Is Your Job Going Away?

If you are a teacher and coach, it (your job) probably isn’t going away, but it is changing much in the same way that these jobs have:

  • Travel Agent
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Car Dealership

info_symbolThe reason these jobs have undergone drastic changes in the last few years is because of easy access to information.  Any individual can easily get online and book their own airline ticket, search the MLS for comps in their area, or find out the exact dealer cost of a new car and every option available.

Three different pieces came across my feed this week… all referencing this same thing…. information access, and its effect on our jobs as teachers and coaches.

Chad Frigon, head football coach at Liberty High School sent me an excellent article from the sportscoachingbrain that offered this insight:

“In the old days, coaches were the custodians of the knowledge…. training, planning, preparation, competition, what to eat, when to stretch, what to do at the gym… everything.  Now, anyone can access anything, anytime, from anywhere, and for free.  Kids (and their parents) can now access the same information that coaches can.  The traditional coach-driven, coach-centered learning method, i.e. coach tells- athletes do, is doomed to failure.

Successful coaches must create learning environments where athletes learn through problem solving, decision making, being engaged and excited by learning experiences and by collaborating with coaches and their teammates on making training stimulating, effective and efficient.”

Author Seth Godin discussed information access in his recent post, “Freedom of Information Act”:

“Traditionally, many car dealerships are based on a simple idea: they know more about cars and pricing and profit than the customer does.  By leveraging the information advantage, they can sell cars at a higher markup, upsell add ons, etc.

But what happens when the customers know more than they do, when potential customers know about every option, the inventory at every dealer, etc?

This is going to happen to every business, every sector, every level. When information is set free, does it help you or hurt you?

If it’s not helping you, this is a good time to change your model.”

And Coach James Vint talked about the importance of “why” with today’s athlete’s in his excellent post, “Building a Championship Culture”:

“The first thing we did was talk to them about the why. This is why we are going to coach you on this. This is why we have to do it this way. Kids today need to know “why” something is done a certain way. Once they understand the why, they will buy into the “what” and the “how”….when you are teaching a 10 yard stop route, do you accept an eight yard route? Or, do you correct and reteach? Do your players know why you have to get to 10 yards on that route? Do they know “why” they have to perform the skill?”

Our job, or at least certain aspects of it, has changed and will continue to do so.  We can either embrace technology, or fight it.

If you want to embrace technology, here are some resources to help get you thinking:

If you want to fight technology, I am afraid it is a losing proposition.

Thanks to PrepsKC (the information source of Kansas City High School football) for running todays post as part of their Coach’s Corner.  If you get a chance, please visit and “Like” the post!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Alphabet Soup

ncaa logonaianjcaa

NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII, NCAA FBS, NCAA FCS, NAIA DI, NAIA DII, NJCAA.

Whew!

There is always much confusion and misconceptions regarding all the different collegiate “levels”.  In this post, I will try to clarify and demystify this Alphabet Soup.  Here are my Top 10 Misconceptions regarding the different collegiate playing levels:

Misconception #1 – DI or Bust

Many athletes have the attitude that if they don’t get a NCAA FBS offer that they have failed; that playing at a so-called “lower level” would be beneath them.  Let me assure you that at most of the so-called “lower level” programs, the athletes are very good.  If you think you are just going to waltz in and earn a starting spot just because the football team is not classified as an FBS program, you will be in for a rude awakening.

Misconception #2 – I didn’t get a DI offer – I must not be good enough to play at the next level.

If you want to participate in intercollegiate athletics, there is a level and a program out there for you.  It will be challenging (see above) and rewarding, but if you want to play and are willing to work, there is a program out there with your name on it.

Misconception #3 – DI schools are larger than their counterparts at the other levels.

