Making a List

And checking it twice…

No, not that list… that “naughty or nice” die has already been cast at this point in time.

I am talking about a To-Do list… the simplest/ quickest way to become more efficient and productive.

I am an organization “junky”… but have not always been.  In my first teaching position at Blue Springs HS years ago (1979) I was an unorganized mess…. teaching five different preps and coaching two sports.  I was floundering and knew I had to change some things… knew I had to get more organized or fail.

I am also a tech “junky”… I have used computers since 1982… I actually owned an Apple IIc (the first “portable” computer) in 1984. I have tried and experimented with nearly all of the organization and productivity apps out there.  I have tried probably six or seven “To-Do” list apps, and even though I am a techie, I don’t use any of them.

Make_a_ListFor some reason, for me, I find that I am the most productive… the most efficient… when I make a simple, hand written list each day of tasks that I need to do.  I get great satisfaction marking through the tasks when I finish them.  On days that I neglect to make the list… I am not as productive.  The list keeps me focused, on task, and prevents me from drifting into endless “time sucks” that are out there lurking … like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It is the simplest and quickest way to become more efficient and productive.  If this habit is not currently in your repertoire, maybe you should put it on your Christmas List, or make it a Resolution next week!

Jeff Floyd –

Your Recipe for Success

A quick exercise.

Think about some of the best work that you have ever done.

  • The best performance you have ever given …
  • A great workout that you completed …
  • The best article you have ever written …
  • A knockout presentation that you gave …
  • The best game you ever played …
  • A classroom lesson that rocked …
  • The best race you ever ran …
  • Your best practice
  • The best game you ever coached …

It should be pretty easy to pick out one – we normally have many good memories/ feelings associated with our good work.

Now…. how can you replicate it?

Success-IngredientsNot the exact thing, of course… but what were the ingredients behind that work that made it possible to be great?  What was your recipe for success?


  • How did you prepare?
  • What was your mental state?
  • How did you feel before starting?
  • How did you feel afterwards?
  • What obstacles did you have (we always have some) and how did you overcome them?
  • What was different about this work?
  • What tools did you use to create this… your best work?
  • What help or support did you have?

Great work rarely “just happens”.  Normally it is the result of a confluence of factors coming together at the same time.

Here is the deal… if you can do it once… you can do it again…. It is in there!

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

Jeff Floyd –

Last Days

Although the current high school playoff systems in most states have changed this situation, back in the day, most teams knew going into the final week of practice if they had a chance to make the playoffs or if indeed it was going to be the last week of preparation.  At the college level, that is still pretty much the case for most teams.

I received a tweet this week that made me think of those “Last Weeks” and a standing rule we always had on our teams.

Hey fellas, the saddest day of the year for me is tomorrow.  Check in your equipment right after school.  Please have clothes washed!

I know the feeling.  We always had a standing “rule” during that final week:  There was to be no mention that it was the final week!  No “this is the last full pad practice”… no “this is the last Friday walk through”… no “this is the last pregame meal”…. You get the idea.

Pad-StorageWe always told our athletes that we did not have to be reminded that it WAS the last few times this team as we know it, this years iteration of our football squad, will get together… and it did ALWAYS sadden me.  Even the years that we fell below expectations, it was still OUR team… this years TEAM, with this group’s dynamics (which were always interesting and unique), and this years Seniors.  It will never be replicated.   We did not, I did not, want think about it every day that it was our final practices together.

As coaches are prone to do, and I am guilty of as well, it is easy to begin letting your mind start thinking ahead to off-season and next years team.  I did not need any help or encouragement to begin that line of thinking; it would not be very fair to the current squad for me to do so.  We always felt our current group deserved our best work, our attention to every detail for THIS year, THIS game.

As many of us are having, or have already had our “saddest day of the year”, I wish good luck to my colleagues that are still playing, or are heading into your final weeks.  I encourage you to enjoy your remaining days and enjoy your time with THIS team.

Thanks again to PrepsKC for running this column both online and in their weekly print magazine. If you get a chance to go and visit their site and “Like” this post, I would appreciate it!

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

Jeff Floyd –

Hail to the Redskins!

I have to admit to my excitement this morning when I noticed views of my blog several hundred ticks ahead of where it normally would sit at that time.  After some investigating, I found out that my blog, specifically my series on defensive game planning, had been referenced by the Washington Post’s The Insider blog.  Mike Jones and Mark Maske, who are NFL reporters for the Post, write the blog. Here is the reference: 

Around the Web:

For anyone who’s ever wondered how a defensive coach assembles a game plan, has a whole series on the thought process behind it. This particular link is to the call sheet, how a coach picks what works against the opponent’s best plays in certain situations each week, and has them handy so he can call his defense in a matter of seconds.

post insiderYou can see the post and their blog at this link – The Insider, and follow their twitter feeds at @mikejoneswapo and @markmaske .  They have a ton of good NFL information, especially concerning the Redskins.

Hail to the Redskins! 

