Getting Rich

godintedtalkSeth Godin  (Twitter  @ThisIsSethsBlog  Blog – ) is a business and marketing guru.  I read his blog daily.  It is always interesting, usually thought provoking, and often is a concept that I can apply as a teacher and coach.   His post earlier this week, Get Rich (Quick) exemplifies this.  I was going to add my commentary about how applicable these things are to teaching and coaching, but it really is unnecessary … it is perfect in its simplicity:

Get Rich (Quick)

Enrich your world by creating value for others.

Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.

Now…. go get richer … and remember…

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

Jeff Floyd –

[twitter-follow screen_name=’youcandomore1′]




Everyone has a story

A few years ago I spent a year teaching and coaching at an urban charter school.  I used to tell people that every student there “had a story”… meaning they had a situation that required your teaching and coaching methods to be individualized, tailored, to them; single parent, no parent, low income, etc.

Well, really, ALL of our students (athletes) “have a story” regardless of urban, suburban, rural, socioeconomic status, race or gender.  Seth Godin nailed it this week in his post, All the same:

“It’s forty degrees out and there’s a guy standing in front of the office building, shivering, indulging in his nicotine addiction. I can’t possibly empathize with what he’s thinking or feeling.

As I walk down the street, I pass an elderly woman in an electric wheelchair. Again, I have no idea what it is to be her.

And there, whipping around the corner in a fancy car, is an industrialist I recognize, someone with more employees, power and money than most of us would know what to do with.

It’s easy to lump people together into categories, easier still to say, “I know how you feel.” But we don’t, we can’t, and given the choice, people will choose to be the people they wish to be.

Mass markets were a shorthand forced on marketers who had too little time or information or leverage to treat different people differently. They are the result of the mass merchant, the mass media and mass production. But humans aren’t a homogeneous mass, we are individuals, as individual as we dare to be.

Marketing and governance and teaching and coaching and writing are built on a foundation of ‘everyone’, but in fact, we’d rather be someone.

Treat different people differently. Anything else is a compromise.”

You may have one team or one classroom, but it is made up of individuals, and if we are good, empathetic, compassionate teachers and coaches, we will treat them all individually… slightly different…. a form of differentiated instruction I suppose. We will try to learn what makes them tick… what their hot buttons are… what motivates them as individuals.

globales Sourcing

I was asked the question in a job interview once… “Do you treat all the players on your team the same?”… I think the insinuation was that if you didn’t, that you were practicing some form of favoritism.

My answer was this – “No, I do not treat all my players the same because they are all different individuals… but I do treat them all fairly.”

By the way, I got that job.

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

Jeff Floyd –

Don’t Spend – Invest

spend-or-investWe all would like to have big time budgets… to be able to get the best equipment, uniforms, stadiums, travel expenses, etc.  Most of us do not have that luxury.   Great coaches do not use that as an excuse, or let it get in the way of having a quality program.  They realize that quality has little to do with budget.

Marketing/ Business leader Seth Godin had this to say about businesses and budgets last week in his post, “Sometimes you don’t need a budget

Here are some things you can do that don’t cost any money (but they certainly require effort):

  • Treat your employees with care and respect
  • Be consistent in your actions
  • Keep your promises
  • Grant others their dignity
  • Give credit
  • Take responsibility
  • When wrong, offer a heartfelt apology
  • Don’t be a jerk
  • Take the time to actually listen to people
  • Volunteer to handle the issue
  • Care

Many of these very same things apply to having a quality athletic program, with a less than optimal budget.   Some really basic, yet important things that you can do to improve your program don’t cost a thing… other than effort.

Coach James Vint of Coronado High School in Lubbock, Texas echoed these sentiments in his excellent post, “Winning is a Process that ran last week.

“If you look at the most consistent programs at every level of football, you will find they share something in common. They all have a detailed process to develop their players.

A big part of the process is building relationships with players. Great coaches care about developing their student-athletes on and off the field. Because they care about their players, they are willing to set high standards for them on and off the field. They then hold them accountable to the standards.

