The Limitations of 140 Characters

Let me preface this post by saying that I embrace technology and I use many social media tools.

I tweet daily, scan the twittershpere for nuggets, and participate in several online twitter chats (see Post #TXHSFBCHAT… The Fastest 60 Minutes on the Internet)

That being said, twitter 140these tools all have limitations… and in many ways (like for really in-depth study and research), they are doo doo (RIP Gene Wilder).

To think you are going to learn much anything of substance by reading a 140 character tweet is misguided at best, and really pretty lazy at worst.

I worry at times that colleagues are spending… investing… time scrolling through their twitter account searching for that Golden Ticket (RIP Gene Wilder)… that single concept, phrase, or idea that will put their program on the path to greatness…

Probably not an investment that will pay huge dividends.

Most concepts in football (or coaching) have more substance than can be adequately covered in a tweet, Instagram picture, or Facebook post. My single post, Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet, has over 1,000 words, (6,500 characters) about a dozen images and a 10-minute video… and I still worry that I adequately covered the subject!
What I try to do with my tweets (or re-tweet) is to get your attention… and then direct you to where the substance is… to where the REAL information is… which normally will take some time to read and digest.

It is not about instant gratification or a sound bite… it is about learning, content, and thoughtful study.

There is no shortcut… the only guaranteed shortcut … take the long way!

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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Rocket Science

It is not… getting recruited, that is. It is not Rocket Science.

launch1bHere’s the deal… the concepts are simple, the actual “doing”, tends to be much harder.  There really is no “magic bullet”, sure-fire single thing that will get you a college scholarship.  There really is no “miracle pill” that will get the college recruiters lining up at your door.  Well, there really is a “miracle pill” that you can take, but it just takes four (or more) years and a lot of hard work to swallow!

fork in roadWhat it boils down to is that over the next four years (if you are a freshman) you will be given literally thousands of choices that you will need to make. The result of these choices will either get you closer to your goal of being a college athlete and being rewarded for your hard work, or put you further away from your dream.

The sneaky thing, the really insidious thing, is that most of these choices by themselves aren’t “deal breakers”… making the right choice will not automatically earn you a college scholarship, and making the wrong choice will not prevent it.  So it is easy to think at the time you have to make the choice, “oh, this is no big thing”.  And you are right, this one single choice probably is NOT a big thing, but making these choices, good or bad, is incremental and cumulative.

I have seen student-athletes make these same types of choices over the last 30 years of my career.  The athletes that make the majority of choices that positively impact their goal are FAR more likely to achieve that goal.

Here are some choices that bombard a typical high school athlete…

  • You decide to skip the Friday after school off-season program because you want some extra time to get ready for your date tonight…. It Matters!
  • You decide to take a Team Sports class next semester instead of Advanced Strength Training for Athletes because it is easier… It Matters!
  • You work out with a group of 4 at a rack instead of 3, knowing that there will be more rest time… It Matters!
  • You chat with your friends in the evening instead of reading your literature assignment, which you will be tested over in the morning… It Matters!
  • You miss a summer-school strength and conditioning class session because you were “just too tired”… It Matters!
  • You stand at the side and talk to a teammate while others are practicing and coaches are coaching instead of getting a “mental rep”… It Matters!
  • You take your scouting report home, but don’t study it like the coach asked you to because your favorite TV show was on… It Matters!
  • Your mom schedules a dentist appointment on the day of practice, but you say “It’s OK, we just have practice that day”…. It Matters!
  • You decide to go to a party where you know there will be alcohol and underage drinking because all of your friends will be there…. It Matters!
  • You are late to practice because you have a detention for too many tardies…It Matters!
  • You jog through the finish of a drill instead of going full speed because you know the coach is helping someone else and isn’t looking at you… It Matters!

You get the idea, and could probably add more examples of choices you have had to make.  These types of choices come up all the time… daily… and I am here to tell you that It Matters!  It is not easy – as I said this “Miracle Pill” takes four years and a lot of hard work to swallow.  But you can do it… You Can Do More!

