When Everyone Stops to Watch

We have all seen it…

No buildup or promo is needed…

It is not a matter of mass marketing or launching a social media campaign…

It is genuinehonestorganic

Everyone in the room knows that they are witnessing something special

There is a mutual respectadmiration… for what is being attempted…

Everyone stops what they are doing and watches…

Anxiously…. nervously… hopefully…

Wanting to witness a successful attempt.

This happened yesterday in one of my Strength and Conditioning classes.

Airianna Miller, an 8th grader in her second year in this class, was attempting a new PR for her 8-rep max on push press.

Airianna plays basketball, volleyball, and is a competitive cheerleader.

This is what happened at the end of class yesterday.

 

None of this was staged or pre-arranged.

The class knew what she was attempting… and as you can see in the video… more and more people stopped to watch as she successfully completed each rep.

By the time she had finished everyone had stopped to watch.

At the end there was great excitement. You can only see the beginning before the film cuts off, but the whole class stopped to give Arianna an ovation.

Including me.

  • Who says 8th graders are silly and immature?
  • Who says 8th graders are mean spirited?
  • Who says 8th graders are irresponsible?
  • Who says 8th graders can’t work together?
  • Who says 8th graders are not physically or mentally ready to take a Strength and Conditioning class?
  • Who says 8th graders like bodily function humor?

OK… maybe the last one is correct… the others… not so much!

This job can be really awesome!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Abraham, Martin and John… and Bobby

Abraham, Martin, and John

and Bobby….

Some of you may remember (or may have heard) this song by Dion (not Clisso… just plain Dion). It was written after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

Although just a kid, I remember the song resonating with me and thinking, “those are all special people… they are really going to be missed… why is this happening?”

Bouchard, Oder, and Boehm

and Schartz …

Fred Bouchard, Greg Oder, Royce Boehm, and Ryan Schartz.

Slide1

Now, I am not trying to compare the accomplishments of these coaches to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John and Bobby Kennedy, or the gravity of their assassinations, but I have to tell you, collectively, this hits hard….

These retirements have and will leave a void among the Kansas City area coaching family.

And this does not even include our colleagues on the Kansas side and others on the Missouri side…

I can write about these four because I competed against them, my teams battled with theirs, and I admired their work…. up close!

They are extraordinary.

Their teams were always well coached, disciplined, and smart.

Their teams always played hard.

They always got the most out of the talent they had.

They all have at least one state championship under their belts.

I had these programs in mind two weeks into the 2014 season when I wrote this post, Winning, when Blue Springs South was 0-2, and Fort Osage was making winning look “easy”.

I know the new men in these positions will continue the great traditions established by these coaches… but I still can’s help but think….

“those are all special people… they are really going to be missed… why is this happening?”

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

The Little Things are Big

I was asked by a colleague today if I could repost this… so here it is.
This is one of my favorite posts, and it is primarily targeting the athletes in our programs… so feel free to share!

You Can Do More!

Do you make it to every practice?  Are you always on time?  Do you always give your best effort… Do you always do your best work?

moneyWhat if I told you that I would give you a million dollars if you made it on time and to every practice this year? Would you find a way to get there every day?

What if I told you, guaranteed you, that if you never missed a practice,and never missed a workout, that you would be rewarded at the end of your career with a full ride athletic scholarship?  Would you find a way to do it?

trophyWhat if I said that if all of your teammates did the same thing, I would guarantee a state championship?  Would you find a way to make sure that you and all of your teammates held up your end of the bargain?

What if I said…

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Beyond Moral Victories

With the announcement that Fort Osage football coach Ryan Schartz will be stepping down to become Athletic Director, I thought it a good time to reblog this post. The story of Coach Schartz and the amazing turnaround of the Fort Osage Football program, culminating in this years 5A Missouri State Championship is one for the ages.

You Can Do More!

In my opinion, one of the toughest things to do in athletics is turning a program around. Now, I am not talking about going from a single down season to a winning one, but rather taking a program from the throes of despair, and getting it on solid… winning… championship level performance. It is admittedly tough, but the flip side is that it is very rewarding

I have been fortunate to be a part of this a couple of times in my career… yet, I also was involved in an attempt that was never completely successful… we never quite completed the turn. What I do know, is that when you are successful, it takes everyone involved… student-athletes, coaches, teachers, administration, parents, and community.

I have many colleagues at both the high school and collegiate level that are in the midst of this type of challenge. In visiting with them, I’ve come…

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The “Thrill”

When I tell people my profession, coach and teacher, a common reply is something along the lines of, “Man that must be fun… and to have your summers off, too”.

And it must be fairly easy, right?… as aptly stated by Coach Greg Schiano, There are two things every man in America thinks he can do: work a grill and coach football.”

