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…


  • 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?

Related Posts:

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

This is easy…

No, it really isn’t.

Whenever athletes of mine whine, grouse or complain that a particular workout, technique or drill is hard, my comment is always,

“Why would we ever want you to do something that was easy?”

Business author Seth Godin echoed this in his recent post:

Fast, easy, guaranteed

…pick none.

That’s the work that’s worth doing.

And by the way, the athlete was “whining” was really just wanting affirmation that yes, this is hard, and yes, I did it and, aren’t I pretty awesome for doing this thing that is so hard?

Related Posts:


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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Getting Rich

godintedtalkSeth Godin  (Twitter  @ThisIsSethsBlog  Blog – sethgodin.typepad.com ) is a business and marketing guru.  I read his blog daily.  It is always interesting, usually thought provoking, and often is a concept that I can apply as a teacher and coach.   His post earlier this week, Get Rich (Quick) exemplifies this.  I was going to add my commentary about how applicable these things are to teaching and coaching, but it really is unnecessary … it is perfect in its simplicity:

Get Rich (Quick)

Enrich your world by creating value for others.

Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.

Now…. go get richer … and remember…

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Everyone has a story

A few years ago I spent a year teaching and coaching at an urban charter school.  I used to tell people that every student there “had a story”… meaning they had a situation that required your teaching and coaching methods to be individualized, tailored, to them; single parent, no parent, low income, etc.

Well, really, ALL of our students (athletes) “have a story” regardless of urban, suburban, rural, socioeconomic status, race or gender.  Seth Godin nailed it this week in his post, All the same:

“It’s forty degrees out and there’s a guy standing in front of the office building, shivering, indulging in his nicotine addiction. I can’t possibly empathize with what he’s thinking or feeling.

As I walk down the street, I pass an elderly woman in an electric wheelchair. Again, I have no idea what it is to be her.

And there, whipping around the corner in a fancy car, is an industrialist I recognize, someone with more employees, power and money than most of us would know what to do with.

It’s easy to lump people together into categories, easier still to say, “I know how you feel.” But we don’t, we can’t, and given the choice, people will choose to be the people they wish to be.

Mass markets were a shorthand forced on marketers who had too little time or information or leverage to treat different people differently. They are the result of the mass merchant, the mass media and mass production. But humans aren’t a homogeneous mass, we are individuals, as individual as we dare to be.

Marketing and governance and teaching and coaching and writing are built on a foundation of ‘everyone’, but in fact, we’d rather be someone.

Treat different people differently. Anything else is a compromise.”

You may have one team or one classroom, but it is made up of individuals, and if we are good, empathetic, compassionate teachers and coaches, we will treat them all individually… slightly different…. a form of differentiated instruction I suppose. We will try to learn what makes them tick… what their hot buttons are… what motivates them as individuals.

globales Sourcing

I was asked the question in a job interview once… “Do you treat all the players on your team the same?”… I think the insinuation was that if you didn’t, that you were practicing some form of favoritism.

My answer was this – “No, I do not treat all my players the same because they are all different individuals… but I do treat them all fairly.”

By the way, I got that job.

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

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Standing out on a Shelf


  • What are you doing well?
  • What are you keeping?… throwing out?…
  • What are you changing?
  • How can you improve your teaching/ coaching?
  • How can you best utilize your (and your staff’s) strengths and improve your weaknesses?

During this time of the year, many of us are going through this self-evaluation process with our programs.   Baldwin Wallace Offensive Coordinator, Keith Grabowski shared some great info to guide you through the Strategic Planning and Quality Control steps in his post: Plan Your Work.  Work Your Plan.

I have shared some ideas as well in these posts:

Today I would like to pose another question as we enter this evaluation phase of the year.  If, after your evaluation, you decide to makes changes, offensively, defensively or in special teams, what are you going to “Put On the Shelf”… what are you going to display?

Marketing/ business guru, Seth Godin recently wrote in his post Getting Lost on the Shelf:

“A friend got some feedback on a new project proposal recently. “It will have trouble standing out on a shelf that’s already crowded.”

The thing is, every shelf in every store and especially online is crowded. The long tail made the virtual shelves infinitely long, which means that every record, every widget, every job application, every book, every website, every non-profit… all of it… is on a crowded shelf.

And the problem with a crowded shelf is that your odds of getting found and getting picked are slim indeed, slimmer than ever before.

Which is why ‘the shelf’ can’t be your goal. If you need to get picked from the shelf/slush pile/transom catchbasin then you’ve already lost.

The only opportunity (which of course, is the best opportunity ever for most of us) …. is to skip the shelf and be the one and only dominator in a category of one, a category that couldn’t really exist if you weren’t in it.

That’s hard to visualize, because it doesn’t match what you’ve been taught and what our culture has (until recently) celebrated, but it’s what’s on offer now.”

You might be asking “What does this have to do with football?”

