EDD’s – Every Day Drills

ole missA question about football drills from a young coach got me thinking about practice scheduling, drills, fundamentals, and ultimately a concept and term that I learned from a colleague while at the University of Central Missouri, Corey Batoon.  Coach Batoon in now at the University of Mississippi as Assistant AD for recruiting operations for Ole Miss.

The concept and term that Coach Batoon brought to our staff was EDD’sEvery Day Drills.

For every position group there are a set of basic fundamentals that they need to master in order to be successful on the playing field.  For DB’s it might be the shuffle, back peddle, crossover and run.  For the LB’s that I coached it was stance, read step (start) and shuffle.  The point is, every position group on the field has this set of fundamentals that are important enough to do EVERY day – hence the name EDD’s.

All the coaches on my defensive staff were teaching these drills, but we were all going through the process of writing down each drill, every day, on the practice schedule.  Coach Batoon helped us streamline the process of setting our practice schedule, and also helped us imprint the idea on our players that these drills were important; they were important enough to do every day; they were our position group’s EDD’s

I cannot tell you what the EDD’s for your position group should be…  that depends on your (and your coordinator and head coach’s) philosophy.  What I can tell you is that from my experience, many coaches, especially the first few days of spring or fall practice, tend to hurry through these basic fundamentals in order to get on to the process of installation.  Often they assume, especially if they have veteran, experienced players, that they already know this “basic” stuff.  I think this is a mistake.  I have observed many successful coaches, in many successful programs at all levels – high school, college, pro – and one thing they all have in common – they all spend time teaching their athletes fundamentals; they spend time coaching their position group’s EDD’s.

Below is a picture of a defensive practice schedule from a couple of years ago.  You can see how we began teaching the concept of EDD’s with each position group.  You can download the Excel practice schedule template by clicking on the picture – or clicking the link – practice schedule template.

Practice 1

Next week – more about scheduling practices

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – The Home Visit

home visitToday is the fourth of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

Today I am going to discuss “The Home Visit” and what to expect when college coaches come to your home.

When a college coach, either a recruiting coach, head coach, or both, expends the time and effort to spend an evening visiting with you and your family, it indicates an extremely high level of interest.  The “Home Visit” and “Official Visit” go hand-in-hand.

When I was a coach at the University of Central Missouri, we always tried to schedule the home visit prior to the athletes “official visit”  (see post Recruiting – the Official Visit) to campus.  We seldom, if ever, did a home visit with an athlete that either was not scheduled, or at least offered, an official visit to our campus.  Typically, if we offered an official visit to an athlete, we were anticipating making some scholarship offer to them.    So athletes that we visited in person, at their home, were

  • Scheduled for an official visit, and
  • Probably getting a scholarship offer.

Why is it so important for the recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, to come into your home to meet your family?

Your Evaluation of Them

The home visit should be important to you and your family in the evaluation process.  It may be the first (and one of the few) times that your family (parents, guardians, etc) will have individual, personal, unlimited access to the coach.  It gives you and your family another time to ask very specific questions to the coaches regarding you, your athletic and academic career, and how their college could fit with you.  Now is the time to ask the “difficult” questions:

  • What happens if I get injured?
  • What are the time requirements of the football program?
  • What kind of academic help is available?
  • What is the graduation rate of the football student-athletes?
  • How good is the degree program in my field of interest?
  • What is the placement rate in my field of study post-graduation?
  • How good is the student support of the football program?
  • What type of offer, and when can I expect the offer to me made?
  • How quick will you want a commitment?
  • How many other athletes are you recruiting at my position?
  • What is your redshirt policy?
  • Is it possible to increase the scholarship amount while in your program?
  • Will I be able to keep my Pell Grant? (if you qualify for the grant)
  • Are you planning on staying at the college during my son’s entire career?

If the coach (or coaches) do not seem clear or straight forward in answering any of your questions… if they seem like they are dodging… that should throw up a red flag.  Make note of the questions, and follow up with another coach, or follow up with current players in the program during your official visit.

Their Evaluation of You

Just as you are evaluating them, the coach(es) are continuously evaluating you, and the home visit is part of that process.  They will be observing how you interact with your family during the evening… are you respectful, considerate, courteous? You and your family can expect similar questions that you were asked at the initial school visit (see Recruiting – First Impressions).  One question that I always asked the family –

“When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where your son is going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, what are the difference makers for you; what factors will separate one university and football program from the rest?”

