Uncharted Territory

This past week I wrote the phrase “Uncharted Territory” on the whiteboard in the weight room.

I had planned on talking to the students about how many of them, after breaking(reaching a new max) are training with more weight than they ever have… and how that can be scary.

I quickly realized 1st hour that the students had no idea what this expression meant… literally or figuratively.

How could they? They are from a generation that has, at their fingertips, via Google Map a “chart” of literally any place on earth… satellite view, street view, hybrid… and turn by turn directions (walk, drive, bus) on how to get there.

uncharted territitoryThe concept of traveling to an unknown destination without a chart (map) and directions is inconceivable to them.

If they didn’t grasp the literal concept of this phrase, then the figurative probably eluded them too.

And I began to wonder….

With so much information at their disposal… with so much of the “literal” territory of their days “charted”… does that make the figurative “uncharted” even scarier?

Does it make the innate “fear of failure” and the negative voice we all have in our heads even louder?

I think that it probably does.

Which makes our job as coaches even more important and challenging.

Motivating young athletes (students) to attempt new and difficult things… teaching them not to fear failure… getting them to expand their comfort zone… inspiring them to understand that They Can Do More.

Ours is an awesome job with awesome responsibilities.

Every year at this point in the season, there are teams entering uncharted territory… teams that are comprised of athletes that have little to no experience making a run this deep in the playoffs…. that are being navigated by skillful coaches.   Notable teams this season…

Hats off to these coaches and programs, and to all the other squads sill playing. I am looking forward to watching the next two weeks of football!

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

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Team > I

OK…

Here is my annual foray into the world of baseball coaching, which I really know very little about.

But I do know a little about TEAM.

And I do know a little about leadership.

And I do know a little about coaching in general.

2015 World Series… Game 5 Sunday night… Royals vs Mets.

Matt Harvey is pitching a gem… a masterpiece… trying to win the Mets back into the series.

Eight great innings, from an athlete coming back from serious arm surgery… from an athlete that had an “inning count” during the season.

Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach, Dan Warthan, make the decision to send in a reliever for the top of the 9th inning.   A decision they get paid to make.

The TV cameras captured the exchange when word was given to Harvey by Warthan that he would not be finishing the game.

“No Way!” …

you can see an agitated Harvey yell.

He then takes his argument to manager Collins.

“NO WAY! I want this game. I want it bad. You’ve got to leave me in. I want this game in the worst way.”

View post on imgur.com

Collins relents and Harvey takes the mound in the 9th.

At that point it became ALL about an individual, Harvey, and not about the team, the New York Mets.   It was selfish.

Three “I’s” in Harvey’s argument… one “me”… no “We”, “Us” or “Team”

That was the difference in game 5.

That was the difference in the series.

Team > I

Go Royals!

My post after the 2014 series about lessons that we all can learn from the Kansas City Royals can be found here… those are still applicable (or more so) this year as well:

Royal Lessons

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Train Your Brain

It is that time of the year.

Every game takes on increasing significance.

Win you continue…. lose and you are on to “next year”

Each week half the remaining teams are eliminated.

For the remaining teams, practice time takes on increasing importance… each week more is on the line.

But, you have to stay healthy… no one wants to lose a player during the week’s prep.

The season is always a grind physically and mentally… and you and your team are still grinding.

So how do you balance the need for quality practice time, and the need to keep your players physically and mentally healthy?

Late Friday night (while uploading video to Hudl) I saw this piece on the STRIVR virtual reality system that Clemson (currently 7-0 and ranked #3 in the NCAA) is using in their football program.

Clemson #GMCPerfectSeason

This next leap in virtual reality training is remarkable.

The systems have gone from CGI animated players (EON SportsVR) which is somewhat akin to being immersed in a video game using your playbook, to the STRIVR system that uses actual 360° video and audio from your practice.

strivr

You can see more about the STRIVR system here… Football Meets Silicon Valley.

So what about the programs that can’t take the budget hit that comes with implementing these virtual reality systems?

I have written several pieces on the topic of mental preparation… maybe you can find an idea here:

What methods do you use to mentally train your athletes? I would be interested in knowing and sharing… just shoot me an email or comment to this post!

Good luck to those of you still playing… it is always fun watching great football during this time of the year.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Overcoming Fear

What makes you anxious?

What are you afraid of?