You see, great coaches understand the correlation between character off the field and winning on the field. If you allow your players to be undisciplined off the field, it will result in mistakes on the field. One coach once told me, “never let discipline get in the way of winning.” What he meant was, let your best players do whatever they want. This is precisely the reason some talented teams do not consistently win. If your best athletes are above the law, you will lose the rest of the team. What this coach should have said was, “don’t let a lack of discipline get in the way of winning.” When players are not held accountable for their actions, they are not going to help your team be successful. They are going to fold up the tent when things get tough. If you hold them accountable early, you will not have big problems later.”

You don’t need to spend money… you can invest your time and energy into many things that don’t cost a cent, but will pay huge benefits to your program.

More posts along these lines:

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

Jeff Floyd –

The Seahawks, Broncos and Ernest Shackelton

The Seattle Seahawk’s Super Bowl run was fueled by their defense.  Do you know who their defensive coordinator was this season?

The Denver Broncos had the top offense this year in the NFL.  Can you name their offensive coordinator?

If you are like most fans, you probably cannot.

Ernest Shackelton is credited with engineering one of the most amazing maritime survival stories in History.  His ship, Endurance, got trapped in an ice flow during his Antarctic expedition in 1914.  As a result, he and his crew had to live on the Antarctic ice for a year, and then board three lifeboats when the ice eventually crushed the Endurance.  They sailed the boats 350 miles to Elephant Island.


At this point Shackelton took five men in one 20-foot long lifeboat and made an 800-mile open ocean journey to South Georgia Island where a whaling station was located.  After landing on South Georgia Island his group hiked 36 miles over the mountainous terrain to reach the whaling station.

After reaching the whaling station he immediately set out back to Elephant Island and rescued his stranded crew.  Four and a half months after leaving his men on the island he returned to safely rescue all 22 of his crew.

As I mentioned earlier, Shackelton is credited with this amazing survival story.

Frank_WorsleyThe thing is, it was actually the skills and leadership of the captain of the Endurance, Frank Worsley that saved the men. He was the one who sailed and navigated the ships safely to their destination on each leg of this epic journey. Worsley was the type of leader that avoided the limelight, and was content with just doing his job to the best of his ability.  Few know Frank Worsley’s name… many know the name of Ernest Shackelton.


Worsley was “Leading Up”.

Marketing/ Business Guru, Seth Godin explains “Leading Up” as…

“… creating a reputation and an environment where the people around you are transformed into the bosses you deserve.  When you do this with intention, it gets easier and easier. From afar, it seems impossible, and it will be until you commit to it.”

Someone who is leading up [I have added my comments in the brackets]…

“…takes the right amount of initiative, defers the right amount of credit and orchestrates success. That success might happen despite (not because) of who her bosses [head coach/ athletic director] are, and that’s just fine, because she’s leading up.”

Everyone knows the name Peyton Manning…. The Bronco’s Offensive Coordinator is Adam Gase.

Pete Carroll gets the lions share of credit for the Seahawks Super Bowl victory…. His Defensive Coordinator is Dan Quinn

Ernest Shackelton is a maritime legend but the real hero of the story was Frank Worsley.

They all are examples of “Leading Up

More on leadership at these posts:

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

Jeff Floyd –

Everyone is Legendary at Something

Everyone is Legendary at Something.

That is the tagline for the new Heineken Beer ad campaign which features…

  • A legendary rope climber…
  • A legendary bird caller…
  • A legendary bottle opener…
  • A legendary rail slicer…
  • A legendary eyebrow raiser…


And so on… 20 different guys on a cruise ship legendary at something. (You can see the ad in its entirety, including all the legends casting video at this link: Heineken – Odyssey Interactive

Everyone is legendary at something…

So, Coach… what is your legendary skill?

  • Tech?
  • Presenting?
  • Strategy?
  • Writing?
  • Organization?
  • Data?
  • Motivation?
  • Humor?
  • Film editing?
  • Word?
  • Problem solving?
  • Excel?
  • Hudl?
  • iMovie?

Now, just as important… how can you share that legendary skill?  That is why you got into coaching and teaching… correct?  Because you want to share/ teach/ coach/ help … other people.

