Make Their Day

One of the Assistant Superintendents in our district stopped by last week before school and chatted with me…

You see, I am retiring after this school year.

We talked a little bit, about my plans, school, etc… before he left he said…

“I want you to know you have made a difference is this district”

I have to tell you, that made my day…

whistleIn fact it made my year, and really it was what I had hoped my whole career had been about

Who has made a difference in your school… on your team… in your district… in your life… with your career?

Make their day… tell them.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Low Tech… Highly Effective

Recently, during a Thursday evening Twitter #ironchat session, the first question out of the gate was:

Q1) What’s your favorite Olympic lift for triple extension? What’s the common fault you see in it & the cue you use to correct? #ironchat

Coach David Taylor’s (@coachrdt) response was:

A1) Hang clean is our top triple extension exercise, and the biggest issue we see is landing with our feet too wide ‪#ironchat

This was a sentiment echoed by many participating in the chat… clean was the favorite Olympic lift for triple extension, with incorrect foot placement (too wide) on the landing or catch phase of the lift a common problem.

Coach Taylor then finished his response with his idea for a “fix”

A1) cont… Crazy idea, make your athletes clean inside a small hoop, forcing them to concentrate on landing with feet in athletic stance within the hoop #ironchat

I take video pretty much daily in my Strength and Conditioning classes… and recently have recorded hours of our athletes doing explosive lifts… clean, push press, and snatch. The video has a number of uses for me… sharing with other coaches, posting on twitter or my blog, archiving for future reference, but mainly for checking my teaching.

It is very easy to see what the athletes are doing well, and equally easy to see what they need to work on. If there are any common threads regarding technique flaws with a number of my athletes, then typically that is something that I have not done a very good job of teaching, coaching or explaining.

In looking at recent video, two things were apparent to me:

  • Our athletes… pretty much across the board…. are doing a very good job during the explosive (triple extension) phase of their lifts, and…
  • Many of our athletes are exhibiting the same flaw as was mentioned in the #ironchat by Coach Taylor (and echoed by many others)… their feet were “flying out” during the catch phase of their lifts (clean, push press, and snatch)

Last Friday I dedicated the class in an attempt to correct this technique error… and the method I incorporated into the class was the “Hula Hoop” indicator.

OK, granted, it was a pretty “low tech” attempt at correcting this flaw…. low tech but highly effective.

I gathered up 6 Hula Hoops that had the diameter that I was looking for, and as a bonus they all were constructed with fairly thin tubing. I put each hoop inside the rack and had the athletes begin their clean with their feet situated in the hoop on what would be the diameter.

The athletes did 3 sets of 8 reps using the weight from their workout card on the first set of their light day workout… which is about 62% of their 1RM.   This weight was light enough where they could concentrate on foot placement, and heavy enough where they still needed to use good technique during the explosive phase of the lift.   Here is what I found out:

  • There was immediate tactile feedback whenever the lifters feet varied much from the norm… including width, stagger, or movement forward or backwards
  • The lifter did not need to look down (which would effect their technique) to benefit from the hoop
  • The feedback was not so much as to disrupt the rep or endanger the lifter, but enough for the athlete to know foot placement was incorrect.
  • As they progressed through their 3 sets of 8 reps, nearly everyone who was experiencing “foot flyout” saw their technique improve

As you can see in this video (which was not uncommon) this athlete’s feet struck the hoop on their first rep, and their base narrowed incrementally after each reap.

Here is another, similar video.

These are a fairly typical sampling of the video that I recorded that day.

Here is a bit longer movie showing several athletes doing their “hula hoop cleans“, followed by video without the hoop, shot the following Monday on their “heavy” hang clean day, (sets of 8 reps with 75-80% of their 1RM).

Although their foot placement is not perfect, it is considerably better than previous to using the “hula hoop technique” to emphasize foot placement.

