Tech Tips

As we head into the final portion of our seasons, with conference and district championships on the line and playoff possibilities looming, is there anything that you as a coach could be doing differently or better? Are there any tools, techniques, or tips that might help you teach or coach more effectively and efficiently?

I am always on the lookout for a better way to skin the cat… and invariably my search leads me back to technology.

Here are a couple of new tools that I just started using, and an “old reliable” that I have begun using in a different way.


We all know the Social Media aspect of Twitter… and have witnessed people “Tweeting” the minutiae of their daily lives. But there is another aspect of Twitter that makes it a virtual clinic… a clinic that is open 24/7 365. Twitter connects me to coaches and colleagues across the country … coaches that are experts in every field… from Middle School Strength and Conditioning, to collegiate recruiting, to NFL special teams play.

Inside of Twitter, by using the # symbol, you can connect to weekly chats hosted and moderated by coaches across the country. Some of my favorites are:

Typically one coach will moderate by posing a question to the field (Q1) and each participating coach will respond with their input (A1) including the appropriate # for the chat. By searching the # for that particular chat, each coach can view all questions and responses. Often there are guest coaches that will tweet on a topic in their area of expertise

Here is screen shot from a recent #txhsfbchat answers (A3) to the question (Q3): How do you incorporate the community of your school into your academic support system?


Following the session, the questions and responses are archived. Here is a link to an archived chat about Athlete Motivaton from a couple of weeks ago.

Some of these groups are more active than others, but most really get up and running full speed in the off-season.

Any interest in a #kchsfbchat or #mohsfbchat this off-season? Let me know.


A program that makes it possible to easily follow several #chats and #streams at once is Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck (part of Twitter) allows a user to monitor multiple timelines, schedule tweets and filter searches. Here is a screenshot of my Tweetdeck, with my most viewed timelines displayed.


The timelines are displayed in real time and can be formatted, filtered and arranged to your liking.


remind-logo-1Another new tool we just started using in our program is Remind ( Remind is a communication tool that helps teachers and students connect instantly with students and parents. You can send quick, simple messages to any device. It is a free program that takes literally seconds for you and our athletes to sign up. It is safe – it keeps phone numbers private… students never see yours and you never see theirs. Our administration loves this program.

Do you have a favorite tech tech tool that you are using in your program? Are you finding a new way to use an old tool? If so, please share!

Related Posts:

I will ask this question again… Any interest in a #kchsfbchat or #mohsfbchat?

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

Jeff Floyd –

Lessons from the Tech Industry

I can be a bit of a nerd.  I did own an Apple IIc in 1984 after all.

Yesterday I read two articles… an article about Oculus Rift in Wired Magazine, and an article about Google X in Fast Company.

oculusrift1The piece in Wired Magazine chronicled the development of Oculus Rift, the virtual reality head mounted display, by its 21-year-old inventor, Palmer Luckey.  The development is a testimony to persistence, ingenuity, and problem solving.

Palmer is an avid gamer, and gamers are excited about the Oculus Rift because it, according to CEO Brenden Iribe, is the first VR headset that delivers a

“sense of presence in the virtual reality… your brain says, OK, I’m comfortable in this environment… I know it’s not real, but I think it is”

I am not a gamer at all and am not interested how Oculus Rift can fully immerse you in Call of Duty or Titanfall.  I am interested in how this technology can be used in athletics… how you can get fully immersed in a virtual reality world consisting of game footage of your upcoming opponent.

I wrote about the Kansas City Company, Eon Sports VR, a few weeks ago in my post, The Highest Quality Mental Reps. Brenden (different Brendan!) Reily’s company uses this technology along with your existing video and playbook to fully immerse your athletes in a virtual football arena.  Brenden gave me a demonstration, and I can tell you that you get that sense of presence that Iribe spoke of.