What are your fears… your irrational fears?

We all have them.

Blame it on your “Lizard Brain”… the part of your brain called the amygdala.

The amygdala’s job is to provide us with our most primal instincts: fear, hunger and arousal. It drives us to fend off predators and protect ourselves from harm.

Useful if you are getting attacked by a bear…. not so useful if it is making you irrationally anxious about…

fear

  • Speaking in front of a group of people…
  • Learning how to use new technology…
  • Writing an article for a coaching journal…
  • Expanding your comfort zone.

So how do you overcome these irrational fears… how do you tame your lizard brain?

The advice by marketing expert Seth Godin

“To overcome an irrational fear… replace it with a habit.

If you’re afraid to write, write a little, every day. Start with an anonymous blog, start with a sentence. Every day, drip, drip, drip, a habit.

If you’re afraid to speak up, speak up a little, every day. Not to the board of directors, but to someone. A little bit, every day.

Habits are more powerful than fears.

Recognize and acknowledge your fears… then begin crushing them incrementally by developing powerful habits.

You can do this…. A little bit every day.

You would expect nothing less from your players or students… right?

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Competing

I ran in a 5K last week.

But this post is not about my running exploits.

It is about what is probably the most important life lesson that we teach our athletes.

Learning how to compete.

Back to the race…

My wife entered us in the race several months ago. During the time leading up to the 5K, school started and football practice began, so as most of you know priorities shifted. I ran less… in fact I hardly trained at all.

Throw in the fact that I had a 4-day hospital stay, and it turns out that in the month leading up to the race I did not run at all.

The day before the 5K I told myself (and others… my wife included) that I was just going to go out and do an easy run/ walk… just enjoy the day and contribute to the good cause (Pink Laundry 5K) of fighting breast cancer.

Well, the morning of the race things began to change.

In the 30 minutes prior to the start my adrenaline began pumping. I looked around and surveyed the competition… men I deduced were in my age group.

Butterflies took off in my stomach.

I hung at the starting line with my wife and our 9-year-old niece… still thinking I might just run with them.

But then the gun went off… the clock began ticking… and that piece of my brain that MUST compete turned on…

pink laundry

Long story short, I got first in my age group, and ran a decent, though not my best, time.

Sorry for the double negative but…

I Can’t Not Compete!

Somewhere along the line someone ingrained in me the importance of competing… I am not sure if it was my parents, or Coach Leckie (my PE teacher at Johnson Elementary School), Coach Stillwagon (my first “real” football coach at Ervin Jr. High) Fred Merrell (my high school football coach) or Larry Fischer (my high school track coach)

Maybe it was a combination of all of their teaching and coaching.

Whatever or whoever it was, I am grateful … because that voice in my head (whoevers voice it is) pushing me is always there… has always been there… and will always be there.

When I say always… I mean always!

It is not just there when I am running a race or coaching a game.

  • It is there when I am making lesson plans
  • It is there when I am preparing for an interview
  • It is there when I am teaching a class
  • It is there when I am presenting at a clinic
  • It is there when I am writing a post for my blog

That inner voice pushing me to do my best is always there… has always been there… and will always be there.

All of the life lessons we teach are important.

Teaching our athletes the value of competing… of always doing their best… may be the most important.

Ours is an awesome job… with awesome responsibilities.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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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

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.

Aurasma

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!

pat-jump-rope

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.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Work Through the Garbage

As I have mentioned before, my wife and I have an old schoolhouse chalk board hanging in our downtown loft. On it, among other things, are notes I have written to myself, football plays diagramed by visiting coaches, and a to-do list from my wife.

chalkboard

Awhile back I scribbled a list of “catch phrases” I have used (and still use) with my players over the years…. Ask any of my current or former players and I think they would attest that they have heard these more than once…

  • “You Can Do More”…
  • “Get used to being in front”…
  • “Do Things Right”…
  • “Expect More”…
  • “Hard Work Pays Off…”
  • “It is not a sin to get blocked; it IS a sin to STAY blocked”

And

“You have to work through the garbage to get to the prize”

The last one was a phrase I use(d) coaching linebackers… the “prize” being the ball carrier… making the tackle.