Jeff Floyd –


statsStats, numbers, data, have always intrigued me.  I try to use this type of information to better understand what we are doing well, and what needs to be an area of emphasis.  Last night I took a look at the stats for this blog.

By far and away, the most popular topic (by number of views) has been the series on Defensive Game Planning.  That is in part due to a number of online football outlets posting links to the series – most notably:

Thanks to all of these coaches and sites for sharing this information with their readers.  These are all great sites, ones that I would recommend bookmarking.

The stats ….

So far there have been nearly 5,000 views on the defensive game planning posts, with the most popular two being Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet, and Defensive Game Planning – The Play Grid.  There has been almost 2,000 downloads of the various game planning tools that I shared in these posts, with the most downloaded being the Play Grid with over 200 downloads, followed closely by the blank Call Sheet with about 180 downloads.

Other popular topics have been the recruiting series, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level of Interest, and also the series regarding the Strength and Conditioning program, A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout

Thanks to all who have read and shared.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email or comment.  I will respond.  If you have enjoyed these posts, please share with a colleague.

I hit a minor snag with my iBook on Defensive Game planning…. A couple of the images were too small to read so the iTunes store rejected it until I correct those issues.  Hopefully I will have that (free) for all that would like to download it by the end of this month.  Until that time you can get find all of the posts at these links:

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

Jeff Floyd –

“Dirty Red”

wrightWhen I joined the staff at the University of Central Missouri as a Graduate Assistant football coach, they had already established a tradition of playing very good defensive football.  Head Coach, Terry Noland, had a defensive background, and believed in populating the defense with good athletes.


grubbMike Foster was the defensive coordinator and had instituted the slogan “Dirty Red” (red and black were our school colors).  “Dirty Red” was an attitude that we instilled in our defense… a rallying cry… a clarion call.  It wasn’t about playing dirty (illegal, unethical) but rather giving everything you had on the field of play.

  • It meant being completely spent, exhausted, muddy, sweaty, bruised, and sore.
  • It meant doing everything you could to make a play… sacrificing your body, running, crawling, jumping over people, or laying out… whatever it took.
  • It meant everyone ”bought in” completely… you trusted that the guy on each side of you, in front, and behind you literally had your back… resulting in great team effort and great team defense.

We carried on the tradition and the slogan during my tenure as defensive coordinator at UCM.

The phrase was more than words… our players believed.  In one seven year span, from 1987 to 1993, the University of Central Missouri had the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year five times!

  • 1987 – Jeff Wright
  • 1988 – Mark Peoples
  • 1990 – Mike Glass
  • 1992 – Bart Woods
  • 1993 – Bart Woods

peoplesI am sure that all of these honored players would agree that one reason they were selected for this individual award, was because each of these years we played great “team” defense.  We had more than one player or position that teams had to account for – which freed up these great players to make great plays.  We were typically at the top of the league in most defensive categories, and many years ended up being nationally ranked as well… as high as 2nd in the nation in scoring defense in 1992.

576568_10201543079120020_2097547888_nPlayers still use the phrase “Dirty Red” as part of their post football vernacular.  I think it is a reminder of that bond… that attitude… that brotherhood.   They use it as a sign off on Facebook, a greeting, or even name their home brewed beer (Coach Hulet), “Dirty Red”.


When Coach Hulet left UCM as my DB coach to become the defensive coordinator at William Jewell College (colors red and black), he instituted the phrase and attitude there as well, and continued it the next year when I became the Jewell head coach.  In fact, I was fortunate to be able to carry on the “Dirty Red” slogan and attitude at a string of schools that had red as one of their colors: UCM, William Jewell, Wester, Derrick Thomas Academy, and Truman High School.  At each stop along the way, I enjoyed telling stories about the original “Dirty Red” defenses and players at the University of Central Missouri.  And at each stop along the way, the players at the new school came to know, admire and emulate the players of old.   The only bad news… the school I am at now (Bridger) has green and gold as their colors.

“Dirty Red”

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 –

200 Strong – Thanks

I started this blog on January 1, 2013.  Today is my 200th post.  That translates to about 150,000 – 200,000 words, with posts (by frequency) in the following categories:

Some posts were included in more than one category, so the total posts by categories are more than the 200 actual, individual posts.  You can click on each link to get to all the posts for that specific category.

Thanks to you, the readers, for motivating me with questions, comments, likes, and shares.  One thing that still impresses me daily is the impact, trust and loyalty that most of you have with your colleagues.  Every time one of you “shares” or “likes” or “tweets” or “re-tweets” one of my posts, views on this site skyrocket.  I know time is at a premium for us all, so when you take time to read, and then feel that it worthy enough to pass on to your colleagues… that means a great deal to me.

With that in mind I thank you, and ask a favor….

If you have enjoyed, benefitted, been amused, been moved, been intrigued, scratched your head, found something thought provoking…. then please pass on the link to this site ( to a colleague(s) that might as well.

coverOn another note, I have submitted my iBook on the Defensive Game Planning process to the iTunes store and am just waiting approval.  When it is live and available (for free),  I will let you all know!