The Fast Company article on Google X was the first time a reporter has been allowed inside the innovation lab on the Google campus.  Google X is about finding

“audacious innovations that have a slim chance of succeeding but might revolutionize the world if they do”

The four main projects that have so far emerged from X:

  • Driverless cars
  • Google Glass
  • High-altitude Wi-Fi balloons
  • Glucose monitoring contact lenses.

contact lenseWhat the article is really about is the culture at Google X that embraces failure… that only by pressing the envelope… by risking failure… do you achieve audacious innovations.  On the just first page on the article there were almost 20 references to failing – here are a few:

  • Slim chance of succeeding
  • Course-correct
  • Setbacks
  • Falling
  • Fail
  • Rejecting
  • Cult of failure
  • Defeat
  • Fall apart

How does this philosophy translate to teaching and coaching?

Well, I am not suggesting that you set out to lose every Friday night contest.  But, there are many opportunities for “failure” before Friday night arrives, and this is the chance for real growth.

What I am saying is that if you are a coach preparing your team for a contest:

  • If you only practice at what you are good at
  • If you only put your athletes in situations where they will be successful
  • If you don’t test your athlete’s boundaries physically and mentally
  • If you don’t help your athletes get better at what they are not good at

Then your team will probably not improve to its full potential. Don’t be afraid to attempt, fail, re-teach, and try again.

What I am saying is that when attempting new things, “failing” is part of the learning process, and it is OK.

Attempt… and DOgreat things… and in the process don’t be afraid to fail greatly!

Related Posts:

Thanks to PrepsKC, the home of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association for running this post on their site today.  I hope you can take some time to visit PrepsKC, and “Like” this post!

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

Jeff Floyd –

Augmented Reality and Coaching

Most of us have heard of virtual reality… virtual reality replaces the real world with a computer generated simulated one.  By contrast, augmented reality (AR) is a live, copy, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The app and platform Aurasma allows users to unlock digital content from the world around them through the use of a phone or tablet.

It is a little difficult to explain, but fairly easy to see in action.

Here is an example.

I have this picture of two students jumping rope.

pat jump rope

I have this video (.mov file) of the two students actually demonstrating the various jump rope drills.

Lets say I have a printed picture of the students jumping rope laying on my kitchen counter right now… which I actually do!

The app Aurasma can link the video file, overlaying it via phone or tablet onto the actual picture … augmenting the “real” picture sitting on my counter with the video.

Here is Aurasma doing just that:

The Aurasma  app works with a tablet or phone in exactly the same way.  Here is a video showing the same trigger picture and video using a phone… you will also see in this video that you can “layer” overlays so that different commands “single tap” or “double tap” will perform different functions…. In this example a double tap will take the user to my blog post about these jump rope drills.

Cool technology… but how could you use it in coaching and teaching?

Here is a simple example… I printed pictures of the 4 Core lifts we do in class.  I put the pictures on a bulletin board in the weight room.  Lets say the students had a quick question regarding technique, spotting, or what muscle groups the lift worked.  They could pop over to the board, scan the picture using the Aurasma app and get a quick tutorial on the lift.

Some other possible uses – trigger image and overlay (video, image, or website) for each of these

  • One for each piece of equipment in your weight room…
  • One showing the muscle groups worked on each lift…
  • One detailing each station in a fitness circuit…
  • One showing complimentary auxiliary lifts for each core lift…
  • One showing medicine ball drills …
  • One showing resistance band drills…

Like any other use of technology, these things will not replace the teaching and coaching you do, but supplement (augment) it.

Later this week a step by step tutorial on using the Aurasma platform.

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

Jeff Floyd –

“Passing” and “Catching” Information in a Connected Society

It is funny the circuitous route information sometimes takes getting from the “quarterback” to the “receiver”.