Well, in the 30+ years of doing this job, I have never had a summer “off”… in fact summertime is one of the busiest of the year.

And our job is not for everyone.

Our job is not easy.

Our job is fun, but most people have the misconception that it is all thrilling “Friday Night Lights”, and Gatorade showers.

gatorade

As we all know, our job is much more than that… it is wearing ten different hats during the course of a day… it is grueling… it is a grind… but a grind that we love and a job that is very rewarding.

Games are thrilling… but the job is more than games… it is work… hard work… difficult work… important workwork that matters.

Business and marketing expert, Seth Godin, discussed this in a post last week…

The thrill is gone

Of course it is.

The definition of a thrill is temporary excitement, usually experienced for the first time.

The definition of the thrill is that it’s going to be gone soon.

You might have been thrilled to go to your first job the first day. Or thrilled to see the first comment on your blog or thrilled the first time one of your books was translated into another language.

But after that? How can repeating it be thrilling?

The work of a professional isn’t to recreate thrills. It’s to show up and do the work. To continue the journey you set out on a while ago. To make the change you seek to make in the universe.

Thrilling is fine. Mattering is more important.

Ours is an awesome job, with awesome responsibilities.

Our job matters.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Recruiting Seminar Thanks

Thanks to all who attended and helped at today’s recruiting seminar, Level the Playing Field, held this morning at William Chrisman High School.

As I mentioned, most of the information can be found on this site via this link:

Recruiting Links

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded from this linkL

Level the Playing Field

It is just the slides from the presentation, without any of my comments or external links, but it will give you much of the information (like questions to ask your recruiting coach, and questions to expect from a coach on an initial visit)

If you don’t have access to PowerPoint (or don’t like using it), I converted the presentation to this movie below.  Again, there are no outside links (although the embedded video does play) or comments from me, but you can navigate (push play/pause) to get information from the slides.

If any coaches are interested in bringing this presentation to their schools, give me a shout and I can give you some more information about it.  At William Chrisman it was presented to all student-athletes and their parents.

The seminar, Level the Playing Field is designed to empower students, coaches, and parents in regards to the recruiting process.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Player Ranking Process

As coaches, we always want to make sure our best people are on the field at the correct time. Personally, I also want to make sure, as much as possible, that these decisions are based on good data and accurate information… that personalities and biases are not included in the equation.

To help insure this, when I was at the University of Central Missouri, we started a procedure to that end… a Player Ranking system.

Here is how it worked.

Immediately after every practice each position group coach would rank every player in their position group, assigning them a number (if you had 10 players in your position group then 1-10) based on their performance at that practice. I always tried to mentally go through each period and recall how each individual did… both good and bad for each period… and then assign the ranking after that thought process.

The important part of this, which we stressed to our players, was that the practice ranking was for their performance at that practice only.

It was not an indication of…

  • how good a player they were
  • who the starters were
  • what we thought they were capable of
  • how we thought they practiced yesterday
  • if we “liked” them
  • their potential
  • how they did at the end of practice

It was based on that practice … that entire practice… only.

As defensive coordinator, I collected all of the coach’s rankings and entered them on a spreadsheet. We sorted each position group by the rankings for that day, printed and posted them in our team room. We also had a column for their average ranking each week.

This process, tedious as it could be during double day practices in August, gave us some valuable information, and forced our coaches and players to be more accountable on a daily basis.

The players knew they were going to get ranked, and their rank was based on the entire practice… period by period… and those rankings would be printed and displayed.

The coaches, too, knew that their position group rankings would be displayed… and that they must be able to discuss the “whys” … the specifics… with their players.

As coaches by noting any variance in our player’s weekly average, we could see and spot (hopefully early) any trends that were developing and address them.

And, of course, it also became a valuable tool to fall back on when setting our weekly depth chart. We had very few discussions when the depth chart was posted as to players positions on the chart… there were few surprises.

This process was independent and separate from our film grading (see post – Film Grading Tool) procedures which we used during game and scrimmage situations.

Here is a sample player-ranking template for the Linebacker defensive position group at Anytown High School… made up names, but this is pretty much what it looked like in the day.

Defensive Player Ranking

You can download the template by clicking this link – Player Ranking Template.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

It’s That Simple

Last week, while sitting at a varsity basketball game, I had the chance to visit with a group of former students that I had in my 8th grade Strength and Conditioning class last year. These student-athletes are now high school freshman and have had a really terrific year… athletically and academically… at our high school.

The conversation centered on their successful first year, and their anticipation of great things to come… they really are a gifted class, by the way.

One of the students made the comment along the lines of  “We’ve got this, Coach… we are going to be the class to turn things around at this school”

I replied, “keep working… you will

He came back with “That’s all you’ve got coach… keep working?”

