Bridger Strength

The Bridger Middle School weight room is coming along!  Over the past several months Truman High School has acquired many new pieces of equipment, which allowed the older or underutilized pieces to be passed down to Bridger.  Seven new racks, with accompanying adjustable benches, a Lat/ Row machine, and some bars and plates has transformed the Bridger weight room, which began with good space and some existing equipment, into one of the top middle school facilities in the area.

bridger1

We will begin the Strength and Conditioning program at Bridger this fall.  It is the current plan that every Bridger student, 6th – 8th grade, will have a 6-week strength and conditioning unit this school year.  It is an ambitious program, but one that we are looking forward to.  I will keep you posted as the year progresses!

bridger2

 

The Bridger Middle School students will soon be realizing that ….

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Old Dog – New Tricks

You can teach an “old dog new tricks”.  Compared to many of my colleagues, I would be considered an “old dog”… 30+ years of doing this.  I learn “new tricks” daily, often from colleagues halfway across the country (thank you Coach Grabowski)

This will be a quick post listing a few of what I consider essential “new tricks” that I use daily in my coaching and teaching.  Some of these are apps, while others are computer (Mac Book Pro) programs.

Grab

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

screen4

or a portion.

power cleanIt 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.

 

Twitter

I have learned as much the past 6 months following some excellent coaches on Twitter as I have the previous 6 years.  It is a daily virtual clinic!   You can easily connect with coaches, who have varied expertise, to virtually and electronically pick their brains.  I have coaches and teachers who I follow that deliver daily motivational inspirations (@TonyCourville),  challenge me to improve my coaching methods (@CoachKGrabowski), and deliver the latest ideas involving technology and education(@linsgc).  Most blogging coaches will tweet their latest post, so it becomes easy to scroll through the tweets to find the “meat”

Excel

Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs that is resident on most PC’s, and available for Mac as well.  All of my strength and conditioning weight workouts are Excel workbooks.

stevens

 

I manage workouts for over 300 athletes using the program on these workbooks.  You can read about the workout on my blog, at this post, A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout, and can download the Excel workbook templates here:

About anything that I do with numbers (other than stats and grades… I have separate programs for those) I do on Excel.

Socrative

imagesAnd this week I will be taking my own advice (see post The Time is Now) and learning how to use the app, Socrative.   Socrative is a smart student response system that allows teachers to engage their classrooms via their own devices… smartphones, laptops, and tablets.  Coach Grabowski has an excellent post describing how to use the system to make your position group meetings more interactive at this link: Another app for interactive position meetings.

Good luck to you all as you head into a new season… and remember…

We Can Do More… our brain is lying to us… Don’t Believe It!

We Can Learn New Tricks!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Sample Mental Training Plan

Earlier in today’s post, Training Mental Toughness, I offered up some pointers regarding training (you or your athletes) to become mentally tougher.

  • Set a Performance Goal
  • Identify Weaknesses
  • Set Process Goals
  • Develop Focus Tools
  • Practice
  • Reinforce Process Goals

I thought an example might clarify this process.

The following is an example for an athlete (John Football) who currently has an estimated 1RM (one rep max) of 280 pounds for the hang clean.  He wants to increase his estimated 1RM to 300 pounds by the end of the summer.  He knows in order to do this, he will need to “break” (see Breaking, it a Good Thing) twice in a four week period.

His current workout card (hang clean portion outlined in red) would look like this:

johnny fb

His sample mental training plan might look something like this:

sample plan

The procedure for setting goals, whether Performance Goals, or Process Goals should be the same – SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ambitious
  • Realistic
  • Time-Sensitive

I hope this helps to clarify the procedure.  Questions or comments are always welcomed.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

“S**T” and FUN?

I was texting with my 22 year old son the other morning, when he taught me a lesson.

He was grousing about his work, how tired and frustrated he was.  I was attempting (and not very well) to “counsel” him about work, job, effort, etc.  He doesn’t need to be counseled on any of that… he gets it.  He was involved in athletics… he understands hard work.

I was missing the whole point, because I wasn’t really listening very well.  He wasn’t complaining, he just wanted me to know how difficult the job can be, and how hard he works at it.  And I was trying to “teach” and “coach” and “parent” without really listening.

He set me straight.

This chat (below) was preceded by him telling me that the “s**t” part of the job is that it takes so long to get to where you want to end up.  I told him that it was his choice to consider it “s**t” , he could also consider it fun, learning and growing his cadre.

Here is the rest of the chat – his texts are white… mine blue…

chat

He nailed it!

Yes, fun and worthwhile things can be “s**t”, too.  Often that is what makes it fun and worthwhile.