  • A couple of weeks ago, a startup education tech company, Dewsly (@dewsly), sent me a tweet about their platform, because I was a teacher and coach …
  • We began following each other on twitter…
  • The CEO of Dewsly, Anthony Noll (@anthonynoll) and I began following each other on twitter…
  • I created a Dewsly account and began investigating their platform…
  • Anthony Noll began following this blog (…
  • I wrote a post about technology and teaching/ coaching (Technology and Your Career) a couple of days later…
  • Anthony Noll tweeted the following… “@youcandomore1 took a look at your site and love it. i wish content like that was around when i was an athlete. lets talk sometime!” 
  • I wrote a post on my blog,  “Flipped Coaching Tips and Resources
  • The tweet referencing the post got favorited and retweeted many times…. Including by @dewsly and @anthonynoll
  • Another follower of @dewsly and a user of their platform (, Lauren Taylor (@LTaylorELA) read the retweet from @dewsly and we started following each other on twitter…
  • I joined the Dewsly group, Teaching Tips, where teachers can easily share information and content…
  • I shared a link to my post on Flipped Coaching Tips and Resources with the Dewsly group, Teaching Tips 
  • In the Dewsly forum, Teaching Tips, Lauren Taylor shared information regarding a new technology called Aurasma, which is an Augmented Reality app and platform…


Without Twitter I would not have know about Dewsly… without Dewsly I would not have been connected to Lauren Taylor… without joining the Teaching Tips group, I would not have read about Aurasma via Lauren Taylor’s link…. and this is a tool that  I WILL use in my teaching and coaching.

Tomorrow I am going to write about, and demonstrate some uses for this app and platform, Aurasma…. in the words of my wife… “Prepare to have your mind blown!”

The point of post today’s post is to show how relatively easy it is, in today’s connected society, to be both a quarterback and “pass” some information…. or be a “receiver” and “catch” what is thrown your direction.

Go ahead… throw and catch!

Thanks to…

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

Jeff Floyd –

Must Read – Must “See”

Coach Keith Grabowski of Baldwin Wallace University, hit it out of the park with his article, Making an Impact with Flipped Coaching, for this month’s American Football Monthly online supplemental edition.

13julcoverIn this article Coach Grabowski pulls together resources from Urban Myer, (Urban Meyer – On Edge Coaching ), Coach Jason Hahnstadt, (The Flipped Coach – John Hahnstadt), some of my examples (Making a Screen Recording and Defensive Game Planning – Flipped Coaching) as well as many of his own ideas and implementations.  Additionally, Coach Grabowski includes examples of using technology for review and assessment with your players.

The article also has information and links to a great “flipped learning” resource from John Bergman – Turning Learning on its Head.

Coach Grabowski’s  article is the single best piece I have seen written on this topic.  It has video, practical examples, links to resources, and a narrative that excited me as to the possible uses for integrating this into my (and my colleagues) coaching bag of tricks.

The article itself is an excellent example of integrating technology into teaching and coaching. It is a must read…. really must SEE because of the many video examples and hyperlinks in the piece… article for 21st century teachers and coaches.

Again, the article for the American Football Monthly online supplemental– Making an Impact With Flipped Coaching.

I cannot emphasize this enough…. if you are a coach wanting to learn cutting edge teaching and coaching methods, read Coach Grabowski’s blog – Coach and Coordinator, and follow him on Twitter @CoachKGrabowski.

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 –


new-teaching-stylesI recently received via Twitter (thank you Erin Luong @EHordyskiLuong) a very interesting infographic about technology and teaching. You can click on the image to the left to see the full size infographic.  Information graphics (Infographs), are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.  They can help process information by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.

Infographics are not new, but recently the proliferation of a number of easy-to-use, free tools have made the creation of infographics available to a large segment of the population. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also allowed for individual infographics to be spread among many people around the world.

infographLast week I downloaded a PowerPoint presentation that was a tutorial on how to make an infographic, and included templates that you can customize.  You can download it from this link: PowerPoint Infographic Templates. There are also several infographic making sites available online.  Piktochart and are two of these that offer a free option.

I will be playing with these to see how I might be able to incorporate them into my teaching and coaching… possibly in conveying statistical information to parents or boosters.

You Can Do More… including making infographics to better convey complex data!

