In the Spotlight – Roy Bay

I have heard many different iterations of this same conversation… just fill in the blanks.   I don’t want to do the “football” workout because I don’t want to get big (bulky, muscle bound, tight).  Do you have a track (volleyball, basketball baseball, soccer) workout because I just want to get faster (jump higher, be more explosive, hit the ball farther, get leaner).

The last thing I want to do is get any athlete, bulky, tight or muscle bound.  The workout that I have shared (A Weekly (not weakly) Workout!) is designed to make any athlete more explosive, quicker, faster and stronger.  Sometimes bigger is a side effect, but like was discussed in a previous post (Does a Purple Cow Have to be Big?) I would not want to exchange speed for size. We are fortunate that at our school, all of the head coaches of the varsity sports, both on the men’s and women’s side, have “bought into” what we are trying to do with our strength and conditioning program.  It is the expectation that all of the athletes will take part in the strength and conditioning program, either during school as part of a class, or after school as part of an off/in season program, or both.  All of our athletes do essentially the same program, although each sport will “tweak” the workout using various supplemental lifts and conditioning drills.

Today I am highlighting a track athlete at our school, Roy Bay.  Roy is currently a senior at our school, Truman High School (Independence, MO) , and has been doing this strength and conditioning program as part of his workout for nearly three years.  His accomplishments as a Track athlete are a reflection of his hard work, both in the weight room, as well the sport specific training he does.  All of these times are FAT

  • School record 100m Dash – 10.58
  • School record 200m Dash – 22.06
  • School record 400m Relay – 43.30
  • KU Relays 2012 – 2nd 100m Dash
  • Currently Top 20 in the US High School 60m Dash – 6.89
  • Fastest returning time (2013) Missouri in the 100m Dash
  • District 100m and 200m champion 2012

Here is a video of Roy’s 60m race at the University of Arkansas High School Invitational.  Roy placed 2nd with a FAT time of 6.89.  He is in lane 3

Here is Roy’s current workout card.  As was mentioned in yesterday’s post (Pound for Pound Ratio Data) his Pound for Pound Ratio (Lb/Lb) at 8.19 is over one point higher than anyone else in our school.  This is evidence of the strong correlation between the Lb/Lb Ratio and athletic success.

bay card

And here is some film of Roy doing reps of our 4 Core lifts, Push Press, Bench, Squat, and Hang Clean

Roy’s success is a combination of factors.  He is a very good track athlete to begin with, and trains extremely hard year round in the running and technique part of his workout.  In addition he works tirelessly in the weight room – consistently training as hard or harder than any athlete I have had over the last 30 years.  I will keep you posted on Roy’s accomplishments this, his Senior, year.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com    twitter feed @youcandomore1

Pound for Pound Ratio Data

As was discussed in a previous post (The Workout Card – Motivation and Efficiency) , the workout template that you can download (Mac 4 day or Windows 4 day) has several different calculated data fields on it.  It also has fields to manually enter test results, such as the 40-yard dash, Pro Agility Shuttle, and Vertical Leap.  Each of these fields help to motivate your student-athletes. test resultsThe Total field calculates and shows the student’s total on the 4 Core lifts.  The Power Quotient is a measure of lower body explosion and is calculated by multiplying the square root of the vertical leap by the square root of the athlete’s body weight.  The Lb/Lb field is what we call the Pound for Pound Ratio, and is the Total (total of the 4 Core Lifts) divided by their Body Weight (also a field). It is a rough measure of muscle mass.

I often get asked by students, and have been asked by colleagues “what is a good Pound for Pound number?”  We tell our athletes that for a woman, over 2.00 is good, and over 4.00 is excellent.  The figures we use for our men is over 4.00 is good, and over 6.00 is excellent.

Today I will share some data that I gathered regarding men and women athletes in our Advanced Strength and Conditioning Class. This data represents men and women athletes in all sports (both varsity and sub varsity levels), and all grade levels (9-12).  I only used athletes that are enrolled in the class this semester, which includes many, but not all of our student-athletes.