Two-a-days… heat… humidity… sweating… long hours… football 24/7… intense… no rest… sore muscles… dead tired… perpetual thirst… meetings… get up and do it all over again.  By all definitions… “s**t

Two-a-days… everyone working together… bonding… sweating… learning… sacrificing… teammates… laughing…. caring…football 24/7…  intense… inching toward that goal…   By all definitions… FUN

Yes it can be both.

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… don’t believe it!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Perfect Squat Reps

squatI have always considered squat the most challenging of the 4 Core Lifts to coach regarding technique, especially with competitive athletes.  It goes back to the “gray area” of what constitutes full range of motion.  With the rest of the Core lifts, it is cut and dried if you made the rep or not…. there is a distinct “finish” position.

With squat, going down until your hips are below your knees, thighs parallel with the ground or below, and returning to the starting position constitutes a correct rep through the full range of motion.  This should be cut and dried as well.  I am reminded of Coach Vint’s comments in his post, Building Championship Culture, where he states:

“Attention to details is what sets apart consistent success. When you parallel squat, are your athletes getting to parallel? Or are they cutting corners? Are you allowing them to cut corners? Do you have a definition of parallel that is clear and concise? Are you willing to hold kids accountable to reaching a standard?”

The desire to break, to increase their max, to do more weight, should never come before doing things right.  Most of us are training our athletes to become better football players, softball players, or basketball players, … not to be Olympic powerlifters.  Doing the lift correctly, with us as coaches holding them accountable for correct technique on every lift, will get the results we all want.

This is one area I can improve in… I Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Becoming a Competitor

Being a great competitor is as much mental as it is physical.

Great competitors don’t become that way just by waiting for Friday night (or whatever day you play) then flipping a “switch”.  They compete all the time… in everything they do.  It is a habit.

You can learn to become a better competitor…. one who goes into a contest brimming with just the right amount of confidence (see Confident vs Cocky) … looking forward to, and meeting any challenge that might be thrown your way.  I think the best way to become a better competitor is to compete every day.   A great time to do this is during your training regimen.

Abstract DiagramWhen I observe people training in the weight room, or on the practice field, I can tell quickly who the competitors are.  When it comes down to your last set, on your “Heavy” day lift, are you going to be content with just getting 1 or 2 reps, or are you going to fight for every rep?  When it comes down to the last rep of your conditioning drill, are you going to fight until you are totally “spent”, or ease up before you get to the finish line because your brain is telling you (lying to you) that you can’t possibly do any more or go any faster?

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

When the competition gets tough, the competitors compete!

  • Fight for every rep in the weight room… compete
  • Try to win every conditioning drill in your position group… compete
  • Outwork the person next to you… compete
  • Learn the plays better than anyone else on your team… compete
  • Have 100% attendance in your off-season program … compete
  • Challenge for a starting spot… compete
  • Workout when you are not feeling 100% … compete
  • Playing tiddlywinks…. compete

You get the picture.  The more you develop the habit of competing, doing things the absolute best that you can do, not just “going through the motions”… the better competitor you become.  By attacking and winning these smaller daily competitions, you prepare yourself for the bigger ones that arrive on Friday nights during your season.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Motivation and Evaluation

I want to take some time to clarify the difference between the “Start” column (cells) and the “Now” column in the Excel Workout Workbook.

motivationThe Start column is where I put the beginning Estimated 1RM for each athlete.  It could be either their max when they first begin the program, or it could be their starting max for a particular evaluation period, such as the start of a semester, or the start of an off-season cycle.   None of the calculated formulas in the workout card are based on the cells in the Start column – these are strictly used for motivation or evaluation purposes.

The Now column, on the other hand, changes with each “break” (see Breaking – It’s a Good Thing!) and are the values that the workout is based on.  Every time an athlete “breaks” on one of their 4 Core lifts, their 1RM in the Now column is increased by 10 pounds.  All of the calculated formulas in the workout section of the workbook are based on the values in the Now column.

I added the Start column to the workout workbook just within the last year for two reasons.

  1. It was a motivation piece for the student-athletes.  It became easy for them to compare what their current strength level is compared to when they started the program.  Every time they pick up their card, it is right there for them to see.
  2. I used it an evaluation piece for the student-athletes.  As a teacher/ coach it was easy to monitor their progress, either from their start in the program, or over a specific evaluation period (like a semester of school).

Here is a brief tutorial on how the Start and Now columns are used:

As always – any questions just email or comment – I will answer!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

A 3 Day a Week Workout Program

3 dayI have had several requests from colleagues asking if I had a 3-Day a Week workout program.  YES!  In addition to the 4-Day a Week  Excel based workout program that I have shared, there is also a 3-Day a Week option available to you.

The instructions for using the 3-Day a Week program are identical to using the 4-Day a Week workbook (that I shared in the post – The Excel Workout Workbook), except for one additional step.