Jeff Floyd –

Flipping the Practice Field

flipped practiceThe flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving “homework” into the classroom.  5 Years ago, “flipping the classroom” would have been an impossible undertaking. Improvements in technology, and the advancements in proliferation and access have made “flipping the classroom” not only feasible, but easier than it has ever been for teachers and coaches.  My question and challenge is, “Could “flipping the practice field” make you a more effective coach?’”

I want to refer back to several recent posts regarding using technology in coaching.

“… I wanted them to move towards using dynamic content whether that was Power Point diagrams with animations, still shot step-by-step illustrations with coaching points, film or preferably a combination of those things. I also encouraged them to use our editing system to prepare video walk thru – essentially a screencast of them talking through a play and giving coaching points. I like this method for an install because your comments as a coach are saved and accessible for player review later, whereas if you just talk through video in a meeting, once the meeting is over, there is nothing for the player to refer back to.”

What I am suggesting now is that you can expand this concept to “flip your practice field”.  Here are a couple of ideas.

Consider your install days during your pre-season or spring practice sessions.  How much more production could you get out of your meeting and practice time if you had your install lectures already recorded on a screencast.  Prior to your installation of a particular front/ stunt/ or coverage (or of an offensive play) you require as “homework” viewing the screencast of your install lecture of that piece.  How much more efficient could you be in your meeting time (answering specific questions about the install) or how much quicker would you move to actually practicing the piece instead of spending time installing on the field.

What if you had the most important (or better yet, all!) of your drills for each position group online, described with text, diagramed in an automated PowerPoint presentation, with a telestrated video of YOU explaining the key organizational and coaching points of the drill, and your players demonstrating.  Before you use a drill in a practice, you gave as “homework” to your position group the task of studying this online content for the drill.  How many more reps would you get in that drill during practice, and how much better understanding of the drill would your players have during the course of the year?

This online content embraces many different learning styles.  It can be viewed on their own device, at their own pace.  The content can be played, rewound, played again… over and over and over… on their own time.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I could help you in any way.

You Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd –

Apps for the Coach

I am not sure if the abundance of great computer apps I use for coaching is a blessing or a curse.  Without a doubt, these apps save me time, aid in the learning process, and help me do a better job of coaching.  But, as I begin utilizing these apps, I always seem to find more uses for them… giving me more to do!

Here are the apps that I have found useful, ranging from indispensible to somewhat useful to just plain fun! Clicking on the logo or Title link will give you more detail and download information.

hudlHudl:  I use the Hudl app on my iPhone in conjunction with the Hudl web based program nearly every day.  The app allows you to take video from your mobile device, and upload the clips straight to Hudl (which gets them off of your phone) via WiFi.  Once the clips are in Hudl, you can edit, telestrate, make play lists, download, etc…. everything you normally do in Hudl.

imovieiMovie:  I use both the mobile app and the Mac software on my Macbook. Pro.  The program makes editing both audio and video files (like downloaded Hudl clips) a breeze.   Most of the video I have embedded in the blog, or uploaded to YouTube I have edited with this program.

godinSeth Godin Although geared toward marketing/ business folk, I find something useful here nearly every day.



notesNotes:  This app is native on the iPhone and iPad.   Any inspirations (random thoughts) that pop into my head during the day, I type into the Notes App


runkeeperRunKeeper:  Fitness tracking app.  Uses GPS to keep log your walking, running, biking activities.  Breaks down distance, route, pace, splits, and gives you audible “coaching” while you are working out.


picstitchPic Stitch:  Allows you to make a collage from pictures in your album. I have used it many times making “good job” cards for students, and have posted several Pic Stitch pictures in this blog


quickofficeQuickoffice:  Allows you to open and edit Microsoft Office files on an iPad/ iPhone.  Rumor has it that Microsoft Office will be releasing a mobile version of their suite in the near future, but until that time Quickoffice is indispensable.


dropboxDropbox:  Allows you to share files via the Internet.  You “drop” files in your dropbox and they are stored in the cloud and accessible through a sharable link.  Every Excel template or Word document I have shared via this blog, you have accessed through my dropbox.


