And WHY?

The other day I was out for a run and during my “cool down” (a real misnomer when the heat index is above 100 degrees) my son called. When I answered he gave his usual greeting of “what are you doing?” When I replied, “I was out for a run” he said “and WHY?”

I laughed off his rhetorical question, but it did get me in a contemplative mood on my walk back home. Why do I workout?… why do I run?

photo-10When I got back home and opened up this months copy of Runner’s World I was hit with the same query … “Tell Us Why You Run”

The reasons have evolved.

When I was young and a competing athlete, I worked out to improve my performance.   I wanted to “be the best” sprinter, defensive back, shortstop, etc. I was always “chasing” something.

I still remember the record board in my elementary school gymnasium. I wanted my name beside the 60 yard dash and shuttle run… when I went to high school I wanted my name listed for the 100 yard (yes yard back then), 220 yard and 440 yard. I wanted to start on the football team and be an all conference player. These types of things drove me to workout… to run… through my college days.

When my competing days were over, I continued to workout, but the reasons changed. No longer was I chasing records or playing time. I worked out for the same reason many young or middle aged men or women do… to look better. I wanted to be lean, muscular, and strong. I wanted my arms, traps, and lats to bulge… signifying time spent in the gym.

But back my son’s rhetorical questions… “And WHY?” Why do I workout now? Why do I go out and run when the heat index is 100+?

  • I workout… run… now because I want to be “Younger Next Year”
  • I want to feel better…
  • I want to be able to physically do things I enjoy now, and also able to physically do them in 20 years…
  • I want to witness the great things my son, and his family will accomplish…
  • I want to LIVE…
  • The prize that I seek now is to be active when I age (active aging)…
  • I want to be healthy, mentally and physically … and runningworking outNOW will help.

I suppose I am still chasing something… but something that it will take 20+ years to catch.

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

Jeff Floyd –


No Commitment?

Last night, driving home from football camp along a major highway in Kansas City, I had this billboard scream its message at me.

planet fitness

No Commitment?

Maybe a good business plan…

Not a good fitness plan…

Nor a good life plan.

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

Jeff Floyd –

In the Spotlight – Alexis Hart

Truman sophomore athlete Lexi Hart has continued her dominating play in all three sports this year.

At the district track meet this past weekend, Lexi set the school record in both the long and triple jumps by posting a state best 18’ 4” in the long jump and 39’ 3” in the triple jump. Going into the state meet this weekend, her marks are nearly a foot farther than her nearest competitors.

In addition, Lexi made the first team All Conference Volleyball squad, and made the Missouri HM All State list. A starter in basketball as well, Lexi started on the Truman team that went 25-2 this season, and was named HM All Conference.

The following post was from last spring, at the end of Lexi’s freshman year.

Spotlight Update – Becca Jonas

A quick update on an athlete featured in the You Can Do More “spotlight” last spring, Becca Jonas

In the Spotlight – Becca Jonas

direnna awardBecca has finished her senior seasons in volleyball and basketball at Truman High School.  A four-year starter in both sports, Jonas was recently was awarded the DelRinna Award for the top high school girls basketball player in the Kansas City Metro area. Jonas, the, 6-1 Center was also named the 2013-14 Examiner Player of the Year, and selected to the MBCA All-State, All-Suburban Middle Six, and all-district basketball squads.  Becca will play in the GKCBCA Missouri All-Star this year.

Jonas, who is headed to Drake University, led her team to a 25-2 record (50-3 over the last two seasons) and an appearance in the Missouri Class 5 state sectionals. She averaged 18.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and four assists per game.

Becca trained as part of the Strength and Conditioning program at Truman High School for 4 years, and is a testament to the fact that hard work pays off.

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd –

If you build it, they will come

My post, Efficacy and Safety – Middle School Strength and Conditioning, seems to have struck a chord.   Many of you shared having similar discussions with administration, parents, fellow coaches, or students that revolved around a core of common issues, concerns, or questions… I have summed them up in these “buzzwords”

  • No interest in kids that young
  • Growth plates
  • Attention span
  • Readiness
  • Limb size
  • Injury risk
  • Classroom organization
  • Specialized equipment
  • Safety

The good news is that a comprehensive study has already been completed that deals with each of these issues, and puts to rest many of the myths surrounding strength training for younger students and athletes.   This is not my opinion, or my study, but was completed (actually three different studies) by the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), which is generally recognized as THE expert in the field of strength and conditioning.

As I mentioned in that same post, our district (Independence School District) is adding a strength and conditioning class as a PE option for 7th and 8th grade students in the district.  We have just finished the enrollment process with this group of students and I can share with you that there is a HIGH interest in this class.

The decision was made that at each middle school we would add 2 sections for incoming 7th grade students, and 4 sections for incoming 8th grade students.  We are looking at keeping the class roster at 24 students per section, but are actually enrolling s few more to allow for some movement.   This means we will take around 48-60 7th grade students, and 96-120 8th grade students total for the new class

In one school alone (Bingham Middle School) we had nearly 200 incoming 7th grade students that wanted to take the class, and over 160 incoming 8th grade students sign up.  This means that in order to get down to a manageable class size, we had to trim about 2/3 off the 7th grade list and about 1/3 from the 8th grade list… or about 200 total students.

