Well Coached

Well Coached…

What does a well-coached team look like?

  • Few mental errors or penalties…
  • Good clock management…
  • The players are in shape…
  • Good knowledge and execution of their offensive and defensive systems…
  • Solid kicking game…
  • Great fundamentals…

Doing all the “little things” needed to be successful.

You would assume that all SEC teams, especially two that were both ranked in the top 5 in the country would be equally “well-coached”.

Well not so fast.

A couple of weeks ago Alabama (1) played Texas A & M (5)… a game which featured these two top ranked teams… Alabama ended up cruising to a 33-14 victory.

It is my contention that while both teams’ rosters are filled with great athletes, only one of these teams was truly well-coached… only one of these teams did all the “little things” needed to be successful.

In a clip from the show SEC Film Room, Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson discusses how they picked up several “tells” from the A & M offensive line… specifically how their offensive tackle’s stance gave away if the play was a run or pass. (Thanks to Coach Cooper – @GorillaMyscles for helping me locate this clip)

run-pass

This is basic stuff.

Maybe it is no wonder that A & M lost three straight games after this.

And guess what Alabama Coach Nick Saban said his team was going to focus on during the bye week following their defeat of Texas A & M?

  • Attention to detail…
  • Fixing some “little things”…
  • Fundamentals….

Needless to say, Alabama is a well-coached football team.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting Seminar Thanks

Thanks to all who attended and helped at today’s recruiting seminar, Level the Playing Field, held this morning at William Chrisman High School.

As I mentioned, most of the information can be found on this site via this link:

Recruiting Links

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded from this linkL

Level the Playing Field

It is just the slides from the presentation, without any of my comments or external links, but it will give you much of the information (like questions to ask your recruiting coach, and questions to expect from a coach on an initial visit)

If you don’t have access to PowerPoint (or don’t like using it), I converted the presentation to this movie below.  Again, there are no outside links (although the embedded video does play) or comments from me, but you can navigate (push play/pause) to get information from the slides.

If any coaches are interested in bringing this presentation to their schools, give me a shout and I can give you some more information about it.  At William Chrisman it was presented to all student-athletes and their parents.

The seminar, Level the Playing Field is designed to empower students, coaches, and parents in regards to the recruiting process.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Tips

As we head into the final portion of our seasons, with conference and district championships on the line and playoff possibilities looming, is there anything that you as a coach could be doing differently or better? Are there any tools, techniques, or tips that might help you teach or coach more effectively and efficiently?

I am always on the lookout for a better way to skin the cat… and invariably my search leads me back to technology.

Here are a couple of new tools that I just started using, and an “old reliable” that I have begun using in a different way.

Twitter

We all know the Social Media aspect of Twitter… and have witnessed people “Tweeting” the minutiae of their daily lives. But there is another aspect of Twitter that makes it a virtual clinic… a clinic that is open 24/7 365. Twitter connects me to coaches and colleagues across the country … coaches that are experts in every field… from Middle School Strength and Conditioning, to collegiate recruiting, to NFL special teams play.

Inside of Twitter, by using the # symbol, you can connect to weekly chats hosted and moderated by coaches across the country. Some of my favorites are:

Typically one coach will moderate by posing a question to the field (Q1) and each participating coach will respond with their input (A1) including the appropriate # for the chat. By searching the # for that particular chat, each coach can view all questions and responses. Often there are guest coaches that will tweet on a topic in their area of expertise

Here is screen shot from a recent #txhsfbchat answers (A3) to the question (Q3): How do you incorporate the community of your school into your academic support system?

chat

Following the session, the questions and responses are archived. Here is a link to an archived chat about Athlete Motivaton from a couple of weeks ago.

Some of these groups are more active than others, but most really get up and running full speed in the off-season.

Any interest in a #kchsfbchat or #mohsfbchat this off-season? Let me know.

Tweetdeck

A program that makes it possible to easily follow several #chats and #streams at once is Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck (part of Twitter) allows a user to monitor multiple timelines, schedule tweets and filter searches. Here is a screenshot of my Tweetdeck, with my most viewed timelines displayed.

tweetdeck

The timelines are displayed in real time and can be formatted, filtered and arranged to your liking.

Remind

remind-logo-1Another new tool we just started using in our program is Remind (Remind.com). Remind is a communication tool that helps teachers and students connect instantly with students and parents. You can send quick, simple messages to any device. It is a free program that takes literally seconds for you and our athletes to sign up. It is safe – it keeps phone numbers private… students never see yours and you never see theirs. Our administration loves this program.

