Power vs Leadership

I recently had the opportunity to be a member of a 4-person crew (a team) that sailed a 53’ Amel sailboat from St. Maarten, in the Caribbean, to Long Island, NY… we traveled about 1400 miles in just over 9 days…

st maarten

Prior to the passage, I wrote about it in this post – Taking my own advice… I Can Do More!

Why did I do this?

VOLUNTEER to do this??

Because… It had an element of excitement…. I wanted to improve my sailing skills… I wanted to challenge myself… I wanted to prove that “I could do it”

Probably many of the same reasons students decide to join your program… most make that decision prior to their 9th grade year… and it is a voluntary proposition for them as well.

Although I came into this “team” with some sailing experience, I was by no means an expert…. I was not ready for “The Bigs

Again, probably akin to 9th graders skill level when they join your high school program.

There were three of us on this team (with various skill levels) and one “coach” (the captain and owner of the boat)… making a total of four crew for the passage to New York.

The “Coach” (our captain) was, of course, by far the most experienced… the most knowledgeable… had the skill… had the “game plan”…

And here is where it gets interesting… he had the POWER.

I would venture to say that, as Coach, you are in a similar position with your squad.

My biggest takeaway from this trip had nothing to do with sailing… it had to do with leadership… specifically leadership from a position of power.

Let me begin by saying that our leader was a good captain. The boat was meticulously maintained… he was very knowledgeable… and very safe. I never once felt at risk during the entire voyage.

But there is a difference between being a good captain and a good teacher/ coach.

The three of us on his team had volunteered for this venture… adventure… to learn and gain experience… that was the bargain… he was getting free crew, and we would benefit from his teaching/ coaching.

I did learn… but lets say the experience of crossing the ocean could have really been enhanced (for me) with a different teaching and coaching style from our captain.

Let me explain.

As I mentioned, I am not an expert sailor… none of were as experienced as he was… he knew that going in… submitting our sailing “resumes” was part of the procedure.

In the same way, none of your young players are as experienced or knowledgeable as you, their teacher and coach… and that is your expectation… that is a given.

What I found out, being on the opposite side of this dynamic, was how much inherent POWER the leader has… and how you use that power can have a tremendous effect on the people you are leading… your team.

I can tell you that for pretty much the entire 1400 nautical miles, I (we) felt pretty inadequate… and I firmly believe that was his intention. He felt the need to be in power… and wanted us to feel dependent on him.

And he did it fairly innocuously but nefariously.

He did not yell, scream, or berate us… but in this type of relationship, it does not take much to rattle your confidence… a roll of the eye… a particular voice inflection… a facial expression… all had the same, calculated effect… conveying (without ever saying) that…

I know more than you…

I will always know more than you…

How can you not know this…

I am better than you…

You have a lot to learn…

I am a pretty confident guy… and have a strong personality.

At the end of this trip, my confidence was shattered… and not just my confidence regarding sailing… I was whipped… and I never have felt whipped… beaten… in my life!

So I started thinking about the kids that I teach… the players that I coach.

They are in the same, subservient role… even more so.

They are kids… young, impressionable, unconfident, gawky, fragile… kids.

I do not ever want any of my students or athletes to feel broken.

I want them to feel the opposite… confident, powerful… STRONG.

I am confident that this experience will help me be a better teacher and coach.

I Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Taking my own Advice… I Can Do More!

OK

Tomorrow I will be taking my own advice…

As in…

I have always enjoyed the water, and have dabbled in sailing for 30+ years. A couple of years ago, my wife, Jamie, and I took four different sailing classes/ certifications while living aboard a 38-foot catamaran off the Florida coast. Last summer we bought our own boat…. A 25-foot Catalina 250 that we sail on Smithville Lake in Missouri.