Their Sales Pitch

The coach(es) will be operating under the assumption that your family will be helping you in the decision making process.  They will want to make sure that all of the information they have given you (the athlete), through text message, mail, email, phone and personal visit, is conveyed to your family.  The recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, will want to “put a face” on the football program that you are considering.  Often the home visit will happen before the official visit, so the coach will want to confirm specifics regarding your (and their if they come too) visit to campus.  The main function of the home visit is to personalize and humanize the recruiting process, and demonstrate that you will be taken care of in their program.

We are getting down to the final stages of the recruiting process; the penultimate step of “The Offer” and finally signing the “Letter of Intent”.  Details of these steps will come in the next couple of weeks.

The way to get to this point… keep working hard … and remember,

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Motivation and Evaluation

I want to take some time to clarify the difference between the “Start” column (cells) and the “Now” column in the Excel Workout Workbook.

motivationThe Start column is where I put the beginning Estimated 1RM for each athlete.  It could be either their max when they first begin the program, or it could be their starting max for a particular evaluation period, such as the start of a semester, or the start of an off-season cycle.   None of the calculated formulas in the workout card are based on the cells in the Start column – these are strictly used for motivation or evaluation purposes.

The Now column, on the other hand, changes with each “break” (see Breaking – It’s a Good Thing!) and are the values that the workout is based on.  Every time an athlete “breaks” on one of their 4 Core lifts, their 1RM in the Now column is increased by 10 pounds.  All of the calculated formulas in the workout section of the workbook are based on the values in the Now column.

I added the Start column to the workout workbook just within the last year for two reasons.

  1. It was a motivation piece for the student-athletes.  It became easy for them to compare what their current strength level is compared to when they started the program.  Every time they pick up their card, it is right there for them to see.
  2. I used it an evaluation piece for the student-athletes.  As a teacher/ coach it was easy to monitor their progress, either from their start in the program, or over a specific evaluation period (like a semester of school).

Here is a brief tutorial on how the Start and Now columns are used:

As always – any questions just email or comment – I will answer!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

The Negative “Voice” II

Yesterday I completed my 8th (or 9th ?) road race since I had my hip replaced last year, the Amy Thompson 5K ,which benefits traumatic brain injury. Every race I learn something new about training, especially the mental aspect of it.

Yesterday two things happened at the beginning of the race that mentally tested me.

  • The 5K began with a steady uphill grade over the first mile
  • Many more people were passing me than normally do in that first mile.

brain-powerMentally dealing with the uphill start was no problem.  The day before I had put the route into RunKeeper (see Apps for the Coach) and knew that, although the first mile was slightly uphill, once I made it to the halfway point, it was going to be a steady flat or downhill run to the finish.  I was prepared for that situation.

Dealing with the negative thoughts of everyone passing me up was a different story.  It was unexpected… I was not prepared for it.  Negative thoughts were pouring into my brain… “I must be running really slow”,  “This rain is really effecting me”, “I am tired already”… My legs felt heavy; I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, I was questioning the decision to run a 5K in the pouring rain.

At the 1-mile mark, my pace (thank you RunKeeper) was the same or slightly better than what it normally is.  I made it to the 1.5-mile mark, and the remainder of the race was figuratively and literally downhill.  I finished with one of my better times.  So I had to question, “What was going on with all those people passing me at the beginning of the race?”

Here is what I was not prepared for, what almost sabotaged my run…

Normally, at the start of most 5K races, you line up in “waves”, based on what the mile splits you run in a 5K…. all of the 7 minute mile runners are at the start, followed by the “wave” of 8 minute per mile runners, etc…  I typically am brutally honest in the wave I line up in… probably lining up with a group of runners that are actually slower than what I run.  This is why (I figured out after the race) that in previous races, few people are passing me up, and I am doing most of the passing at the beginning of the race.  In yesterdays run, because it was pouring rain, the participants were not lined up in waves.  We all just literally got to the starting line and the race began, which meant there were many good runners starting behind me that typically would start in a “wave” in front of me… so at the beginning of the race these were all zooming by me.

Here is my takeaway from all of this.  Prepare the best you can… it will help you deal with all of the foreseen events that come your way during competition…. like knowing the first mile of the race will be uphill.  But, in order to deal with (mentally and physically) unforeseen situations that come up, your preparation must be complete.  If you have done everything in your power to prepare for a race (or game, or match) then you will have the true confidence to deal with unexpected road blocks that are thrown at you… anything less is just bluster (see Confident vs Cocky).

While I have trained to run these races, I know in my mind I have not done everything that I could.  For me, it is not the same preparation that I go through when preparing for a football contest, or preparing for a classroom presentation… nothing can sway my confidence in those situations.  But, when something unexpected happens in a run, because I am not thoroughly prepared, it is easy for the negative thoughts creep in and a downward spiral begins.

Guess I need to Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Does not winning = Losing?

The human brain never ceases to amaze me.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to witness a really amazing track performance, and the climax to an outstanding track career.  Senior Roy Bay (In the Spotlight – Roy Bay) took home 2nd place finishes in the 100m dash, the 200m dash and anchored a 4x100m relay team that took 4th in the Missouri State 4A (the largest classification) meet.

roy stateWhen I had the chance to visit with Roy after his last race I could tell he was devastated.  He had just scored more points than any other sprinter in the State during the weekend competition and he was not happy.   Even though he did not verbalize it, I could tell what he was thinking…  what the message his brain was giving him…. “I lost”… and really in the human brain it is short trip from “I lost” to “I am a loser”.

 

I suppose that is partially what makes Roy, and all of us, competitors… that we are not satisfied with 2nd place finishes.  As coaches, though, there comes a time when we REALLY need to let our athletes know that 2nd place is NOT Losing… that sometimes 2nd place is AMAZING.  That winning three medals at the State meet and carrying home the 3rd place team trophy is a great accomplishment and should be ENJOYED!  Believe it or not, there are times when our athletes need help seeing this.

Oh, and in Paul Harvey fashion… the rest of the story…

Roy Bay runs with a rod, plate and screws holding his ankle together.  After his sophomore season, Roy crushed his ankle playing sandlot football.  He had major surgery to repair the break, and through his incredible work ethic returned for amazing junior and senior seasons in Track.

Also as an aside, Freshman Lexi Hart (In the Spotlight – Alexis Hart) finished 4th in the Missouri State 4A meet.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Simply Multiple – The Coaching Paradox

In my post last Thursday (Do Things Right) I discussed one example of how simple is often better.  We all know of the pervasive acronym KISSKeep It Simple Stupid.

whiteboardSimple is good, without question.  But taken to the nth degree the idea of simplicity becomes ludicrous.  Can you imagine if you only ran one offensive play, out of the same formation, with a single set of blocking rules… and ran it every play the entire game?  What if you called the exact same defensive front and coverage with no stunt or change-up, every single play, in every single down and distance situation?

When we developed our defensive philosophy at the University of Central Missouri during the 90’s, we examined our situation, and ended up with this boiled down “elevator speech”

  • We had good athletes playing defense.  We wanted to be simple, so our players could use their athletic ability.  We wanted them to “play fast”
  • We had to have a degree of multiplicity.  We knew that if we lined up in the same front, and ran the same coverage every down, the excellent offensive coordinators in the MIAA would find a way to have success, regardless of how good our athletes were.

So there is the paradoxhow to be simple, yet multiple?

It was up to us as coaches to figure out where that “sweet spot” was… between being simple, and being multiple.  We never wanted to be so simple that we were predictable, and never wanted to be so multiple (or complex) that we were slowing down our athlete’s play because of over-analysis.

Every off-season, (see Becoming a “Stronger” Coach in the Off-Season) both winter and summer, we would analyze the data from the previous season or our spring practices and asked these questions:

  • How many times had we called the same front/ stunt coverage in the same situation?
  • How predictable were we?
  • Was there a particular front, stunt or coverage that we had continual alignment/ assignment mistakes?  If so, was there a better way of teaching the concept?  If not… do we throw it out?
  • Were the “effort” mistakes actually lack of effort, or were we slowing our athlete’s play down through over-analysis because some concept was too complex?
  • Was there a simpler naming/ numbering system that we could use?
  • Was there another changeup that we needed incorporate into our scheme… and if so, could we eliminate something?

Our philosophy did not change, but this process meant our defense, a 4-3, Cover 2 Concept, was constantly evolving.  Every year we would look at adding, tweaking, renaming, deleting things to our defensive package… always guided by the key concept…. we never wanted to be so simple that we were predictable, and never wanted to be so multiple that we were slowing down our athlete’s play because of complexity.

Because of this process, I truly believe our defensive package improved virtually every year.  We got closer and closer to that “sweet spot” between simple and multiple… closer to figuring out the paradox of simply multiple.

You can read more about developing a philosophy at the post – What is Your “Elevator Speech”.

Thanks again to PrepsKC.com for running the post in their Coach’s Corner.  If you get a chance, go to this Link (Coach’s Corner) and “Like” it on their site.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Starting

It is hard to get started.

  • BXP135660Started on a strength training regimen
  • Started on adding a screencast to your playbook
  • Started on “flipping the practice field
  • Started on your masters thesis
  • Started on your first iBook

Seth Godin talks about the challenges of getting started in today’s post, “Overcoming the impossibility of amazing

“If you set your bar at “amazing,” it’s awfully difficult to start.

Your first paragraph, sketch, formula, sample or concept isn’t going to be amazing. Your tenth one might not be either.

Confronted with the gap between your vision of perfect and the reality of what you’ve created, the easiest path is no path. Shrug. Admit defeat. Hit delete.

One more reason to follow someone else and wait for instructions.

Of course, the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now.

There’s a big difference between not settling and not starting.”

Your new athletes, the ones just now getting ready to come into your program, are going to be apprehensive.  They are going to look around the weight room and see some amazing athletes.  They are going to be intimidated.  They will see that they do not measure up.  They will see that they are not amazing… For Now!

Let your new athletes know that “the only path to amazing runs directly though not-yet-amazing”, and that “not-yet-amazing is a great place to start,” because that is where they are… For Now! … It is OK to be not-yet-amazing… For Now! 

Don’t settle, but get started!  What are you going to start?  It is OK for you to be not-yet-amazing as well… For Now!

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… don’t believe it!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Do Things Right

rulesMy thinking has pretty much run the gamut regarding “training rules”… or what used to be called “training rules”.  When I played in high school and college the list looked like, and I am sure could be traced back to, something out of a Vince Lombardi Packer camp.  When I first became head coach, and then into my days at the University of Central Missouri, and William Jewell College, the list of rules expanded to almost two pages long.  Recently my thinking has swung back to the concept that simpler might be better.

The last few years we have had the simple Rule/ Mantra/ Creed… whatever you want to call it, of “Do Things Right… all the time

Rather than have a list of extensive rules to try and cover every imaginable situation that could come up … in the classroom… on the field… in the halls of school… at home with friends… we talked in terms of “Doing Things Right”.  We make it very clear what our expectations are, and the type actions that will lead to success… on the practice field… in the off-season… in life.  Really, most of the student-athletes understand the difference between positive actions and actions that could have a negative effect.  Any action that could keep them from achieving their goals should be scrutinized.

Do Things Right… all of the time

  • Not some things
  • Not just big things
  • Not only the little things
  • Not just during a game
  • Not only on the practice field
  • Not just in football
  • Not only in sports
  • Not just in the classroom
  • Not only at school

Do Things Right… all the time

It began as a catch phrase our staff started using at practice… actually emphasizing attention to detail during warm-up … “Do Things Right”…. It (the use of the term) spread through all phases of practice and carried over to how they acted in school, and how they were conducting themselves at home and with friends.  We ended up adding “All The Time” to make it all encompassing.

I think a good chunk of our kids took it to heart.  Most of our kids made good decisions most of the time.  If they were straying, it was pretty easy to bring them back by the simple reminder … “Do Things Right … all the time.”

I was in the main school office this past week as one of our graduating seniors was checking out on his last day.  He played for me his sophomore and junior years, but was unable to play his senior year because of repeated concussions.  We were talking about his college plans (he was going to study film.. probably at Columbia College in Chicago), and as he was leaving, I wished him good luck at college and told him to keep in touch.

He gave me a big hug and said, “Do Things Right, Coach… all the time

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Just a Girl

One evening, years ago, our family was attending a “Jazz in the Park” concert.  We were with friends whose daughter, Shelby, was about the same age as our son, Carter… about 5 years old.  All of a sudden, Shelby’s tears interrupted our relaxing evening of Jazz.  The two kids were playing in a tree, so immediately we thought she was hurt.  When we came over to ask what was wrong, Shelby sobbed, “Carter said I was just a girl!”  The comment was not acceptable … it was dismissive, as if being a girl was something lesser.

Last week, while waiting for class to wind down, I overheard one of the male athletes at our school commenting on the District performance of our female Triple Jumper, Lexi Hart.  Lexi, a freshman, won the District meet with a jump of 38’ 10” that shattered our school record in a Bob Beamon-esque fashion – by nearly 4 feet!  The comment by the male athlete was “Well, it was wind aided”… The comment was not acceptable … it was dismissive, as if the only way a girl could jump that far was with the aid of the wind.

