Our Job… Your Tree

Recently amid all of the hoopla, conjecture and speculation regarding Jim Harbaugh’s decision to leave the 49ers and the NFL to land at Michigan, was a nugget that struck me.

The commentators were all discussing the usual, obvious reasons… money, returning to his roots, etc.

Then Lou Holtz made these observations…

He said that some coaches are simply more suited for collegiate coaching positions, not because their skill can’t cut it at the professional level, but because they feel they can have a greater impact on young men’s lives at the collegiate level… both to players that play for them, and coaches that coach with them.

woody hayesHoltz said, “Woody Hayes is alive today because he taught me…”

Coach Holtz was an assistant for Woody Hayes at Ohio State in 1968. Ohio State won the National Championship that year.

 

Think about it…

Who will you live on through?

They are in your program now.

Ours is an awesome job that comes with awesome responsibility.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Conor Oberst and the AFCA National Convention

Jeff Floyd:

This is a re-blog of a post from the summer referencing the AFCA National Convention, which is taking place in Louisville, Kentucky this week.

The moral of this story is…

Persistence…
Practice…
Hard Work…
Hard Work Pays Off…

If you are at the convention, enjoy and do me a favor. If you read my blog, and like the content… share it (youcandomore.net) with a colleague in the lobby!

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

Originally posted on You Can Do More!:

How are Conor Oberst and the American Football Coaches Association National Convention related?

Get ready for a relatively circuitous ride…

If you are over 30, there is probably a good chance that you do not know who Conor Oberst is. The 34 year old singer-songwriter has been playing music for over 20 years … he released his first recording, Water, when he 13. He was recording folk music before the likes of Mumford and Sons, and the Avett Brothers made it popular again.

My 24-year-old son, Carter, has been an Oberst fan pretty much his whole life… my wife and I, not so much. When Carter was in middle school, Oberst and Bright Eyes (his group) populated our iTunes library. Carter would sit at the computer doing homework and listen to Oberst … we would make his wear headphones because the music was… well… pretty awful.

tdc_conorMy son and…

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Lifetime Learning

Jeff Floyd:

Heading into “clinic season” and with the AFCA National Convention convening in Louisville, Kentucky this week, I thought it was an opportune time to re-blog this post from a year ago.

This is the second of three posts referencing the AFCA convention that I will re-run this week. They were from quite a while ago, so they have been buried with 200+ more recent posts and can be difficult to find. All are still relevant.

If you are at the convention, enjoy and do me a favor. If you read my blog, and like the content… share it (youcandomore.net) with a colleague in the lobby!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Originally posted on You Can Do More!:

It was with much dismay that I heard a comment that was made by a fellow coach the other day.  He said that he doesn’t really do the “coaching clinic thing” because “he has all the football knowledge he needs right up here”… (pointing to his head).

afcaI was given an excellent piece of advice during my first year of coaching at Blue Springs High School.  Fred Merrell was my head coach when I attended Blue Springs, and I was fortunate to be able to go back after college and work with Fred at Blue Springs for three seasons.  It was after my first season as a member of Fred’s staff and I was getting ready to attend my first coaching clinic.  Coach Merrell could tell I was excited – there were several big name college coaches and many legendary Missouri and Kansas high school coaches. …

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The Hotel Lobby at the AFCA Convention

Jeff Floyd:

Louisville, Kentucky is the site of the 2015 AFCA National Convention, which takes place this week.

afca welcome sign

I was fortunate to be in Louisville this weekend and witnessed the annual excitement of ball coaches from all over the country arriving, checking in to hotels, getting the skinny on the local nightlife, and most of all, networking… the old fashioned way.

I have written several posts referencing the AFCA Convention, and will be re-running them this week. Most were from quite a while ago, so they have been buried with 200+ more recent posts and can be difficult to find. All are still relevant.

If you are at the convention, enjoy and do me a favor. If you read my blog, and like the content… share it (youcandomore.net) with a colleague in the lobby!

Originally posted on You Can Do More!:

The original social network

Before Faceoook

Before Twitter

Before LinkedIn

Before Instagram

Before Texting

…there were thousands of coaches that yearly covered the Hotel Lobby floor at the AFCA convention, with a pocket full of business cards, a drink in their left hand, and their right hand poised… ready to shake the hand of the next coach they were introducing themselves to.

afca lobby

Networking… the old fashioned way.

This will all begin anew next week in Indianapolis as the nations coaches descend upon the Indiana Convention Center.

If you have not ever had the opportunity to attend the national convention of the American Football Coaches Association, I would put it on your bucket list.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Bowling

My favorite time of the year… the (roughly) two-week span from December 20 to January 4. Of course I enjoy the Holiday season… time off work, time spent with family, and the celebrations. But, what REALLY puts this time of the year into overdrive with me is the fact that during this relatively short span, 38 college football bowl games are played! Throw in the FCS, DII and DIII playoff and championship games and we are over 50 televised contests.  I can honestly say that I watched MOST of these games.

bowl logos

During one of these broadcasts, I heard a sports announcer wondering aloud the rhetorical question, “are there too many bowl games?”

The usual suspects are always paraded out during this discussion…

  • Does it dilute the prestige of going to a bowl game?
  • Attendance is down.
  • The games are expensive to put on.
  • Are the games competitive… do the athletes really care?

This year was a really great bowl season. The games were extremely competitive… many going into overtime. It was apparent by the level of play that the games DID mean something to the coaches and players. Sponsorship for the games is UP, and the TV audience set record numbers.

To me, there is no such thing as “too many” college football bowl games. My opinion goes beyond the facts mentioned previously.   For many of these players (and often the coaches, trainers, band, cheer squads) the opportunity to play in a bowl game is the experience of a lifetime. They often get to visit exotic (warm) locations, eat well, usually get gifts and memorabilia, and best of all, get to play another college football game! Normally, the athletic programs are not on the hook for paying (in fact, often they stand to make money) but rather the corporate sponsors foot the bill. As long as the sponsors are willing to ante up to make the experiences memorable, I say lets have at it.

The only negative thing that I see about this two-week banquet of bowl games, is that in following weeks… especially with the NFL winding down, there is a dearth of football on TV.

My “addiction” needs to be fed…. I am going through withdrawals.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Learning How to Compete

With the 2014 season under our belts, everyone is now headed into, or already deep into their off-season programs.

One of the best things that we ever did as part of our off-season program was to incorporate weekly, team competitions in our workouts. This was not an original idea of mine, but we did add some unique elements to the concept.

The first thing we did each year was to divide our returning squad members (anyone who was planning on being part of our upcoming season) into 11 teams. We selected the teams by appointing 11 seniors as captains and holding a draft, with each captain selecting their squad. The draft was only open to these 11 seniors, so no one else knew the discussions about, or order in which squad members were picked.   This draft became a much-anticipated event, with the seniors putting a lot of thought into their selections.

After the teams were picked and posted, we revealed (sort of) the competitions for each week. I say “sort of” because we did not let them know exactly what they would be doing, the rules, or criteria for winning until that weeks contest. For instance, the name for one of our contest was “War Games”… which was a tug of war tournament between all of the teams… but up until that week there was all kinds of speculation as to what the competition might be!

 

tugWe incorporated many aspects of “team” and character into our weekly competitions… trying to get our players to compete in many areas that would make them a better student-athlete… they were not limited to just strength and conditioning. Here are some things we had the teams compete for:

  • Best attendance for the week (school)
  • Best attendance for the week (weight room)
  • Tug of war
  • Last Man Standing (holding a 25 lb plate at arms length)
  • Most Breaks (increasing their estimated 1RM) in a week
  • Best attendance at a girl’s basketball game
  • 2 Men Enter (try to pull the flag in the sock of the opponent in a 5 yd x 5 yd square)
  • Highest Average Pound for Pound Ratio
  • Highest Average Power Quotient
  • Most team members that finished the squad reading assignment (That First Season, by John Eisenberg)
  • Obstacle Course (included carrying a 45 pound plate, flipping tractor tire, driving sled, and sprinting)
  • Highest average GPA for that quarter

Each week the team would get points for their finishing rank (1st=1 point, 2nd=2 points, etc) and at the end of our winter/ spring strength and conditioning sessions, the team with the fewest points was crowned the winner. Each member of the winning team received one helmet reward decal prior to the first game of the following season.

The contests were always fun and spirited, and each week we saw new leaders emerge… and they were not always the “official” captains. Players would encourage, hold each other accountable, and be held accountable for these wide array of items.   It was always interesting, too, to see how the captains picked their respective teams each year… knowing the strengths that were needed to succeed in this competition.

This concept had positive effects on a number of levels. There is definitely a team building/ bonding aspect to it. Our athletes got used to holding teammates accountable, and being held accountable. It helped develop and expose leaders and teach leadership. These competitions also helped our student-athletes learn how to compete, and emphasized a number of character related qualities with them.

As an added bonus, our administration loved it because we were measuring and talking about things like attendance, academics, and reading with our athletes.

As I mentioned, this was not an original idea (like most good things that we did) but was one that we added to each year to help make our off-season program a little more competitive and fun.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

 

The Gift

It is the season of giving.

Here is a gift that costs nothing and will lift the spirits of both you and the recipient.

Try this… tomorrow tell someone…. many people in fact… that they “did a good job.”  

Tell your students, colleagues, custodians, administrators, etc.

Here are some things to consider as you begin your gift-giving extravaganza.

The sentiment has to be sincere… insincerity is obvious and will turn your “gift” into a negative.

All your accolades don’t need to be the same, or given for the same reason.

  • “Good job in PE class today”
  • “I appreciate you dressing out and participating today”
  • “Good effort on your hang clean today”
  • “Thanks for listening while I was explaining the lift today”
  • “Good job of spotting today… it is an important job”
  • “Thanks for helping to clean the table today”
  • “Good hustle last night during your game”

gift givingProbably the most important consideration is this: It doesn’t need to be a “Great job” you are commenting on… just a good job. Those doing great jobs are probably already getting recognition for their accomplishments. If you wait to only “give” the gift of “good job” to those doing a GREAT job, you have limited the amount of recipients. Give this gift… give it freely.