My wife suggested that I check into ways of getting more experience…. as in ocean experience… she suggested that I Could Do More!

st maarten map

Tomorrow begins preparation for a passage via sailboat from St. Maarten in the Lesser Antilles (a little less than 200 miles East of Puerto Rico) to New York. I will be part of a 4-person crew on a boat named Kimberlite, owned and skippered by Eric Freedman. Eric keeps his boat in St. Maarten during the winter and transports it back to New York during the Atlantic hurricane season… the summer months.

The boat is a 53-foot Amel, a French made monohull sailboat.

amel 53

We will begin the 1600-mile journey on June 24 and will last 9-12 days depending on the conditions. You can track our progress (after June 24) via this link:

Kimberlite’s progress – St. Maarten to New York.

I will be taking some pics along the way, and will post when I return. I will have Jamie tweet via my account any news or updates when possible.

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

The Lombardi Effect

Jeff Floyd:

A TBT post from a couple of years ago… Today is Vince Lombardi’s birthday

Some other Lombardi references:

Enjoy!

Originally posted on You Can Do More!:

Yesterday was Vince Lombardis birthday.  He would have been 100 years old.

Vince_LombardiFor people of my generation, especially young boys who aspired to coach, he was an iconic figure. I wanted to be a coach so I could diagram plays like Lombardi, sure; but I really wanted to be a coach because I wanted to inspire like Lombardi.

Being a Kansas City Chiefs fan, the first Super Bowl will be forever burned in my psyche.  If anyone was to beat my team, the Chiefs, let it be the legendary Green Bay Packers, led by my idol, Vince Lombardi.

I remember watching theIce Bowl in 1967, and then the Packers defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. Lombardi retired from coaching following that season.  I did not understand.

A year later he left the Packers organization to try his hand at rebuilding the Redskin franchise.  I…

View original 319 more words

THE Conundrum

Think about this conundrum

coaching puzzleIf, as a coach, you tell a player that doing (X) will make them perform better (X could be anything… fill in the variable)

And they consistently choose not to do (X)

Then either:

A) they do not believe or trust that what you are saying is true…

OR

B) performing better is really not that important to them

As a coach it is probably a good idea to try to figure out the answer to this question, if reaching this player is important.

If the answer is A) then what can you do to improve the trust factor in that player/ coach relationship?

If the answer is B) then what can you do to make that player’s performance more important to him or her?

Most any coach can reach the high achievers… the ones that are easily motivated… the low hanging fruit.

The really good coach tries to reach ALL of their players… even those tough, hard to reach ones… the ones high up in the tree.

You will not reach them all, but in making a great effort you will reach MORE.

As Vince Lombardi said…

“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”

Related Posts:

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Testing… Strength and Conditioning – Standardized Tests

Recently I was having a conversation with a colleague. His question was… “[in your strength and conditioning program] what do you test on, and how often do you do it?”

At this time of the year, after just finishing MAP tests in our school and district, it got me to thinking about testing in general.

In answer to his initial questions, we test on our four Core Lifts (Bench, Squat, Hang Clean, and Push Press) for anyone that is new to the program. We test on a multi-rep max, and use this conversion chart so we can enter it on their workout card, which calculates their workout percentages while they are in our program.

We also give a battery of tests that we feel provides us with some good information regarding their athletic progress:

  • Weight
  • 40-yard dash
  • Vertical Leap
  • Pro Agility

And their card calculates:

After this initial testing, we do not test on their Core Lifts again … ever… and here is why.

Testing takes time away from what I really want them to do…. train to be better athletes! I am really not overly concerned about what their “maxes” are, other than how that relates to their athletic improvement. Their workout card provides them with information so they can gauge their progress (see Breaking… it’s a good thing) and know what their new “maxes” are…. without retesting.

I am not training members of a powerlifting team, but members of the football, basketball, and volleyball, etc. teams. I want their training to transfer to the court(s) or field(s) of their choice. If it does, then both the athlete and I are happy… if it doesn’t, no matter how strong or how well they tested, then I have failed as a strength coach.

And this is how it relates to testing in the classroom… to MAP or STAAR (insert your state/ district standardized test name here) testing.

