The Child In All Of Us

Because I have coached at many different levels (literally from Pop Warner to professional athletes) people often ask, “What are the differences in coaching little kids to grown men?”

From my experience, very little.

Kids may be considerably smaller and considerably weaker, but they still want to succeed, still want to learn, still want to be pushed, and still respond to coaching.

pop warnerCollege and professional athletes may be grown men, but they are still playing the same game as the Pop Warner kids… and they still respond to the same coaching methods.  They get excited when they make a great play, they want structure and discipline,  and want to please and seek positive affirmation from their coach.

As a coach, you enjoy and get excited about the same things as well…. age or size does not matter.  You love it when your players pick up a concept… improve on a fundamental… push themselves physically… execute a play correctly.

We are all people… all human… and respond, learn, and compete as all humans do.

The Pop Warner athletes can be like miniature men, and the collegiate athletes are really just like big kids (in a good way) most of the time.

As an adult coach and teacher, I am not too different myself.

I just received the nicest email from a former player, and it inspired and motivated me.  It made me want to do more.  Thank you Coach McKie.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

A Guaranteed Shortcut

As Seth Godin described in his recent post, “The Certain Shortcut”

The shortcut that’s sure to work, every time:

Take the long way.

Do the hard work, consistently and with generosity and transparency.

And then you won’t waste time doing it over.

OR… as I always ask my athletes… “Why would we ever want you to do something that was easy?”   OR… here are 10 other ways to look at it…

shortcutTake the certain shortcut… the guaranteed shortcut… Take the long way.

We Can Do More!

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

“S**T” and FUN?

I was texting with my 22 year old son the other morning, when he taught me a lesson.

He was grousing about his work, how tired and frustrated he was.  I was attempting (and not very well) to “counsel” him about work, job, effort, etc.  He doesn’t need to be counseled on any of that… he gets it.  He was involved in athletics… he understands hard work.

I was missing the whole point, because I wasn’t really listening very well.  He wasn’t complaining, he just wanted me to know how difficult the job can be, and how hard he works at it.  And I was trying to “teach” and “coach” and “parent” without really listening.

He set me straight.

This chat (below) was preceded by him telling me that the “s**t” part of the job is that it takes so long to get to where you want to end up.  I told him that it was his choice to consider it “s**t” , he could also consider it fun, learning and growing his cadre.

Here is the rest of the chat – his texts are white… mine blue…

chat

He nailed it!

Yes, fun and worthwhile things can be “s**t”, too.  Often that is what makes it fun and worthwhile.

Two-a-days… heat… humidity… sweating… long hours… football 24/7… intense… no rest… sore muscles… dead tired… perpetual thirst… meetings… get up and do it all over again.  By all definitions… “s**t

Two-a-days… everyone working together… bonding… sweating… learning… sacrificing… teammates… laughing…. caring…football 24/7…  intense… inching toward that goal…   By all definitions… FUN

Yes it can be both.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Not Changing the World

Two major sports/ football related stories today.not changing the world

  • Aaron Hernandez is arrested and charged with murder.
  • The NCAA ruled in the case involving the Oregon Ducks and their former head coach, Chip Kelly.

Not to dogpile, but these stories are diametrically opposed to the feel of my post yesterday, Change the World.

As coaches, we are part of an awesome profession … one that has awesome responsibility attached to it.  We have the chance to teach and coach young men to Do Things Right… all of the time.   If we are just teaching X’s and O’s, and neglecting the opportunity to teach anything else, we are just doing part of the job.  If we are not leading through example by Doing Things Right… all of the time, then we are not leading.

I have to believe that some coach, at some level, saw the path Aaron Hernandez was heading down.  There were numerous “red flags” beginning in high school and continuing through his collegiate playing days at Florida, up to his professional career as a Patriot.   Prior to the NFL draft, one NFL scout said –

“We stayed away because we hated the people he hung out with and how trouble always seemed to find this guy.”

Did everyone just bury their heads in the sand because he was a great player?

