So You Want To Get Recruited?

MillerNLIContrary to popular belief, and the belief of many athletes and parents, your high school coach will not “get you (or anyone) a scholarship”.  It often becomes easy to put the blame on the high school coach for not promoting an athlete enough for them to miraculously become a DI athlete come signing day.  The responsibility to put yourself in a position to earn an athletic scholarship lies squarely on your shoulders.  You will need to display, to your high school coach AND the college coaches evaluating you, that you have the following characteristics:

  1. Coachable – Character
  2. Speed
  3. Explosion
  4. Playing Fast
  5. Athleticism – Quickness
  6. Academics (GPA/Test score)
  7. Size
  8. Effort
  9. Technique

Your high school coach will be your first contact with college recruiters.  Each year he will get literally hundreds of college prospect forms to fill out. These will be asking for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade prospects that have the potential to play college athletics.  Your high school coach can be one of your biggest assets in getting an initial connection to college football programs.

So … to put it simply, and a little corny (but true) you have to show him how remarkable you are!  Here is the question:  Will your coach be able to TRUTHFULLY say to a college recruiting coach that you have done everything in your power to become the best football (and team) player during the last four years?  If not, then you have work to do.  If you expect your coach to be your biggest fan, you must show him that you have character and are coachable…. the first things on the list above.  How do you do that?  Here are some (but not all) examples….

  • If your coach asks you to play scout team your sophomore year to help the varsity team prepare, then be the best scout team player on the field!  Make plays against good varsity competition and follow directions.
  • If your coach expects you to participate in 7-on-7 during the summer, then be at every practice and every game. Be a leader – learn your system – play fast.
  • If your coach you to attend 90% of the workouts during the off-season program, be there 100% of the time and work at a high intensity.  You don’t want to be the guy in this video:
  • If your coach asks you to switch positions your senior year to help the team, then take on the new position with enthusiasm.
  • If your coach expects you to evaluate your opponent’s game film an hour every day during your season, then watch 90 minutes a day.
  • If you coach demands that you are on time to every practice and meeting, then make sure you are on “Lombardi Time” and get there 10 minutes early!
  • When you coach says you should take a “6 inch step” during film evaluation of your blocking, you say “Yes Sir” and learn how to do it consistently rather than asking your teammates “what is the big difference between a 6 inch step and a 7 inch step?

When you do everything in your power to make yourself a better football (and team) player, then you will be able to check off two important qualities college coaches are looking for, being coachable and having great character.

You can read in depth information about the qualities that college coaches will be evaluating, and other recruiting information, at my blog at this link:  You Can Do More – All  Recruiting Posts.

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

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Football ≠ Football

I could not help but post a link to this video, An American Coach in London.

First, the skit features Kansas Citian (my home town, Kansas City, Missouri) Jason Sudeikis, as Texas born and raised football coach, Coach Lasso.

Second, I could not help but see a little bit of me and some of my colleagues (both in Texas and Missouri) in Coach Lasso.

Third, heading into this grind that we love, we need to occasionally take a break and laugh.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

A Busman’s Holiday

This week I took what my father would have called a Busman’s Holiday…. which basically is doing something on vacation that you do at work… like a bus driver taking a vacation driving across the country… or a football coach taking vacation to watch football practice.  I think coaches in general are notorious for this… sneaking in a basketball clinic, or a softball tournament, or a football practice under the guise of “vacation”.

lobos football

I had the chance to travel with my wife this week.  As I have mentioned before, she flies frequently… in fact she logs so many miles that I have a “companion pass” (thank you Southwest Airlines) and can travel for free with her anywhere in the country.  This past week she was heading to Albuquerque, NM to one of her communities … so I tagged along and had the opportunity to watch the first day of practice at the University of New Mexico.

It is always good to watch coaches at the top of their game work, and this was the case at the Lobo’s practice under Coach Davie’s guidance.  Very organized, great teaching, very efficient, up tempo work by the coaches and players.

lamarThis trip was especially fun for two additional reasons.  I got to see a former player who is playing at New Mexico this season, Lamar Jordan.  Lamar, from Frisco, Texas, is a freshman QB in the Lobo’s pistol offense.

 

boomI also had to chance to touch base with longtime friend and colleague, Coach Scott Baumgartner, who is the WR coach for the Lobo’s.  This is Coach Baumgartner’s first season with New Mexico, after spending the last nine at the University of Nevada.  Coach Baumgartner was on Coach Chris Ault’s staff at Nevada when they first installed the Pistol offense.  If you want to talk to an expert on the Pistol, Coach Baumgartner is the guy.  His talks at the Glazier clinics are always standing room only.  Scott and I were on the same staff at the University of Central Missouri.

Have a great week.. You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Adaptation

I never wanted to be one of those “old” coaches that was always saying…

Well, back in my day we…..  “ ,  fill in the blank.

