Failure is Your Only Option

patchWe are all familiar with the famous Gene Kranz (NASA flight director) quote from the movie Apollo 13, Failure is not an option.  I suppose when you are dealing with the prospects of getting three astronauts safely home from a crippled space capsule that is the case.  When thinking about your career, career choices, and your daily work, failure is not only AN option, but is your ONLY option if you want continued growth.

If you never fail, you probably are not adequately stretching your boundaries.  I am in the middle of a very good book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, that deals with this concept. I will go deeper into the book in upcoming posts but there is one message that resonated with me; if you fear failure, you continually look to put yourself into situations that success is guaranteed.  When you do that, you are missing out on growth opportunities.

If you have a crippling fear of failure, you probably are staying smack dab in the middle of your comfort zone. If you have the mindset that you need to “knock it out of the park” every swing, you are much more apt to not swing rather than risk “failure”.  If you have the mindset that you need to “Go Big or Go Home” you are much more likely to just stay at home rather than risk “failure”.

In his book, The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin says,

“Your biggest failure is the thing you dreamed of contributing but didn’t find the guts to do.”

Even Vince Lombardi, who probably has more quotes regarding winning (even if most are inaccurate… “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”… actually he said “Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is”) attributed to him than anyone else, had this to say about “failure”

“In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

The thing to remember is that failure (I failed) is an action and not an identity (I am a failure).  Failure is a learning opportunity.

Embrace failure… expand your boundaries… continue to grow… make great attempts… attempt and DO great things.

Jeff Floyd –

Godin Knows… Sports

godin knowsSeth Godin (not to be confused with Seth Rogen!) is an author and business/ marketing expert.  His blog ( is one I read daily.  It is always interesting and usually thought provoking.  Godin typically does not give me “answers” but will plant a seed that will make me contemplate my status quo.

It is motivational, but not in a rah, rah way.  He writes in a manner that makes me believe that it is OK to try new things and expand my comfort zone… and that he will be on my side when I do.

I have read (and recommend) all of his books, from Purple Cow, to his most recent, The Icarus Deception.  They are all good – The Icarus Deception is REALLY good- I highly recommend it.

His posts all have a business/ marketing slant, but the concepts are equally applicable to athletics … and life in general.  I like to say that Godin is a coach but just doesn’t know it.  But, without a doubt, Godin Knows Sports!

Jeff Floyd –

Drip…. Drip… Drip

dripSo you want to make BIG changes…in your career…. on your squad…. in your health… in your strength level… with a new project?

Being committed, consistent, and persistent are the keys.

Seth Godin, one of my favorite authors and marketing Guru, describes it this way in his recent post, A hierarchy of failure (from brave to shameful)

  • Mistakes! A series of failures as you follow a path of persistent long-term effort characterized by ongoing learning and a reputation that improves over time.
  • The giant flame out
  • Giving up in the dip
  • Shortcuts
  • Not starting
  • The critic, on the sidelines
  • Empty hype
  • The scam, the short-sighted selfish pitch

It’s the flameouts and the scams that get all the publicity, but it’s the long-term commitment that pays off. I have nothing but applause for those brave enough to fail, and fail again. It’s not so much a failure as it is one more thing that won’t work.

And the critics and the non-starters? They will get little respect from me.

Some say, “go big or go home,” but I prefer, “keep going.” Drip by drip.”


You want to improve your strength level (or the strength level of your players)?

Drip… drip… drip… an increase in your 1RM (1 Rep Max) of only 10 pounds each month translates to an increase of 120 pounds over the course of a year… that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent.

You want to lose (or gain) weight?

Drip… drip… drip… a loss (or gain) of a mere 1 pound a week translates to 4 pounds a month, 52 pounds a year… that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent.

You want to be a head coach?

Drip… drip… drip… Most head coaches were position coaches or coordinators first.  Do a great job at the job you have.  Be the best position coach or coordinator in the state and your time will come… that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent.

You want to get in better shape… run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon?

Drip… drip… drip… start walking, progress to walk/run, then run 3.2 miles… that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent.

You have a big project coming up?

Drip… drip… drip… How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time… that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent.

You can accomplish BIGGREAT things without having to “hit it out of the park” every swing, or “Going Big” … that is if you are committed, consistent and persistent!

Thanks once again to for running this post concurrently as part of their Coach’s Corner.  If you could go to this link (PrepsKC Coach’s Corner) and “Like” my post, it would be appreciated!

Jeff Floyd –

Following Social Media

twitterI don’t spend a lot of time on all of the social media apps available, but I do use most of them at least once a day.  I use my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts almost exclusively professionally –  I broadcast few personal “tweets”, and everything that I put out there I feel comfortable with anyone seeing.  While I keep my Facebook wall private, I do have a Facebook Page (You Can Do More!) that is open for anyone to “Like”

That being said, there are a handful of folks that I follow religiously on Twitter, LinkedIn, and various blog sites.  All of these professionals deliver consistently good information and are great resources.  Here are my “follow” recommendations:

Seth Godin – (Twitter  @ThisIsSethsBlog –  Blog – ) Godin 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.  He does have an app (Seth Godin App) that allows you to get his daily blog posts on your mobile device.