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.

 

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Your “Happy File”

Being a Coach/ Teacher is a difficult profession.

We put our product… our self and our team… out there for everyone to see and “evaluate” many times a year.

As Coach Greg Schiano said,

“There are two things every man in America thinks he can do: work a grill and coach football”

Or volleyball, or basketball, or soccer.

And our harshest critic is typically our self.

If we lose, we shoulder the blame and analyze everything that could have been done differently or better…

When we win, we heap praise on those around us and immediately start scheming for the next contest, often without taking time to enjoy the one that finished bare minutes ago.

Here is a suggestion, as corny as it sounds, to help achieve some balance when the negative voices (including those of our own making) start getting too loud.

Many years ago my wife suggested that I keep a “Happy File”… a file to hold all the nice things that come my way… cards, letters, notes, etc.   I file that I could pull out every so often and get reminded of the good work… the good people… that have happened to me.

IMG_0414I started my “Happy File” over 30 years ago and it has traveled with me throughout my career.

I have letters from athletes that I coached during my first head coaching position at Osceola High School.

I have a letter from the mother of the first athlete I recruited and signed while I was at the University of Central Missouri.

I have notes from principals, Athletic Directors, Journalists, Assistant Coaches, and English teachers.

When I pull that file out … like recently when I added some things to it… and glance through its contents, I am immediately taken back to that time… that event… and the emotions surrounding it. It is powerfulvisceralreal.

And it always lifts my spirits.

It does not make the job any easier, but keeping a “Happy File” is a pretty simple way to help achieve some balance when you hit that inevitable rough patch.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

What Your Athletes Really Want From You

The week leading up to my retirement in May, a couple of teachers did a really nice thing. They encouraged students that were in my Strength and Conditioning class to write “thank you” letters and cards to me.

FullSizeRender 3I received about 80 of these notes!

What these 7th and 8th graders  wrote was sweet, thoughtful, and revealing. I think that because they knew I was leaving, they felt comfortable really opening up…. and they did.

Here are some excerpts from a few of their letters….

“You have motivated and inspired us to be physically and mentally strong. We will use this strength for the rest of our lives.”

“From you, I learned about confidence and never giving up… and I thank you so much for that”

“Thank you for everything you have taught me this year… mentally, four words, “you can do more” mean so much and apply to all things”

“You made me stronger and taught me how to compete and never give up”

“Thank you for teaching me how to be a better athlete and compete. I will carry these skills throughout high school and life.”

“You motivated me and made me believe I can do anything and not to give up. I feel like I can do more because of you and I appreciate that.”

“You taught me how to push myself and try my best all of the time.”

“I want to thank you for pushing me to do my vest, believing in me, and for never letting me give up”

“I have improved in so many ways, both mentally and physically, and I know it will help me the rest of my life.”

“This class made me both mentally and physically stronger and made me more competitive”

“Thank you for always pushing me to work hard. I will carry everything you taught me throughout my life.”

“This class also helped build up my self confidence and helped my focus”

“Thank you for helping me push through and do things I thought were nearly impossible. I will always remember you and use your advice for the rest of my life!”

“I have learned more about myself this year in weightlifting than I could have imagined. Without this class I wouldn’t be the person or athlete I am today.”

“Because of the strength and conditioning class I accomplished that goal, and now maybe I could accomplish the other goals on my Goal Card like go to BYU!”

“I just want you to know that you have changed my point of view in about everything! You have showed me that no matter the challenge, I could accomplish it as long as I do my best. I want you to know that you have affected my life greatly and I wont ever forget you.”

“Thank you for always pushing me in the weight room, sports, academics, etc. You have had a big impact on my life.”

“You helped me become a better athlete and person by pushing me and never letting me quit even if I wanted to.”