But, the game HAS changed.  Recent rule changes, and discussions at all levels from Pop Warner to the NFL regarding contact, concussions, and practice restrictions have made it necessary for coaches to adapt.  Outcomes of pending lawsuits in the NFL regarding concussions and head injuries will trickle down to all levels of play.  I am not saying these discussions and rule changes are bad, but as coaches we may need to change some of our “time worn” ways of doing things.

To all of us, the safety of our players is paramount.  Most of us took the “head” out of our tackling vernacular years ago.  We must continue to teach safe tackling.  But, here is the rub… the conflict… the thin line we have to walk.  We ALL want to teach safe tackling, but we also ALL want to teach effective tackling.  There is a physical nature to the game that we have to prepare for.  We have the responsibility to prepare our athletes, mentally and physically, for the games they will be playing in on Friday nights.  If we have no contact (or the 5 minutes a day the players in the NFL will be getting) will our players be ready for the full speed, physical action on Fridays.

It will be up to us to become even better teachers, and even more efficient with our practice time (see a previous post, Practice, Not a Minute to Spare).  It will be up to us as coaches to come up with new ways to practice and prepare our athletes physically and mentally.  I will share one idea that we have used for years to help our athletes get quality “mental reps” during the week.

This works best in a large area with an overhead projector.  Often on a Thursday, if we wanted to limit the physical part of practice (during a collegiate work week) we would assemble our defense in a meeting room or on the auditorium stage.  We would arrange 11 desks (or chairs) facing the screen, roughly in our defensive alignment… 4 desks up front for the DL, 3 behind those for the LB’s, and 2 desks outside for the corners, and 2 behind for the safeties.

endzone

Our defensive starters would take their place in their respective desks, and we would roll video off a script of our opponent’s offense.  We would signal in the front/ stunt/ coverage call we wanted to run, the LB’s would make the call, and everyone would communicate just as they would during an actual play… “Tight” (run strength) call, Down and Distance tendencies, formation checks, etc.  As the play on the screen developed, they would mentally play the play, defeating the block, reading their key, mentally pursuing to the ball carrier, and talking through routes.  We would “play” a series or two, and then sub players into the chairs.  Everyone not in the 11 desks would be in the back getting a mental rep.

We would try to make this as “lifelike” as possible…  similar to the concepts of mental visualization (refer to post, Mental Visualization). We use calls that will be on the call sheet for that week, and communicate down and distance every play.  A large screen with an endzone shot is ideal.  It almost becomes like your players are in a video game, or one of those golf simulators.  We have even done this same thing with no desks or chairs with the athletes standing in their respective positions.  I really believe this type of interactive teaching could be used daily with your scout script to prepare you athletes for practice.  I discussed this, and the concept of “flipped coaching” in a previous post on my blog, Defensive Game Planning – Flipped Coaching.

There is an excellent article on CoachBook detailing Coach John Gagliardi’s approach at St. John’s University, at this link:  Winning With Limited Contact in Practice.  

This will be an ongoing situation we will need to deal with in our changing sport… adequately preparing our athletes, physically and mentally for our weekly contests.  The coaches that are good at adapting and creative in their teaching and coaching methods will have an advantage.

Thanks again to PrepsKC, for featuring this post on their site today!

Good luck to you all as head into this exciting time of the year!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Motivation and Coaching Study

CW-Forearm-Tap-PlankA couple of recent studies by Kansas State kinesiology professor, Brandon Irwin, looked at the effects of motivation and coaching.    In one study, Irwin had people perform planks, (lying face down, keeping your body straight, lifting yourself up on your elbows, and holding that position as long as you can) under three different conditions:

  • The first group did planks alone.
  • The second group had a partner who was an expert at planks but remained silent.
  • The third group had an expert partner who offered lots of verbal encouragement: “Come on. You can do it. You got this.

The second and third groups of partnered plankers both performed better than those that were solo.  The group that performed best, though, was the group with the silent, expert partner.  Why? Irwin says,

“… having a higher-performing partner is clearly motivating – people are competitive. But the motivational chatter may be seen as condescending or be mistaken for the partners encouraging themselves, suggesting that maybe they weren’t better after all. …What works best of all is leading by quiet example and addressing people’s needs directly. “

In a second study with stationary bikes, Irwin confirmed that people performed better with expert partners… improving about twice as much.  He and his researchers also discovered another factor that was even more powerful.  When bikers were told that their performance was contributing to a team score, they improved threefold.  Irwin states,

“What we think is that the feeling of being indispensable, which results from the shared goal, makes you work harder, especially when you know you’re the weaker link of the team,” says Irwin. “The bond becomes stronger.”

Irwin went on to state his belief that

group cohesion is a key motivational factor – feeling that your efforts are important to your team’s success.”

As a teacher and a coach how can you best apply this information?  As I mentioned in my post the other day, there is Strength in Numbers.   As we are heading into our Fall seasons, what can you, your staff, and your team leaders do to insure that everyone on the squad feels like they are part of the team and that their performance is important?  Is there a strategy that you can use when pairing athletes together in stretch lines, as workout partners, in drill work, in the locker room?

Tomorrow…. “well, back in my day …….” <==== said in a grumpy old man voice.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com