16 Links to Kickstart Your 2016

Thank you!

2015 was a terrific year for this blog, YouCanDoMore.net, with more views (over 60,000) and downloads (over 15,000) than ever before.

These were the top performing posts in terms of views this year… if you are a recent follower, some of these may have escaped you. Please click through to dig into the content.

  1. Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet (6,000 views)
  2. Weight Room – 101 (3,000 views)
  3. Film Grading Tool (3,000 views)
  4. Defensive Game Planning – The Play Grid (1,700 views)
  5. Making a Screen Recording (1,500 views)

These were the most popular series of posts in 2015. As you can see, the Defensive Game Planning series continues to be far and away the most popular.

  1. Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms, and Videos (13,000 views in the series)
  2. Coaching Tools (9,000 views in the series)
  3. Recruiting (8,000 views in the series)
  4. Middle School Strength and Conditioning Program (5,000 views in the series)
  5. Lessons from the Masters (2,000 views in the series)

And finally, the most popular downloads this year.

  1. Defensive Call Sheet (1,000 downloads)
  2. Film Grade Template (800 downloads)
  3. Defensive Game Plan Play Grid (700 downloads)
  4. Practice Template (400 downloads)
  5. Workout Template (400 downloads)

But wait, there’s more… one more link to make it 16 links for 2016!  A popular post about multi-sports athletes:

  1. Fast “Track” to a Great Football Program

youcandomore

Thanks again for your loyal readership. One request…. if you have found the information on this blog interesting, helpful, informative or entertaining, please share with your colleagues.

Now, go watch some bowl games and enjoy the remainder of your holiday break!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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A Master Craftsman

Another (quick) toolbox analogy…

As I have chronicled, my son and daughter-in-law have been involved in a project (50/50) over the past year.

During that span of time they have borrowed numerous tools…

  • Drill bits…
  • Jig saw…
  • Extension cords…
  • Socket set…
  • Saw blades…

No problem… I have accumulated (as most do) many tools in my toolbox throughout the years.

I have to admit it was with a degree of hubris that I brandished my overflowing toolbox and tubs of nuts, bolts, and hardware at the work site.

Hubris, that is, until, a former player of mine (a REALLY good former player of mine) volunteered to help with the project.   This man is a professional… he works construction… he is a master craftsman.

He came and in one evening did work that it would have taken us days to finish.

He had more tools on his tool belt than I have in my toolbox.   He had all the right tools…. specialty tools for this specific job… and all the tricks of the trade that he had accumulated over the years.

As a young, hungry, coach, you are always on the lookout to borrow tools that will help you do your job better… to be a better coach.

But even the old grizzled coach can learn from a professional… can find a new tool or trick that might help … as long as you don’t allow your pride (or habits) to get in the way.

Here are links to tools that have helped me be a more efficient, more organized, better prepared coach over the years. Young coach or veteran, I hope you find something of interest.

stringout

Thanks to Joe Grubb for the inspiration behind this post… and thanks to him for helping at the 50/50 project.

The ties that bind Joe, and the special group of men from my UCM days, is a story for another day.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Tools and Time

This week I had the opportunity to help out at my daughter-in-law’s project called 50/50.   Her team is putting an art gallery in the West Bottoms of Kansas City made out of shipping containers.

Stay with me…. this isn’t about an art gallery.

Here are some things that came up during my work at the 50/50 project one evening…

  • They commented that “the new Phillips head drill bits made it a lot easier to set the sheet rock screws without stripping them out”.
  • We had a box of long drywall screws, but ran out of the shorter screws (which they preferred using) … so we went around picking up short ones that had been previously dropped on the floor and used them. We ended up having enough to finish what we were working on.
  • We needed a drill bit extension to drill a hole into a tricky spot on a doorframe. We had to stop until we got one.
  • I had to run home and get tin snips to bring to the project site so we could cut the sheet rock corner bead.

Now, this team is doing tremendous work, but it really reminded how much time is saved by having the right tools…. good tools when you are working.

For football coaches, especially during our season, time is at a premium. The amount of hours in the day is same for all of us. Saving hours or minutes using good tools puts more time in your kitty…. time that can be used doing additional football or teaching prep (which is what most of us do!) OR maybe you could sneak in some additional family time.

Over the last three years I have shared a variety of football coaching/ organizational tools (all for free) via my web site, YouCanDoMore.net. These are tools and procedures that I trust, and have saved me countless hours over the years.