You can probably see for yourself that there are some common threads running through the notes from these thoughtful young adults. Here are some of my takeaways:

  • They want to be pushed… they want to work hard
  • They want someone to believe in them
  • They know they are learning life skills 

I shared these heartfelt comments not to pat myself on the back, but so you will realize THIS

You have kids in your program that feel the same way about you… but since you aren’t retiring, you aren’t afforded the luxury (and enjoyment) of reading 80 thank you cards.

Those kids are out there… they are counting on you… they are looking up to you… they want you to inspire and push them… they want you to believe in them.

They need you… and you make a difference in their lives.

Yours is an awesome job with awesome responsibilities.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Getting a Great ROI

ROI

Return on Investment..

Something all business/ finance experts are looking for…. what am I going to get in return for spending my X amount of $$$?

As coaches/ teachers we do the same thing when calculating how to spend our often times meager budget allocations.

I have written and shared before a couple of motivational ideas (investments) that cost very little but can have a great impact (return) in your program… including this post called The Impact of $4.

If $4 is still too steep of an investment for you, how about 6 cents?

The past two years, twice a year (one time each semester) I have taken a picture of every student in class completing a lift.   I take the picture of the student executing a push press rep… for a number of reasons…

  • It is a lift most of the students like doing
  • In addition to showing the lifter, it also shows the spotters (teamwork)
  • It is impressive looking… the bar above their head with plates on it!

I take two pictures (to insure I get one good one) of each student using my phone…. it actually takes very little time. I pick the better of the two and delete the other. On each photo I add our class name and year at the bottom (Bingham Strength and Conditioning 2016) I organize them all in a folder and send them electronically to Walgreens.

IMG_0362By keeping an eye on Walgreen ads that come in my inbox, I can usually get these 4×6 pictures printed for about 6 cents each… and am able to pick them up the same day!

The day I distribute the pictures is always one of my favorite days of the year. I emphasize that I want them to save their photo, take it home to show their family, show their teachers and friends, and talk about what we are doing in class.

That 6 cents generates a great deal of excitement (ROI)… and when I take, print and distribute the pictures second semester, it allows the students (and their families) to instantly see the progress they have made in class by comparing the two pictures… almost like a “before and after”. Comments like these are common…

  • “I have both pictures in my room”
  • “My mom took my picture to work to show her friends”
  • “My dad didn’t believe I could lift this much”
  • “We still have the pictures from last year on our fridge!”

Is 6 cents still too much of an investment?

How about free?

At the beginning of every class period, I have one student’s workout card projected at the front of the room.   I use their card to explain the day’s workout and talk about the class “challenge” for the day.

IMG_0236I pick a new student and card each day, from each class. I really don’t ever discuss my criteria for selection, but the students come to realize there is an unspoken method to the process… it isn’t random, alphabetical, etc.

Invariably during the course of the year, a student will eventually ask “how do you pick the card that you put up there each day?

I then turn it around and ask them “How do you think I pick it?” … and they always know the answer… it is someone that has been doing things right in class.

It seems like a silly little thing, but the students WANT their card to be the one picked… they want to be recognized… they want to be told “Good Job!” in front of their peers.

It is so easy to do, the investment is zero $, and creates a sizable return each class period.

Every day… every hour… it makes one student feel good… it makes one student proud.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

When Everyone Stops to Watch

We have all seen it…

No buildup or promo is needed…

It is not a matter of mass marketing or launching a social media campaign…

It is genuinehonestorganic

Everyone in the room knows that they are witnessing something special

There is a mutual respectadmiration… for what is being attempted…

Everyone stops what they are doing and watches…

Anxiously…. nervously… hopefully…

Wanting to witness a successful attempt.

This happened yesterday in one of my Strength and Conditioning classes.

Airianna Miller, an 8th grader in her second year in this class, was attempting a new PR for her 8-rep max on push press.

Airianna plays basketball, volleyball, and is a competitive cheerleader.