The male Lb/Lb Ratios ranged from a low of 2.57 to a high of 8.19 (an athlete who I will be featuring in tomorrows post) and included data for 82 student-athletes.  The Average for this group was 4.76 and the Median was 4.59.  Here is a graph showing the distribution of the Lb/ Lb Ratios among the male athletes.

male pound for pound ratio

The female Lb/Lb Ratios ranged from a low of 2.14 to a high of 4.42 (a freshman) and included data for 42 student-athletes.  The Average for this group was 3.20 and the Median was 3.15.  Here is a graph showing the distribution of the Lb/Lb Ratios among the female athletes.

female pound for pound

Using the Lb/Lb ratio can be a great motivator for your student-athletes, especially among the smaller athletes.  In the past we have posted Top 10 lists of our testing results, and our student-athletes probably take more pride in making the Top 10 Lb/Lb list than any other single testing result.  We have found there is a definite correlation between performance on the field and an athletes Lb/ Lb ratio.

Remember, if you want to change the template to include data you want to test your athletes on, it is pretty straightforward.  All you need to do is in Excel, go to Tools—> Protection–> and click Unprotect, and you will be able to change anything on the card.  If you are not proficient or comfortable making a change, just let me know what you would like on the card and I will change the template to show what you want.

Tomorrow I am highlighting a student-athlete in our track program (the one with the Lb/ Lb ratio of 8.19) Roy Bay.

As always, if you have any questions, just leave a comment or email.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com    Twitter feed @youcandomore1

Even more Strength and Conditioning stuff at my Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

Making Short Work of a Long Road

CoolHandLukeThe Academy Awards were last Sunday, so I am a little behind with this, my “movie” post.  One of my all time favorite movies was Cool Hand Luke.  It was released in 1967 and at the 40th Academy Awards, Cool Hand Luke won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (George Kennedy), and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), Best Music, Original Music Score and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

My favorite scene from the movie is called “Making short work of a long road“, and it illustrates perfectly how attitude is everything.  Even though the quality is not great, I hope you view the clip of this scene here… it is a classic!

Luke (Paul Newman) is in prison, and nearly every day his chain gang goes out and puts in a long, hard days work.  In this scene, Luke and the rest of the chain gang, are given the task of tarring a long road.  As one member of the chain gang comments, “man, you think you’ve been workin’  hard …, this mothers gonna break your back”.  Another hard days work in a string of hard days work.

But something happens.  Luke’s attitude changes, “They want speed, I’ll give them speed” he comments. Soon everyone else in the chain gang is following Luke’s lead.  All of a sudden, they are running, smiling, laughing, and working harder than they ever had before.  And before long, they beat it…. “Where’d the road go?” They make short work of a long road. In the words of Vince Lombardi (although he is probably rolling over in his grave for me using his quote referencing a movie… and a prison movie yet)

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

It is all about attitude.  Nothing else changed… they were still in prison, working on a chain gang under miserable conditions.  They were given a task harder than any they had been given before.  But, because their mindset had changed they attacked and beat the job…. And had fun doing it.  Sometimes it’s more than not believing your “lying brain”… it is changing how and what your brain is thinking.

luke

How many times can you remember you and your friends laughing, regaling and remembering how hard, hot, and exhausting a particular practice or workout was?  You get together and share stories, commiserating about the pain you all suffered together.  You bond… it is a shared experience that makes you stronger individually and as a team.

We all have our “long roads”… make short work of yours!

  • The road was not Luke’s enemy
  • The “grind” is not your enemy
  • Summer practice is not your enemy
  • The weight room is not your enemy
  • The heat and pressure are not your enemies

All of these things are making you better… smelting you… turning you into steel.

