things are going to go wrong, and you have to be able to bounce back in sports and in life.

"We never expect any of these guys to go 100%. If it happens, that's great, but there's going to be a time where you're going to face something. I know that all too well. You're going to face some adversity, but the ones that bounce back are the ones that really see it," Zendejas, Jr. said.

"I tell people all the time, 'This is not just for the game, this is for life, your work, your job, your school, when you get married, it's life,'" Zendejas, Sr. said. "Kicking, sports itself, helps you out with life. There's going to be downs, there's going to be ups. My family, we've been through ups and we've been through downs."

And maybe most importantly, whether it's a game or life, it's always good to get your kicks in.

"Having fun, if the kids are having fun I know he's going to learn."

The school operates all year, both in season and out of season, and doesn't just focus on field goal kicking. They work with every aspect of special teams including punters, long snappers and holders.

For more information on AZ Kicking and Training, visit their website at