This is what happened at the end of class yesterday.

 

None of this was staged or pre-arranged.

The class knew what she was attempting… and as you can see in the video… more and more people stopped to watch as she successfully completed each rep.

By the time she had finished everyone had stopped to watch.

At the end there was great excitement. You can only see the beginning before the film cuts off, but the whole class stopped to give Arianna an ovation.

Including me.

  • Who says 8th graders are silly and immature?
  • Who says 8th graders are mean spirited?
  • Who says 8th graders are irresponsible?
  • Who says 8th graders can’t work together?
  • Who says 8th graders are not physically or mentally ready to take a Strength and Conditioning class?
  • Who says 8th graders like bodily function humor?

OK… maybe the last one is correct… the others… not so much!

This job can be really awesome!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

It’s That Simple

Last week, while sitting at a varsity basketball game, I had the chance to visit with a group of former students that I had in my 8th grade Strength and Conditioning class last year. These student-athletes are now high school freshman and have had a really terrific year… athletically and academically… at our high school.

The conversation centered on their successful first year, and their anticipation of great things to come… they really are a gifted class, by the way.

One of the students made the comment along the lines of  “We’ve got this, Coach… we are going to be the class to turn things around at this school”

I replied, “keep working… you will

He came back with “That’s all you’ve got coach… keep working?”

Yes”, I said, “it really is that simple… and that difficult

It really is that simple…

  • Keep working….
  • Keep chopping wood
  • Keep pushing
  • Keep grinding
  • Keep plugging away
  • Keep driving

And really that difficult…

  • when you start to get pulled different directions…
  • when you lose sight of your goals…
  • when academic rigor gets tough…
  • when cars, and jobs, and relationships start stealing your time…
  • when your alarm goes off at 5:30 am during summer “vacation”…
  • when injuries happen…

when you and your classmates get hit with the million different distractions that are always lurking… just waiting to pounce on you… during your high school career…

Keep working.

chopping wood

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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”

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Your “Magic Bullet”

Clinic season.

Offensive schemes, defensive techniques, vendors touting all the latest gear guaranteed to help elevate your program.

What if…

What if the single thing that would make the greatest difference in your program wasn’t for sale?

What if the most important thing that would move your program forward had nothing to do with X’s, O’s, workouts, or technique?

In the last week I have seen four different references to this “magic bullet”… all from people who are experts in our field…

Relationships

In Tom Coughlin’s farewell press conference he had this to say about relationships

“While it is the job of the head coach to get the technical football right, …it is our duty to equip these men with the virtues that will last a lifetime, the values like honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, service and integrity, those are the things that we teach in addition to the football”

“What has become extremely important to me as I’ve grown in this position is relationships. Relationships have become the primary objective in my career.”

“While the two Super Bowl trophies right out here are incredible accomplishments, and I’m very proud of them, don’t get me wrong, I believe it is the unbreakable bond between coach and player that defines me as a coach…”

In an article for the Michigan State magazine, The Players Tribune, Kirk Cousins (Redskins QB) described a certain “Freshman” on the Michigan State squad during his initial year as a Spartan… (spoiler alert… the “freshman” he is describing is first year head coach Mark Dantonio)

“The other thing about this freshman was that he would ask all of these questions. I swear, with every guy on the team, he’d sit down next to them, and he’d just … ask stuff. He’d ask about everything. He’d ask about their family (“How are things at home?”) … about their love life (“You seeing anyone?” — and if they were: “How’s that relationship?”) … about their spiritual life. He’d ask about what sort of classes they were taking, and about how they were doing in those classes. And whether they were doing poorly or well, he’d dive into that subject with them and want to know all about it.”

“And again: We’re talking every guy. And we’re talking a whole football team. Like 100-plus players, easily. It was crazy. But this guy just cared. I don’t know how else to explain it. And he was so committed to caring. To see that from anyone would have been impressive. But to see it from a freshman? It was inspiring.”