I am amazed annually about the amount of time, (instruction time, professional development time), energy (student, teacher, administrator), and angst that is put into the preparation and administration of these tests.

Our teachers administer all kinds of predictive tests in prepping for the MAP test… STAR test, Acuity test, and many also give an EOC exam in their classes. This year they also had to spend time practicing the MAP test because of the new, tech based test.   They (teachers and administrators) spend an amazing amount of time dealing with all of this… prepping for all of this… and worrying about all of this… for a test score.

And that is my point… and how it relates to strength and conditioning…

I have to belitestinglearningeve that in the long run our students (and teachers and administrators) would be much better off if they could spend ALL of the time they now spend in test prep on actual instruction…. Imaginative, Innovative, IndividualizedInstruction.

Instruction that is geared toward learning… learning skills that will transfer and allow them to excel in the “real world” rather than excelling on a standardized test.

Are we interested in creating a legion of good “test takers”… or do we want to send out into the world students that are inquisitive, lifetime learners, problem solvers, and adaptable?

In my strength and conditioning class I am not interested in training members for an Olympic Powerlifting squad, but I want them to be better athletes in their respective sports.

In the classroom I think we should be more concerned about training better, well prepared citizens rather than great test takers.

Just my opinion.

BTW… we do test on the 40, vertical, shuttle, etc. annually… but even then try to be efficient in our administration and condense it down into the shortest amount of time possible as not to lose training time.

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It! 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Access to Workout Cards

Moving into this summer, if you were a Strength and Conditioning student of mine during the 2014-2015 school year, you can access your workout cards through the following links:

The links will take you to my dropbox which will allow you to download the Excel workbook from your hour.  Once you download the workbook, just click on the tab with your name on it to view (or manage) your card.

You manage the card using the instruction I gave in class, or view instructions on managing your card at this link : Navigating the Workout Card

To coaches and teachers wanting more information on this system,  you can learn about the workout and the workout card at these links:

If you have any questions, just shoot me an email… I will answer!

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Lessons from the Masters – Toriano Porter

Toriano Porter is a journalist and writer. He has written two books, The Pride of Park Avenue and James Cool. I recruited Toriano (a defensive back) out of Eureka High School in St. Louis, while defensive coordinator at the University of Central Missouri.

Toriano is black.

I am white.

I was raised in a loving environment, an environment that showed respect for all races.

I watched and admired Dr. Martin Luther King growing up, and our house was shocked and saddened by his loss.

I sang folk songs by Peter, Paul and Mary, and Dylan.

The neighborhood I grew up in was almost exclusively white (1960’s Ruskin Heights in Kansas City, MO) as was the city we moved to prior to my high school days (1970’s Blue Springs, MO).

I went to college at a private Liberal Arts school (William Jewell College, Liberty, MO) that was almost exclusively white.

My first teaching/ coaching jobs were Blue Springs (1979-1982) Odessa, MO (1982-1984) and Osceola, MO (1984-1987)… white, white and white.

I left Osceola for the college ranks, spending ten seasons at the University of Central Missouri and four as head coach at William Jewell College.

Central Missouri was not exclusively white. It was really my first experience in teaching and coaching in this type of multi-cultural setting.

I loved it.

We had great players, black and white, urban and suburban, that worked hard and responded to my coaching style.

I worked hard at my craft. Part of being a good coach is “knowing” your athletes… developing a relationship with them… knowing how to push their motivational “hot button”.

I thought that I could, and was, accomplishing this with all of my athletes.

Heck, I recruited St. Louis and Kansas City. East St. Louis, Illinois and Kansas City, Kansas were some of the roughest areas in the country…. and I walked the halls, and talked to students in schools there.

I sat in living rooms while recruiting, visiting with families in urban St. Louis and Kansas City.

I talked to all of my athletes… “How are your classes going?” … “How is your family doing?

I thought I understood the challenges of being a young, black, student… of being a young black man… in Kansas City, St. Louis, or Warrensburg, Missouri.