Tomorrow, data about pound for pound ratios in our athletes.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com   Twitter feed @youcandomore1

Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

Correcting Squat Technique

correcting squatI had a very good email question from a young man last week.  He was incorporating the core lift, squat, into his lifting routine, but was having a difficult time maintaining an athletic posture and going down past parallel.  He was a big man, over 6’ 3” tall.   It is not uncommon for a big person to have these difficulties and usually they can be corrected.  Tall people are at a bio-mechanical disadvantage when it comes to lifting weights.  They have long levers, and have to move the weight a greater distance than a small, squatty body person.  That is why it is important not to get caught up in the amount of weight that is being lifted, but rather correct technique and moving the weight through the full range of motion.

The root of this problem (not being able to go through the full range of motion) could be a number of reasons.  It may be a lack of strength in the supporting trunk or hip girdle, or lack of flexibility in the hip girdle.  Often we find that it is just having the kinesthetic awareness, of knowing what it feels like to correctly go through this motion; having correct posture, with head up and shoulders back and sitting back with their feet flat on the floor until their hips are below their knees.  Sometimes when they actually feel what the correct motion is, they “get it”.

Here is a progression, with accompanying video that we use for our athletes that are having these problems.  It will help develop strength, flexibility, and also give them a better kinesthetic awareness regarding correct body position.

Step 1 – Assisted Squat.

We have the student- athletes begin by doing sets of 8-10 reps with no weight or bar.  We position them in the rack, grabbing the rack on each side with their hands slightly below their waist.   They begin the squat , keeping good posture, shoulders back, big chest, assisting themselves by balancing and pulling slightly with the hands.  We have the athletes continue this until they get a feel for the correct depth and full range of motion.  This will also help with flexibility and strength.

Step 2 – Air Squats

Next, we progress to sets of “air squats” with no bar and their hands in front, again working on balance and flexibility.

Step 3 – Simulated Bar Squats

The next step is to do “air squats” with no bar, but the hands positioned outside of their shoulders where a bar would be.  There can be a difference in balance from the preceding set,  since the center of gravity has changed due to their hand and arm position.

Step 4 – Squats with the bar only.

Next, we progress the athletes to just doing sets with the bar only racked correctly across the back.  The athlete should concentrate on posture, shoulders back, head up, feet flat, and not bending at the waist.

Step 5 – Begin adding weight.

When the athletes have mastered all of these steps, then (and only then) do we allow them to begin adding weight to the bar. We continue to stress correct form and full range of motion rather than the amount of weight they are doing.

Below is the video that demonstrates each of these 5 steps:

Using this progression, we have been able to improve the technique and range of motion of our athletes that were having difficulties with technique and form.  A full description of the Core Lift Squat along with telestrated video can be found in this post – The Core Lifts – Squat

Tomorrow I will have some data for you regarding lb/lb ratios of our student-athletes

If you have any questions, just comment or email… either way, I will answer you!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com    follow me on twitter @youcandomore1

Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

Recruiting – Get a “Great Motor”

This excerpt from my eBook “How to Become….. Wanted… and Rewarded. – Take Control and Market Yourself- The Complete Guide to a Successful Recruiting Experience”, is all about effort.

 “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”   Vince Lombardi

lombardiThe next quality to discuss, the next quality that will set you apart from all the other high school athletes wanting to get a college scholarship, the next quality that will make you a remarkable recruit, a Purple Cow recruit is effort.

As was discussed in earlier recruiting posts, it is very important for you to “show up” on film; show your speed (Purple Cow Quality #2-Speed) , and athletic ability (Be a Quick Purple Cow), and show that you can play fast (Playing Fast!).  In addition, if you really want to stand out, show recruiters that you play with great effort!

During my collegiate coaching and recruiting days (University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College) , one of the biggest compliments that I would give when analyzing film on potential college football players was that they had a “great motor”.  It was a compliment that I did not give often, because it is a quality that unfortunately does not show up that often.  When I saw it on film, it was remarkable, and I took note. It is also why most recruiters (me included) want to see a complete game video along with a highlight film.  Most players can go back through a seasons worth of games and come up with a few good plays to slap together into a “highlight” video; playing consistently with great effort and technique, play after play during the course of a game is not as easy to do.  Often players get exposed.