Keith Grabowski

(Twitter @CoachKGrabowski -Blog –  Coach Grabowski is the Offensive Coordinator at Baldwin Wallace University.  Although he does not post new content every day, his posts are ALWAYS useful information that can immediately be applied in your daily coaching.  He is a great example of an excellent coach that embraces new technology and teaching methods.  His information is “cutting edge” – he provides real life examples on how you can integrate technology as a coach and teacher. His posts on developing leadership are excellent as well.

Erin Luong

(Twitter @EHordyskiLuong) Erin is school counselor and Rugby Coach.  Her tweets are full of great resources for educators, and often include ideas on implementing technology in the classroom.

Jason Belzer

(Twitter @JasonBelzer) Jason is a sports attorney who represents coaches.  He also is a writer for Forbes, and a Professor of Sports Business at Rutgers.  If you want to keep up with the latest news regarding litigations in all levels of all sports, Jason is the guy.

Tony Courville

(Twitter @TonyCourville) Coach Courville is a Football/ Strength and Conditioning coach at Teurling Catholic High School. His tweets for the athletes at his school fire me up daily!

Tony DeMeo

(LinkedIn) Tony is a former head college football coach and currently the CEO at TD Enterprise.  Tony shares offensive football information daily via LinkedIn.

There are many other professionals who I “follow” and often get great information from.  The above recommendations deliver consistently great content.

Who do you “follow”?  I would love to hear any recommendations from you – just comment below or shoot me an email.

Jeff Floyd –


It is hard to get started.

  • BXP135660Started on a strength training regimen
  • Started on adding a screencast to your playbook
  • Started on “flipping the practice field
  • Started on your masters thesis
  • Started on your first iBook

Seth Godin talks about the challenges of getting started in today’s post, “Overcoming the impossibility of amazing

“If you set your bar at “amazing,” it’s awfully difficult to start.

Your first paragraph, sketch, formula, sample or concept isn’t going to be amazing. Your tenth one might not be either.

Confronted with the gap between your vision of perfect and the reality of what you’ve created, the easiest path is no path. Shrug. Admit defeat. Hit delete.

One more reason to follow someone else and wait for instructions.

Of course, the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now.

There’s a big difference between not settling and not starting.”

Your new athletes, the ones just now getting ready to come into your program, are going to be apprehensive.  They are going to look around the weight room and see some amazing athletes.  They are going to be intimidated.  They will see that they do not measure up.  They will see that they are not amazing… For Now!

Let your new athletes know that “the only path to amazing runs directly though not-yet-amazing”, and that “not-yet-amazing is a great place to start,” because that is where they are… For Now! … It is OK to be not-yet-amazing… For Now! 

Don’t settle, but get started!  What are you going to start?  It is OK for you to be not-yet-amazing as well… For Now!

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… don’t believe it!

Jeff Floyd –

Leading Up

So … your goal is…

football staff

  • To be promoted from a middle school coach to a high school coach in your district.
  • To be promoted from Linebacker coach to Defensive Coordinator
  • To be promoted from Defensive Coordinator to Head Coach
  • To be promoted from the Head Coach at your school, to a larger more “prestigious” program in your city.

How do you go about doing that?

Marketing/ Business Guru, Seth Godin shared one way in his post from Sunday, “Lead Up”… I have added my comments in the brackets…

“A successful middle manager [coach] gets promoted when she takes the right amount of initiative, defers the right amount of credit and orchestrates success. That success might happen despite (not because) of who her bosses [head coach/ athletic director] are, and that’s just fine, because she’s leading up.”

Leading up is…

“… creating a reputation and an environment where the people around you are transformed into the bosses you deserve.  When you do this with intention, it gets easier and easier. From afar, it seems impossible, and it will be until you commit to it.”

Work hard, continue learning, be a great teacher, be humble.  The best way to get a great job is to DO a great job at the job you have.  I have seen coaches get so consumed about finding a “better” job that they work harder at that (finding a new job) , than in doing the job they are supposed to be doing!

Enjoy the Journey!

Jeff Floyd –

The Hard Parts

Here is a quote from Seth Godin’s Sunday post, “The Hard Parts”:

In an industrial setting, the obvious plan is to seek out the easy work. You’re more likely to get it done with less effort and then move on. The easy customer, the easy gig, the easy assembly line.

Today, though, it’s the difficult work that’s worth doing. It’s worth doing because difficult work allows you to stand out, create value and become the one worth choosing.

Seek out the difficult, because you can. Because it’s worth it.