This program still has 4 “core” lifts, bench, squat, clean, and push press.  Each week, over a 4-week cycle, you will do three core lifts, and omit one for the week.  It looks like this:
  • Week 1         Bench, Push, Clean
  • Week 2         Push, Clean, Squat
  • Week 3         Clean, Squat, Bench
  • Week 4         Squat, Bench, Push

Each workout card still has 3 different “cycles” (3×8, 5×5, and 3×3) printed on it, with all the weights based on their estimated one rep max.  On the “quote” page of the workbook there are two things you can change.  One is the quote or reminders that get put on each workout sheet for that week, and the other is a “pull down” menu to select which week workout you want to use.  When you select a week, it will automatically populate their workout cards for the new weeks lifts and weights.

The one additional step is selecting which week on the 4 week cycle you are on and want to print.  This brief video tutorial will show you how to manage the 4 week cycle on your Excel template:

Just a reminder – there are three different Excel workbooks available to you –  just click on each link to download:

The Mac version will run on Windows without any problems.  The only difference in the Windows version, is that it has a “button” to click on when an athlete “breaks” that automatically adds 10 lbs to their estimated 1RM.

If you have any questions, just comment or email – I WILL answer!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

In the Spotlight – Shawn Stevens

stevens tdToday in the Spotlight is senior two-sport standout athlete, Shawn Stevens.  Shawn participates in both football and golf at Truman High School.  Shawn is a three-year starter in football, and a varsity golfer this year.  Shawn’s Pound for Pound ratio (Pound for Pound ratio data) of 6.99 and vertical leap of 28 inches both rank among the leaders at our school.

Here is a copy of Shawn’s most recent workout card:

stevens

Shawn is a three-year letterman in football, starting at both Wide Receiver and Defensive back his Junior and Senior seasons.  Shawn earned Honorable Mention All Conference Defensive Back in 2010 year and 1st Team All Conference Defensive Back in 2012.

Here is some video of Shawn training, working out on our Four Core lifts.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Battle the Time Crunch with “Active Recovery”

active recovery for 3Yesterday  (Tuesday) we incorporated a combination lift (hang clean to front squat) ANDactive recovery” into our weekly (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout) workout schedule.  With many of our athletes involved in multiple sports, most of them do not have a true off-season.  Couple that with only having 40-45 minutes during a class period, and time becomes a factor.  Dr. Dan Lorenz discussed the concepts of combinations lifts and active recovery in a recent article at PrepsKC.com, “Training Multi-Sport Athletes.

“Secondly, workouts can be kept shorter for the kids by doing combination lifts. For example, an athlete can do a hang clean to front squat to a press, or a squat to press. These are extremely fatiguing movements, but because it’s multi-joint and gets both upper and lower body, an athlete can do 4-5 sets of this and be done. Numerous combinations exist and are only limited by creativity of the coaches.”

“Next, exercises for other sports could be used as an “active recovery” between sets. For example, baseball players can do their rotator cuff program exercises in between sets of squats, cleans, or deadlifts. That way, the athlete is completing more exercises in less time, but also addressing needs for each sport they play. Sometimes, rope jumping or doing various hop patterns in place provide a useful means of an active recovery.”

Tuesday is our “Light” Clean day.  We had our athletes use the weight showing on their card for the Tuesday, Clean, 3 x 8 cycle, decreased the reps from 8 to 5, and added a full front squat on each rep.  We also had the athletes who were not doing the primary lift (Clean to Front Squat) engage in what is known as an “active recovery” phase.  We set up the routine and rotation as follows:

2 Person Rotation

  • 1st Set – Clean to Front Squat – Tricep Extension
  • 2nd Set – Clean to Front Squat – Upright Row
  • 3rd Set – Clean to Front Squat – Bent Over Row

The athletes rotated after each set, going from Clean/Squat to the dumbbell exercise and visa versa.  The athlete completing the active recovery phase (dumbbell work) began when the Clean/Squat person started, and stopped when he was finished.

Here is a brief video showing what the 2 Person Rotation looks like:

3 Person Rotation

  • 1st Set – Clean to Front Squat – Tricep Extension – Jump Rope (2 ft same place)
  • 2nd Set – Clean to Front Squat – Upright Row – Jump Rope (2 ft front to back)
  • 3rd Set – Clean to Front Squat – Bent Over Row – Jump Rope (2 ft side to side)

The athletes rotated after each set, going from Clean/Squat to the dumbbell exercise to the Jump Rope drill.  All of the athletes in one group began when the Clean/Squat person started, and stopped when he was finished. You can see the Jump Rope patterns at a previous post – Jump Rope Training

Here is a brief video showing the 3 Person Rotation:

When all of the athletes in the group had finished 3 sets of the Clean/Squat combination lift, they went on to their “Medium” push press workout, which is what the normal Tuesday workout calls for.  It was a GREAT day in the weight room!

We Did More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com