Chase Perfection … 100%

When it comes to effort, 100% is IT…. it is the gold standard…. perfect… perfection… totally and completely spent…. nothing more to give…. everything…

Sorry, but there is no such thing asgiving 110%

The whole concept behind the phrase, the concept that drives this blog, You Can Do More!,  is that most of us don’t approach giving 100%.  When things get tough, physically or mentally, our brain goes into survival mode and we start shutting down and slowing down.  It is our job as coaches to get our athletes (and ourselves!) to ignore that lying brain and start inching closer to that magic 100% mark.

In 1959 during his first meeting with the Packer Quarterback group that included future Hall of Famer, Bart Starr,Coach Vince Lombardi had this to say:

“Gentlemen,  we’re going to relentlessly chase perfection knowing full well we will not catch it, because perfection is not attainable.  But we are going to relentlessly chase it because, in the process, we will catch excellence

lombardi chalk talk

Chase perfection… chase 100%… inch closer to it by doing more… even a little bit more… achieve excellence!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Super Bowl I

Today, people all over the world will participate in the time honored traditions surrounding the Super Bowl… watch the game (and commercials) with family and friends, and eat…. my tradition since Super Bowl I.

super bowl 1

Super Bowl I is indelibly imprinted in my brain, even though I was only 9 years old at the time.  It pitted my team, the Kansas City Chiefs, against the reigning World Champions… the big dogs… the Green Bay Packers.

Our whole family (a rather large family with 6 kids) gathered around the old black and white TV, ate s’mores (a “new” taste treat in 1967) and watched the Packers defeat the Chiefs.

That is what I remember…. family, eating, TV… and then the utter disappointment because my team lost.

It is easy, with 20/20 hindsight vision, to see with clarity how amazing this game was, and these two teams were.

There were no less than 17 future NFL Hall of Fame members on the field for that first Super Bowl!  Here is a list of players (and links to their HOF page) from each of these teams that are now enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame:

Kansas City Chiefs:

Green Bay Packers

Now for some editorial comment…

There are two glaring exceptions to this list – #64 Jerry Kramer from the Packers, and #89 Otis Taylor from the Chiefs.

Jerry Kramer was a six-time All-Pro (five first-team honors) at right guard and also went to three Pro Bowls and was on the NFL All-Decade team for the 1960s.

In addition to all that, Kramer was named as a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team in 1969. Kramer is the only member of that team not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Jerry Kramer was a member of 5 NFL championship teams and 2 Super Bowl championship squads.

Otis Taylor, Wide Receiver for the Chiefs from 1965-1975, was one of the best and most exciting wide receivers of his era. Taylor was part of two championship teams, numerous playoff teams, and selected to the Pro Bowl 3 times.  His TD catch in Super Bowl IV sealed the Lombardi Trophy for the Chiefs in 1970. Taylor led the AFL in receiving touchdowns in 1967, and led the NFL in receiving yards in 1971.

Great players… great coaches…. great memories…

Enjoy the game – be safe.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

The Lombardi Effect

Yesterday was Vince Lombardis birthday.  He would have been 100 years old.

Vince_LombardiFor people of my generation, especially young boys who aspired to coach, he was an iconic figure. I wanted to be a coach so I could diagram plays like Lombardi, sure; but I really wanted to be a coach because I wanted to inspire like Lombardi.

Being a Kansas City Chiefs fan, the first Super Bowl will be forever burned in my psyche.  If anyone was to beat my team, the Chiefs, let it be the legendary Green Bay Packers, led by my idol, Vince Lombardi.

I remember watching the Ice Bowl in 1967, and then the Packers defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. Lombardi retired from coaching following that season.  I did not understand.

A year later he left the Packers organization to try his hand at rebuilding the Redskin franchise.  I did not understand.

A year later Lombardi died.  That was 1970… I was 13… at that age I understood what I wanted to do with my life… Coach and Teach

lombardi on football2When I graduated from high school, one of my most treasured gifts was a two volume, green leather bound set of “Vince Lombardi on Football”, that my sister gave me.  I still have it today.

 

The first speech in my college public speaking class my freshman year (one of the first times that I stood up in front of a group of students and spoke) was based on Lombardi’s classic speech, “What it takes to be #1

I just realized today that a line in that speech “you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time” was (unconsciously) surely the basis of the Mantra we started using in our program, and that I wrote about in my post, Do Things Right.

I am not trying to compare myself to Lombardi, but just reflecting on how much this man affected me, and I am sure many others from our generation.

Some excellent links to Lombardi info:

  • Rare Lombardi photosabout 30 pictures with narratives.
  • Complete text of his speech, What it Takes to be Number One
  • A REALLY great film of Lombardi called Second Effort”.  This is a sales training film.  It is about an hour long, and has Lombardi relating football to sales … and life.  It is a little hokey because it was staged and scripted, but it is still moving to hear Lombardi talk about football, life, and success.

Two of my favorite Lombardi books:

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear

The idiom says you can’t do it…. “You Can’t Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s (pig’s) Ear”.  You can’t make something very good out of something very bad.  I guess the opposite would be “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.   So which is true?  Based on my experience today, you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  I drank some delicious “lemonade”.