The level that a college or university operates on has nothing to do with the size of their campus or student population.  SMU (an FBS school) has an enrollment of 7,000 undergraduate students…. Washington University in St. Louis (an NCAA DIII school) has an enrollment of 7,300 undergrad students.   NCAA DI basketball powerhouse Butler has fewer than 4,000 undergrad students… The 2013 NCAA DII Basketball National Champions, Drury University in Springfield, MO has a student population of over 4,500.  I think this misconception has something to do with the way high school activity associations label and group their schools, which is completely based on student population.

So what does determine the collegiate level?  There are 340 NCAA DI institutions.  The FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision – formerly NCAA I-A) has 120 schools, FCS (Football Championship Subdivision – formerly NCAA I-AA) has 122 schools, and NFS (Non Football Subdivision) has 98 schools. All D-I schools must field teams in at least seven sports for men and seven for women or six for men and eight for women, with at least two team sports for each gender.   There are several other NCAA sanctioned minimums and differences that distinguish Division I from Divisions II and III, such as average attendance and facility size.

Misconception #4 – NCAA FBS schools offer more scholarships.

This is partly true, although it comes with a caveat.  NCAA FBS schools have 85 full scholarships in their program, while FCS schools have 63 and NCAA DII have 36.  But, (the caveat) in all divisions except FBS, the scholarships can be divided up into partial awards.  So, although FBS has more full scholarships to offer, the total number of scholarship athletes in the program is about the same.

Misconception #5 – The atmosphere at the “lower level” programs is lacking.

While not the same as an SEC game day experience I am sure, the atmosphere at many DII schools such as Northwest Missouri State University or the University of Central Missouri can rival the experiences at many “larger” universities.

Misconception #6 – Class sizes at NCAA DI schools are going to be much larger than at an NCAA DIII or NAIA school.

While this is often the case, again there are other factors, such as student population, faculty size and course offerings that will ultimately determine this number.

Misconception #7 – The NAIA is like the NCAA DIII.

The NAIA and NCAA are two different governing bodies of collegiate athletics.  NCAA DIII schools cannot offer any athletic scholarship aid.  NAIA schools CAN offer athletic aid (football 24, soccer 12, etc)

Misconception #8 – NCAA DIII does not offer scholarship aid.

While NCAA DIII schools cannot offer athletic scholarship aid, then can and do offer need based and academic aid to students… including student-athletes.

Misconception #9 – You have to go to a FBS school to have a chance at playing in the NFL

See #1 again… there are very good players at every level.  In 2012  22 players were drafted from non-FBS teams, and over 220 non-FBS players were on NFL rosters.

Misconception #10 – The DI mascots are way cooler.

OK – tie – St. Louis University Billikens (NCAA DI) vs Washburn University Ichabods (NCAA DII)

billiken06_2001ichabod

I hope this helped in digesting at least a portion of your Alphabet Soup.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Upcoming Posts… Recruiting… Defensive Game Planning

This week I will finish my series, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level of Interest with the final two posts, The Letter of Intent, and a bonus post, Alphabet Soup.

I will also begin a new series of posts this week detailing a defensive game plan process we implemented while at the University of Central Missouri.  I have given many clinic talks discussing the process, and have been asked to share via this medium.

Basically, I will be showing how to get from this:

down distance

And this:

 runpass

And this:

runpass

And tons more information at your disposal, to this – A single, “game ready” defensive Call Sheet:

LUCall

I am looking forward to sharing this information with you!

Questions and comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Leave Worry Behind

Palm_Trees_Beach_PrintI know many programs are into their prescribed “dead week”… the mandatory week off dictated by state high school activity associations.   I just finished up a few days away in tropical Key West (see post The View From 30,000 Feet) myself.  Here is what I have come to really realize over the last few months.

I think coaches, for the most part, are worriers.  I am for sure.  As coaches we are putting a piece of ourselves out on display, and that alone is a stressful thing.

We worry about …

  • the weather,
  • our athlete’s grades,
  • practice plans,
  • installation progression,
  • our assistant coaches,
  • injuries,
  • our athletes making good decisions,
  • scholarship opportunities for our athletes,
  • budgets,
  • equipment,
  • lesson plans,
  • scouting reports… and much more!