Thanks again to Coach Gardner (@CODY_GARDNER ) the host of #ironchat, (Thursday nights at 8:00-9:00 pm CST) and Coach Taylor (@coachrdt ) for this training idea.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Medicine Ball Workout

At least once a month, on our training days outside of the weight room, we do a medicine ball workout.

Last week during the #ironchat (a strength and conditioning chat held on twitter Thursday evenings) I mentioned this workout. A few colleagues were asking about what we do (and video) so this is the expanded version… one drawback to the #chat format is depth of detail is at times difficult with 140 character limitation.

We workout in pairs, using one medicine ball per pair.   The athletes choose a ball between 5 and 10 pounds, dependent on their strength level.

I want the athletes to understand that this workout is NOT about doing a lot of weight, or even doing a lot of reps… we do that on other training days. The most “weight” anyone will be lifting (in addition to their body weight) is 10 pounds, and the most reps we do on any one drill are 10 reps.

This workout IS about:

  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Flexibility and
  • Doing all the “Little Things” right

We do 13 different drills in the workout, typically doing 10 reps for each drill. On drills that the athletes do 10 consecutive reps by themselves (not passing the ball between the partners) we ask the athlete not active to “coach” their partners…. letting them know if they are doing it well, and fixing any technique flaws that they see.  It is also another way of checking for understanding with your students.

Here are the 13 drills we do, the order that we complete the drills, and the “little things” …the coaching points… for each drill.

Lunge with a twist – Across basketball court

  • Sink hips
  • Keep shoulders back
  • Keep arms extended and parallel to the ground

Figure 8 – 20 passes

  • Back to back about 3 ft apart
  • Feet “in concrete” stationary – do not even pivot
  • Hand the ball (do not toss) with two hands to partner
  • Ball should make a figure 8 pattern, crossing between partners

Sit ups – 10 each

  • Feet 2-3 feet apart
  • Extend ball above head
  • Sit up with ball and body moving in the same plane
  • Toss ball to partner who extends ball above head, goes down and touches ball to ground, trying to keep ball and body in the same plane

Vertical Chest Pass – 10 each

  • Partner drops ball from about eye level
  • Partner on back extends arms
  • When ball touches hands, collapse arms to chest
  • Immediately “punch” ball as high as you can
  • No pause at top when ball touches hands or at the bottom at chest

Overhead Squat – 10 each

  • Low and Slow
  • Arms extended above head
  • Perfect squat technique – Head up, shoulders back, feet flat
  • Partner not active in the drill will “coach”

Front Squat – 10 each

  • Low and Slow
  • Arms extended an parallel with ground
  • Perfect squat technique – Head up, shoulders back, feet flat
  • Partner not active in the drill will “coach”

Squat Pass – 10 passes each

  • Both partners in perfect squat position through all 10 passes
  • Two handed pass to partner
  • Remain stable and balanced – arms only body part moving

Squat Jump – 10 each

  • Seat ball in chest
  • Lower to full squat position
  • Explode, maximum effort, feet off the floor
  • Reset base after each jump
  • Partner not active in the drill will “coach”

Overhead Pass – 10 each

  • No step or upper body sway
  • Extend ball above head with elbows by ears
  • Dip ball behind head and execute 2 handed pass to partner
  • Try to isolate triceps
  • Remain stable and balanced – forearms only body part moving

Slam Pass – 10 each

  • Step with slam ball into ground about 2/3 way to partner
  • 5 throws stepping with right foot, 5 with left

Squat Put – 10 each

  • Execute perfect full squat
  • From the squat position explode off ground – 2 hand push for height and distance
  • Keep shoulders back – Don’t bend at the waist

Squat Toss (Front) – 10 each

  •      Extend ball in front
  •      Arms parallel to ground
  •      From the squat position explode off ground – tossing ball for height and distance
  •      Keep shoulders back – Don’t bend at waist
  •      Throw the ball with your legs

Squat Toss (Back) – 10 each

  •        Back to partner
  •        Extend ball in front
  •        Arms parallel to ground
  •        On command – from the squat position explode off ground – tossing ball for height and distance
  •        Keep shoulders back – Don’t bend at waist
  •        Throw the ball with your legs

I would encourage you to check out the Twitter #ironchat on Thursday nights.  An explanation of how the Twitter chats (#chats) works can be found in this post… #TXHSFBCHAT… The Fastest 60 Minutes on the Internet

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Resilience

I am continually fascinated by how many concepts from other disciplines relate to coaching, teaching, athletics… and well…. life.