Can you…

  • Present at a clinic?
  • Host a clinic?
  • Present at a clinic that you host?
  • Write an article for a coaching journal?
  • Write a blog?
  • Share something via email to your staff?
  • Share something via email to 100 staffs via an email clinic?
  • Make a screencast of drills for one of your drills?
  • Make screencast of drills for all of your staff?
  • Make a digital playbook for your program?

When you share your legendary skill… your art…  it will come back to you… be selfless, not selfish.

From a Seth Godin post:

“The irony, of course, is that selflessness (not selfishness, its opposite) is precisely the posture that leads to more success. The person with the confidence to support others and to share is repaid by getting more in return than his selfish counterpart.

The connection economy multiplies the value of what is contributed to it. It’s based on abundance, not scarcity, and those that opt out, fall behind.

Sharing your money, your ideas, your insights, your confidence… all of these things return to you. Perhaps not in the way you expected, and certainly not with a guarantee, but again and again the miser falls behind.”

Everyone is Legendary at something!

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

Jeff Floyd –

“Suddenly” a Champion

There seems to be a need in our culture for instant gratification…

  • in-n-out-burger-logoBullet points (see I am doing it)…
  • Netflix on demand…
  • Instant weight loss…
  • Disneyworld FASTPASS…
  • Immediate success…
  • Miracle strength gains…
  • Instant Messaging
  • Amazing body transformations…
  • Spectacular turnarounds.

The thing is, that doesn’t happen often in athletics or real life.  More often it is small, consistent, incremental growth that takes place.  But that growth over an extended period of time leads to BIG changes.

Seth Godin described it this way last week in his post, Gradually, then suddenly:

This is how companies die, how brands wither and, more cheerfully in the other direction, how careers are made.

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers become unentranced. We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit. Profit covers many sins. Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the support is gone, so is the profit. Suddenly, apparently quite suddenly, it all falls apart.

It didn’t happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly.

The flipside works the same way. Trust is earned, value is delivered, concepts are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset, but none of it seems to be paying off. Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works, but we too often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part. The media writes about suddenly, we notice suddenly, we talk about suddenly.

That doesn’t mean that gradually isn’t important. In fact, it’s the only part you can actually do something about.

We speak to our athletes all the time about consistency…

  • Winning the small battles each day….
  • Winning each day…
  • Win enough days and you have won the week…
  • Win enough weeks and the season is yours….
  • Win enough seasons and a great career is possible.

Small battles… incremental growth… then “suddenly” you are a champion… “suddenly” you have a championship season… “suddenly” you have a championship program.

We know, of course, that it does not happen suddenly…. It happens gradually…. then suddenly.  The suddenly gets notices… the gradual is the reality of it… the daily grind.

Other posts that might interest you on this topic:

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

Jeff Floyd –

“Top” posts … “Best” posts

I am back on solid ground… literally and metaphorically.  My wife and I just spent a week taking a class sailing and living aboard a 37 foot catamaran off the coast of Florida.   I will post later about what I learned about myself, about teaching, and coaching this last week.   Today I need catch up a bit.

2014I have been doing this blog for a year now.  I started last year, New Years Day, 2013, after reading Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception.   Over the course of this year I have written nearly 250 unique posts… well over 100,000 words.  Taking a cue from Coach Keith Grabowski, here are the top 14 posts at the start of 2014 (the “top” being most popular based on visits) from this past year:

  1. Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet                       
  2. Muscle Diagram                       
  3. Defensive Game Planning – The Play Grid                       
  4. Defensive Game Planning – Genealogy                       
  5. Your Best Work                       
  6. Defensive Game Planning – Weekly Workflow                       
  7. Defensive Game Planning – Game Procedures                       
  8. The Playbook is dead! Long live the Playbook!                       
  9. Defensive Game Planning – The Ready List           
  10. Defensive Game Planning – Film Breakdown and the Formation Analysis              
  11. Film Grading Tool                       
  12. Defensive Game Planning – Flipped Coaching                       
  13. Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms, and Video                       
  14. The Excel Workout Workbook

That being said, I am reminded by Seth Godin in his recent post, My most Popular blog posts this year that:

My most popular blog posts this year

…weren’t my best ones.