Today with friends and relatives visiting, the whole group ventured to the West Bottoms of Kansas City to partake of the monthly experience of thrift shop/ flea market/ antique shopping.  This is not one of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful spring Saturday.  I was definitely anticipating a “sow’s ear” type of day.

photo 1 copyAt the very first antique store we went popped in, there it was … the “silk purse“.  It was a program from the 1957 (my birth year – yesterday was my birthday!) 24th Annual All-Star Football Game.  The College All-Stars were playing the World Champion New York Giants.  This program was a treasure to me for several reasons.  Two of the Giant assistant coaches this season were Offensive Coordinator Vince Lombardi, and Defensive Coordinator Tom Landry.  In less than three years Lombardi would be leading the Green Bay Packers and Landry the Dallas Cowboys in what would be Hall of Fame coaching careers for both men.

Playing for the All Star team were the likes of future Hall of Famers Len Dawson (Chiefs) from Purdue, John Brodie (49ers) from Stanford, Jim Brown (Browns) from Syracuse, and Paul Hornung (Packers) from Notre Dame.  Paul Wiggin from Stanford, who would later become the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs played in the game as well.

I snatched up the program immediately and have since flipped through the entire 152 pages.  By the way, the Giants won the 1957 game 22-12.

photo 3photo 2

Attitude is everything.  It was a great, “silk purse” day with family and friends thrift shop/ flea market/ antique shopping.

Questions and Comments are always welcome

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Good Reads

pinkfloyd2I am just getting ready to start a new book, Out of My League, by Dirk Hayhurst.  I am no literary critic, but I do have my favorite sports related books, one of which was written by Hayhurst.  So here are my favorite reads by category… winners of the First Annual “Pinky” Awards… ok… maybe a few of you will get that.  Click on any of the covers and go directly to Amazon for more information.

  • Best Sports Biography
  • Best Football Book
  • When Pride Still Mattered – David Maraniss

prideIf you are interested at all in the history of professional football, and especially coaching genealogy, then I guarantee you will enjoy this biography of legendary Packer coach, Vince Lombardi.

When Pride Still Mattered, written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, David Maraniss is the quintessential story of how Vince Lombardi, the son of an immigrant Italian butcher, rose to the top, and how his character and will to prevail transformed him, his wife, his children, his players, his sport, and ultimately the entire country. It is also a great football story, filled with accounts of Lombardi’s life, from his playing days with the Seven Blocks of Granite at Fordham in the 1930s to the glory of coaching the Green Bay Packers of Starr, Hornung, Taylor, McGee, Davis, and Wood in the 1960s.

  • Best Running Book
  • Born to Run – Christopher McDougal
  • A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen 

bornIn Born to Run, McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe’s ability to run ultra distances (over 26.2 miles, commonly 100 miles or more) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners.  This book covers everything from the evolution (and de-evolution) of running shoes to the evolution of the human species.

 

  • Best Rags to Riches Sports Book
  • That First Season – John Eisenberg
  • How Vince Lomardi took the worst team in the NFL and set it on the path to glory.

first seasonThat Fist Season chronicles Vince Lombardi’s remarkable first year as head coach with the franchise he would reinvent and etch forever in football history. In a single year, as the grizzled coach who took no bull, he would transform a team of underachievers into winners and reignite a city known for its passion for its sport. Based on exhaustive new research and interviews, That First Season is the seldom-studied prequel to a football career marked by greatness.  I thought it was such a great story of doing things the right way that we had our entire Truman High School football squad read it prior to our District Championship 2011 Season.

  • Best Baseball Book
  • Bullpen Gospels – Dirk Hayhurst
  • Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran

bullpenSomewhere between Bull Durham and The Rookie, The Bullpen Gospels takes an unforgettable trot around the inglorious base paths of minor league baseball, where an inch separates a ball from a strike, and a razor-thin margin can be the difference between The Show or a long trip home

  • Best Book from a former college football player turned intellectual and founder of an entire Literary movement (Beat Literature)
  • On The Road –  Jack Kerouac

roadOK, full disclosure – On The Road is my favorite book, by my favorite author, Jack Kerouac.  Putting in into a list of sports related books is a bit of a stretch, BUT, Kerouac did attend Columbia College on a football scholarship.

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac. On the Road is based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use.

  • Best Strength and Conditioning Book
  • Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning, 3rd Edition

nscaNow in its third edition, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning is the most comprehensive reference available for strength and conditioning professionals. In this text, 30 expert contributors explore the scientific principles, concepts, and theories of strength training and conditioning as well as their applications to athletic performance.  Perfect for studying for the NCSA Certification Test.

  • Best Sports Business Book
  • Anything by Seth Godin from
  • Purple Cow to
  • The Icarus Deception

purple-cowicarusAlthough business/ marketing books, as I have referenced many time, Godin’s thinking aligns perfectly with athletes and coaches trying to achieve more.

I would love hearing from you… what are your favorite books in these categories?  What other categories and favorites do you have?  Please add to this list!

Comments and Questions always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com