As a FBS head football coach, Chip Kelly knows the NCAA recruiting rules.  He knowingly broke them, and tried to cover it up.  And we are to believe his statement that the NCAA investigation had nothing to do with his decision to bolt to the NFL and coach the Eagles?

Give me Stanford and coach David Shaw.

Here is a link to his TED talk in case you have not seen it

Can Football Change the World ?

I know the question is rhetorical, but yes is still my answer.

What player on your squad needs your help… beyond the playing field?

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Change the World

Please take 12 minutes (aren’t TED talks great) to watch this video.

 

  • Being a great student, and a great athlete are not mutually exclusive.
  • Having a great athletic program in terms of wins and losses and having a great athletic program in terms of graduation rate are not mutually exclusive.

shaw ted talkEncourage your players to be both.

Work to make your program both.

It is all about being competitive, ALL the time.

It is all about doing things right, ALL the time.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Friday Night Lights

If you look at the rosters of every Big 12, Big 10, SEC, or Pac 10 program, you quickly realize that every major college football program, and MOST football programs in the country recruit the state of Texas.

FridayNightLightsAs someone that coached high school football in both Texas and Missouri, and as a college coach recruited several geographic areas including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, and who had a son that played football in Texas from grade 7-12, I often get asked several iterations of the same question:

“Is Texas high school football that much better than here (Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, etc)?”

I always hesitate to answer, “better” because that implies that coaches in these other areas (the Midwest) are not doing a good, or as good, a job coaching their programs, and that is simply not the case.  But, there are some major differences between Texas (and other areas, too, I am sure) and the rest of the country.  These differences are what make Texas a recruiting hotbed.

Population Density

There are several major population centers in Texas, including the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex with 7 million people, the Houston Metro area 6 million, the San Antonio Metro with over 2 million, and the Austin area now over 1 million.  With that many people (students) in such close proximity, it is an efficient area to recruit.  You can get to a lot of school, and see many great players without driving over 30 miles a day.

Weather

The weather is much milder that the Midwest, especially the upper Midwest, which lends itself to more, and more efficient practice sessions during the course of the season.

Length of Season

The 5A state championship game in Texas is normally played the third week in December; that is a full month later than in Missouri.  If you project that over a 4 year high school career, that is about 4 more months of practice, or about an additional year of playing/ practice time.

Facilities

All it takes is flying over either Dallas or Houston and you realize football is king.  Nearly every school from 2A to 5A has not only a turf game field, but also a turf practice field, and larger programs (3A and above) have indoor practice complexes. Combine that with state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facilities, meeting/ video rooms, training and locker rooms, and the differences become substantial.

Athletics PE

This is probably the biggest difference. My son had Athletics PE (in Texas) from the time he was in 7th grade until he graduated high school… that is the norm.  Every athlete, in every sport, is enrolled in these classes.  You can begin practice during the season, conduct an off-season program out of season, begin meetings or film review… all during normal school hours.  Project this over 6 years (7-12 grades) and combine that with the fact that most high schools are on a block schedule, having a 2-hour PE class EVERY day, the effect is cumulative, and huge.  A high school player comes out of a program in Texas much more developed physically and mentally.  When you consider all the extra exposure to the game mentally, and all the opportunity to improve physically, this is no surprise.

My takeaway from all of this information:

  • If you are a high school athlete in the Midwest and want to continue playing football in college, understand that you are not only competing against area student-athletes for scholarships (and eventually playing time) but also athletes from these areas.  You need to take advantage of every opportunity you have to improve physically and mentally.
  • If you are a high school athlete in Texas, don’t underestimate the athletes from the other areas of the nation.  Although you may begin more advanced physically, and have a better understanding of the game, if you get complacent, these non-Texas athletes may have a larger room for improvement, and could gain on you.
  • If you are a coach in a school outside of Texas, do the best you can, with what you have.  Time spent pining over what others have or what you don’t is unproductive.  It does no good comparing apples (your program) to oranges (Texas programs).    Concentrate on teaching and coaching the things that are under your control, in the situation you are in.  Just because you don’t have an indoor practice facility, or a 2-hour athletics PE every day, does not mean you cannot be a GREAT football coach.
  • If you are a coach in Texas, understand that, although what you have may be the norm in Texas, it is not the norm in most of the country.  Appreciate what you have, but understand, too, that good work… good coaching… good teaching… is being done in other areas of the country as well; often with much fewer resources than what you have.  There are people outside of Texas who know football.