Many consider it a character issue if players take a play off  – that it displays a lack of character.  Normally I do not think that is the case.  I think it is the norm.  Most high school players do not really understand what it means to go hard EVERY play.

I think the opposite IS true, though.

While effort really has nothing to do with athletic ability, I think it does show that you have good practice habits, have developed good character, and are “in shape“.  I don’t believe that playing with great effort, having a “great motor” is something that a player can just “flip on”.  It is a habit that they have developed over days, months, and years of doing it consistently in practice. If an athlete plays with great effort – has a “great motor” – it exhibits great character.  It is remarkable, and recruiters will notice.  I did.

Any Questions? Just leave a comment or email.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter – @youcandomore1

All things Strength and Conditioning at my Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

Championship Habits

Every day I read Seth Godin’s blog.  Although he is not a “sports” person, and his blog is not aimed at athletes or coaches, I find his writing to be aligned with my thinking most of the time.  His blog, books, and lectures are just as applicable to athletes and coaches as they are to CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.

Here is Godin’s post from yesterday:

Actually It Goes The Other Way

Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…

It turns out that choices lead to habits.

Habits become talents.

Talents are labeled gifts.

You’re not born this way, you get this way.

Simple and to the point…

  • make good choices
  • develop good (championship) habits
  • become “gifted

In case you missed it – I have more related content here:

Thanks for stopping by… Any questions, just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

More stuff at my Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

Strength and Conditioning Tactilize Card

tactile strength and conditioning picI recently downloaded an app called Tactilize that is used to create “Cards” which allow publishers to showcase their work through a number of mediums.  These Cards are multimedia vehicles, and include web links, video, photographs, and text.  I have used it to consolidate much of the content regarding the workout program (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout) that I have shared through this forum in a single location.  For each of the 4 Core lifts, it has a direct link to the telestrated video, a text box with a description and coaching points, and a link to the original blog post.  It also has direct links for downloading the various Excel workout templates that I have shared.  It is designed primarily to be viewed on an iPad, but it also works nearly as well using a normal web browser.  You can view my Card here:

My Tactilize Card – You Can Do More!

I eventually will make one Card for each category of this blog content – Recruiting, Workout Program, Motivation, Conditioning Drills, Football Drills, and Coaching Resources.  Let me know what you think.

prepskcThanks to Dion Clisso and PrepsKC, beginning in March, content from this blog will be featured a couple of times each month as part of their column, Coach Corner!

PrepsKC is the official home of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association.

Any questions, just leave a comment or email – I will reply!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

My Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!

The Core Lifts – Hang Clean

core lifts cleanThe Hang Clean is the cornerstone of our Strength and Conditioning program.  We tell our student-athletes that it is the single best lift for improving athletic performance.  If they want to run faster, jump higher, be more explosive, than this is the lift to do.  We tell our non-athletes that it is the single best lift for improving overall body fitness.  It is an explosive lift (as opposed to a power lift) that works most of the major muscle groups in body; quads, hams, glutes, gastrocnemius, traps, biceps, and lats.

Just as discussed in the Squat, and Push Press breakdown, the athlete will begin with a good athletic posture; good base with feet about shoulder width apart and toes pointed straight forward; stand tall with shoulders back and head forward. The hands should be just outside the shoulders, with the bar hanging from straight arms.

To begin the lift, the bar should slide down your thighs as you bend at ankles, knees and hips and (slightly) at the waist. Chest should be tall with shoulders back. Descent of bar should stop at the top of the knees.  Shoulders should be directly over the hands at the bottom of the descent.

We break down the lift into three parts:

  • The Jump/Explosion
  • The Shrug/ Pull
  • The Drop/Catch

ExplosionJump/Explosion

As soon as the bar gets to the bottom of the descent (top of knees) the athlete will explode, extending the ankles, knees, and hips. These three joints are linked, as they all will fire at the same time to produce a force great enough to move the load explosively towards the chin.  We tell the athletes to try to jump, drive their hips to the bar and explode the feet off the ground.