If you build it, they will come…

bridger1We also started a Strength and Conditioning “club” for the students at my current school (Bridger Middle School), which allows us to introduce some of the concepts we will be teaching in the class next year.  So far, over 80 students have attended (it is an after school club) at least one session, and over 60 have completed the initial instruction/ testing phase and are on a workout program. (we are using a 4 day a week program but modifying it to just 2 days per week).  They are doing GREAT!

If you build it, they will come… 

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

Jeff Floyd –

Data Driven

I have always driven by data.

Looking at the data for this blog gives me some insight as well.

Besides providing information on the posts that are most popular (see post “Top” posts “Best” posts ) it also lists who the top referrers are… people and web sites that have sent readers to my blog:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank these people, and in turn recommend them as a source of football specific information… just click on any of the above links for some great information!

Many times readers arrive at my blog, not due to being specifically referred by a trusted source, but by typing a search term in Google, Bing, Yahoo, or some other search engine.  Over 4,000 page views have been from people who have landed via one of these search engines.

06d7d91-2All told, there have been over 500 different search terms that readers have used to land at my blog.  The most popular search criteria were from coaches who were specifically searching for some form of defensive game day call sheet…. Over 360 views with 60 variations of that search term.  This data tells me that there a was a large group of football coaches looking for a good tool to use on game day, and my game planning posts resonated with this group.

There have also been some very specific search terms from coaches wanting to find a particular item:

These searches landed them (eventually) on the pages linked above, and hopefully provided information that was helpful to them.

Another group of terms looking for some very specific tech advice:

Other searches were a little less specific… a little more general:

Typically these turned up several pages of my blog as possible sources of information.

Others still were a little absurd:

These landed them on pages of mine that DID mention these things, but they were used as analogies … sorry to those I led astray.

Some general observations and reflections:

  • There is a lot of information available on the Internet
  • There are a lot of coaches, athletes, and parents looking for help, be it very specific, or more general.
  • Some people are hungry… ready to dig deep to find information that they want.  When I typed in some of these search terms, my blog did not always show up on the first page… often not even the second or third page of results.
  • Pretty much everything I have shared, was shared with me at one point in time…. that is why I freely share… that is what the “coaching fraternity” is all about.

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

Jeff Floyd –

Strength Training and “At Risk” Students

We all know that a Strength Training and Conditioning program or class has great benefits for our athletes.  Most of us (fall or spring sport coaches) are deep into our off-season programs with our athletes during this time of the year.  The thing I have really begun to realize after teaching the course for a number (and I mean a NUMBER) of years is that it can really be a great class for any student and especially for “at-risk” or “problem” students who are not athletes.

Here are some reasons why:

1)  Most of the work is typically done in small groups – with normally 2-4 students in a group working together.  Studies have identified, and we probably all can cite anecdotal examples of the advantages of learning in small groups:

  • Students come to a more complete understanding by comparing themselves with others.
  • Having to explain to others encourages elaboration.
  • Students with better skills serve as models.
  • There is more opportunity to develop skills in communication (listening, responding, interacting) and interpersonal relations
  • Motivation comes from peers in addition to coming from the instructor.

I have noticed all of these things taking place in a high functioning Strength and Conditioning class.

2)  Peer tutoring

Peer tutoring has been defined as students from similar social groupings whom are not professional teachers that help each other to learn and, in fact, learn themselves by teaching.  This happens daily in good strength and conditioning classes.  Peer tutoring is beneficial to both the Tutor and the Tutee:


  • Tutoring helps students increase their own understanding of the subject matter as they teach students
  • Tutors can practice their communication skills with junior students
  • It allows tutors an opportunity to develop their own leadership skills


  • Tutees receive individualized instruction
  • Tutees receive more teaching
  • Tutees (may) respond better to their peers than to their teachers
  • Tutees can obtain companionship from the students that tutor them

3)  It is easy to catch someone “Doing Something Right

push pressI think this is the most significant reason that a Strength and Conditioning class can be every effective for “At Risk” students.  Lets say the students in class are doing a workout that consists of 3 sets of 8 repetitions on 3 different lifts.   During the course of that classroom session you as a teacher (or a peer tutor) has the opportunity to watch and catch them doing something correct as they attempt nearly 75 repetitions!  Almost any student will find a way to do at least 1 and probably several reps correctly… and that gives you, as an instructor, an opportunity to praise them and give them positive feedback… something many “At Risk” students seldom hear.

I see it nearly every day… a quick “that was awesome” or “great technique on that last rep” and their faces light up.

4) Students get a sense of accomplishment.

I have never had a student get weaker during the course of a Strength and Conditioning class…. most see significant gains.  These gains typically come weekly or even daily early on in a program, and are displayed prominently on their workout card (see post The Workout Card) as they “break” (see post Breaking – It’s a Good Thing).  Many students, even those that have never been involved or successful in athletics, can achieve some degree of success in Strength and Conditioning class.  With that success comes confidence.

Who takes the Strength and Conditioning classes at your school?  Are non-athletes encouraged, and are there sections open to non-athletes?  Do you as a teacher put the same type of effort into your non-athlete Strength and Conditioning classes?

Just asking….

I would love to hear comments or stories about your experience with At Risk students in a Strength and Conditioning class!

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

Jeff Floyd –

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.


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!



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 –

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


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.



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 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.



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.


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 –

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 –