Keep working hard – You Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Your Cadres

WeblinkIt never fails… and I am glad!

When someone recommends to “Follow”, or “Likes” a post, or “Retweets”  a “Tweet”, the number of views on my site goes up exponentially.   Here are a few observations regarding that phenomenon

  • Thank you for reading, following, commenting, and retweeting.  I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate you spending some of it with me.
  • You all are influential… probably more than you realize.  When coaches follow, trusted colleagues and players of yours follow the lead.  When athletes follow, like-minded teammates of yours follow the lead.  It is awesome to see, and an awesome responsibility. You all have cadres… you all are trusted.
  • I will respect the trust you have given me.  I will not spam you are your followers.  I will always work to keep the content, relevant, useful and high quality.

I will ask one favor…..

  • If you are a coach, and have found the content relevant, useful and high quality, please share this site  (youcandomore.net) with a couple of colleagues that might enjoy reading as well.
  • If you are a parent, and have found yourself thinking “I wish I would have known this stuff before my son (daughter) was a senior”, please share this site (youcandomore.net) with other parents who may find it useful as well.
  • If you are an athlete, and you have found at least one nugget on this blog that has helped you perform at a higher level, please share this site (youcandomore.net) with a teammate who you are counting on.

Thanks again!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Get Uncomfortable

A couple a days ago I wrote about how failure was a “good” thing in my post, Failure is the Only Option.  A point of clarification … I am not saying you need to lose all of your games to grow!

What I am saying is that if you are a coach preparing your team for a contest:

  • If you only practice at what you are good at
  • If you only put your athletes in situations where they will be successful
  • If you don’t test your athlete’s boundaries physically and mentally
  • If you don’t help your athletes get better at what they are not good at

Then your team will probably not improve to its full potential. Don’t be afraid to attempt, fail, re-teach, and try again.

What I am saying is that if you are a player training to be a better athlete:

  • If you only do the workout you like
  • If you only do the lift you are good at
  • If you don’t push past your physical or mental barriers
  • If you stop before you go to failure on your heavy day lift

Then you are probably not going to improve to your full potential as an athlete. Don’t be afraid to attempt, fail, get stronger, and try again.

What I am saying is that you are a coach trying to improve your effectiveness:

  • If you always fall back on the same teaching and coaching methods you have used, just because they are comfortable
  • If you are opposed to trying new technology as part of your coaching method
  • If you keep coaching the same way, because “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”
  • If you are using the same coaching materials (printed playbook, handouts, whiteboard, PowerPoint presentations) because you “don’t have time to learn any new fangled programs”

Then you are probably not going to improve to your full potential as a coach. Don’t be afraid to attempt, fail, improve, and try again.

What I am saying is that when attempting new things, “failing” is part of the learning process, and it is OK.   Expanding your comfort zone means exactly that.  The more you do those uncomfortable things, whether it is working hard at a lift you are not good at, or trying a new piece of technology, the more comfortable they come.  Eventually they will move from outside your comfort zone, to at the edge of your comfort zone, to firmly entrenched in your comfort zone.

Attempt… and DOgreat things… and in the process don’t be afraid to fail greatly!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Recruiting – The Offer

offer pyramidToday is the fifth 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; this series goes into greater detail at each step, helping you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

The previous post in this series can be found on my blog at the following link: Recruiting – The Level of Interest Pyramid.  This post will discuss “The Offer” and detail exactly what the verbal offer of scholarship aid means.