PullShrug/Pull

After the explosion or jump phase, the athlete will enter the pull phase, shrugging with the traps, and pulling the bar with your biceps and lats.  Lifters need to understand that the bar needs to lose gravity (weightless) in order to complete a heavy load. The creation of power from the triple extension grouped with the activation of the traps, lats and biceps will accomplish this.  The bar should remain close to the body during the shrug/ pull phase.  A common mistake is to swing the bar out in an arc away from the body.

DropDrop/Catch

When the bar reaches the top of the ascent (and becomes weightless) the lifter will enter the Catch phase.  At the top part of the ascent the elbows are above the wrist. As the bar reaches its high point, the elbows “pop” forward, rotating under and forward from the bar. At the same time the feet will re-set flat (placing emphasis on the mid foot and heel). Athletes should quietly stomp their feet to the floor.  The hands and fingers should relax while the elbows rotate under the bar as mentioned above.  The body from chest down should drop into a stable front squat position as you balance and receive the load.  The athlete stands tall and reverses the movement back to the hips.

Below is a telestrated video breaking down six of our lifters executing the Hang Clean.  The comments in green are what the athlete is doing well, the red are things they need to work on

Our big coaching point is Legs First – Then Arms.  A common mistake is trying to pull the bar initially, then execute the jump/ explosion.  The lifter will lose much of the energy generated by the lower body with the arms acting like “shock absorbers”.

Spotting

It is difficult on the clean for the spotter to assist the lifter through reps as we do in the other lifts.  Positioned behind the lifter, the spotter’s main function is to keep them forward, insuring that if the lifter misses, the weight goes forward onto the catch bars and not back onto the lifter.

As was discussed in a previous post (Throwing a Change Up) we also will do variations of the Hang Clean such as Power Clean (from the floor) and Hang Clean to Front Squat.

As always, please comment or email with any questions you might have.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

All things Strength and Conditioning at my Squidoo Page – You Can Do More!

Setting, then Reaching Your Goals

A while ago a former player of mine (a VERY good former player) at the University of Central Missouri asked

“Do you still talk to your players about goal setting and have them fill out the cards like you had us do?  That helped me as much as anything we did.”

Goal Card

I had to admit to myself that yes, while I talked to them about setting goals, I had not spent the time going through the process that I should have.  This week I made up for that and had the discussion with the 120 students in my Advanced Strength and Conditioning class for Athletes.

I asked the students to think about their goals, not only in this class and the sport they participate in, but also academic, and life goals.  I asked them to keep those goals in mind as we went through the parameters of what constitutes a good goal.

I begin the discussion differentiating between short-term and long-range goals.  For our purposes in class, short-term goals were defined as the period covering the next 3-6 months, or their next competitive season.  I asked the student-athletes to think in the 2-4 year time frame for their long-range goals.

Goal Setting Tips

We use the SMART mnemonic device for to begin setting these parameters.

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Ambitious
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time specific

Here are some examples of each attribute.

  • Specific – The goal should not be general, vague or nebulous.  Instead of “I want to be a good football player”, focus on the skills that you can develop that will make you a good football player.   Maybe it is running a 4.8 40 yard dash if you are a defensive lineman, or having a 70% completion percentage if you are a QB
  • Measurable – Instead of “I want to knock it out of the park my senior basketball season” what factors can be measured that will enable me to have a stellar senior year.  It might be averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, or a free throw percentage of 90%
  • Ambitious – Set “Stretch” Goals.  If your hang clean max is already 225 pounds, then setting a goal of 230 before next season is not a stretch.  Setting ambitious goals will force you to ramp up your work habits.
  • Realistic – This is the flip side of Ambitious.   You want to set your goals within reasonable reach, or you are inviting frustration.  If you currently run a 5.2 40 yard dash, then setting a goal of running a 4.2 next season is probably not realistic.
  • Time specific – Time stamp your goals – this will impose a sense of urgency, and eliminate just drifting aimlessly.  Instead of “I want to be in the 1000 pound club”, set a time for completion – “I want to be in the 1000 pound club by next July.”

