Tech Tips, Part 2

I received some great comments regarding last weeks post, Tech Tips, and noticed a spike in my sites analytics for the search term “Making a Screen Recording”… so here goes with this week’s post – Tech Tips 2

I have a few “go-to” programs/ apps that I use nearly every day… especially when implementing “flipped coaching” or “flipped teaching” concepts. Included are…


Grab is a resident program on Macs that allows you to grab an image of your entire screen,

screen shot

or a portion.

screen shot2

It comes in handy when capturing telestrated images from Hudl, or individual frames from any video.  It is extremely easy to use…. very intuitive… and places the image on your clipboard where it can be quickly pasted or exported to another program.  There is an explanation of how to do this on a PC at this link:  How to take a screenshot in Microsoft Windows, but I am not sure if this is the only or easiest way to do it on a PC.

QuickTime Player

This, too, is a resident program on Macs.  It allows you to make a screen recording, also known as a screencast (see post, Making a Screen Recording), of anything that is on your computer screen.  It could be a recording of a telestrated Hudl video that you want to imbed in a PowerPoint presentation, or a recording of an animated PowerPoint presentation that you want to put on YouTube.  Whatever action takes place on your screen after beginning a Screen Recording (using QuickTime Player) will be recorded in a video that can be saved, embedded, used in other programs, or sent to the web.

As with Grab, you can record your entire screen

or a portion.


The app and platform Aurasma is an augmented reality program that allows users to unlock digital content from the world around them through the use of a phone or tablet. It is like QR codes, but with pictures or diagrams.

It is a little difficult to explain, but fairly easy to see in action.

Here is an example.

I have this picture of two students jumping rope… that I captured with the program, Grab!


I have this video (.mov file) of the two students actually demonstrating the various jump rope drills.

Lets say I have a printed picture of the students jumping rope laying on my kitchen counter right now… which I actually do!

The app Aurasma can link the video file, overlaying it via phone or tablet onto the actual picture … augmenting the “real” picture sitting on my counter with the video.

Here is Aurasma doing just that:

The Aurasma  app works with a tablet or smart phone in exactly the same way.  Here is a video showing the same trigger picture and video using a phone… you will also see in this video that you can “layer” overlays so that different commands “single tap” or “double tap” will perform different functions…. In this example a double tap will take the user to my blog post about these jump rope drills.

Cool technology… but how could you use it in coaching and teaching?

Here is a simple example… I printed pictures of the 4 Core lifts we do in class.  I put the pictures on a bulletin board in the weight room.  Lets say the students had a quick question regarding technique, spotting, or what muscle groups the lift worked.  They could pop over to the board, scan the picture using the Aurasma app and get a quick tutorial on the lift.

Some other possible uses – trigger image and overlay (video, image, or website) for each of these

  • One for each piece of equipment in your weight room…
  • One showing the muscle groups worked on each lift…
  • One detailing each station in a fitness circuit…
  • One showing complimentary auxiliary lifts for each core lift…
  • One showing medicine ball drills …
  • One showing resistance band drills…

Like any other use of technology, these things will not replace the teaching and coaching you do, but supplement (augment) it.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd –

Flipped Coaching Resources and Tips

A long post, I know… but some good information with some excellent links and sources for information.

flipped practiceFlipping” the classroom or practice field refers to the concept of using technology to flip the traditional classroom/ meeting time; using online, shared content to provide student-athletes with learning opportunities traditionally reserved for classroom presentations, freeing up that time for more in-depth, hands-on, interactive learning opportunities.

A recent article in the THE Journal (Technological Horizons in Education) provided 10 tips for a better flipped classroom.  The article dealt specifically with the classroom, but most of these tips easily translate into the arena of athletics and coaching as well.

1) Devise a flipped strategy. Will you make your own videos, curate material from other sources or do a combination? What video-creation software will you use? And what will you do with class time when you reduce or eliminate lecture time? I wrote about the nuts and bolts (including software) of making a screencast in my post, Making a Screen Recording

2) Start small. “I jumped in all at once and nearly drowned,” says Sherry Spurlock, an Illinois chemistry teacher who tried to flip all four of her classes at once. “Making the videos was a very big time commitment. I would recommend doing it in smaller chunks.” In my post, Flipping the Practice Field, I suggest each position coach start my making a teaching video of their most important drill.  Check the post to see some ideas on what that video might include.

3) Get student buy-in. Student-athletes may initially resist the idea of watching videos and doing other work outside of practice. The rationale for flipped pedagogy needs to be explained well.   I think most athletes will understand and relish in the fact that doing their “homework” will lead to more actual on the field coaching and teaching… the end result is that they will be more successful come game time.

