Running an Effective Drill

ucmoIn my first season as a coach at the University of Central Missouri, during one of our first staff meetings, our Head Coach, Terry Noland gave us some advice.  His instructions regarding how to effectively run a drill were not only good advice to a young coach with eight years experience (me), but lasting concepts that have served me well for over thirty years.

  1. Have a name for the drill – that way when you run it successive times, you don’t need to spend as much time explaining it.
  2. Teach the athletes what technique(s) you are trying to improve with the drill.
  3. Have the drill set up prior to the athletes arriving at your station.
  4. Have an organized progression as to how the athletes move through the drill – for example “the first person in line will be the ball carrier.  You will go from being the ball carrier, to tackler, to the end of the line.
  5. Don’t be a part of the drill – Coach!
  6. Give the athletes specific instructions regarding the speed of the drill – Is it full speed, ½ speed, or walk through.
  7. Give the athletes a specific start point for the drill.
  8. Give the athletes a specific end point for the drill.

These are simple concepts that make for effective daily teaching.

Comments and Questions are always welcome!

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Recruiting – Get a “Great Motor”

This excerpt from my eBook “How to Become….. Wanted… and Rewarded. – Take Control and Market Yourself- The Complete Guide to a Successful Recruiting Experience”, is all about effort.

 “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”   Vince Lombardi

lombardiThe next quality to discuss, the next quality that will set you apart from all the other high school athletes wanting to get a college scholarship, the next quality that will make you a remarkable recruit, a Purple Cow recruit is effort.

As was discussed in earlier recruiting posts, it is very important for you to “show up” on film; show your speed (Purple Cow Quality #2-Speed) , and athletic ability (Be a Quick Purple Cow), and show that you can play fast (Playing Fast!).  In addition, if you really want to stand out, show recruiters that you play with great effort!

During my collegiate coaching and recruiting days (University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College) , one of the biggest compliments that I would give when analyzing film on potential college football players was that they had a “great motor”.  It was a compliment that I did not give often, because it is a quality that unfortunately does not show up that often.  When I saw it on film, it was remarkable, and I took note. It is also why most recruiters (me included) want to see a complete game video along with a highlight film.  Most players can go back through a seasons worth of games and come up with a few good plays to slap together into a “highlight” video; playing consistently with great effort and technique, play after play during the course of a game is not as easy to do.  Often players get exposed.

Many consider it a character issue if players take a play off  – that it displays a lack of character.  Normally I do not think that is the case.  I think it is the norm.  Most high school players do not really understand what it means to go hard EVERY play.

I think the opposite IS true, though.

While effort really has nothing to do with athletic ability, I think it does show that you have good practice habits, have developed good character, and are “in shape“.  I don’t believe that playing with great effort, having a “great motor” is something that a player can just “flip on”.  It is a habit that they have developed over days, months, and years of doing it consistently in practice. If an athlete plays with great effort – has a “great motor” – it exhibits great character.  It is remarkable, and recruiters will notice.  I did.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Any Questions? Just leave a comment or email.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Does a Purple Cow Have to Be Big?

The next Purple Cow quality to discuss, the next quality that will help you stand out from the other 250,000 high school seniors playing football is Size.

yardstick-foldingWithout a doubt, most college recruiters use a “yardstick” (mostly unspoken) when they are measuring the size of high school athletes.  I do acknowledge that in some sports, and some positions within a sport, size is important.  If all other factors are even, then typically college coaches will opt for the athlete with the better “frame”.  No matter how good a football player you are, no matter how quick and fast, or how good you are academically, if you are a 5’ 10” offensive lineman, you are probably not going to get recruited as a NCAA FBS offensive lineman.  You cannot change how tall you are, BUT you can optimize your overall size to get the attention, to stand out, to be remarkable, even if you are a 5’ 10” offensive lineman.  This way, even if you don’t measure up to the FBSyardstick” there are other levels and programs that may have an interest in you.

They key, really, is lean muscle mass.  You want functional weight; weight that will make you run faster, jump higher, be more explosive.  Gaining weight for weights sake, non-functional weight, body fat, will not make you remarkable.  It will slow you down.  The most common mistake I saw when freshmen athletes reported for two-a-day practices was that they spent all summer “getting big” and did not concentrate on running, speed, quickness and agility.  In regards to college athletes, and especially defensive college football players, I would rather exchange speed for size rather the other way around.

Exercise_zonesOptimizing your lean muscle mass will require some work and effort. If you need to lose body fat, and gain lean muscle mass, it actually is two separate tasks.  Contrary to popular belief body fat does not magically turn into muscle mass if you lift weights.  Probably the best, most efficient way to lose body fat is through aerobic exercise.  In order for an activity to be classified as aerobic, you need to elevate your heart rate into your training heart rate zone, and keep it elevated for a minimum of about 12 minutes.  Walking, jogging, treadmill work, all could accomplish this. Completing the weight workout (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout) will not accomplish this, but will increase your muscle mass and functional strength.  If you are trying to lose body fat and increase lean muscle mass, a combination of aerobic exercise and a dynamic strength-training program (along with sensible eating habits) will give you the best results.