Bestselling business/ marketing author, Seth Godin (I read his blog daily, and have read all of his books) wrote about resilience last week…

Resilience

Given how important it is, it’s surprising we don’t hire for it.

How easily do you bounce back from a disappointment? What is your reaction to change? As an investor, or a board member or an employee, are you seeking stability or impact?

Resilience is a skill, one that’s probably more valuable than most.

As a teacher and a coach… itresilience… is equally important.   There are always hurdles… there will be setbacks… we all have challenges…

snow dayIt is a trait I personally want to possess…

It is a trait I want my assistant coaches to possess…

It is a trait I want my players to possess…

My question then becomes, as teachers and coaches how do we teach resiliency to our student-athletes? How can we coach our players to be more resilient?

Now, this is not a rhetorical question.

I would like your input… this is a call to action.  I would like to hear your ideas on this… what do you do in your program to foster this trait… lets collaborate.  Leave a comment on this blog… or shoot me a quick email.

I will share the results.

Here is another opportunity to collaborate…

As I mentioned last week, Lee Weber (CSIC and head football coach at Wamego High School, KS) is asking coaches to send in their favorite drills so he can compile a “best of” Twitter #fbchat drill guide. Please consider sending one of your favorite drills to Coach Weber (gcwarrior@gmail.com) for inclusion in his drill guide.

“A rising tide lifts all ships”

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Signing Day and Recruiting

I originally published this post a couple of years ago… it is, of course, still very relevant this year. Each year I am amazed with the flurry of recruiting activity (mainly from those student-athletes wanting to get recruited) during the month of January. This really is something that student-athletes (and their families) should be taking care of beginning with their 9th and 10th grade years. Hopefully this information will find its way into some of those young student athletes hands … and heads!

Signing Day and Recruiting

National Signing Day is exciting.

  • Exciting for the student-athletes (and their parents) that are beginning the next step of their athletic and academic career…
  • Exciting for high school coaches that are proud to see the young men that they have helped mold, shape and develop get rewarded for their work….
  • Exciting for the college coaches that have worked so hard over the last year (and longer) to put together their 2014 recruiting class… (and can now get off the road for a few weeks!)

national_signing_day

For the seniors signing the NLI , today is the culmination of the recruiting process.  For everyone else (athletes in grades 9-11) the process is either still ongoing, or just getting going.

When I checked my blog stats over the last couple of weeks, I noticed a huge spike with search terms regarding recruiting and that National Letter of Intent.  People with questions like “Does signing the NLI mean I get a full scholarship?” and “How will the NLI be delivered?”.  This tells me what I already know… the recruiting process can be a scary and confusing time for student-athletes and their parents.

For student-athletes and parents with questions, I have compiled some links and posts that might help understand the recruiting process.  For high school coaches, steering your athletes and parents to these posts might help relieve some of the burden of explaining this complicated process.  I also make the point… often and strongly… that a high school coach will not “get you (or anyone) a scholarship”… that it is ultimately up to them as a student-athlete.

You can click on the following links to navigate to these pages:

The Flipbard Magazines have links my recruiting posts.   There is a little overlap, as some of the “Pyramid” posts are also included in the Wanted and Rewarded ebook. They are optimized for viewing on an iPad, but can also be read on your computer.

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.

 

Questions or Comments are always welcomed… I will  answer!  Just shoot me an email or leave a comment.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com