4) Teach students how to watch videos. “You don’t watch instructional videos in the same manner as a popular film,” explains Jon Bergmann, a flipped learning innovator. Students need pointers on when to hit the pause button, when to go back and watch something again, and how to write notes and questions as they watch.  We try to educate our athletes about how studying film on Hudl is not at all like watching an NFL game on Sunday.  The same is true for your instructional videos.

5) Reach out to parents. Spurlock reports that her biggest roadblock at first was parents who didn’t understand what flipping was all about. She held parent conferences, created a short video, and sent an online newsletter to parents. Gradually parents became excited and supportive.  Many new platforms are helping with this process… with communicating safely with both students and parents and posting online content.   A relative newcomer to the field, Dewsly, has some great built in tools to help streamline this process.

6) Encourage (don’t punish) students. “If half of your students don’t watch your video content, don’t rescue them by teaching what is already in your video [in class],” says Bergmann. “All that will accomplish is to tell the students who did the work that they wasted their time.” A better solution is to have homework slackers watch the video at the back of the room while the rest of the team gets face-time with their coach going over higher-level material.  Like anything else in coaching, if you are clear with the expectation that they need to watch the “homework” video to see the field, then this should not be an issue.

7) Don’t use videos as the only engagement tool. Using the same blog format may become stale to students. Many students prefer to watch videos on their smartphones.   Some school districts have implemented a 1-to-1 philosophy, providing every student in their district a computer or tablet device.

8) Make videos short and interactive. Bergmann and his colleague Aaron Sams started with full-length lectures in their videos and quickly learned to limit each video to one discrete objective.  Videos should also be broken up into sections, have a table of contents, and if possible, have interactive features – for example, a quiz that takes students who get questions wrong back to the relevant section of the video.   There are many apps available to help with this process… several are described in Coach Grabowski article on flipped coaching, Making an Impact with Flipped Coaching.

9) Find fellow flippers. “I jumped on Twitter and blogs and ran things by people so I didn’t feel like I was stuck in my own little world,” says math teacher Chrystal Kirch. “You can feel like you are alone, but there are people out there that are willing to share.”  Here are several coaches that you can follow so that you will not feel alone:

  • Jason Hanstadt – Assistant Coach- New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL.
  • Blog – The Flipped Coach

10) Focus on what happens during classroom time. “A big misconception is focusing too much on the video,” says Kirch. “Video is valuable, but it is just one tool. Flipping is defined by what you do in class and student-centered learning.”   It’s not all about the videos… it’s about the extra in-depth classroom time, or on the field learning time you get by using this method.

More posts about Flipped Coaching:

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

Jeff Floyd –

Film Grading

film roomIt is that time of the year, and that time of each week during the season… game film evaluation.  I have always believed in the value of grading game film.  As a coach, it gives you a tangible, quantifiable idea of what your players (and you) did well, as well as what they (and you) need to work on.  I have written about the film grade template we have used in our programs… grading each athlete on every play.

  • You can read the post at this link – Film Grading Tool
  • Download the Excel Template at this link – Film Grade Template
  • Or watch the video below to see how to use the Template.

It is easy to then use the data on this spreadsheet to determine what your coaching emphasis needs to be for the upcoming week.  It is a great tool to give the athletes, which helps regarding accountability… both yours as a coach, and theirs as a player in your program.

I have also had serious internal dialogues with myself about the value of watching the entire game, either as a team, offense or defense, or as a position group.  Is it really the best use of 60-90 minutes having your entire position group, starters, subs, role players, and non-players, watch the entire film?

Here is another method that we have used in the past, and which I believe has merit.  Every position coach, after grading the film, determines what their players did well, and what they need to work on to improve as a position group.  By using the film grading template, or something similar, this process is relatively easy.  Once the area(s) of emphasis has been decided, the coach then makes a 20 play (or so) cutup, showing 10 plays that his position group played well, using correct technique, great effort, angle, pad level, etc.  He discusses how these factors led to a positive outcome on the play.  He also includes 10 plays that highlight mistakes (ideally the most common mistakes of the game, and what they will be emphasizing during the next week) and explains how these missteps led to problems on those plays.

The position coach can easily focus, teach, and explain to his position group the main emphasis for the upcoming week by showing these clips… and can do so in a time efficient manner.   It becomes easy for the coach to say, and show, “When we do things right, here is the outcome, when we make mistake _______ , here is the result.”

