Mettle, Metal, and Adversity

Mettle and Metal

I have the opportunity to observe people with mettle daily.  Mettle is a person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.  I firmly believe that participating in athletics, or even just being involved in a training regimen, helps develop mettle. When you are an athlete, you WILL have a bad day, a bad game, or a bad practice.  And really, these adversities are minor compared to how life can slap you in the face at times.  Learning how to deal with those down times, how to persevere and actually improve, makes for a better person, and better athlete.  Every day you step into the weight room, your mettle is being tested; you have an ever-increasing load to bear. Whether it is the challenge of increasing your PR (breaking) on a particular lift, or hitting a target time when running, there is ample opportunity to fail.  Heck, on our heavy day lift, we go “to failure” – failure not only IS an option, it is built into our workout routine!

smelting steel2Metal – steel specifically.  Steel is one of the strongest metals and is used as the foundation, the backbone or skeleton of most major construction projects. Iron, such as cast iron or wrought iron, is not so tough.  Iron is a fairly brittle metal that can’t stand up under the pressures and demands of modern day construction. Steel has been the preferred choice for over a century.

Steel is made from iron in a process known as smelting.  The iron is subjected to intense heat in a blast furnace, which forces out the impurities, mainly excess carbon, leaving the purer, and stronger, molten steel.

You begin your training, your life, as iron… not nearly as strong as you could be… not steel.   Every day you work out, every adversity you face down in your lifetime, you are being smelted.   You are turning into steel, forcing out the impurities through the intense heat of training. Without that process, you would still be iron, not having nearly the strength, resiliency, or durability of steel.  Adversity is not the enemy, the grind” is not the enemy, training obstacles are not the enemy… these are the things that make you better… that steel you, that smelt you.

Over time you become metal, with mettle;  a strong, resilient, durable person (athlete)  with the ability to face demanding situations in a spirited way.

You Can Do More!   –  We All Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd –


Grit and “The Grind”

I was having a conversation last night with a good friend and colleague, Scott Baumgardner.  Coach Baumgardner is currently the wide receiver coach at the University of New Mexico.  We were talking and laughing about the “grind” that is college coaching.  The endless hours you put into the job, while loving every (well nearly every) minute of it.

In his book, The Icarus Deception, bestselling author Seth Godin  discusses the concepts of grit and and grinding

“….  is precisely the same grit we seek out in a leader or hero.  We measure sandstones and grindstones in terms of grit – the ability to stand up to resistance.  Someone with grit will grind down the opposition, stand up to criticism, and consistently  do what’s  right by their art [work].”

“If the grind is wearing you down, then you may be viewing the grind as the enemy, something apart from the work itself. The person with grit on the other hand, understands that the grind is part of the work, that the grind is part of what makes the work interesting, a challenge, worth doing. If there were no grind, you would need no grit.”

The grind (substitute your own term here…. practice, long hours, weight training, running… you name it) is not the enemy…. It is what makes the work interesting, challenging and worth doing.

The challenge to you … Have gritgrind down the opposition… Be a leader and a hero! Your art (work) needs you.

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

Jeff Floyd –

Jump Rope Training

pat jump ropeThis is not your 5th grade, out on the playground during recess, jump roping!  This is a slightly expanded, and better video, version of the jump rope training that I shared in an earlier post –Jump Rope Drills;  We do each pattern for either 20 seconds with a 10 second rest before switching to the next pattern, or 25 seconds on with 5 seconds rest.  These are the patterns in the order we complete them:

  • 2 feet in the same place
  • 2 feet front to back
  • 2 feet side to side
  • 2 feet round the clock- clockwise (12-3-6-9)
  • 2 feet round the clock counter-clockwise (12-9-6-3)
  • Alternate right left
  • Alternate 2 right – 2 left
  • Ali Shuffle
  • Rocker – right foot forward
  • Rocker – left foot forward
  • Rocker – side to side
  • Right foot in the same place
  • Left foot in the same place
  • Right foot front to back
  • Left foot front to back
  • Right foot clockwise
  • Left foot clockwise
  • Right foot counter clockwise
  • Left foot counter clockwise
  • Backwards

The following video demonstrates each of the patterns.  The male athlete in this video is a defensive lineman on our football team.  The female athlete plays volleyball, basketball, and soccer.  We feel these drills can benefit athletes in all sports.

We go through this sequence twice then end with the following:

  • 30 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 20 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 15 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 10 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 5 seconds -as many jumps as you can

10 seconds rest in between each “burn out” set

We finish with a 1 minute cool down of slow jumping – their choice, whatever pattern they want, 10 seconds rest, then 40 seconds cool down of slow jumping.  The entire workout takes between 26-30 minutes.

Here is a short video of an entire class (about 60 students) doing some of the drills

As always if you have any questions, just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd –

The Courage to Compete

softballIt takes courage to participate in athletics.  You are “putting yourself out there” for everyone… spectators, family, friends and foes alike to watch, judge, critique, etc.  It is easy to sit in the stands and grouse about how your team is lacking, or how your school’s players are “not very good”.  It is much harder to compete, take the risk, do the work, and be a Doer!