Even though some of it is well placed, all that worrying clogs up your brain.  I know that is not the scientific name for what happens, but that is what it feels like in my brain.  And a good chunk of these worries are things that we as coaches (or athletes) have no control over.  So worrying is wasted mental effort.

When I have been able to really free my mind from worries, productive, creative, problem solving, intuitive, work follows…. it literally spews.

The trick is how to do that.  I don’t have any great answers.  I do know that when I can completely “get away”, I return refreshed and more productive (see post Recharging).  The problem is, of course, that you can’t completely “get away” in the middle of your season. Maybe your individual answer is to find a way to take small “mental vacations” during the grind that we love.  Maybe a quick run or workout is a way to do that… maybe meditation is your answer… maybe a break where you pull out a good book (one that is not related to your sport!) and read for few minutes can be your mental vacation ticket. I had a visit with Bob Stoops during recruiting one year, and he said that when he was at the University of Florida with Steve Spurrier, he (coach Spurrier) encouraged the entire staff to get out and play golf once a week.

I am not sure about the best method to get there, but I am quite sure about the results.  I am a much better teacher and coach when I can leave worry behind.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Sample Mental Training Plan

Earlier in today’s post, Training Mental Toughness, I offered up some pointers regarding training (you or your athletes) to become mentally tougher.

  • Set a Performance Goal
  • Identify Weaknesses
  • Set Process Goals
  • Develop Focus Tools
  • Practice
  • Reinforce Process Goals

I thought an example might clarify this process.

The following is an example for an athlete (John Football) who currently has an estimated 1RM (one rep max) of 280 pounds for the hang clean.  He wants to increase his estimated 1RM to 300 pounds by the end of the summer.  He knows in order to do this, he will need to “break” (see Breaking, it a Good Thing) twice in a four week period.

His current workout card (hang clean portion outlined in red) would look like this:

johnny fb

His sample mental training plan might look something like this:

sample plan

The procedure for setting goals, whether Performance Goals, or Process Goals should be the same – SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ambitious
  • Realistic
  • Time-Sensitive

I hope this helps to clarify the procedure.  Questions or comments are always welcomed.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Training Mental Toughness

You wouldn’t think of running in a 5K, 10K half marathon, or playing in a competitive football, soccer, basketball or volleyball game, without doing adequate physical training.  Yet often we (or our athletes) go into these endeavors with little or no mental training.  When I refer to mental training, I am not talking about the process of learning plays, techniques, or your opponent’s game plan information.  I am talking about training to be mentally tough… training to overcome any mental roadblocks that get thrown your way during a competition.

Do not give upIn sports, fatigue is highly subjective. Fatigue, more often than not, is perception.  The problem is, that a person’s perception IS their reality.  If they believe they are tired, they ARE tired.  Fatigue is simply a sign that you need to put your mind on something else.  You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… don’t believe it!

You need to train your brain like you train your body.

This means practice.  Mental strength, just like physical strength develops over time, incrementally, and with consistent effort.

Most athletes and coaches are aware of how to physically prepare for competition… not as many understand some simple steps to help improve your mental toughness.

Here are a few thoughts… with help from a very good article in Runners World.

When you look at athletes that are considered mentally tough, typically they are positive thinkers and process oriented…. They know where they want to go and how to get there, both physically and mentally.

I discussed goal setting in a previous post, (Setting, Then Reaching Your Goals) which dealt with primarily performance goals… running a 4.5 40 yard dash…. benching 350 lbs….   playing collegiate athletics, etc.

The physical and mental steps that will lead to a performance goal are process goals.  Like all goals, they should be measurable and address your weakness.