Few of us became coaches because it is easy… it is difficult work.  I would encourage you today… tonight… to examine your job as a coach.  Are there any “Hard Parts” that you can do differently… better… allowing you to stand out… to become the one worth choosing?   Maybe it is time to reinvent the wheel.

sad coach

And that is the perfect segue for my next two posts that will go live later this week.   I am very excited to share:

  • Why do a Playbook?, on Wednesday, and
  • The Playbook of the Future, on Thursday

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

Jeff Floyd –

Motivation and Repetition

Seth Godin talked about a different sort of reps (repetitions) last week in his post, “Frequency, repetition and the power of saying it more than once

“Repetition increases the chance that you get heard.”

“Repetition also increases (for a while) the authority and believability of what you have to say. Listeners go from awareness of the message to understanding to trust…..”

“Delivering your message in different ways, over time, not only increases retention and impact, but it gives you the chance to describe what you’re doing from several angles.”

Yesterday as I was working on the web site, I noticed that nearly 40 (out of 110) posts dealt with some aspect of motivation.   I am OK with that number… for a couple of reasons.

MotivationMotivation is a key component of our job as coaches and teacher.  We are constantly trying to get young men and women to “do more” than they think they can, to perform beyond what they believe they can.  That is not an easy task.  For that reason it has been a point of emphasis … and my repetitions have reflected that importance.

Also, I have tried, using Godin’s words, “delivering the message in different ways”, trying to “describe ideas from several different angles.”  Isn’t that what motivating young student-athletes is all about?

I don’t believe there is a single way to motivate young men and women… they all are different and respond to coaching differently.  I think you have to “deliver the message in different ways” and see what “sticks”… what works for each individual student athlete.  You have to figure out what his or her individual “hot button” is; you have to figure out the thing that motivates each athlete.   I don’t believe there is a cookie cutter… a one size fits all approach to this.

It is hard, but interesting and satisfying work when done correctly.  It is about developing meaningful relationships with your student athletes.

It is coaching…It is teaching.

You can get your daily dose of Seth Godin at his blog –

100 Days Later

The essence of author Seth Godin’s post from last Thursday , 100 days later, was that it is the norm that projects, post launch, take some time to “get legs” and take off. He was speaking about the launch of his new book, The Icarus Deception.

“Not just books, of course. Google launched slow. So did just about every successful web service. And universities. And political movements…

Every day, I get letters from people who found The Icarus Deception at just the right moment in their careers. It has opened doors for people or given them the confidence to keep going in the face of external (and internal resistance). It’s a book for the long haul. I didn’t put a brand new secret inside, holding back for the sensational launch. Instead, I tried to create a foundation for people willing to do a better (and scarier) sort of work.

It doesn’t happen on launch day… it happens after people hear an interview or read your book or try your product. One day. Eventually. When you plan for 100 days instead of one, that graceful spread is more likely to happen.”

It is similar, I think, to the work we do with our student-athletes. Normally there is no “secret” formula we are sharing… The work with our students is for the “long haul“… We try to create a “foundation” with our students so they can do better work. One day.

For what it is worth, yesterday was my 100th post in 100 days on this blog.
100 days later.

Jeff Floyd –

Going Until “Failure”

joyTypically on our “Heavy” day lift (Monday-Bench, Tuesday-Squat, Wednesday-Push, Friday-Clean) we go until “failure” – meaning we go until we can’t do any more reps using correct technique and/or without spotter help.  Going to “failure” is probably not a very good term to use, because it implies that the athletes themselves have failed.   It puts a negative thought into their head before they even step under the bar.  I prefer that the athletes focus on “breaking” (Breaking…. It’s a Good Thing!),  rather than failure.

When an athlete does a particular exercise until failure, they personally have not failed, it is just that particular muscle group has “failed“… is exhausted… cannot do another rep.  I think that it is important that the athlete understand that this is a good thing; that IT (not being able to continue) is not, nor are they, a failure.   Without pushing this threshold they would not get appreciably stronger.

Author Seth Godin discussed the idea of welcoming difficulties in his post, “Just the good parts,” last week:

“You don’t get to just do the good parts. Of course. In fact, you probably wouldn’t have chosen this path if it was guaranteed to work every time.

The implication of this might surprise you, though: when the tough parts come along, the rejection and the slog and the unfair bad breaks, it makes sense to welcome them. Instead of cursing or fearing the down moments, understand that they mean you’ve chosen reality, not some unsustainable fantasy. It means that you’re doing worthwhile, difficult work, not merely amusing yourself.

The very thing you’re seeking only exists because of the whole. We can’t deny the difficult parts, we have no choice but to embrace them.”

Training… daily, hard,  intense, consistent, physical, training… is tough… is reality.  It means you’re doing worthwhile, difficult work, not merely amusing yourself.    You have to do the hard stuff, not just the good parts,  to be great.  Embrace the difficult parts.

Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd –