Super Bowl (blame) Game

The Seahawks final offensive play of Super Bowl 49 has sparked much discussion. Most has revolved around “Why throw a pass from the one yard line when you have Marshawn Lynch in the backfield?”

blame gameHindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

What I would rather talk about is how the key players reacted and interacted with the media following the interception and ensuing loss… Specifically Russell Wilson, and Seahawk head coach Pete Caroll.

I have written a few times about my belief how coaches, as adult, emotionally mature leaders, should react to the public and media after facing some adversity… as well as what should guide their thinking and speaking when something good happens in their program – like a win! That post can be found here: Chain of Accountability , Chain of Praise.

In a nutshell, what I believe is that Coaches, as adults should hold themselves accountable when things are not going well, and give credit to their players (who even in the NFL are really just big kids) when good things happen.

After the game, Coach Caroll handled a horrible moment with dignity and maturity, answered every question, and telling his inquisitors,

“Put it all on me. My fault, totally,”

Carroll held himself accountable for the outcome of that play and the game.

Russell Wilson did the same, saying,

“The message from Coach Carroll was he took the blame for it… that it wasn’t my fault. I put the blame on me for not making that play. I’m the one who threw it. … I thought it was going to be a touchdown. I don’t question the call. I thought it was a good call.”

Being able handle situations as these two did demands some emotional maturity… emotional intelligence… It is evident that both Wilson and Carroll posses that level of EQ… emotional intelligence.

But, how does that happen… how do you teach that… coach that?

I found myself trying to do this… taking baby steps… with some middle school athletes at our school.

Sometimes it is easier to do this when you are not directly coaching the sport. I am not a basketball coach.   Our boy’s basketball team had an excellent season, and most of the players played football for me and have me in our Strength and Conditioning class.

After every contest it became routine for me to ask the players to “give me a recap” … whether I was at the game or not… just to get their perspective.   After one tough defeat, I asked a couple of players who were congregating in the hall before school for this recap

The first thing they told me was that they gymnasium was small… that is was an elementary school gym… and that several times our team made 3 point shots but were actually out of bounds… that the 3 point line was that close to the out of bounds line.  I asked them “was the opposing team playing on a different court?” After a few quizzical looks, the light bulb finally went on… and with a sheepish grin they answered, “No”.   I followed up by asking, “Well, that being the case, what could you have done better individually, and what could you have done better as a team?” And they responded with great, introspective answers.

Another time, after asking for the recap after a loss, one player responded, “They were lucky”. I asked if he had played the best game possible… and he answered, “No, I could have played defense better and rebounded better”.

I was trying to get them to focus on things that are in their control, and helping them see that they have some accountability.

As the season progressed, I saw their responses, and them, gain maturity… both in the losses and wins. Maybe this is how EQ is learned.

What I do see, though, is that the Chains of Accountability and Chain of Praise, run both ways… particularly on a healthy team.

Related Posts:

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Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Signing Day and Recruiting

Jeff Floyd:

This post is, of course, still very relevant this year. I am amazed each year with the flurry of recruiting activity (mainly from those student-athletes wanting to get recruited) during the month of January. This really is something that student-athletes (and their families) should be taking care of beginning with their 9th and 10th grade years. Hopefully this information will find its way into some of those young student athletes hands … and heads!

Originally posted on You Can Do More!:

National Signing Day is exciting.

  • Exciting for the student-athletes (and their parents) that are beginning the next step of their athletic and academic career…
  • Exciting for high school coaches that are proud to see the young men that they have helped mold, shape and develop get rewarded for their work….
  • Exciting for the college coaches that have worked so hard over the last year (and longer) to put together their 2014 recruiting class… (and can now get off the road for a few weeks!)

national_signing_day

For the 2014 seniors signing the NLI , today is the culmination of the recruiting process.  For everyone else (athletes in grades 9-11) the process is either still ongoing, or just getting going.

When I checked my blog stats over the last couple of weeks, I noticed a huge spike with search terms regarding recruiting and that National Letter of Intent.  People with questions like “

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A Most Deserved HOF Induction

If you asked a group of young men to name an individual who had a profound effect on their life, I would suspect that many would come up with the name of a coach or teacher. That is without a doubt the case with me. Besides my family, that person would be my high school football coach, Fred Merrell.

Coach Merrell was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame this past week … he was inducted into the Missouri High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993.

I had the opportcoach merrellunity to visit with Coach Merrell at a reception honoring his award this weekend. In true Fred Merrell,  self deprecating fashion, the first words out of his mouth after saying thanks for coming were, “I’m not sure why they picked me… I never won a state championship”.

 

I can tell you that there is no more deserving man to be honored by this selection than Coach Merrell. I had the unique opportunity to not only play for Merrell at Blue Springs High School for three years, but also coach with him for three years fresh out of college.

If you visit with anyone about Coach Merrell, the words “He is one of the finest men I have ever known” (or something similar) will enter the conversation. I know of NO ONE who thinks any differently.

Every day that I coach and teach, I think about Coach Merrell. Most of the good procedures and practices that I still employ can be traced back to him… from film study, to breaking down an opposing offense, to how to respectfully treat young men.

The main reason that I made my decision to attend William Jewell College and play football was because that is where Coach Merrell played.

I consider myself very fortunate to have played football for a coach like Fred Merrell, and doubly so to have been able to coach with him.

The reception this weekend held another pleasant surprise for me. Tom McSparren, a History teacher at Blue Springs High School, was in attendance. I had Mr. McSparren for several classes…Civil War, Ethnic Heritage, and sat with rapt attention in various others of his classes during my study hall. Being in Mr. McSparren’s classes made me want to study and teach History… which I did!

I am lucky. In the course of 30 minutes this weekend, I was able to visit with the man who I wanted to coach like (Fred Merrell) and the teacher I wanted to teach like (Tom McSparren)…and I was able to share with them both how important they have been in my life.

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Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

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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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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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