“That freshman’s name was Mark….you might know him better as Coach Dantonio.”

The Freshmen

He went on to describe how the culture “trickled down” into all aspects of the program…

“…the thoughtful outlook, the supportive attitude, those personal conversations — they’re not a stunt. Rather, they’re examples — just a few of many I could give you — of the culture that Coach D has built at Michigan State over these last nine seasons. It’s a culture that values people as people — not athletes, not blue chips, not superheroes, not scapegoats — and uses relationships, more than anything else, as its positive energy source.”

“And while that culture started with Coach Dantonio, it wasn’t long before it permeated through the entire program. Trust me on this one: When the head coach acts like that … you notice. Everyone notices. The coordinators pick up on it. The position coaches pick up on it. The strength coaches, the team leaders, the other players — they all pick up on it. And then pretty soon, you have an entire culture where everyone has bought into this one, big idea.”

“Coach convinced us that being better people would, literally, make us better football players.”

Mark Bachtel, the head football coach at Scurry-Rosser High School in Texas had this to say during last Wednesday’s session of #TXHSFBCHAT… The Question (Q2) was…

(Q2) What are the priorities for your position to accomplish between now and the beginning of the 2016 football season? #txhsfbchat

Amid the myriad of answers from coaches about kids getting bigger, stronger, faster, and coaches plans to get “clinic-ed up”, popped this answer…

(A2) From a HC perspective I want each position coach to get buy in/commitment from their guys. Build relationships. #txhsfbchat

And finally, a recent Houston Gazette article on the University of Houston’s first year head football coach Tom Herman describes the culture he has developed during this seasons 13-1 campaign.

One by one, the University of Houston football players will get off the team bus Saturday morning at Rentschler Field.

First-year coach Tom Herman will be there to greet them at the door, giving each a hug and peck on the cheek.

It’s all a part of a “love culture” Herman has brought to the UH football program since being hired last December.

“We use the word ‘love’ a lot around here,” explained Herman.

“It’s not ‘love you bro, or dawg’ with a one-handed, (butt) out hug. We’re not into that around here. We are into real, genuine love. It is the only way I know how to do it, and it is the only way that we know how to do it. It has paid off so far.”

Since arriving from Ohio State, where he spent three years and was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for last year’s national champion, Herman has preached a culture based on family and each player “playing for their brothers.”

“I have been a part of and played against you name it and see on TV talented teams that don’t care about each other, and they’re average. To say that you are going to be elite in this sport, or championship-level without genuine love or care for the guy next to you, it can’t happen. I know it can’t happen.”

Four times this week… guys that are at the top of their craft talking about relationships.

We all have a lot on our plate.

Sometimes, amid our quest to become a better “technical” coach, we give short shrift to the most important thing we can do in our programs… develop relationships.

What would/ could that look like in your program?

Ours is an awesome job, with awesome responsibilities.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Attributes of a Champion

What does a champion… a winner… look like?

They come in all sizes and shapes.

There are many attributes that make up a champion… some tangible, but many not easily quantified.

A couple of years ago, through a connection made possible by LinkedIn, I found a chart that provided an awesome visual that athletes can use for self evaluation.

Evaluation_of_Performance_Chart

You can read about how Coach Tony Courville (who I got the chart from) uses this tool in the Teurling Catholic Football Program in this post – Evaluation of Performance Chart.

I really like this chart… I think it brings into focus many of the abstract qualities related to being a winner.

In fact, I liked the chart and the concepts behind it so much that I converted it to a Word document so I could use it in my program, with my athletes.

word evaluation chart

You can download the chart through this link… editable Evaluation of Performance Chart… or clicking on the image above.

The document should be easy to customize, so you can add, delete, edit… do whatever you choose to make it useful to you and your program.  It is a series of grouped Text Boxes in a Word document.  You can drop in your own logo, edit the school name, and change the font or any verbiage that you want to make it your own.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com