Do you have a favorite tech tech tool that you are using in your program? Are you finding a new way to use an old tool? If so, please share!

Related Posts:

I will ask this question again… Any interest in a #kchsfbchat or #mohsfbchat?

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

So You Want To Get Recruited?

MillerNLIContrary to popular belief, and the belief of many athletes and parents, your high school coach will not “get you (or anyone) a scholarship”.  It often becomes easy to put the blame on the high school coach for not promoting an athlete enough for them to miraculously become a DI athlete come signing day.  The responsibility to put yourself in a position to earn an athletic scholarship lies squarely on your shoulders.  You will need to display, to your high school coach AND the college coaches evaluating you, that you have the following characteristics:

  1. Coachable – Character
  2. Speed
  3. Explosion
  4. Playing Fast
  5. Athleticism – Quickness
  6. Academics (GPA/Test score)
  7. Size
  8. Effort
  9. Technique

Your high school coach will be your first contact with college recruiters.  Each year he will get literally hundreds of college prospect forms to fill out. These will be asking for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade prospects that have the potential to play college athletics.  Your high school coach can be one of your biggest assets in getting an initial connection to college football programs.

So … to put it simply, and a little corny (but true) you have to show him how remarkable you are!  Here is the question:  Will your coach be able to TRUTHFULLY say to a college recruiting coach that you have done everything in your power to become the best football (and team) player during the last four years?  If not, then you have work to do.  If you expect your coach to be your biggest fan, you must show him that you have character and are coachable…. the first things on the list above.  How do you do that?  Here are some (but not all) examples….

  • If your coach asks you to play scout team your sophomore year to help the varsity team prepare, then be the best scout team player on the field!  Make plays against good varsity competition and follow directions.
  • If your coach expects you to participate in 7-on-7 during the summer, then be at every practice and every game. Be a leader – learn your system – play fast.
  • If your coach you to attend 90% of the workouts during the off-season program, be there 100% of the time and work at a high intensity.  You don’t want to be the guy in this video:
  • If your coach asks you to switch positions your senior year to help the team, then take on the new position with enthusiasm.
  • If your coach expects you to evaluate your opponent’s game film an hour every day during your season, then watch 90 minutes a day.
  • If you coach demands that you are on time to every practice and meeting, then make sure you are on “Lombardi Time” and get there 10 minutes early!
  • When you coach says you should take a “6 inch step” during film evaluation of your blocking, you say “Yes Sir” and learn how to do it consistently rather than asking your teammates “what is the big difference between a 6 inch step and a 7 inch step?

When you do everything in your power to make yourself a better football (and team) player, then you will be able to check off two important qualities college coaches are looking for, being coachable and having great character.

You can read in depth information about the qualities that college coaches will be evaluating, and other recruiting information, at my blog at this link:  You Can Do More – All  Recruiting Posts.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Recruiting – The Offer

offer pyramidToday is the fifth of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; this series goes into greater detail at each step, helping you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

The previous post in this series can be found on my blog at the following link: Recruiting – The Level of Interest Pyramid.  This post will discuss “The Offer” and detail exactly what the verbal offer of scholarship aid means.

At some point during the recruiting process, the school (or schools) that has been recruiting you will make a decision.  They will either decide that you do not fit the current needs of their program, or that you are the type of student athlete that will be successful in their program.

If their decision is that you do not meet their current needs, understand their decision does not necessarily mean you cannot be a collegiate football player.  It only means that you do not meet the needs of that specific program, at that specific time.

If their decision is that you DO meet their needs, their next step will be determining what type offer they will be making.  Here are some important things to remember regarding the verbal offer:

  • At all levels below FBS football, the scholarships can be broken up into partial awards, ranging anywhere from a small dollar amount to a full ride.  At the NCAA FBS level, the scholarships are all full awards.  A full scholarship can include tuition, fees, room, board and books.  If you qualify for any need based aid, such as a PELL grant, you can accept that amount on top of your scholarship award.
  • At all levels below the NCAA DI level, the scholarship awards are 1-year contracts, with the option for annual renewal.  A 2011 rule change allowed NCAA DI schools to offer multi-year awards, but even then, those are rare.  A recent study by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette found the following:

“But nearly two years after that legislation, multiyear scholarships are rare, not publicized by universities and largely unknown by the athletes. According to data of 82 universities at the Division I-A level obtained by the Post-Gazette through open records requests, only 16 have offered more than 10 multiyear scholarships. Thirty-two of the universities have offered between one and 10, and thirty-four have not offered any.”