Here are my most popular (using views and downloads as a metric) categories of posts, with a little information about each:

Defensive Game Planning:

sample call sheet

My post, Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet, has been viewed over 10,000 times. If you Google “football defensive call sheet” my post is the third one listed, and the second one if you filter it for images. The Call Sheet we developed while I was at the University of Central Missouri is a great tool… but even more important than the single tool was the process we used for game planning.

Those procedures and ALL the tools we used can be found at this link – Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms and Videos.   These posts on game planning have been viewed over 30,000 times with over 15,000 downloads of the tools and videos included in the Defensive Game Planning series.

Film Grading:

film grade sheet

We all look at video, and most of us grade it… practice, scrimmage, and game. I believe film evaluation can be one of the most powerful teaching tools at our disposal. While I was at UCM, we developed a tool that we used in grading our film. You can read about how we used the tool at this post, Film Grading Tool, and download the Excel template here, Film Grade Template.

We used this tool not only to evaluate our athletes, but also to evaluate how effective we have been as coaches and to self-scout. It tracks mistakes made, and defensive efficiency by front/ stunt and coverage. These posts have been viewed over 5,000 times and this template downloaded about 1,500 times. If you Google “excel film grading football” the two top hits are from these posts.

Practice Planning:

Practice 1

Every good coach that I have ever worked with has been meticulously organized regarding practice planning. A simple organization piece that can save you time during season is to have a practice plan template.   You can read about the template we developed at UCM at these posts, Practice, Not a Minute to Spare,  Running an Effective Drill, and EDD’s- Every Day Drills.

You can download the template we used at this link, Excel Practice Plan Template. These practice-planning posts have been viewed over 1,000 times and the template downloaded 600 times.

As I mentioned, all of this is free. It was all shared with me, either partially or in its entirety… and they are all customizable with just a little Excel knowledge.

The single thing that I will ask, that if you read the post, download the file(s) or click the links, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts on these subjects…

  • Do you like the ideas?
  • What tools do you use in your program?
  • How could I tweak them to make them better?

As always, if you have a question just shoot me an email or tweet… I will respond!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms, and Video

Let me start by thanking Coach Keith Grabowski of Baldwin Wallace University for the kind words in his post today, Follow Up: Advice to young coaches taking on a (Defensive) Coordinator Role.  His previous post on this topic (Advice to young coaches taking on a Coordinator Role) was geared to the offensive side of the ball, but most of his advice is applicable to ALL coaches, young or old, offense or defense, coordinator or position coach.

I have had several additional questions, and a few requests regarding the Defensive Game Planning series.  I will try to take care of those items today.

mag coverSeveral coaches have requested for access to all the posts and attachments in one place.   I will attempt this using a couple of different methods:

First, if you have the app Flipboard on your mobile device (it is available for iPhone or Android, but is optimized for iPad), I have put all of the Defensive Game Planning posts in a Flipboard “magazine” that can be downloaded at this link:

 

Flipboard Defensive Game Planning Magazine

A second option – here is a link to every post, followed by links to all of the forms that I have referenced in the series:

Forms and Videos in this series:

All of this information will be included in an iBook that I hope to complete within the year.

If there is another way you would like this information delivered, just let me know and I will try to accommodate.

Tomorrow I will talk about some ideas on “Flipping” your meeting time when prepping for your opponent.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Defensive Game Planning – FAQ’s

faqI have received some questions regarding the Defensive Game Planning process I have detailed over the last few days.  The answers to these questions (as well as questions I was asked when giving this presentation in person) will also encompass my planned topic for today, game adjustments and tweaking the process to fit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What about the first game of the season?  How do you have a large enough data sample to determine any tendencies?

Planning for first few games of the season has always been the most angst-ridden time for me.  As I have mentioned more than a few times, I like things to be based on hard data, and I am not very good at doing things “off the cuff”.  Typically, the game plan for the first couple of games will have to be the most flexible and may need adjusting “on the fly”.  Still, a solid plan can normally be developed.  You probably will have a couple of things at your disposal that will help you put together, at minimum an outline of a plan:

  • Game plans from previous years vs that opponent
  • Jamboree or Scrimmage film that can be exchanged and broken down.

Although both of these sources will be fairly skeletal, it will at least give you an idea of formations, plays, and routes to prepare against.  As the game develops, you can use the game day procedures that I discussed in yesterday’s post (Defensive Game Planning-Game Day Procedures) to develop a list of calls to use during the game.  Part of this will be you using your knowledge of your defensive scheme and personnel to attack the opponents offense… for example, what is your best defensive front to stop a strong side Power run play?… What is your best coverage to use against a trips formation… and so on…. As you see what plays they are running, and having success with, you will need to draw on your experience and expertise to counter with your best front/stunt/ coverage calls against those plays.