Yes”, I said, “it really is that simple… and that difficult

It really is that simple…

  • Keep working….
  • Keep chopping wood
  • Keep pushing
  • Keep grinding
  • Keep plugging away
  • Keep driving

And really that difficult…

  • when you start to get pulled different directions…
  • when you lose sight of your goals…
  • when academic rigor gets tough…
  • when cars, and jobs, and relationships start stealing your time…
  • when your alarm goes off at 5:30 am during summer “vacation”…
  • when injuries happen…

when you and your classmates get hit with the million different distractions that are always lurking… just waiting to pounce on you… during your high school career…

Keep working.

chopping wood

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Make Their Day

One of the Assistant Superintendents in our district stopped by last week before school and chatted with me…

You see, I am retiring after this school year.

We talked a little bit, about my plans, school, etc… before he left he said…

“I want you to know you have made a difference is this district”

I have to tell you, that made my day…

whistleIn fact it made my year, and really it was what I had hoped my whole career had been about

Who has made a difference in your school… on your team… in your district… in your life… with your career?

Make their day… tell them.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Low Tech… Highly Effective

Recently, during a Thursday evening Twitter #ironchat session, the first question out of the gate was:

Q1) What’s your favorite Olympic lift for triple extension? What’s the common fault you see in it & the cue you use to correct? #ironchat

Coach David Taylor’s (@coachrdt) response was:

A1) Hang clean is our top triple extension exercise, and the biggest issue we see is landing with our feet too wide ‪#ironchat

This was a sentiment echoed by many participating in the chat… clean was the favorite Olympic lift for triple extension, with incorrect foot placement (too wide) on the landing or catch phase of the lift a common problem.

Coach Taylor then finished his response with his idea for a “fix”

A1) cont… Crazy idea, make your athletes clean inside a small hoop, forcing them to concentrate on landing with feet in athletic stance within the hoop #ironchat

I take video pretty much daily in my Strength and Conditioning classes… and recently have recorded hours of our athletes doing explosive lifts… clean, push press, and snatch. The video has a number of uses for me… sharing with other coaches, posting on twitter or my blog, archiving for future reference, but mainly for checking my teaching.

It is very easy to see what the athletes are doing well, and equally easy to see what they need to work on. If there are any common threads regarding technique flaws with a number of my athletes, then typically that is something that I have not done a very good job of teaching, coaching or explaining.

In looking at recent video, two things were apparent to me:

  • Our athletes… pretty much across the board…. are doing a very good job during the explosive (triple extension) phase of their lifts, and…
  • Many of our athletes are exhibiting the same flaw as was mentioned in the #ironchat by Coach Taylor (and echoed by many others)… their feet were “flying out” during the catch phase of their lifts (clean, push press, and snatch)

Last Friday I dedicated the class in an attempt to correct this technique error… and the method I incorporated into the class was the “Hula Hoop” indicator.

OK, granted, it was a pretty “low tech” attempt at correcting this flaw…. low tech but highly effective.

I gathered up 6 Hula Hoops that had the diameter that I was looking for, and as a bonus they all were constructed with fairly thin tubing. I put each hoop inside the rack and had the athletes begin their clean with their feet situated in the hoop on what would be the diameter.

The athletes did 3 sets of 8 reps using the weight from their workout card on the first set of their light day workout… which is about 62% of their 1RM.   This weight was light enough where they could concentrate on foot placement, and heavy enough where they still needed to use good technique during the explosive phase of the lift.   Here is what I found out:

  • There was immediate tactile feedback whenever the lifters feet varied much from the norm… including width, stagger, or movement forward or backwards
  • The lifter did not need to look down (which would effect their technique) to benefit from the hoop
  • The feedback was not so much as to disrupt the rep or endanger the lifter, but enough for the athlete to know foot placement was incorrect.
  • As they progressed through their 3 sets of 8 reps, nearly everyone who was experiencing “foot flyout” saw their technique improve

As you can see in this video (which was not uncommon) this athlete’s feet struck the hoop on their first rep, and their base narrowed incrementally after each reap.

Here is another, similar video.

These are a fairly typical sampling of the video that I recorded that day.

Here is a bit longer movie showing several athletes doing their “hula hoop cleans“, followed by video without the hoop, shot the following Monday on their “heavy” hang clean day, (sets of 8 reps with 75-80% of their 1RM).

Although their foot placement is not perfect, it is considerably better than previous to using the “hula hoop technique” to emphasize foot placement.

Thanks again to Coach Gardner (@CODY_GARDNER ) the host of #ironchat, (Thursday nights at 8:00-9:00 pm CST) and Coach Taylor (@coachrdt ) for this training idea.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com