History Lesson

If you are a history and/or football buff I think you might find this post interesting..and appropriate for Army/ Navy week!

I am currently reading Ian Toll’s book, Twilight of the Gods, the third in his Pacific War trilogy… Highly recommend BTW…

In his prologue, Toll goes into great detail  explaining the nature and history of the relationship between the press and Naval leadership during WWII.

Ernest King was Commander in Chief of the US Naval Fleet during WWII. 

According to Toll, when President Roosevelt asked him to serve in that capacity he took the job on the condition that he would not be required to appear at press conferences.  King said that his concern was to protect wartime secrets but the Washington journalists rightly suspected that Admiral King’s hostility ran deeper … according to one, King seemed to rank them “somewhat above bubonic plague as something to be avoided at all costs”.

His distrust of the press was rooted in an embarrassing Naval controversy during the Spanish American War which aired in the press, and left a lasting impression on the midshipman that passed through the Naval Academy during subsequent years. Those midshipmen included most of the Naval command during WWII…Admirals Chester Nimitz, Raymond Spruance, William Leahy, Bill Halsey in addition to Ernest King.

Adm. Chester W. Nimitz (rear, C) giving a press conference regarding US Navy’s first year in the war as Capt. L. J. Wiltse (rear, R) listens. (Photo by Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Press conferences by Naval Command at the beginning of the war typically offered only information previously  released. Chester Nimitz was considered “the despair of his public relations men; it simply was not in him to make sweeping statements or to give out colorful interviews”

King was no different… it was observed that King’s idea of a press policy was to tell the public nothing until the end of the war, and then to issue a two-word communique stating – “We won”

So how is all of this connected to football?

When reading this, I immediately thought of a certain current, very successful Head Coach in the NFL, his press conferences, and his apparent disdain of the media… and how similar the attitudes toward the press appeared to be.

That coach… you probably thought of as well…

“We’re on to Cincinnati” … Bill Belichick

Now the really interesting part.

Do you know where Belichick grew up… Annapolis, Maryland.

His father Steve Belichick (who Coach Bill Belichick cites as his chief early influence) was a long time Coach and Scout for the US Naval Academy football team.

His father served in the Navy during WWII…. In the Pacific and undoubtedly under the command of and influenced by the aforementioned Naval leadership… Admirals Ernest King, Chester Nimitz, Raymond Spruance, William Leahy, Bill Halsey, etc.

After the war, from 1956-86 Belichick joined the Naval Academy staff…

So it comes as no surprise that Coach Bill Belichick has a guarded, cautious, adversarial, relationship with the media…It was learned and imprinted at a young age…from a father and institution (US Navy) steeped in history.

Getting “Tough”

In a recent post, When Everyone Stops to Watch, I listed a litany of ways that having a Middle School (or High School) Strength and Conditioning class benefits your student-athletes. After re-reading that post, I realized that I omitted possibly the most important benefit – toughness!

Although “toughness” is difficult to measure and quantify, I know that by the end of the year… in the second semester of having the class… the athletes (students) that are in the class are tougher mentally and physically.

I can see their toughness demonstrated in a variety of ways.

Once a month at our school every student enrolled in Physical Education (in Strength and Conditioning as well as the regular PE classes) complete the 20-meter Pacer test. By the second semester, I can see the students that are taking Strength and Conditioning compete better. It is not just a matter of improving physically… I can see them continue to run past the point where it begins to get uncomfortable for them… they realize They Can Do More… they are developing toughness.

Since I have students form all sports enrolled in the class… both boys and girls… not just football players… I make it a point to attend and watch them participate in their respective sports.   This year I was able to attend contests in all of the sports at our school.

Even if I did not know which students were in Strength and Conditioning (the vast majority are) I could tell who is taking the class by how they compete and how tough they are… how confident they are.

Of course I am biased, but the athletes that have been training in Strength and Conditioning class carry themselves differently… they handle adversity differently… they prepare differently.

Gracie Hussey

Now project these physical and mental improvements over the next 4-5 years as they continue in high school.

Toughness is a trait… a character trait… that will help athletes in whatever sport they participate in.

For that matter toughness is an attribute that will serve them well once they complete their days as an athlete… it is a life skill.

I realize that for the most part this is preaching to the choir…

Starting a Strength and Conditioning program in your middle school(s) is the exact right time to do it… if I can help in any way let me know.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

A Championship Softball Off-Season

I thought it appropriate to reblog this post today.

Paige Parker, pitcher for the University of Oklahoma softball team, won a NCAA National Championship yesterday. I ran this post three years ago during the off-season after Paige and her Truman HS teammates (led by Coach Amy Broughton) won the Missouri State HS championship.

On a side note… Coach Amy Broughton was in attendance at OU’s championship contest yesterday!

Beyond Moral Victories

With the announcement that Fort Osage football coach Ryan Schartz will be stepping down to become Athletic Director, I thought it a good time to reblog this post. The story of Coach Schartz and the amazing turnaround of the Fort Osage Football program, culminating in this years 5A Missouri State Championship is one for the ages.

Recruiting – How Interested are They?

I have had a many requests for links to all of the posts regarding the Level of Interest Pyramid (Recruiting – Gauging Their Level of Interest).  Following are the links, in order, for all of these posts:

pyramidI have also created a “Magazine” on Flipboard (see Apps for the Coach) that puts all of these posts in one location that you can read (and share) on your mobile device.  This is a link to the Flipboard Magazine:

Recruiting – Gauging Their Level of Interest


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 and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com