What it your opponents runs something you have not game planned against?

Good!  Your game plan is based on what your opponent has demonstrated they like to do.  If your opponent is doing something that you have not seen, it probably means that they cannot, or do not believe, they would have success doing those things against your defense.  It will mean that you have to adjust your game plan (see above) but you are forcing your opponent to do something they probably do not have the confidence, or experience running.

What about offensive personnel packages… do you do anything with that information?

Yes, there have been times that an offense’s personnel package has been a clear indicator of formation and/ or play intent.  If we notice that during our film breakdown process our opponent has definite tendencies based on personnel, we would develop a list of calls based on these personnel groupings.  Typically we use the same process as we did developing the Ready List, and add a section of calls, based on personnel grouping, to the Call Sheet.  At the very least, recognizing personnel groupings will give you a head start while making the defensive call during the game; you will be able to anticipate what formation they will be running, and should have a good idea what plays they like to run out of that formation.  You can then adjust your call if needed using that information.

Personnel groupings, Down and Distance, Field Zone, Formations… will all normally give you some key indications as to what an offense’s intentions are for that play.  It is up to you each week to determine which of these will be the best indicator(s) of their intentions.

What if a team does not have any tendencies?

While it is true that some opponents you play will have stronger tendencies than others, I have never seen a team that didn’t have ANY tendencies.  If you give me enough data, and enough time, I will find their tendencies.  It is also true that the more balanced a team is, formation wise, down and distance wise, run-pass wise, field-zone wise… the more difficult it is to game plan against them.

What about automatic checks… do you ever use those?

Yes, if we see that an opponent has a very strong tendency in a particular formation, or using a particular motion, or with a particular personnel package, we often will have an automatic check built into the game plan for that week.  The check will normally be a fairly aggressive call with a Defensive Front, Stunt (possibly a first and second level stunt), and Coverage build into it that we have determined will be “money” against what they have shown in that situation.

I don’t have a full defensive staff that can do the process that you outlined… what suggestions do you have for me?

Although I do believe the process works best with a full staff working (especially developing the Ready List), I have actually used the same procedures putting together a defensive game plan with only me and an additional coach doing the lions share of the work.

Do you ever use information from previous years games against the opponent when developing the game plan?

Yes, there are a number of uses for your previous years game plans…that is why I have game plans saved for every opponent over the last 20 years or so!  Typically when I was at the University of Central Missouri, we broke down our own game from the previous year against our upcoming opponent.  We would not always include the information when running the information for the scouting report.  We would examine how similar they were to the previous year:

  • Did they have the same head coach?
  • Did they have the same offensive coordinator?
  • Did they have the same personnel … how much did graduation affect them?

If they had not changed appreciable in these areas, we might include this breakdown data in our report.  At the very least, it will probably be a good overall indication of what your opponent will attempt to do offensively.  I was often amazed how similar some offenses were from year to year… even with different personnel.  Often the Formation Analysis and Play Grid of an opponent barely changed from year to year.

If you have any other questions, just comment here or shoot me an email… I will respond!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, all of the posts on Defensive Game Planning will be compiled in a free iBook which will be available by the end of the summer.

Previous Posts from the Defensive Game Planning series:

Tomorrow, some thoughts on “flipping” the game planning/ practice process.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Defensive Game Planning – Game Procedures

This post will guide you through game day procedures, using the tools that have been discussed in the previous Defensive Game Planning posts.  Links to all of these posts are at the end of this post.  All of this information will also be included in an iBook that will be available by the end of the summer.

Game day procedures can be broken down into several major pieces – Communication, Data Check, and Offensive Analysis.  To take care of these tasks, I have organized my defensive staff in a number of ways on game day; ultimately it boils down to what your priorities are, and what the skills of your staff are.  Ideally, if you have an adequate number of coaches on your staff, I would recommend having 3 coaches up in the box, and 2 (plus yourself) on the field.

I know many defensive (and offensive) coordinators like to be up in the box during the game because the view is much better, but I always like being on the field… mainly to serve as a stabilizing force during the contest.  The defensive coordinator is the face of the defense, and I believe it is important for the players to see that familiar, confident face.  It also speeds the communication/ call process, allowing you to get the defensive front/ stunt / coverage to the field more quickly.