Find the person that is flying under the radar, and make their day.

We are all busy… every minute of the day filled. Here are some great times to give your gift.

  • Before school as the students enter the building
  • During passing time
  • In the cafeteria during lunch
  • In another teacher’s classroom
  • It does not have to be a scripted 20-minute oratory… just a simple “good job”.

Try it… tomorrow. For increased value, add a fist bump!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

Superfans?

This time of year I get to watch a lot of football games. I am about to go into a rant here, and it may offend some people, but hey, as they say, “I have the chalk.”

Something struck me recently after observing the fans in action live, during a college game, and then watching the TV coverage during a professional game.   When did the concept of being a “good” fan or a “super” fan change? When did the definition of a fan change from “one who goes to the game, cheers for their team, and focuses their attention on the athletes competing”, to “one who goes to the game and tries to draw attention to themselves”?

raiders costumeThe amount of inane antics and silly costumes worn by “superfans” is ridiculous. It really has become all about “hey, look at me” and very little about the competition or the competitors.   Just Google the term “superfan” and see what you get.

Give me the loyal fans who know the athletes names and positions, are intent on being entertained by the action on the field, know when to cheer (or boo) and are doing so to help further the cause of the competitors doing battle… for their team… for their city… or school.

I don’t need or want to be entertained by someone dressed up in a Darth Vader costume with their team’s logo on it…. and I don’t buy the concept that by doing so, they somehow “care” more.

I really don’t want to be distracted from the game that I love.

truman tossI love watching the athletes compete. I love watching the strategy of the coaches unfold. I love the great plays… the great hits… the great catches… the great runs.

For me, that is entertainment enough.

I guess that I am just not a “superfan”

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

Self Actualized People Need Love, Too!

A few nights ago, I was having a conversation with my wife about motivating team members. She was talking about her team, a sales force of about 25-30 people, and what motivates them. Her conclusion was that, yes, while money (a bonus for reaching a goal) is a factor, often, just recognition for doing good work is motivating in-and-of itself…without the money attached to it.

I asked if the same was true for people in her position, at her level, and she said that,

“Yes, it was true, but the recognition didn’t happen that often… probably because most of the people at her level in the company are pretty self-actualized, and didn’t need to be stroked to perform well.”

My response, jokingly, was that “self-actualized people need love, too!”

I was joking, then after thinking about it for a minute, wrote that phrase (self-actualized people need love, too!) on the chalkboard in our home… the place where I put my ideas for blog posts.

pyramidWe all have these people (assistant coaches and players) in our programs… the people that fly under the radar… that can handle things well…. that are self-starters and self-motivated… that don’t demand a lot of attention… and that consistently perform above expectations.

It is easy to fall into the habit of expending large chunks of your energy dealing with the “needy” folks in your program… knowing that the above mentioned group will be “just fine” because they are self-actualized, self-starters, or self-motivated. And, they will be “just fine”… but probably could be better… maybe even “really good” or “really great” with a few simple, kind words of appreciation and recognition for doing good work.

It really is an easy thing to do that does not take a lot of time or effort or money…. Who are those people in your program, and how can you recognize them?

I can do much better in this area…

I Can Do More!

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Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

The Playoffs

‘Tis the season… everyone this time of year… from the FBS level to high school class 1A… is talking about the playoffs. It is, without a doubt, exciting.

But consider the flip side for a moment. The very nature of the system dictates that at each one of these levels there is but one winner. Which means, conversely, that at every level of play, every team with the exception of one ends their season with a loss.   So, for instance, at the 4A level in Missouri 63 teams will finish their year on a losing note.

Anguish

I had the opportunity to witness this first hand last Friday in Osceola, Missouri at the conclusion of their District Championship game against Skyline. I have been a part of this season ending ritual, as a player, as a parent, and as a coach, but I have never had the chance to sit back and observe all of this unfold like I did last Friday.

Skyline won a hard fought battle, ending Osceola’s outstanding (11-2) season. The utter joy of Skyline’s players, coaches and fans (they were on the flip side of this outcome last year) was in stark contrast to the sadness of the Osceola faithful.

I observed as the coaches choked back tears, trying to find the words to console their players, while needing consolation themselves. Senior players who suddenly realized their high school careers were over were distraught.   Parents vocalized how they were not ready for this part of their family’s life to be finished. It was just unbelievably sad.

And this scene was played out at literally hundreds of locations all across Missouri … and thousands across the country… the last few weeks. And it will be replayed again and again until we crown that one single champion in each bracket.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for an “everyone gets a medal and a hug” system. There is value in competing for a championship, lessons to be learned, and memories cherished while traversing that road… both great joy and bitter sadness.

And years from now, even the sad memories of a season hard fought, and a losing battle well waged are good memories.

I speak from experience… this is my son, Carter, and me after his season ending playoff loss his senior year in high school.   I still cherish that moment in time.

Carter and Dad

Best of luck to all of the teams still battling for championships!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com