As I mentioned, I was a product of the 60’s… MLK… “Blowing in the Wind

park avenueIt really wasn’t until I read Toriano’s first book, The Pride of Park Avenue, in 2009, that I realized that I didn’t have a clue… I had (and still have) NO idea what it was, or is like, growing up as a black man in the United States.  I don’t think I ever can truly or fully understand.

The Pride of Park Avenue is part autobiography, part fiction. Toriano’s narrative details, vividly, what it was like growing up in St. Louis, and his experiences at UCM. There is no complaining, whining, judging or blaming coming from Toriano… just authentic, gritty, stories of his journey.

Reading this narrative made me realize how completely different Toriano’s experience was from mine. It gave me an appreciation as to the relative ease of the path I was given…. a middle class white youth in the suburbs.   It also gave me an appreciation of Toriano’s accomplishments.

Toriano is c26913_1354892281581_7232202_nurrently a Business/ Education reporter at the Lee’s Summit Journal and will release his third book, The Plain Ugly Truth, some time this year.

Toriano is a master… and the lessons he provided me are tough… and ones that I am till trying to learn… daily.

Related Posts:

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Middle School Strength and Conditioning Posts

In the past few days, I have received several requests for information regarding our middle school strength and conditioning program… including its implementation, structure and curriculum.

BinghamStrengthI decided to amalgamate all of the posts into this single, hopefully easier to navigate, post. I have tried to put them in (somewhat) chronological order.

These links will also direct you to the “nuts and bolts” of our program, including philosophy, the workout card, lifting technique, videos, etc.

Here is a link to a Flipboard Magazine I put together with all of the posts :

Flipboard – Middle School Strength and Conditioning

If you have any questions, just shoot me an email… I will respond!

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

A year ago I wrote a post (If you build it, they will come) about a decision our school district (the Independence School District) made to add a strength and conditioning physical education class at the middle school level.

At the time there was much buzz, excitement, and some trepidation among the students, faculty and administration.

As I wrote about in this, more recent post, (The Case for Middle School Strength and Conditioning) the first year of the Strength and Conditioning class has been a huge success in our building.

Now, with enrollment beginning for next year, the real test is upon us. Has the class generated enough “buzz” with the current students to sustain or increase interest and enrollment for next year?

The numbers are in…

The good news

We had nearly 400 students (7th and 8th graders next year) request this class for the 2015-16 school year.

Every current 7th grader who is taking the class (56) requested it again for next year!

The challenge

Our current class structure limited the enrollment to 150 students in the class… six classes with 25 students each.

With a couple of adjustments, we were able to increase that number to 200.

I currently teach all of the Strength and Conditioning class at our school, and have six sections. We have a seven period day, and I have a plan period, so our number this year was capped at 150 students.

Next year our building is going to an eight period day (we are getting rid of our “home room” period), which will allow me to teach seven classes of Strength and Conditioning. In addition, another instructor will be teaching the class during my plan period, which will put our cap next year at 200 students (eight periods x 25 students per class).

We still have a somewhat daunting task ahead… trimming nearly half of the students who put the Strength and Conditioning class as their #1 request for Physical Education.

We feel like it is a good problem to have, and one that demonstrates our district is headed in the right direction with this class offering.

IMG_6962If your district is not offering this class, my experience this year leads me to believe you are missing the boat… this age group is physically and mentally ready to excel in a class of this type.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have regarding this class (setup, curriculum, equipment, lessons, etc) or related to any other posts on this blog… I will respond!

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting Links

This post is specifically for my enrichment class regarding the recruiting process.

As I mentioned in class today, these are the two links that will give you access to all the information we discussed regarding the path to being a recruited student-athlete.

college recruiting ebookFlipboard Magazine- Wanted and Rewarded eBook

Flipboard Magazine – Recruiting Level of Interest Pyramid

If you have any questions, stop by and see me at school.

Please share with your parents as well.

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com