Texas_Bevo_Wishbone_08142012Emory Bellard developed the wishbone offense (which actually has roots back to a Junior High School in Fort Worth, TX) and implemented it at the start of the 1968 season at the University of Texas.   UT, under Darrell Royal, tied their first game that season, lost their second, and then won the next 30 games and two national championships using the wishbone.  They were the first, and for a time the only team using the formation…. consider the problems preparing for that game.  They stood out on the shelf.

Tom Landry took the nose tackle and moved him back to Linebacker depth and created the 4-3 defense when he was coordinator with the NY Giants.  In 1956 the Giants won the NFL championship, and played for the championship again in 1958 and 1959.  Landry took his 4-3 defense to the Cowboys, and modified it into the “Flex” 4-3.  His Giant squads were the first, and for a time the only team lining up in that defense… consider the problems preparing for that game.  They stood out on the shelf.

Do you remember the first time you had to prepare for a spread offense?… a no huddle offense?… a Split 6 defense?… a “Bear” defense?… Is there a way you and your program can Stand Out On the Shelf?  Can you be a dominator in a category of one?

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com


I sit and write this with great trepidation.  I don’t want to trivialize Nelson Mandela’s life, or his accomplishments.  His impact on our world extends far beyond the sports arena, but his life has been inexorably linked to athletics… not only in South Africa, but on the world stage as well.

mandelaNelson Mandela was an amateur boxer in his youth and often spoke about and used athletics to leverage his agenda.  His donning of the Sprinbok rugby jersey to the chants of “Nelson, Nelson, Nelson” by 65,000 white rugby fans is well documented in print (Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation) and film (Invictus).  One of Mandela’s last public appearances was at the 2010 World Cup final that was held in South Africa.

One of my favorite pieces regarding Nelson Mandela was Seth Godin’s recent post, A Legacy of Mandela:

“Others can better write about Nelson Mandela’s impact on the world stage, on how he stood up for the dignity of all people and on how he changed our world.

For those that seek to make a change in the world, whether global or local, one lesson of his life is this:

You can.

You can make a difference.

You can stand up to insurmountable forces.

You can put up with far more than you think you can.

Your lever is far longer than you imagine it is, if you choose to use it.

If you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can change the world.”

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

We Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com


Yesterday in my post, Youth, I discussed some qualities in the mentor-mentee relationship; hard work, knowledge of subject, and loyalty on the part of the mentee, with the mentor having trust and belief in their mentee.  Youth often brings energy, exuberance, and a fresh outlook to the table; Experience, though, is important and valuable.

When I talk about experience, I am not strictly talking about seniority, or being “tenured”, or years on the job.  Schools and practice complexes are filled with teachers and coaches that have experience, but lack qualities that I consider valuable and worth emulating. 

I am talking about the experience

  • That comes from a history of successfully tackling difficult situations and handling them successfully
  • That comes from finding solutions to difficult challenges
  • That comes from “seeing” and navigating a “winning” path through a maze of obstacles
  • That comes from embracing new and different challenges rather than whining about change
  • That comes from having a large “bag of tricks” to pull from because they have “been there, done that

Author Seth Godin writes about this type of experience in his post, The river guide and the rapids:river2

“It’s probably not an accident that rapid (as in rapid change) shares a root with rapids (as in Lava Falls in the Grand Canyon).

The river guide, piloting his wooden dory, has but one strategy. Get the boat to the end of the river, safely. And he has countless tactics, an understanding of how water and rocks work, and, if you’re lucky, experience on this particular river.

The thing is, the captain changes his tactics constantly. He never whines. He doesn’t stop the boat and say, “wait, no fair, yesterday this rock wasn’t like this!” No, the practice of being great at shooting the rapids is a softness in choosing the right tactic, the ability to hold the tiller with confidence but not locking into it. If your pilot keeps demanding that the rapids cooperate, it’s probably time to find a new pilot.

Domain knowledge underlies all of it. Give me an experienced captain over a new one any day–the ones that got this far for a reason. Yes, the reckless pilot might get lucky, but the experienced pilot brings domain knowledge to her job. It takes guts to go onto the river, but once you’re there, the one who can see–see what’s coming and see what matters–is the one you want piloting your boat.”

Experience is:

  • Domain Knowledge
  • Choosing the right tactic for each unique situation
  • Confident – but not cocky
  • Seeing the right path – not the reckless or lucky one

Youthful exuberance is great… experience is a critical.

My advice to young coaches – find great, experienced coaches to emulate, and humbly know that you do not have all the answers… be a sponge.