As usual, the most popular music wasn’t the best recorded this year either. Same for the highest-grossing movies, restaurants and politicians doing fundraising.

Best” is rarely the same as “popular.”

Which means that if you want to keep track of doing your best work, you’re going to have to avoid the distraction of letting the market decide if you’ve done a good job or not.

So…  here are 14 of my posts that did not make the “popular” list, but posts that I thought were some of my best!

  1. Enjoy the Journey
  2. True Team Building
  3. Just a Girl
  4. Do Things Right
  5. Some Assembly Required
  6. Justin
  7. Mettle, Metal, and Adversity
  8. Talent vs Attitude
  9. Get Uncomfortable
  10. The Courage to Compete
  11. Simply Multiple – The Coaching Paradox
  12. Chain of Accountability, Chain of Praise
  13. Goal Setting
  14. It’s the Singer, not the Song

Thanks to all for reading this past year…. I am looking forward to Doing More in 2014!

Jeff Floyd –

Standing out on a Shelf


  • What are you doing well?
  • What are you keeping?… throwing out?…
  • What are you changing?
  • How can you improve your teaching/ coaching?
  • How can you best utilize your (and your staff’s) strengths and improve your weaknesses?

During this time of the year, many of us are going through this self-evaluation process with our programs.   Baldwin Wallace Offensive Coordinator, Keith Grabowski shared some great info to guide you through the Strategic Planning and Quality Control steps in his post: Plan Your Work.  Work Your Plan.

I have shared some ideas as well in these posts:

Today I would like to pose another question as we enter this evaluation phase of the year.  If, after your evaluation, you decide to makes changes, offensively, defensively or in special teams, what are you going to “Put On the Shelf”… what are you going to display?

Marketing/ business guru, Seth Godin recently wrote in his post Getting Lost on the Shelf:

“A friend got some feedback on a new project proposal recently. “It will have trouble standing out on a shelf that’s already crowded.”

The thing is, every shelf in every store and especially online is crowded. The long tail made the virtual shelves infinitely long, which means that every record, every widget, every job application, every book, every website, every non-profit… all of it… is on a crowded shelf.

And the problem with a crowded shelf is that your odds of getting found and getting picked are slim indeed, slimmer than ever before.

Which is why ‘the shelf’ can’t be your goal. If you need to get picked from the shelf/slush pile/transom catchbasin then you’ve already lost.

The only opportunity (which of course, is the best opportunity ever for most of us) …. is to skip the shelf and be the one and only dominator in a category of one, a category that couldn’t really exist if you weren’t in it.

That’s hard to visualize, because it doesn’t match what you’ve been taught and what our culture has (until recently) celebrated, but it’s what’s on offer now.”

You might be asking “What does this have to do with football?”

Texas_Bevo_Wishbone_08142012Emory Bellard developed the wishbone offense (which actually has roots back to a Junior High School in Fort Worth, TX) and implemented it at the start of the 1968 season at the University of Texas.   UT, under Darrell Royal, tied their first game that season, lost their second, and then won the next 30 games and two national championships using the wishbone.  They were the first, and for a time the only team using the formation…. consider the problems preparing for that game.  They stood out on the shelf.

Tom Landry took the nose tackle and moved him back to Linebacker depth and created the 4-3 defense when he was coordinator with the NY Giants.  In 1956 the Giants won the NFL championship, and played for the championship again in 1958 and 1959.  Landry took his 4-3 defense to the Cowboys, and modified it into the “Flex” 4-3.  His Giant squads were the first, and for a time the only team lining up in that defense… consider the problems preparing for that game.  They stood out on the shelf.

Do you remember the first time you had to prepare for a spread offense?… a no huddle offense?… a Split 6 defense?… a “Bear” defense?… Is there a way you and your program can Stand Out On the Shelf?  Can you be a dominator in a category of one?

Jeff Floyd –


Yesterday in my post, Youth, I discussed some qualities in the mentor-mentee relationship; hard work, knowledge of subject, and loyalty on the part of the mentee, with the mentor having trust and belief in their mentee.  Youth often brings energy, exuberance, and a fresh outlook to the table; Experience, though, is important and valuable.