So the steps would look like this…

  • Select a performance goal.  Decide what you want to achieve by the end of your training.
  • ID your weaknesses… mental and physical.
  • Set process goals… These are the specific, measurable actions you do to help you reach your performance goal.
  • Develop focus tools.  These are words and actions that help eliminate negativity, calm anxiety, build confidence and keep your mind on task.  These could be a mantra or positive self talk (finish strong, you can do more, you’ve got this) focusing on your body (perfect technique, fast arms), visualization (see previous post Mental Visualization) Use focus tools anytime you have negative thoughts, feel tired or anxious.
  • Practice.  Review and adjust your process goals if you need to.
  • Reinforce your process goals.  When you improve or master one of your weaknesses on a particular day, write down what helped you do that.

Your athletes will need help, particularly in setting process goals and developing focus tools.   They will probably have a good idea on setting their performance goals, but breaking down what they need to do for their process goals may be a little tougher.  What are the physical hurdles… what are the mental roadblocks… what focus tools can you equip them with to overcome these?

You can help your athletes get mentally tougher.  Like all things, the more you practice, the better you will get.  And like all growth, it will be incremental.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

The View From 30,000 Feet

This is a little routine of mine when I fly.

I always like to sit in the window seat, and when we are taking off or landing, I try to pick out landmarks in the city we are visiting.  More specifically, I like to pick out sporting venues… even more specifically… I note ALL of football fields and stadiums in the area.  I think you can tell much about the priorities of the city/ geographical area by conducting this quick aerial survey.  OK, what I am really trying to say is that you can tell how important football is to the area!

The rankings from 30,000 feet:

Dallas is King

When flying into Dallas you can always spot 8-10 high school District stadiums with turf fields, as well as countless other high school and middle school turf practice fields and complexes (see post Friday Night Lights).  This includes the new $60 million, 18,000-fan capacity, Allen District Stadium, in Allen, Texas.  Depending on the route into the airports (either Love Field or DFW) you can sometimes see FC Dallas Stadium (where many Frisco ISD games are played) which is the home of the FC Dallas soccer team, and the site of the 2011 and 2012 FCS National Championship football game.  Arial views of the Cotton Bowl, the old and new Cowboy stadiums can also be seen on various approach legs.

Houston a close second

Nearly as many high school turf fields can be spotted approaching Houston, but the area around the airport we typically fly into is a little more industrial, and not so suburban, so it lands a close second to Dallas.  Occasionally the flight path will give you a view of downtown and Reliant Stadium.

Austin rounds out the top three

Many impressive high school turf stadiums as well as the University of Texas (a really cool sight) stadium can be spotted on the glide path into Austin.

San Diego is the West Coast challenger

Many, but smaller, natural grass stadium complexes and MANY golf courses show that the emphasis in this California city is not the same as its Texas counterparts.  You can spot lots of sailboats in the harbor, though.

Kansas City the Show Me State representative

More and more nice, turf, high school district stadiums are popping up on the glide path into KCI airport – most notably Park Hill and Platte County.  Depending on the route in, you can occasionally get a good view of Washburn University’s (a DII school in the MIAA) new football complex.  In my (totally unbiased) opinion, KC is poised to push San Diego out the #4 slot.

San Jose/ San Francisco a foggy #6

Very few nice high school complexes, but occasionally you can see the San Jose State Spartan Stadium, the 49ers or Oakland stadiums.  The landings are often in fog so visibility is limited.  Although they are nice complexes,  I have never seen the Stanford or Berkeley Stadiums from the air.

Miami/ Fort Lauderdale

You can view many nice high school stadiums… but not turf, and not as large as the Texas counterparts.  Many, MANY golf courses, and baseball fields dot the approach into either of these airports.  This shows you where this geographical area’s true priorities lie.

This takes us to my most recent destination… just this week.

key west footballKey West, Florida.

On the landing approach… water… not a single football stadium… just sayin’.  Guess where my priorities will lie this week?

Although, they do have a local high school football team… the area is more known for baseball than football.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com