  • If a DII school tells you that they are offering you a 4-year scholarship, they are not being completely honest.
  • The verbal scholarship offer is non-binding; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.
  • College programs will offer more scholarships than they have available, knowing that they will not “win” every recruiting battle.  Because of this, they will want to know ASAP if you intend to accept the offer… and will ask that you give a verbal commitment to them.  If you are not going to accept their offer, they know they can make an offer to the next person on their list.  Just because the college will want to know ASAP, does not mean you should feel, or be, pressured to make a decision.
  • Your verbal commitment is non-binding as well; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.

You should feel free to ask questions related to the scholarship offer:

  • Can the offer be increased from year to year?
  • How often does that happen?
  • What about my red-shirt year… will the scholarship cover a 5th year?
  • What happens to the amount of aid if I get injured and cannot play any longer?  What if I graduate in 4 years, and still have a year of eligibility… will the scholarship cover grad school?

You are getting to the final, home stretch, of the recruiting process.  You now are fairly confident in their level of interest.  It is now up to you to continue your evaluation and make your decision based on the important factors to you and your family.  You want to be confident in your decision before the next and final phase of the process, signing the National Letter of Intent.

Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Does Great Player = Great Coach?

Ten-time NBA All-Star, Jason Kidd is the new head coach of the Brooklyn NetsDoes being a great player translate into being a great coach?

bbcoachI think the two things (playing and coaching) are completely separate skills, with some overlap. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive … you could have been a great player and be a great coach; I don’t think they are mutually inclusive either… being a great player does not guarantee you will be a great (or even good) coach.

 

Typically some playing traits that translate to coaching are hard work and knowledge of the game.  Traits that do not relate to coaching are skill level and athletic ability.

As I mentioned in my post Coach=Teacher, to be a good coach, you must be a good teacher.  Your playing ability has no effect on your ability to teach.  Your playing experience CAN have an effect.  If you have experience playing, you probably have an increased knowledge of the game.

I have been asked many times by athletes if they needed to play college football (or any sport) in order to coach high school.  I always tell them that, no, it is not required, but playing college football is like a classroom for coaching.  You learn things, both coaching methods and football knowledge, by playing the game for four more years.

A list of notable coaches, professional and collegiate football and basketball, with their college and professional playing experience:

College Football

  • Nick Saban – Played football at Kent State.  No professional experience
  • Urban Meyer – Played football at the University of Cincinnati.   No professional experience, but did play minor league baseball in the Braves organization.

NFL Legends

  • Vince Lombardi – Played at Fordham in college. No professional experience
  • Don Shula – Played (did not start) at John Carrol University in college.  Signed with Cleveland Browns and played 7 seasons in the NFL.

Active NFL

  • Bill Belichick – Played football, lacrosse and squash at Weslelyan University in college.  No professional experience.
  • Tom Coughlin – Played football at Syracuse. No professional experience.

College Men’s Basketball

  • Mike Krzewski – Played basketball at West Point. No professional experience.
  • John Wooden – Played basketball at Purdue.   Played professionally for the Indianapolis Kautskys, the Whiting Ciesar All-Americans, and the Hammond Ciesar All Americans.

NBA

  • Red Auerbach  – Played basketball at George Washington Univeristy.  No professional experience
  • Phil Jackson – Played basketball at the University of North Dakota.  Played 13 years in the NBA on the New York Nicks and the New Jersey Nets.

This list was completely arbitrary… I just picked these guys off the top of my heard; but out of this list of ten coaches, seven had NO professional experience, and really the only one with a notable professional career was Phil Jackson.

Questions and Comments are always welcomed!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

Recruiting – First Impressions

Today is the first of a six part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process. I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize each of these opportunities to market yourself.

pyramidToday’s post will detail the first in person contact the recruiting coach will make with you at school. This is the third of nine levels on the “Interest Pyramid”. To get to this level, your coach will have already recommended you as a player that he feels has the potential to play college football. You are on the college’s list as a potential player, and have probably already begun receiving information from them and filled out a questionnaire. The coaching staff at the college has probably already requested video tape, and this has been evaluated by at least the recruiting coach, and possibly by the position coach and head coach at the college as well.