Jeff Floyd –

The Time is Now

If you are a football coach, this is the time of year (heading into the final week of July) that one (or more) of these things is probably happening in your life.

  • You are getting married (or celebrating an anniversary)
  • You are ramping up meeting time with your staff  and/or attending your state Coaching Association football clinic in preparation for the upcoming season.

It is amazing how many of my coaching colleagues have anniversaries this time of the year… the end of July to the first week of August.  It seems we all try to squeeze in one more joyful event before our other love… the grind of the season… begins.  My wife and I got married on a Friday, and we started 2-a-day football practices on the following Monday.  We celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer.

If you are knee deep in meeting/ clinic time right now, here are a couple of things to chew on.  Right now is the time to expand your comfort zone (see Expanding Our Comfort Zone or Get Uncomfortable) and become comfortable with new technology and/ or new teaching and coaching methods.  Once the season gets going time really is at a premium.  We will have little time to get comfortable with new coaching methods or tools.  If we are not comfortable at that point, we inevitably revert back to coaching and teaching methods that we are more comfortable with.

Here are a couple of relatively easy projects to tackle to get started.  These ideas are from my post Flipping the Practice Field.  You can see how to make a screencast is in my post, Making a Screen Recording.

Drill Screencast

LB ShuffleWhat 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?

Playbook Install

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.

Now is the time to do this… to get comfortable with the technology… to get comfortable with a new coaching technique.  It is just like everything else in athletics/ teaching/ life.  The most difficult time is the first time… just getting started (see post Starting) is at times the most difficult thing.  The more you do it, the more comfortable (and easier) it will become

If you are the head coach, challenge yourself and your position coaches to just complete one drill screencast… just one install screencast before your season begins.  If you are a coordinator, challenge the staff on your side of the ball to expand their comfort zone by doing this.  If you are a position coach, take it upon yourself to learn … be a leader (see post Leading Up)!

Jeff Floyd –

The View From 30,000 Feet

This is a little routine of mine when I fly.

I always like to sit in the window seat, and when we are taking off or landing, I try to pick out landmarks in the city we are visiting.  More specifically, I like to pick out sporting venues… even more specifically… I note ALL of football fields and stadiums in the area.  I think you can tell much about the priorities of the city/ geographical area by conducting this quick aerial survey.  OK, what I am really trying to say is that you can tell how important football is to the area!

The rankings from 30,000 feet:

Dallas is King

When flying into Dallas you can always spot 8-10 high school District stadiums with turf fields, as well as countless other high school and middle school turf practice fields and complexes (see post Friday Night Lights).  This includes the new $60 million, 18,000-fan capacity, Allen District Stadium, in Allen, Texas.  Depending on the route into the airports (either Love Field or DFW) you can sometimes see FC Dallas Stadium (where many Frisco ISD games are played) which is the home of the FC Dallas soccer team, and the site of the 2011 and 2012 FCS National Championship football game.  Arial views of the Cotton Bowl, the old and new Cowboy stadiums can also be seen on various approach legs.

Houston a close second

Nearly as many high school turf fields can be spotted approaching Houston, but the area around the airport we typically fly into is a little more industrial, and not so suburban, so it lands a close second to Dallas.  Occasionally the flight path will give you a view of downtown and Reliant Stadium.

Austin rounds out the top three

Many impressive high school turf stadiums as well as the University of Texas (a really cool sight) stadium can be spotted on the glide path into Austin.

San Diego is the West Coast challenger

Many, but smaller, natural grass stadium complexes and MANY golf courses show that the emphasis in this California city is not the same as its Texas counterparts.  You can spot lots of sailboats in the harbor, though.

Kansas City the Show Me State representative

More and more nice, turf, high school district stadiums are popping up on the glide path into KCI airport – most notably Park Hill and Platte County.  Depending on the route in, you can occasionally get a good view of Washburn University’s (a DII school in the MIAA) new football complex.  In my (totally unbiased) opinion, KC is poised to push San Diego out the #4 slot.

San Jose/ San Francisco a foggy #6

Very few nice high school complexes, but occasionally you can see the San Jose State Spartan Stadium, the 49ers or Oakland stadiums.  The landings are often in fog so visibility is limited.  Although they are nice complexes,  I have never seen the Stanford or Berkeley Stadiums from the air.

Miami/ Fort Lauderdale

You can view many nice high school stadiums… but not turf, and not as large as the Texas counterparts.  Many, MANY golf courses, and baseball fields dot the approach into either of these airports.  This shows you where this geographical area’s true priorities lie.

This takes us to my most recent destination… just this week.

key west footballKey West, Florida.

On the landing approach… water… not a single football stadium… just sayin’.  Guess where my priorities will lie this week?

Although, they do have a local high school football team… the area is more known for baseball than football.

Jeff Floyd –