It takes courage to be a coach, to put your product (your team) out for evaluation every Friday night or Tuesday or Sunday afternoon.  I chuckle inside when other teachers worry/ complain/ get angry about being “evaluated” once or twice a year.  Coaches not only get evaluated during those two “official” teaching evaluations, but also every Friday night when they put their team on the field.  The evaluation is done not only by school officials, but parents, community members, students, and the media.  In addition to these “evaluations” many of us also get evaluated almost daily by our Activities Director and/ or administration… watching practice, checking grades, monitoring your teams behavior while they are at school.  And it is ALL GOOD!  It comes with the job; it is what we signed up for, and generally keeps us on our toes.  So why do we do it? Why do we decide to compete, to coach?

This is a excerpt from Seth Godin’s blog yesterday about being a spectator as opposed to a Doer:

The spectators foolishly assert that if everyone was a doer, a leader and a maker of ruckuses, then there’d be no one left in the audience. As if those that do require an audience.

The alternative to being a spectator involves failure and apparent risk. It means that you will encounter people who accuse you of hubris and flying too high, people who are eager to point out the loose thread on your jacket or the flaw in your reasoning. The spectators in the stands are happy to boo, happy to walk out when the team is struggling in the third period, happy to switch if the bread or the circuses cease to delight.

Why on earth, they ask, would they want to be anything but a spectator?

And yet, those that have foolishly picked themselves, stood up, stood out and made a difference, can’t help but ask, “and why would I ever want to be a spectator again?

And yet, those that have foolishly picked themselves, stood up, stood out and made a difference, can’t help but ask “and why would I ever want to be a spectator again?”


Pick Yourself – Be a Doer, Be a Competitor!

Tomorrow – Bench Press video and tips.

Notice that the blog address has changed – simplified!  I have my own domain:    (.net NOT .com!)

Jeff Floyd –

Playing Fast!

film studyTo catch a college football coach’s eye (or a college coach in any sport),  not only do you have to have the Purple Cow qualities of Speed and Explosion, you have to be able to prove that you can transfer those physical skills to the game field and be a great football player.  You have to show the recruiting coaches that you have the next Purple Cow Quality – Playing Speed!

As coaches we have all had athletes that “looked like Tarzan, and played like Jane”.  When I was an assistant football coach at the University of Central Missouri, we had a player that had all the tools.  He was 6’2”, 210 pounds, ran a 4.4 to 4.5 40 yard dash, smart, had good character, and was strong and explosive.  He was the first player that every NFL scout asked about when they visited our campus.  Unfortunately, his physical attributes did not transfer to the field or to film.  He very seldom showed up making the type of plays you would expect an athlete of his caliber to make.  He very seldom showed up on film at all making any plays.

How do you improve your “playing speed”?  How does your speed stand out on film like a (fast) Purple Cow?


You will play like you practice. Develop Great practice habits, Championship practice habits, Purple Cow practice habits!

Championship (Purple Cow) practice habits:

  1. Finish every drill
  2. Full speed effort during drills
  3. Go at “game speed” during scrimmages
  4. Do not take a play off during practice.
  5. Never walk on the practice field – jog (or run) onto the field and jog (or run) off the field. Develop the “between the while lines” mentality.
  6. Study  – Know you Alignment and Assignment and Opponent.  Watch Film!  The better you know these things, the faster you will play!
  7. When you are not actively participating in a drill or scrimmage, get a “mental rep”. The better you know your alignment and assignment, the faster you can play.
  8. Get in great shape – the old saying “fatigue makes cowards of us all” is as true today as when Vince Lombardi stated it. Not only does it turn us into cowards, but slow cowards as well!

It sounds simple, but it is really true. When great effort becomes a habit, it will show up in improved playing speed, and it will show up on film.

Most high school players have no real concept regarding effort, and what it means to truly play hard every play – and it shows on film.  I can count on one hand the number of high school athletes that I evaluated when I when I was a college football coach (over 14 years) that went hard every play.  Every one of those high school athletes that did were full scholarship athletes, either at UCM or a level higher.

Those players that do give great effort every play, stand out on film like… well… a Purple Cow!

The next quality that recruiters will look for – Athleticism and Quickness!

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.


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

Any Questions?  Just comment or email, I will respond!

Jeff Floyd –


A couple of quick blurbs today …

First… If you have not been taking the time to click on the hyperlinks that I embed in my posts, I hope that you will start doing so.  I take time to research and curate this information, only linking to items that are instructional, helpful, and well done.  I will try to never link to information that is not quality, or will not help you become a better athlete, coach, or instructor.

wantedSecond…. I have had several people (some students and some parents) ask if my eBook, “Wanted, and Rewarded, Take Control and Market Yourself…The Complete Guide to a Successful College Recruiting Experience”, is available online in one location.  Well, it is, but I really don’t want to send it out, for a couple of reasons.  First, (and self serving) is that I would like for you to keep visiting this blog!  But, a more important reason is that I continue to add to the eBook and update the links (see above) to give you the most up-to-date information possible.  Things have changed somewhat in the last couple of years regarding recruiting guidelines (including these NCAA de-regulations last week) and I want to make sure you have accurate information.  By the time I have finished posting excerpts, you will have a complete, updated eBook!  Right now, here are the posts so for dealing with recruiting:

Tomorrow back to recruiting and those Purple Cow Qualities that will help make you remarkable!

Jeff Floyd –