I explain that when playing linebacker you hardly ever have a play where you line up, the ball is snapped, and you go make a tackle without ever having to…

  • Play off a blocker…
  • Step over an opponent on the ground…
  • Step over a teammate on the ground…
  • Separate from a lineman holding (oh that never happens) you…
  • Redirect after initially going the wrong way…
  • Get up after being knocked down or falling down…

It is hard stuff… it is hard work… but the “prize”… getting to the ball carrier and making a tackle… is worth all of the hard work!

Last week when I looked up and saw that phrase on my board… “You have to work through the garbage to get to the prize”, I realized… really for the first time… that it was more than a coaching point for linebackers.

It was a metaphor for life.

And really… aren’t most things we teach, and many things our athletes learn by participating in athletics, really life lessons?

If they learn what it takes to “get to the prize” playing linebacker, doesn’t that set them up to get whatever “prize” they want in life?

If they know how to “get up after being knocked down” or how to “redirect after initially going the wrong way” won’t that put them ahead of others who have not had to opportunity to learn these lessons?

Ours is an awesome job, with awesome responsibilities.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Doing Your Best?

Well, I did my best

I am proud of our kids… they did their best

I have used these lines (or something similar) before.

Did I reallydo my best”… did my kids reallydo their best”?

Bestselling author and marketing expert, Seth Godin, has this take on “doing your best”

“Doing your best…

It’s a pretty easy way to let ourselves (or someone else) off the hook. “Hey, you did your best.”

But it fails to explain the way we’re able to somehow summon more energy and more insight when there’s a lot on the line.

By defining “our best” as the thing we did when we merely put a lot of effort into a task, I fear we’re letting ourselves off the hook.

In fact, it might not require a lot of effort, but a ridiculous amount of effort, an unreasonable amount of preparation, a silly amount of focus… and even then, there might be a little bit left to give.”

I think one of the biggest challenges in coaching (and teaching) is to get the kids (and parents) to see that while they may be putting effort into this task (playing football, soccer, basketball, etc), and many are doing a good job, most are not even approaching “doing their best“.

It is a tough job getting them to believe that even though they have worked hard, they can give more… that to “do their best” they need to give …

“…a ridiculous amount of effort, an unreasonable amount of preparation, a silly amount of focus… and even then, there might be a little bit left to give.”

When have you really “done your best”?

I can count on one hand the times that I did my best… produced my best work.

I think this is was of those times…

Defensive Game Planning… All Posts, Forms, and Video.

This series details the defensive game planning process we developed at the University of Central Missouri… the development spanned several years, and the compilation and documentation took one summer of work.

You all do amazing work…. really good work… at times, I am sure, “your best”…

“…and even then, there might be a little bit left to give”

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Middle School Strength and Conditioning Posts

In the past few days, I have received several requests for information regarding our middle school strength and conditioning program… including its implementation, structure and curriculum.

BinghamStrengthI decided to amalgamate all of the posts into this single, hopefully easier to navigate, post. I have tried to put them in (somewhat) chronological order.

These links will also direct you to the “nuts and bolts” of our program, including philosophy, the workout card, lifting technique, videos, etc.

Here is a link to a Flipboard Magazine I put together with all of the posts :

Flipboard – Middle School Strength and Conditioning

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

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Larger than Life

Yesterday, a couple of 8th grade students who played football for me this past fall were in the gym talking prior to PE class. I could see them eyeing me and discussing something as I walked by. They stopped me and asked,

“Coach Floyd, are you getting shorter?”

I answered, “No, I am the same height that I have been since my freshman year in high school… why?”

They said “Well, you just seemed a lot bigger at the beginning of the year during football”

My reply was “Maybe you guys have just grown this year”

A couple of things that are going on here…

The students HAVE grown this (and every) year… in many ways… physically, mentally, and emotionally.   I am sure that at the beginning of the year that I was, and did seem bigger in relation to their size.

The second, more important thing to keep in mind is that as a teacher and a coach, you… we… are larger than life figures to these young men and women that we teach and coach. This perceived “giant” stature is not limited to middle school students and athletes…. it happens at all levels… from Pop Warner to the NFL.

To this day I remember how ecstatic I was when Roy Stillwagon, my football coach at Ervin Jr. High, told me “good job” after running a drill.

Bart Starr of the Packers said of his coach Vince Lombardi, “this short, squat man filled every room he entered”

Being a teacher and a coach is an awesome career… with awesome responsibility.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com