Press Box- Spotter

Quick, correct, succinct communication is vital from the press box to the field during the game.  I will have headphones on, and will be in direct communication with my coach who is the Spotter in the box.  At the conclusion of every offensive play (or at the beginning of an offensive series) he will immediately communicate to me the Field Zone and Down and Distance to me using only the corresponding letter (A-H for Down and Distance) and number (1-6 for Field Zone) from the Play Grid/ Call Sheet.  Initially NOT communicating Down and Distance and Yard Line using normal terminology (for example “2nd and 4 on the 32 yard line”) is a hard habit to break.  I do NOT need to know that information… it is easy for me to see.  What I need to know immediately is from what box on the call sheet … Letter-Number… I need to pull my call from.  Communicating D & D and yard line is wasted time… and every second counts.

The Spotter in the box will also record the following information.  He will record the call that I make (normally the number from the wrist band) on this sheet, and record the result of the play on the following Film Call sheet.  You can get the Excel document of the Film Call Sheet by clicking on the following link:  Sample Film Call Sheet, or just clicking on the image below

film calls

The spotter is on the phones with me, so he is the one that can hear what call I am communicating to our Signal Coach on the sideline.  We will use this sheet for the following purposes:

  • We will transfer the calls to the film grade sheet (see post Film Grading Sheet) that we will be using the next morning
  • We will use the information for our Defensive Efficiency report (see post Becoming a Stronger Coach in the Off Season)
  • I will use the form to self check my calls during the game… how many times I am making a call?, are there calls that have been very effective?, are there calls that have been very ineffective?

Press Box- Data Check

A second coach in the press box will have two forms.  One is the Play Grid (every coach will get a copy of the Play Grid/ Call Sheet, Ready List, and wrist band calls) and the other is the Play Analysis Chart .

The Data Check coach will record on the Play Grid, in the correct Box (Letter-Number) the actual play that the offense runs.  If it is a play that is already listed in the box, he will simply make a tally mark on that sheet beside the corresponding play.  If it is a play that they had not run in that situation before (therefore it is not listed in the box), he will record the play in the corresponding box on the Play Grid.

Play Grid

The second form that he will use to record information on is the Play Analysis Chart.  On the form I will already have printed their top plays (from the Formation Analysis) both run and pass type.  He will record, simply using tally marks, if they run the play Strong or Weak, Wide or Short, Left or Right.  You can download a the Excel file of the Sample Play Analysis sheet by clicking on the following link:  Sample Play Analysis, or just clicking on the image below.

play analysis chart

By analyzing the information from these two forms (comparing it to the Ready List and Play Grid), either during the half or when our offense has the ball, we will be able to see if they are keeping with same tendencies that we determined prior to the game:

  • Are they running their top plays?
  • Are they running the plays in the same Down and Distance/ Field Zone situations?
  • Are they running the plays in the same manner (Strong/Weak, Wide/Short etc.)?
  • Are they running the plays with the same frequency?

Press Box – Offensive Analysis

The third coach in the box will be given a list of specific things to look for, based on our discussions during the week.  He is an extra set of eyes in the sky.  Some things this person often looks for:

  • Are they blocking their plays the way we thought they would?
  • Are there personnel issues… mismatches… either in our favor or against us… that we need to address?
  • What is happening at the point of attack?
  • Are their personnel groupings staying the same?
  • Any suggestions for calls based on what you are seeing?

On the Field – Signal Coach

On the field beside me will be the coach used to signal in the defensive call.  We have the capability of signaling every Front/ Stunt and Coverage that we have in our playbook, but typically will signal a number that corresponds to a call printed on their wristband.  If we are using calls that are on the wristband, we have a binder with large, laminated numbers (from 1-40) that corresponds to the calls on their wristband.  The coach will simply flip the binder to the call that I have given him and show it to the defensive personnel on the field.

On the Field – Defensive Coordinator

As mentioned previously I will be continuously communicating with my Spotter in the press box.  As soon as he gives me the Box (Letter-Number) I will look at the calls in the corresponding Box on my Call Sheet, and decide (quickly):

  • Do I want to use the calls in this box?
  • How aggressive do I want or need to be?
  • Which call of the three to use?
  • Then communicate the Call to the Signal Coach.

In between series I will be on the phones, getting the information from the coach doing Data Analysis.  I will be determining if they are holding to their pre-game tendencies. If they are keeping with their tendencies, I know that my Call Sheet should still be effective.  If they are going away from their tendencies, I know that I may need to make some adjustments with my calls.  If this is the case, I will consult the ready list to see what Front/ Stunt/ Coverage combinations I should consider to combat what they are now doing.

Tomorrow I will talk about making game day adjustments and tweaking the game plan process to meet your needs.

The previous posts in the Defensive Game Planning series are:

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com