The players will still have the film grade sheets, and can watch the video on their own to see how they played individually.  It is another example of “flipping” the traditional classroom.  For other posts about this concept see:

Have a good Labor Day … don’t work too hard…. ironic, isn’t it?

Jeff Floyd –

Must Read – Must “See”

Coach Keith Grabowski of Baldwin Wallace University, hit it out of the park with his article, Making an Impact with Flipped Coaching, for this month’s American Football Monthly online supplemental edition.

13julcoverIn this article Coach Grabowski pulls together resources from Urban Myer, (Urban Meyer – On Edge Coaching ), Coach Jason Hahnstadt, (The Flipped Coach – John Hahnstadt), some of my examples (Making a Screen Recording and Defensive Game Planning – Flipped Coaching) as well as many of his own ideas and implementations.  Additionally, Coach Grabowski includes examples of using technology for review and assessment with your players.

The article also has information and links to a great “flipped learning” resource from John Bergman – Turning Learning on its Head.

Coach Grabowski’s  article is the single best piece I have seen written on this topic.  It has video, practical examples, links to resources, and a narrative that excited me as to the possible uses for integrating this into my (and my colleagues) coaching bag of tricks.

The article itself is an excellent example of integrating technology into teaching and coaching. It is a must read…. really must SEE because of the many video examples and hyperlinks in the piece… article for 21st century teachers and coaches.

Again, the article for the American Football Monthly online supplemental– Making an Impact With Flipped Coaching.

I cannot emphasize this enough…. if you are a coach wanting to learn cutting edge teaching and coaching methods, read Coach Grabowski’s blog – Coach and Coordinator, and follow him on Twitter @CoachKGrabowski.

Jeff Floyd –

Is Your Job Going Away?

If you are a teacher and coach, it (your job) probably isn’t going away, but it is changing much in the same way that these jobs have:

  • Travel Agent
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Car Dealership

info_symbolThe reason these jobs have undergone drastic changes in the last few years is because of easy access to information.  Any individual can easily get online and book their own airline ticket, search the MLS for comps in their area, or find out the exact dealer cost of a new car and every option available.

Three different pieces came across my feed this week… all referencing this same thing…. information access, and its effect on our jobs as teachers and coaches.

Chad Frigon, head football coach at Liberty High School sent me an excellent article from the sportscoachingbrain that offered this insight:

“In the old days, coaches were the custodians of the knowledge…. training, planning, preparation, competition, what to eat, when to stretch, what to do at the gym… everything.  Now, anyone can access anything, anytime, from anywhere, and for free.  Kids (and their parents) can now access the same information that coaches can.  The traditional coach-driven, coach-centered learning method, i.e. coach tells- athletes do, is doomed to failure.

Successful coaches must create learning environments where athletes learn through problem solving, decision making, being engaged and excited by learning experiences and by collaborating with coaches and their teammates on making training stimulating, effective and efficient.”

Author Seth Godin discussed information access in his recent post, “Freedom of Information Act”:

“Traditionally, many car dealerships are based on a simple idea: they know more about cars and pricing and profit than the customer does.  By leveraging the information advantage, they can sell cars at a higher markup, upsell add ons, etc.

But what happens when the customers know more than they do, when potential customers know about every option, the inventory at every dealer, etc?

This is going to happen to every business, every sector, every level. When information is set free, does it help you or hurt you?

If it’s not helping you, this is a good time to change your model.”

And Coach James Vint talked about the importance of “why” with today’s athlete’s in his excellent post, “Building a Championship Culture”:

“The first thing we did was talk to them about the why. This is why we are going to coach you on this. This is why we have to do it this way. Kids today need to know “why” something is done a certain way. Once they understand the why, they will buy into the “what” and the “how”….when you are teaching a 10 yard stop route, do you accept an eight yard route? Or, do you correct and reteach? Do your players know why you have to get to 10 yards on that route? Do they know “why” they have to perform the skill?”

Our job, or at least certain aspects of it, has changed and will continue to do so.  We can either embrace technology, or fight it.

If you want to embrace technology, here are some resources to help get you thinking:

If you want to fight technology, I am afraid it is a losing proposition.

Thanks to PrepsKC (the information source of Kansas City High School football) for running todays post as part of their Coach’s Corner.  If you get a chance, please visit and “Like” the post!

Jeff Floyd –

Practice – Not a Minute to Spare

One of the few constants in coaching is the time available for use… there are only so many hours in a day… and we have a given amount of practice time.  It is extremely important that we are efficient and organized when we take the field to practice.  A few suggestions today regarding scheduling practice.