In addition to the SMART attributes we also talk about these additional tips.

  • State each goal as a positive statement.  The power of positive thought is amazing.  Give your brain something positive to digest.  Instead of “I don’t want to jump off-sides any next season”, state it as “I will fire off the ball on the correct snap count 100% of the time next season.”
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals.  Try to set goals regarding things you have control over – “I want to average 100 yards rushing a game”, might be a better goal than “I want to make All-Conference Running Back
  • Write goals down.  This is the next step for us – and what we will end up doing after discussing good goal attributes.  Writing their goals down gives it importance… permanence.   I liken it to making a contract with themselves. The student-athletes get two cards (connected and pre printed).  On the front of the card are blanks to record 3 short-term and 3 long-range goals along with their name.  On the back of the card we have printed these goal setting tips.  They will keep one, and turn one card into me.
  • Put the card where you will see it DAILY.  I suggest putting their copy on the bathroom mirror, where they will see it every morning.  It is a reminder of their contract and serves as motivation to do the work needed to achieve those goals.

Here is a link to the Goal Card we use.

It is a Word Document, so you can download it and make any changes to suit your needs.  It prints 4 to a sheet and fits on Avery 8387 postcard paper.  We then split it in two, giving two cards to each student-athlete to fill out.

Tomorrow – Hang Clean coaching points and video.

Any Questions – Just Comment or Email

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

The Breaking Slope

sample weekly workout

sample weekly workout

A quick refresher on how we have our student-athletes manage their workout cards, especially in regards to monitoring and increasing the workout load.  Whenever an athlete completes their heavy day lift they “break”.  Recall that in our weekly workout, each day we do one of our four “core lifts” heavy intensity, one medium, one light, and omit one lift.  “Breaking” means they are stronger than the estimated 1 rep max that is on their card.  They know they need to mark their card and I in turn change (increase) their workout load for that lift.  This is all detailed in a previous post, Breaking, it’s a Good Thing.

When a student-athlete firsts begins a workout regimen, these breaks come pretty consistently, often weekly for each of their four core lifts.  This is because they are learning and mastering the technique for the various lifts, which along with normal strength gains lends itself to these frequent breaks.

At some point in their training, these breaks typically slow down.  When this happens, especially with our more competitive athletes, frustration sometimes sets it.  At this time, and periodically during their training cycles I will explain to them that this is a normal part of their training, and does not mean they aren’t  working hard, making progress, or getting stronger.  I use this example:

I ask the class,  “If an athlete were to break, lets say on the bench press, every week for a year, how much would his bench press increase?”  The answer of course is ridiculous – Their bench would increase 520 pounds! (52 weeks in a year x 10 pounds for each break)  I explain, and they realize, that this type of increase, this type of breaking slope, is not sustainable.  For experienced athletes, when they reach a good strength level, and have developed good technique, it may take 2, 3 or 4 weeks to break.

The question then becomes “how do you know if you are making progress?”  The students need to focus and keep track of what they are doing on their last set of their heavy day lift.  The week after they break and their max (and workout) increases, they may only get 1 rep on their final set before failing.  The next week maybe 2 or 3, then possibly the next week they will get all 5 reps (or 8 or 3 depending on the cycle) on their last set and break.  By keeping track each week of how many reps they are getting before failure on their last set of their heavy day workout they can keep track of their progress, even if they are not breaking.

When the higher level athletes see that even breaking just once a month on a lift, they will be increasing their max 120 pounds over the course of a year, their frustration level goes down and they are more easily motivated.

Tomorrow we will break down the fourth and final Core Lift – The Hang Clean.

Any Questions?  Just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

All Things Strength and Conditioning at my Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!