During the Fall, after this initial evaluation has been completed, college coaches will start making the rounds and begin their in person visits with the prospective student athletes at their school. Typically, coaches will only do a face to face visit with players they believe have a chance of being a scholarship athlete in their program. It is an indication of a higher level of interest, but still not a true indication of their final intent.

Normally, college coaches will schedule this meeting through your high school coach, but may also email or phone you to set up the time. Often, the coaches will come unannounced, so being prepared for this initial “job interview” is important.

Approach this meeting as a job interview… a very important job interview. As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression” – consider what you want this first impression to be. Make no mistake about this; the college recruiting coach will be continually evaluating you during this meeting, and through all of the remaining recruiting process. They are making a decision on whom to invest a significant amount of time and money into, and they want to be correct.

meyer-ohioWhen this meeting takes place there should be two simultaneous “sells” taking place. The recruiting coach (if he is good) will for sure begin the process of selling his university and football program to you. At the same time, you should begin selling yourself as the best possible investment their football program could make in a student-athlete. Here are some suggestions on how to successfully do that.

If the meeting has been arranged with your knowledge, and it is not unannounced, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare:

  • Dress nice – you don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but dress to impress. I was once told by a head college coach that he “always wanted to hear if any of the prospective student athletes were wearing any f**k you kind of T-shirts.”
  • Do some research on the school so you will be prepared to ask intelligent questions. Be familiar with the schools location, conference, record, etc.

Even if the meeting is unannounced, here are some things you can work on now to begin preparing yourself for any meeting, with any coach at any time.

The coach WILL ask you some questions; be prepared for these. Here are some to expect, some that I asked when I was recruiting:

  • They will check the basic info they have on you, including phone, email, address, parents name, etc.
  • What are you interested in studying?
  • What are you interested in doing as a career?
  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • What position would you prefer playing in college?
  • What other schools have been in to talk to you?
  • Do you have any “official” visits set up? If so, where?
  • When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where you are going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, whom are you going to be looking towards for guidance and direction? Who will help you make this decision?
  • When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where you are going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, what are the difference makers for you; what factors will separate one university and football program from the rest?

Make sure to answer the questions honestly, but also know the recruiting coach will be using your answers to these questions (if he is good) to individually tailor his “sell” to your needs and wants.

The coach WILL ask you if you have any questions. Be prepared for this – there is little that is as unimpressive as someone who just sits like a bump on a log, and little as impressive as someone who asks some good, thoughtful questions. Don’t think you have to find out everything at this initial meeting – there is plenty of time. But do have a couple of questions handy that you are ready to ask.

Here are some possible questions to ask at this meeting – add any based on factors important to you:

  • Type of offense (defense)
  • How long has head coach been at school?
  • How long has position coach been at school?
  • Degree programs they are noted for?
  • Graduation Rate?
  • Redshirt philosophy?
  • Ask the number and grade level of players at your position?
  • Where do you see me fitting into your offense (or defense)?
  • How is student support for the program?
  • How is your Strength and Conditioning program? Do you have a full time (or two) Strength and Conditioning coach?

Here are some general “rules” on how to impress at this meeting:

  • Be on time.
  • Begin the meeting with a firm handshake.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Make eye contact, with him and speak clearly and with confidence.
  • Address him as Coach (last name)
  • No food, gum or candy.
  • The coach will probably have some collateral marketing material from university and/or football program. Depending on the level, NCAA FBS, FCS, DII, DIII or NAIA it could be a game day program or a football media guide along with a college view book. Thank him for the material, but put it aside to look at later. Don’t sit and read the game program while the coach is talking to you!
  • Pay attention – lean in and listen intently.

One thing you can do that would be VERY helpful and insure you “hit the ground running” at your first meeting, is to have a “dress rehearsal” by doing some role playing. After you have thought through your answers to the above questions, and thought about the questions you want to ask, see if your high school coach or parent will help. It may sound silly, but it will prove dividends. Like anything else, practicing, from the opening handshake and introduction, to the conclusion of the meeting, will improve your performance. Every time you meet with a college recruiter, your performance will be better than the previous time. You want to make sure you impress every time – first to last.

The last pieces of advice that I gave every prospect I spoke with:

  • Find out everything you can about every college and football program that expresses an interest in you. Ask questions, difficult questions, investigate, and ultimately make a decision based on what you find out and what is important to you and your family.
  • Have Fun! Enjoy the process. You have put yourself in the position where good schools and good football programs are interested in you.

As always, questions and comments are welcome – feel free to join in the discussion!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com Twitter @youcandomore1

Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!