There is also a group of people who are naturally lean that have just as hard a time putting weight on as some do taking it off.  My suggestion for this group (along with a dynamic strength and conditioning program) is eating more meals a day, rather than eating more each meal.  Just gulping protein shakes and eating chips will not get the needed results.  In addition to your three regular meals a day, squeeze in a mid-morning and bedtime meal.  Along with (not in place of) a couple of your meals add a low fat, high protein drink.  Try to make each meal balanced with high calorie, low fat, and high protein content.  Remember, it is functional weight you want to put on, not body fat.  A good daily workout and balanced diet will help with this.

There is no magic bullet for either of these groups; drinking protein drinks and taking creatine will not by themselves “get you big”.  And remember size is only ONE of the Qualities we have talked about so far that will make you stand out from the crowd… that will make you remarkable

In order to get remarkable size, Purple Cow size, it will take hard work.  But you can do it… You Can Do More!

Any Questions – Just Comment or Email!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Be Ready for YOUR Signing Day

Today is the NCAA National Letter of Intent Signing Day.  Thousands of young student-athletes today officially signed their contract for scholarship aid to their NCAA institution of choice.  And yet, along with those thousands, there will be possibly thousands more very good players that did not have that opportunity today because they did not meet NCAA initial eligibility standards; they did not take care of business.

There are two things that will determine your initial NCAA eligibility coming out of high school.  The first, as was discussed in my previous post on College Entrance Exams, is your score on your ACT or SAT test.  The second factor that I will detail today is your GPA in what are classified as your Core Courses.

ncaa_eligibility_center_logoNeither your high school, nor the college you are entering determines your eligibility; an independent body called the NCAA Eligibility Center determines it. The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics.  The NCAA Eligibility Center also determines what courses from your high school are classified as Core Courses.  The Core Courses are very specific, essentially college prep courses, in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.

As discussed in a previous post, NCAA Division I schools use a sliding scale to determine eligibility.  The minimum in either a NCAA DI or DII school is a 2.0 GPA in 16 Core units.  In the NCAA requirements for both the college entrance exam and the GPA in 16 Core units must be met.  The NCAA initial eligibility guideline brochure can be downloaded here: NCAA Eligibility Requirements

In the NAIA, the initial eligibility requirements are slightly different.  There are three factors.

  1. As mentioned previously, a minimum test score of 18 on the ACT or 860 SAT
  2. Overall high school GPA of 2.0 and
  3. Graduate in the top ½ of your high school class.

If an incoming student-athlete meets 2 out of the 3 requirements, they are eligible their freshman year at an NAIA institution.

In order to put yourself in a situation insuring you will meet either (or both) the NCAA or NAIA initial eligibility requirements, it is important that you make good progress through your high school career.  Typically, student-athletes who find they have not met these requirements have not done the necessary work through the entirety of their high school years.  Typically, they wait until it is too late to start planning.   Here are some suggested steps from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Freshmen and Sophomores

  • Start planning now!
  • Work hard to get the best grades possible.
  • Take classes that match your high school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • The NCAA Eligibility Center will use only approved core courses to certify your initial eligibility.
  • You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at www.eligibilitycenter.org. Click the NCAA College- Bound Student-Athlete link to enter and then navigate to the “Resources” tab and select “U.S. Students” where you will find the link for the List of NCAA Courses.
  • At the beginning of your sophomore year, complete your online registration at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
  • If you fall behind, do not take short cuts. Classes you take must be four-year college preparatory and must meet NCAA requirements.

Juniors

  • Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the NCAA Eligibility Center code“9999”as a score recipient. Doing this sends your official score directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Continue to take college prepratory courses. Double check to make sure the courses you have taken match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • Ask your high school counselor to send an official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center after completing your junior year.
  • If you have attended more than one high school, the NCAA Eligibility Center will need official transcripts from all high schools attended. (The NCAA Eligibility Center does NOT accept faxed or emailed transcripts/test scores.) The NCAA Eligibility Center does accept transcripts electronically through Docufide/Parchment, e-Scrip Safe, ConnectEdu, National Transcript Center and Xap.
  • Before registering for classes for your senior year, check with your high school counselor to determine the number of core courses that you need to complete your senior year.

Seniors

  • Take the ACT and/or SAT again, if necessary. The NCAA Eligibility Center will use the best scores from each section of the ACT or SAT to determine your best cumulative score.
  • Continue to take college-preparatory courses.
  • Check the courses you have taken to match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • Review your amateurism responses and request final amateurism certification on or after April 1 (for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees).
  • Continue to work hard to get the best grades possible.
  • Graduate on time (in eight academic semesters).
  • After graduation, ask your high school counselor to send your final transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center with proof of graduation. The NCAA Eligibility Center accepts transcripts electronically through Docufide/Parchment, e-Scrip Safe, ConnectEdu, National Transcript Center and Xap 6 COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETE

A very helpful document with all of the stuff can be downloaded here:  Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete

Tomorrow – Second Core Lift breakdown – The Squat!

As always – any questions please leave a comment or email – I will answer you!