When I talk about experience, I am not strictly talking about seniority, or being “tenured”, or years on the job.  Schools and practice complexes are filled with teachers and coaches that have experience, but lack qualities that I consider valuable and worth emulating. 

I am talking about the experience

  • That comes from a history of successfully tackling difficult situations and handling them successfully
  • That comes from finding solutions to difficult challenges
  • That comes from “seeing” and navigating a “winning” path through a maze of obstacles
  • That comes from embracing new and different challenges rather than whining about change
  • That comes from having a large “bag of tricks” to pull from because they have “been there, done that

Author Seth Godin writes about this type of experience in his post, The river guide and the rapids:river2

“It’s probably not an accident that rapid (as in rapid change) shares a root with rapids (as in Lava Falls in the Grand Canyon).

The river guide, piloting his wooden dory, has but one strategy. Get the boat to the end of the river, safely. And he has countless tactics, an understanding of how water and rocks work, and, if you’re lucky, experience on this particular river.

The thing is, the captain changes his tactics constantly. He never whines. He doesn’t stop the boat and say, “wait, no fair, yesterday this rock wasn’t like this!” No, the practice of being great at shooting the rapids is a softness in choosing the right tactic, the ability to hold the tiller with confidence but not locking into it. If your pilot keeps demanding that the rapids cooperate, it’s probably time to find a new pilot.

Domain knowledge underlies all of it. Give me an experienced captain over a new one any day–the ones that got this far for a reason. Yes, the reckless pilot might get lucky, but the experienced pilot brings domain knowledge to her job. It takes guts to go onto the river, but once you’re there, the one who can see–see what’s coming and see what matters–is the one you want piloting your boat.”

Experience is:

  • Domain Knowledge
  • Choosing the right tactic for each unique situation
  • Confident – but not cocky
  • Seeing the right path – not the reckless or lucky one

Youthful exuberance is great… experience is a critical.

My advice to young coaches – find great, experienced coaches to emulate, and humbly know that you do not have all the answers… be a sponge.

To the veteran, experienced coaches – allow and trust your young, worthy, energetic staff to gain experience.  After all, the only way to get experience is to DO… we all have been trusted and given an opportunity at some point.  Pay it forward.

Jeff Floyd –




  • You are a leader…
  • Your coordinators are leaders…
  • Your position coaches are leaders…
  • Your captains are leaders…
  • Your seniors are leaders…
  • Your freshmen are leaders…
  • Your All-Conference players are leaders…
  • Your starters are leaders…
  • Your backups are leaders…
  • Your benchwarmers are leaders…
  • Your student managers are leaders…

The more leaders you have on your squad, the better.  But just as important as the number of leaders is the type of leaders you have on your team.

Seth Godin describes two types of leaders in a recent post Nature and Nurture (professional edition) .  Substitute any of the leaders from the previous list in the following description to make this applicable to your team:

“The boss, [insert your leader here], conference organizer, co-worker, interviewer, parent or client who wants your best work, your art and your genuine enthusiasm:

…can demand that you bring your best possible work the first time, can point out that they are paying you well, that they’re busy, that they’re powerful, and that they accept nothing short of high performance or you’re out.

…or they can nurture you, encourage you, set a high bar and then support you on your way. They can teach you, cajole you and introduce you to others that will do the same.

The first strategy is the factory mindset, of interchangeable parts and interchangeable people. It is the strategy of ensuring six-sigma perfection, on demand, and the strategy of someone in power, who can demand what he wants, when he wants it.

You don’t make art this way, or emotional connections, or things that haven’t been made before. You may get the job done, but it’s not clear if you’ll make a difference.”

How many leaders do you have on your squad, and what strategies are they using?  What strategies do you employ with your squad (or with your assistant coaches)?  Are your leaders making a difference?

If you are interested in developing leaders and improving their strategies, a great source for ideas is Coach Keith Grabowski’s blog.  All of his posts regarding leadership development can be found at this link: Grabowski’s Leadership Posts, which includes several posts on Servant Leadership.

Tomorrow the final post in the series, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest, and Saturday will begin the series on Defensive Game Planning.

Jeff Floyd –