To the veteran, experienced coaches – allow and trust your young, worthy, energetic staff to gain experience.  After all, the only way to get experience is to DO… we all have been trusted and given an opportunity at some point.  Pay it forward.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com




  • You are a leader…
  • Your coordinators are leaders…
  • Your position coaches are leaders…
  • Your captains are leaders…
  • Your seniors are leaders…
  • Your freshmen are leaders…
  • Your All-Conference players are leaders…
  • Your starters are leaders…
  • Your backups are leaders…
  • Your benchwarmers are leaders…
  • Your student managers are leaders…

The more leaders you have on your squad, the better.  But just as important as the number of leaders is the type of leaders you have on your team.

Seth Godin describes two types of leaders in a recent post Nature and Nurture (professional edition) .  Substitute any of the leaders from the previous list in the following description to make this applicable to your team:

“The boss, [insert your leader here], conference organizer, co-worker, interviewer, parent or client who wants your best work, your art and your genuine enthusiasm:

…can demand that you bring your best possible work the first time, can point out that they are paying you well, that they’re busy, that they’re powerful, and that they accept nothing short of high performance or you’re out.

…or they can nurture you, encourage you, set a high bar and then support you on your way. They can teach you, cajole you and introduce you to others that will do the same.

The first strategy is the factory mindset, of interchangeable parts and interchangeable people. It is the strategy of ensuring six-sigma perfection, on demand, and the strategy of someone in power, who can demand what he wants, when he wants it.

You don’t make art this way, or emotional connections, or things that haven’t been made before. You may get the job done, but it’s not clear if you’ll make a difference.”

How many leaders do you have on your squad, and what strategies are they using?  What strategies do you employ with your squad (or with your assistant coaches)?  Are your leaders making a difference?

If you are interested in developing leaders and improving their strategies, a great source for ideas is Coach Keith Grabowski’s blog.  All of his posts regarding leadership development can be found at this link: Grabowski’s Leadership Posts, which includes several posts on Servant Leadership.

Tomorrow the final post in the series, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest, and Saturday will begin the series on Defensive Game Planning.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Is Your Job Going Away?

If you are a teacher and coach, it (your job) probably isn’t going away, but it is changing much in the same way that these jobs have:

  • Travel Agent
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Car Dealership

info_symbolThe reason these jobs have undergone drastic changes in the last few years is because of easy access to information.  Any individual can easily get online and book their own airline ticket, search the MLS for comps in their area, or find out the exact dealer cost of a new car and every option available.

Three different pieces came across my feed this week… all referencing this same thing…. information access, and its effect on our jobs as teachers and coaches.

Chad Frigon, head football coach at Liberty High School sent me an excellent article from the sportscoachingbrain that offered this insight:

“In the old days, coaches were the custodians of the knowledge…. training, planning, preparation, competition, what to eat, when to stretch, what to do at the gym… everything.  Now, anyone can access anything, anytime, from anywhere, and for free.  Kids (and their parents) can now access the same information that coaches can.  The traditional coach-driven, coach-centered learning method, i.e. coach tells- athletes do, is doomed to failure.

Successful coaches must create learning environments where athletes learn through problem solving, decision making, being engaged and excited by learning experiences and by collaborating with coaches and their teammates on making training stimulating, effective and efficient.”

Author Seth Godin discussed information access in his recent post, “Freedom of Information Act”:

“Traditionally, many car dealerships are based on a simple idea: they know more about cars and pricing and profit than the customer does.  By leveraging the information advantage, they can sell cars at a higher markup, upsell add ons, etc.

But what happens when the customers know more than they do, when potential customers know about every option, the inventory at every dealer, etc?

This is going to happen to every business, every sector, every level. When information is set free, does it help you or hurt you?

If it’s not helping you, this is a good time to change your model.”

And Coach James Vint talked about the importance of “why” with today’s athlete’s in his excellent post, “Building a Championship Culture”:

“The first thing we did was talk to them about the why. This is why we are going to coach you on this. This is why we have to do it this way. Kids today need to know “why” something is done a certain way. Once they understand the why, they will buy into the “what” and the “how”….when you are teaching a 10 yard stop route, do you accept an eight yard route? Or, do you correct and reteach? Do your players know why you have to get to 10 yards on that route? Do they know “why” they have to perform the skill?”

Our job, or at least certain aspects of it, has changed and will continue to do so.  We can either embrace technology, or fight it.

If you want to embrace technology, here are some resources to help get you thinking:

If you want to fight technology, I am afraid it is a losing proposition.

Thanks to PrepsKC (the information source of Kansas City High School football) for running todays post as part of their Coach’s Corner.  If you get a chance, please visit and “Like” the post!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

A Guaranteed Shortcut

As Seth Godin described in his recent post, “The Certain Shortcut”

The shortcut that’s sure to work, every time:

Take the long way.

Do the hard work, consistently and with generosity and transparency.

And then you won’t waste time doing it over.

OR… as I always ask my athletes… “Why would we ever want you to do something that was easy?”   OR… here are 10 other ways to look at it…

shortcutTake the certain shortcut… the guaranteed shortcut… Take the long way.

We Can Do More!


Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com