As strength coach at our school, I was invited to participate in the volleyball “kickoff”  last night.  The head volleyball coach, Denise Craig, asked me to write a note to the returning and incoming volleyball athletes.  Here was my message:

volleyball cards

The girls programs at our school are outstanding.  The Truman Softball team won the state 5A Championship this past year, and our Basketball team was 25-1.  The Volleyball team is perennially vying for the conference and district championship.

womenThere is no “magic bullet”… nothing is “in the water” that helps our girl’s teams be successful.  They are well coached… they train hard in the off-season… they “get it”.  If you came any day of the week to our Advanced Strength and Conditioning Class for Athletes, you would be impressed by how hard the girls work.  As I have discussed in a previous post (Training Women Athletes) we do not train or treat our women athletes any different, or have a different set of expectations than for our men.  We train them to become better athletes.

Oh… and to update both of the stories I began this post with… Carter’s comment about Shelby being “just a girl” was not a great impediment to their relationship.  They have been friends for nearly 20 years.  Lexi Hart followed up her “wind aided” 38’ 10” triple jump with another 38’+ jump to win the Sectional Meet last Saturday!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Customizing the Workbook

customizing the workbookAll of the Excel Workout workbooks that have been shared are customizable.  When you download them, they are locked, allowing the user to only enter information in the cells that are shaded yellow.  But, they are not password protected, so unlocking them is easy.  Here is how you will do it .

Go to the Tools menu in Excel

In the drop down menu select – Protection>>>> Unprotect Sheet

When you are finished making your changes, I recommend going back and protecting the sheet.  Go to the same Tools menu and select – Protection>>>>Protect Sheet

Here is a brief video showing how to unprotect and protect the Workout Worksheet.

Some basic changes you might want to make:

Changing the Header to your school name, and logo: 

To do this you can either double click on the header (where it says Truman Patriots Strength and Conditioning) and enter whatever title you would like on the sheet.  You would do the same to delete (or add) a logo on the header.

Changing the Positions:

The “Position O” and “Position D” fields are specific to football.  You can easily change these to a position for another sport – say softball or basketball

Changing any of the testing results:

In addition to cells for entering the athlete’s estimated 1RM, the card is set up to enter additional information on the following tests:

  • Weight
  • 40 yd (40 yard dash)
  • Vert (Vertical Leap)
  • Pro Agile (5-10-5 Pro Agility Shuttle)

You can change (or delete) any of these fields to enter different tests you might do in your program.  Keep in mind that the fields Power Q (Power Quotient) and LB/LB (Pound for Pound ratio) are calculated fields.  The Power Q cell will multiply the square root of their body weight times the square root of their vertical leap.  The LB/LB ratio will take the total amount of weight the athlete lifts on the 4 Core Lifts and divide by their body weight.  If you delete or change the Weight or the Vertical Leap fields, the card will no longer be able to calculate the Power Q or LB/LB.

Changing the workout set/ rep percentages:

You can also change any of the percentages in the cells that calculate the workout for each day.  It is slightly more complicated but still fairly easy to do.  For instance, on the Heavy day for each lift in the 5 x 5 cycle, the athlete will lift the following percentages of their 1RM for each set of 5 reps:

  1. 60
  2. 75
  3. 80
  4. 85
  5. 90

The formula (all of the formulas will follow the same format) used to calculate the correct weight for the first set, light day, is:

CEILING((MAX(0,K2*0.6)-2.5),5)

In this formula, K2 is the cell where the estimated 1RM is located and .6  is the percent of the estimated 1RM (60%) that you want to do for this set.  If you would rather do, say, 70%, you would simply change the .6 to a .7 –   The rest of the formula is used to round the amount to the nearest 5 pounds, and would remain the same.

It is important to remember that if you change the formula for one days lift (ex.- Heavy lift on Monday – Bench) you will need to change for each day (ex. – Heavy lift on Tuesday – Squat, Heavy lift on Wed – Push, and Heavy lift on Friday – Clean) that you want those changes to take place.

Here is a brief video showing how to change the workout percentages in a cell.

If you have any questions on how to do this, or would like me to help you customize the Excel Workbook template to fit your needs, just let me know…. I would be more than happy to do it!

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com