At some point during the recruiting process, the school (or schools) that has been recruiting you will make a decision.  They will either decide that you do not fit the current needs of their program, or that you are the type of student athlete that will be successful in their program.

If their decision is that you do not meet their current needs, understand their decision does not necessarily mean you cannot be a collegiate football player.  It only means that you do not meet the needs of that specific program, at that specific time.

If their decision is that you DO meet their needs, their next step will be determining what type offer they will be making.  Here are some important things to remember regarding the verbal offer:

  • At all levels below FBS football, the scholarships can be broken up into partial awards, ranging anywhere from a small dollar amount to a full ride.  At the NCAA FBS level, the scholarships are all full awards.  A full scholarship can include tuition, fees, room, board and books.  If you qualify for any need based aid, such as a PELL grant, you can accept that amount on top of your scholarship award.
  • At all levels below the NCAA DI level, the scholarship awards are 1-year contracts, with the option for annual renewal.  A 2011 rule change allowed NCAA DI schools to offer multi-year awards, but even then, those are rare.  A recent study by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette found the following:

“But nearly two years after that legislation, multiyear scholarships are rare, not publicized by universities and largely unknown by the athletes. According to data of 82 universities at the Division I-A level obtained by the Post-Gazette through open records requests, only 16 have offered more than 10 multiyear scholarships. Thirty-two of the universities have offered between one and 10, and thirty-four have not offered any.”

  • If a DII school tells you that they are offering you a 4-year scholarship, they are not being completely honest.
  • The verbal scholarship offer is non-binding; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.
  • College programs will offer more scholarships than they have available, knowing that they will not “win” every recruiting battle.  Because of this, they will want to know ASAP if you intend to accept the offer… and will ask that you give a verbal commitment to them.  If you are not going to accept their offer, they know they can make an offer to the next person on their list.  Just because the college will want to know ASAP, does not mean you should feel, or be, pressured to make a decision.
  • Your verbal commitment is non-binding as well; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.

You should feel free to ask questions related to the scholarship offer:

  • Can the offer be increased from year to year?
  • How often does that happen?
  • What about my red-shirt year… will the scholarship cover a 5th year?
  • What happens to the amount of aid if I get injured and cannot play any longer?  What if I graduate in 4 years, and still have a year of eligibility… will the scholarship cover grad school?

You are getting to the final, home stretch, of the recruiting process.  You now are fairly confident in their level of interest.  It is now up to you to continue your evaluation and make your decision based on the important factors to you and your family.  You want to be confident in your decision before the next and final phase of the process, signing the National Letter of Intent.

Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Failure is Your Only Option

patchWe are all familiar with the famous Gene Kranz (NASA flight director) quote from the movie Apollo 13, Failure is not an option.  I suppose when you are dealing with the prospects of getting three astronauts safely home from a crippled space capsule that is the case.  When thinking about your career, career choices, and your daily work, failure is not only AN option, but is your ONLY option if you want continued growth.

If you never fail, you probably are not adequately stretching your boundaries.  I am in the middle of a very good book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, that deals with this concept. I will go deeper into the book in upcoming posts but there is one message that resonated with me; if you fear failure, you continually look to put yourself into situations that success is guaranteed.  When you do that, you are missing out on growth opportunities.

If you have a crippling fear of failure, you probably are staying smack dab in the middle of your comfort zone. If you have the mindset that you need to “knock it out of the park” every swing, you are much more apt to not swing rather than risk “failure”.  If you have the mindset that you need to “Go Big or Go Home” you are much more likely to just stay at home rather than risk “failure”.

In his book, The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin says,

“Your biggest failure is the thing you dreamed of contributing but didn’t find the guts to do.”

Even Vince Lombardi, who probably has more quotes regarding winning (even if most are inaccurate… “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”… actually he said “Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is”) attributed to him than anyone else, had this to say about “failure”

“In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

The thing to remember is that failure (I failed) is an action and not an identity (I am a failure).  Failure is a learning opportunity.

Embrace failure… expand your boundaries… continue to grow… make great attempts… attempt and DO great things.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com