Learning How to Compete

With the 2014 season under our belts, everyone is now headed into, or already deep into their off-season programs.

One of the best things that we ever did as part of our off-season program was to incorporate weekly, team competitions in our workouts. This was not an original idea of mine, but we did add some unique elements to the concept.

The first thing we did each year was to divide our returning squad members (anyone who was planning on being part of our upcoming season) into 11 teams. We selected the teams by appointing 11 seniors as captains and holding a draft, with each captain selecting their squad. The draft was only open to these 11 seniors, so no one else knew the discussions about, or order in which squad members were picked.   This draft became a much-anticipated event, with the seniors putting a lot of thought into their selections.

After the teams were picked and posted, we revealed (sort of) the competitions for each week. I say “sort of” because we did not let them know exactly what they would be doing, the rules, or criteria for winning until that weeks contest. For instance, the name for one of our contest was “War Games”… which was a tug of war tournament between all of the teams… but up until that week there was all kinds of speculation as to what the competition might be!

 

tugWe incorporated many aspects of “team” and character into our weekly competitions… trying to get our players to compete in many areas that would make them a better student-athlete… they were not limited to just strength and conditioning. Here are some things we had the teams compete for:

  • Best attendance for the week (school)
  • Best attendance for the week (weight room)
  • Tug of war
  • Last Man Standing (holding a 25 lb plate at arms length)
  • Most Breaks (increasing their estimated 1RM) in a week
  • Best attendance at a girl’s basketball game
  • 2 Men Enter (try to pull the flag in the sock of the opponent in a 5 yd x 5 yd square)
  • Highest Average Pound for Pound Ratio
  • Highest Average Power Quotient
  • Most team members that finished the squad reading assignment (That First Season, by John Eisenberg)
  • Obstacle Course (included carrying a 45 pound plate, flipping tractor tire, driving sled, and sprinting)
  • Highest average GPA for that quarter

Each week the team would get points for their finishing rank (1st=1 point, 2nd=2 points, etc) and at the end of our winter/ spring strength and conditioning sessions, the team with the fewest points was crowned the winner. Each member of the winning team received one helmet reward decal prior to the first game of the following season.

The contests were always fun and spirited, and each week we saw new leaders emerge… and they were not always the “official” captains. Players would encourage, hold each other accountable, and be held accountable for these wide array of items.   It was always interesting, too, to see how the captains picked their respective teams each year… knowing the strengths that were needed to succeed in this competition.

This concept had positive effects on a number of levels. There is definitely a team building/ bonding aspect to it. Our athletes got used to holding teammates accountable, and being held accountable. It helped develop and expose leaders and teach leadership. These competitions also helped our student-athletes learn how to compete, and emphasized a number of character related qualities with them.

As an added bonus, our administration loved it because we were measuring and talking about things like attendance, academics, and reading with our athletes.

As I mentioned, this was not an original idea (like most good things that we did) but was one that we added to each year to help make our off-season program a little more competitive and fun.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

 

The Gift

It is the season of giving.

Here is a gift that costs nothing and will lift the spirits of both you and the recipient.

Try this… tomorrow tell someone…. many people in fact… that they “did a good job.”  

Tell your students, colleagues, custodians, administrators, etc.

Here are some things to consider as you begin your gift-giving extravaganza.

The sentiment has to be sincere… insincerity is obvious and will turn your “gift” into a negative.

All your accolades don’t need to be the same, or given for the same reason.

  • “Good job in PE class today”
  • “I appreciate you dressing out and participating today”
  • “Good effort on your hang clean today”
  • “Thanks for listening while I was explaining the lift today”
  • “Good job of spotting today… it is an important job”
  • “Thanks for helping to clean the table today”
  • “Good hustle last night during your game”

gift givingProbably the most important consideration is this: It doesn’t need to be a “Great job” you are commenting on… just a good job. Those doing great jobs are probably already getting recognition for their accomplishments. If you wait to only “give” the gift of “good job” to those doing a GREAT job, you have limited the amount of recipients. Give this gift… give it freely.

Find the person that is flying under the radar, and make their day.

We are all busy… every minute of the day filled. Here are some great times to give your gift.

  • Before school as the students enter the building
  • During passing time
  • In the cafeteria during lunch
  • In another teacher’s classroom
  • It does not have to be a scripted 20-minute oratory… just a simple “good job”.

Try it… tomorrow. For increased value, add a fist bump!

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

Superfans?

This time of year I get to watch a lot of football games. I am about to go into a rant here, and it may offend some people, but hey, as they say, “I have the chalk.”

Something struck me recently after observing the fans in action live, during a college game, and then watching the TV coverage during a professional game.   When did the concept of being a “good” fan or a “super” fan change? When did the definition of a fan change from “one who goes to the game, cheers for their team, and focuses their attention on the athletes competing”, to “one who goes to the game and tries to draw attention to themselves”?

raiders costumeThe amount of inane antics and silly costumes worn by “superfans” is ridiculous. It really has become all about “hey, look at me” and very little about the competition or the competitors.   Just Google the term “superfan” and see what you get.

Give me the loyal fans who know the athletes names and positions, are intent on being entertained by the action on the field, know when to cheer (or boo) and are doing so to help further the cause of the competitors doing battle… for their team… for their city… or school.

I don’t need or want to be entertained by someone dressed up in a Darth Vader costume with their team’s logo on it…. and I don’t buy the concept that by doing so, they somehow “care” more.

I really don’t want to be distracted from the game that I love.

truman tossI love watching the athletes compete. I love watching the strategy of the coaches unfold. I love the great plays… the great hits… the great catches… the great runs.

For me, that is entertainment enough.

I guess that I am just not a “superfan”

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com