I have already shared some ideas and resources regarding practice in recent posts.  I wrote about effective drill work in the post – Running an Effective Drill discussed the idea of the flipped classroom and “homework” in Flipping the Practice Field, and the importance of fundamental work in the post EDD’s – Every Day Drills. Baldwin Wallace offensive coordinator Keith Grabowski also discussed effective practice time in his post, Maximizing Practice Time – Receivers/ QB’s.

The first step in organizing an efficient practice is setting the practice schedule.  I know for the most part, I am preaching to the choir with this post, but I have actually heard coordinators say,

“We don’t spend a lot of time discussing practice schedule.  I work with good coaches – they are professionals.. I trust what they are teaching their position group… I don’t need to micromanage them”

I have been fortunate to work with some VERY good coaches… both as a coordinator under a head coach, and as a position coach under a coordinator.  We always took time to discuss practice to make sure that when we took the field, we were organized, efficient with our time, and coordinated in our actions.

Some things that need finalizing during the scheduling process:

  • Group work – when position groups are combined (for example WR’s vs DB’s) where will segment take place?
  • What is the emphasis for the day?
  • What is the insertion for the day?  What are the key teaching points for each position?
  • What drills will you be using to teach these concepts?
  • Film schedule – what drill/ groups will be filmed?
  • Scripts for any scrimmage, inside, or pass skelly.
  • Scout Cards accurately and correctly drawn corresponding to the practice scripts. We started using Hudl this past season not only to set our script for the day, but also to print scout team play cards.
  • Special teams and assignments for the day
  • Conditioning – what is everyone’s role?

We type copies of the schedule and script for every coach.  It is important that everyone is on the same page.  There is nothing more frustrating as a coach than waiting on another coach that you are supposed to combine groups with during a practice period.  It is frustrating for the coach and a waste of time for the players in his position group. You can download the Excel template by either clicking on the image below, or this link : Excel Practice Template.

Practice 1

We post the schedule prior to practice for the athletes to see.  We do not try to hide anything… drills, insertion, or conditioning… from our players.   The more informed they are, the quicker and more efficiently they can move through practice.

Improving in just ONE area of practice organization can reap big dividends.  For instance, if you could run every scripted inside, skelly or scrimmage play in a practice 10 seconds quicker because of increased efficiency, planning and communication, you would save minutes during the course of practice.  50 scripted plays would translate into nearly 10 minutes extra practice time for a single practice.  Multiply that times the number of practices in a season and you are adding practice DAYS!

I know time during the season is at a premium, and that getting all your staff together, particularly at the high school level is difficult to do at times.  But, I would much rather spend 30 minutes meeting with staff (even if it is after practice, setting the schedule for the next day) than waste even 5 minutes time with our players.

Jeff Floyd –

Flipping the Practice Field

flipped practiceThe flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving “homework” into the classroom.  5 Years ago, “flipping the classroom” would have been an impossible undertaking. Improvements in technology, and the advancements in proliferation and access have made “flipping the classroom” not only feasible, but easier than it has ever been for teachers and coaches.  My question and challenge is, “Could “flipping the practice field” make you a more effective coach?’”

I want to refer back to several recent posts regarding using technology in coaching.

“… I wanted them to move towards using dynamic content whether that was Power Point diagrams with animations, still shot step-by-step illustrations with coaching points, film or preferably a combination of those things. I also encouraged them to use our editing system to prepare video walk thru – essentially a screencast of them talking through a play and giving coaching points. I like this method for an install because your comments as a coach are saved and accessible for player review later, whereas if you just talk through video in a meeting, once the meeting is over, there is nothing for the player to refer back to.”

What I am suggesting now is that you can expand this concept to “flip your practice field”.  Here are a couple of ideas.

Consider your install days during your pre-season or spring practice sessions.  How much more production could you get out of your meeting and practice time if you had your install lectures already recorded on a screencast.  Prior to your installation of a particular front/ stunt/ or coverage (or of an offensive play) you require as “homework” viewing the screencast of your install lecture of that piece.  How much more efficient could you be in your meeting time (answering specific questions about the install) or how much quicker would you move to actually practicing the piece instead of spending time installing on the field.

What if you had the most important (or better yet, all!) of your drills for each position group online, described with text, diagramed in an automated PowerPoint presentation, with a telestrated video of YOU explaining the key organizational and coaching points of the drill, and your players demonstrating.  Before you use a drill in a practice, you gave as “homework” to your position group the task of studying this online content for the drill.  How many more reps would you get in that drill during practice, and how much better understanding of the drill would your players have during the course of the year?

This online content embraces many different learning styles.  It can be viewed on their own device, at their own pace.  The content can be played, rewound, played again… over and over and over… on their own time.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I could help you in any way.

You Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd –

The Playbook is dead! Long live the Playbook!

In yesterdays post (The Value of a Playbook), I discussed some of the objections that I have heard regarding publishing and issuing playbooks to the athletes on your squad.  A few of them were:

  • “It is a waste of my time, it will just end up in the bottom of their locker”
  • “We change what we emphasize each week, so our offense (defense) is really fluid… it’s tough to capture that in a printed playbook”
  • “Kids learn by doing”
  • “Kids just don’t have the attention span any more… they are used to playing video games”
  • “Kids don’t read any more – they would rather watch a movie instead”

While I disagree that it is a waste of time, I also talked about the validity of some of these arguments:

  • Some kids DO learn by doing…
  • Some kids WOULD rather watch a movie than read…
  • Some kids will NOT read the playbook…
  • Some kids DO have short attentions spans…
  • Some kids DO relate to video games more than the written word.

Here is the $24,000 questions – With over 100 student-athletes on our squad, with many different learning styles, and with the technological tools readily at our disposal, is the written (paper) playbook the best we can do?  I do not think so.

“The Playbook is dead!  Long live the Playbook!”

grabThe playbook of the future is here today.  I have been following a coach on Twitter, Keith Grabowski (@CoachKGrabowski) , who is doing some cutting edge things regarding technology in coaching.  Coach Grabowski is the QB Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Baldwin Wallace University and has written an iBook, 101+ Pro Style Pistol Plays.  Just today his blog post, “Improving learning through the use of iPads”, he discussed a recent MIT study regarding learning and the use of a tablet computer. The Mac program, iBook Author, is a free and powerful program; Coach G. unlocks its full potential in his book.  You can see a sample of his book at this link… (101+ Pro Style Pistol Plays) but be forewarned… once you click, you will want to buy!

Now, I am not saying that you have to buy Coach Grabowksi’s iBook and run his offense.  What I am saying is that we are capable of doing more regarding teaching our athletes.  We can do better than the printed playbook whose form has not changed much in the last 50 years.   It can be done using resources that are available to you and that you are probably already using.  You can take your playbook into the 21st century with little to no cost, and do it with relative ease.

multi media playbook2This week I created a sample playbook to demonstrate the possibilities.  It took me maybe 30 minutes to complete.  I used a program called Tactilize to make a “Card” – essentially a digital playbook that can be viewed on a computer, but is optimized for the iPad.  It has the following components to aid in the instruction of your student-athletes or assistant coaches:

  • A digital picture of each page of our printed playbook that the athletes can bring up to read and study with a click.
  • An animated PowerPoint presentation – essentially a whiteboard talk
  • Actual telestrated game video with audio explanation of the material described in the playbook and whiteboard pieces

Here are the advantages of this multi-media playbook:

  • Your whiteboard talks or film reviews are not “one and done”.  They are preserved digitally and can be accessed at any time, and as many times as the athlete needs to see them
  • It is interactive.  The learner can watch, rewind, or stop at any point
  • It incorporates many different learning styles
  • It can easily be updated and changed… it is fluid
  • Your athletes can learn at their own pace, on their own time
  • You can “flip the classroom” – your athletes can get a head start by viewing the material (print, PowerPoint, video) ahead of the actual installation – leaving you more time to teach and practice.

Here is a short video that shows the capabilities of the multi-media playbook

Here is the process that I used to create the digital playbook:

  • The digital images of the playbook pages were created by “printing” each page to a PDF file.  This function is native on both Mac and PC’s
  • The animated ”whiteboard” videos were made using PowerPoint (using automated transitions) and saving the presentation as a video.  This, too, is native on both Mac and PC’s.  After making the first presentation, you can use it as a template for each successive presentation.
  • The telestrated video was a screen recording (screencast) using clips that were already “tagged” in Hudl according to front/stunt/coverage.  If you are already using Hudl, you already know how to do this step.
  • The videos were all uploaded to YouTube.
  • The Tactilize “Card” allows you to link the hotspots with the YouTube video and PDF files.

As I mentioned, the whole process to create this sample took me about 30 minutes.  I am guessing you could convert your entire playbook to a multi-media teaching tool in about a day.  Would it be worth your time to do it?

  • If having a multi-media playbook helped just one athlete perform better on one play during the season….
  • And that one play made the difference between winning and losing one game….
  • And that one game made the difference between being conference or district champions…

Would it be worth your time then?

If you have any questions about how you might be able to make this conversion, please drop me an email or leave a comment.  If you would like me to help in this process, I would be glad to do it!

Jeff Floyd –