Jeff Floyd – youcandormore1@yahoo.com

College Entrance Exams – ACT/ SAT

When college recruiters come through the door of your high school, either physically, or virtually, they will have with them a checklist.  It may be an actual document they are using to check off your attributes, or it may just be a “checklist” they have in their brain.  It will include many of the qualities that we have already talked about (links provided):

If any of these “checkmarks” are missing, you are making yourself LESS marketable – that includes your initial eligibility status.  If a college recruiter has several athletes on their list that are all equally good players physically, then the player that has already taken, and has scored a qualifying score on the standardized test has a jump on the competition.  The recruiter knows, without question, they can proceed recruiting this student-athlete without fear of a bad surprise down the road.

One of the very first stops the college coach will make after visiting with your high school coach and evaluating film will be either checking your status with the NCAA Clearinghouse or NAIA Clearinghouse, or actually making a trip to your guidance counselors office to check on your initial eligibility.  One piece that determines your initial eligibility is your test score on either the ACT or SAT college placement test.

ACT_logoIn order to determine your eligibility your freshman year in a NCAA Division I school, the NCAA uses “sliding scale” that takes into account both your Core GPA (minimum 16 units) and your test score.  Basically, the higher Core GPA you have, the lower a test score you could have (and visa versa) and still be eligible.  The entire sliding scale can be found here: Divisions I and II Initial-Eligibility Requirements which is at the NCAA Clearinghouse site.

For example, if your Core GPA is 3.55 or above, you could have an ACT Sum (adding your Reading, English, Math and Science sub scores) of 37 or a SAT score of 400 and still be eligible.  If your Core GPA was a 2.5, your ACT Sum would have to be a 68 or SAT score of 820 in order to be eligible your Freshman year.  Beginning in August 2016, a different sliding scale will be used in Division I schools that will have two scales – one to determine aid and practice eligibility, and one to determine initial eligibility for competition.

For NCAA Division II schools, there is no sliding scale. In order to be eligible, you must have a minimum ACT Sum score of 68, or an SAT score of 820.  This is in addition to having a minimum GPA of 2.0 in at least 16 Core courses.

For initial eligibility in a NAIA school, you must have a minimum  composite score of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT.

In addition to eligibility, for many student-athletes, a good test score can have additional positive results.  Many, if not most, FCS, NCAA Division II, and NAIA schools will have academic scholarship levels that will be based on, among other things, your ACT or SAT test scores.  These academic scholarships often range from $500 up to a full tuition award.  Also, remember athletic scholarships below the FBS level are often divided up into partial awards (see my previous post on Expanding the Pool).  So it is quite conceivable that if you score well on your college entrance exam, that this academic aid could be added to a partial athletic award, thereby increasing your total aid package!

I recommend that athletes take the college entrance exam early, and often.  There is no penalty for taking it more than one time – your best score will be used.  From my experience, most students score better after their initial test, for a number of reasons.  Students often get more comfortable with the test and testing environment, and often you will have taken additional course work that will help you in sections of the exam.  The only drawback is the cost of taking the test more than once.  Also, If you take the test early and see you need additional help, such as an ACT/ SAT prep course (many high schools and communities offer these) then you have time to do that before your clock starts counting down.

What is “early”? – I would say after your sophomore year if possible, and at the latest after your junior year.  I also recommend that you do not take the test on a Saturday that falls in your competitive season. Here is a schedule of the 2013 testing dates and deadlines:

Next up… what is the Clearinghouse (NCAA and NAIA) and Core courses.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Any questions?  Email or Comment!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Division II Question

I received a very good question on my first blog post, Recruiting Step One – Expand the Pool.  Since often comments are difficult to find and navigate, I reposted the question for today’s post:

The question, from Andrew, was “How difficult is it to be recruited by a NCAA Division II team?”

First let me start by saying that yes, it is difficult to get recruited by an NCAA Division II school. If you want to play football at ANY collegiate level you have to be a VERY good football player… a very good student-athlete. If you look at the rosters of the good NCAA DII football programs, and we have several right in our back yard (click on any of these links to take you to the football rosters – Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western, University of Central Missouri, Pittsburg State) they are filled with players that were just an inch “too short”, a few pounds “too light” and a tenth of a second “too slow” to play at a FBS school.

That being said, typically there are more student-athletes that will sign with FCS, NCAA DII or NAIA schools. As I pointed out, there are more schools at those levels. Even though they don’t have as many scholarships to use in their programs as FBS schools, they CAN split up their scholarships and offer (and sign) athletes to partial scholarships. When I was at UCM and William Jewell, we signed athletes each year to scholarship amounts that ranged from $500 for books, up to a full ride.  These scholarships can be renewed annually, and can be (and often are) increased annually as well.

The good thing about the area you live in, Missouri, is that there are many good DII schools that recruit the KC Metro area. The 10 member MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) is generally considered one of the top DII conferences in the nation. The 12 member Great Lakes Valley Conference (a new DII conference) also includes many area schools such as William Jewell, Missouri S & T  and joining next season Truman State.

I hope that answers your question. I will post more information on things you can do to help market yourself over the next few weeks.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Any additional questions, just leave a comment or email me!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com