flightboardFlightBoard: Pretty much like reading a flight board in an airport.  You can select the departure and arrival airports and check on the status of any flight.  My wife travels a lot, so this comes in handy if I need to make an airport run to pick her up!


wordpress-appWordPress:  This is what  I use for my blog.  The web based program (and app) make it easy to edit text, embed links to other sites, and post pictures or video.  This tool could have many uses in your program beyond just “blogging”… limited only by your imagination.


linkedin1Linkedin:  Social media. I use it to network with other coaches and teachers.  You can also join groups within Linkedin life the AFCA – the American Football Coaches Association.


twitterTwitter:  Social media.  I use it to communicate to student-athletes (one way – I do not follow them, they just follow me) and colleagues (two way- they follow me and I follow them).  I learn something daily from a colleague on twitter that I follow.


facebookFacebook: Social media.  I use it to communicate to student-athletes (in a group – no “friending” involved) and colleagues (two way- they “friend” me and I “friend” them).  I learn something daily from a colleague on Facebook that I am friends with.


flipcardsFlipCards:  I use this app to make electronic note cards, front and back, that can be shared with students to help them study.  I have a set that I am making for the major muscle groups of the human body, and what lifts help develop them.

myradarMyRadar: Quick way to see if storms will be effecting your practice or games.



quicktime_playerQuickTime Player:  Allows you to make Screencasts (screen recordings) of anything that is on your computer screen.  I use this to capture telestrated video via Hudl. (Making a Screen Recording)


reflectorReflector:  Presently you can’t make screen recording on your iPad.  This app allows you, through Apple’s airplay feature, to display anything that is running on your iPad on your Mac computer screen.  Once it is displayed on your computer screen, you can do a Screencast of what is on your iPad using QuickTime Player

IBooks_Author_256pxiBook Author: The Mac program, iBook Author, is a free and powerful program that can be used to make highly interactive iBooks for the iPad.  I am just beginning to unlock all of its potential with two iBooks I am working on.


Jeff Floyd –

The Playbook is dead! Long live the Playbook!

In yesterdays post (The Value of a Playbook), I discussed some of the objections that I have heard regarding publishing and issuing playbooks to the athletes on your squad.  A few of them were:

  • “It is a waste of my time, it will just end up in the bottom of their locker”
  • “We change what we emphasize each week, so our offense (defense) is really fluid… it’s tough to capture that in a printed playbook”
  • “Kids learn by doing”
  • “Kids just don’t have the attention span any more… they are used to playing video games”
  • “Kids don’t read any more – they would rather watch a movie instead”

While I disagree that it is a waste of time, I also talked about the validity of some of these arguments:

  • Some kids DO learn by doing…
  • Some kids WOULD rather watch a movie than read…
  • Some kids will NOT read the playbook…
  • Some kids DO have short attentions spans…
  • Some kids DO relate to video games more than the written word.

Here is the $24,000 questions – With over 100 student-athletes on our squad, with many different learning styles, and with the technological tools readily at our disposal, is the written (paper) playbook the best we can do?  I do not think so.

“The Playbook is dead!  Long live the Playbook!”

grabThe playbook of the future is here today.  I have been following a coach on Twitter, Keith Grabowski (@CoachKGrabowski) , who is doing some cutting edge things regarding technology in coaching.  Coach Grabowski is the QB Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Baldwin Wallace University and has written an iBook, 101+ Pro Style Pistol Plays.  Just today his blog post, “Improving learning through the use of iPads”, he discussed a recent MIT study regarding learning and the use of a tablet computer. The Mac program, iBook Author, is a free and powerful program; Coach G. unlocks its full potential in his book.  You can see a sample of his book at this link… (101+ Pro Style Pistol Plays) but be forewarned… once you click, you will want to buy!

Now, I am not saying that you have to buy Coach Grabowksi’s iBook and run his offense.  What I am saying is that we are capable of doing more regarding teaching our athletes.  We can do better than the printed playbook whose form has not changed much in the last 50 years.   It can be done using resources that are available to you and that you are probably already using.  You can take your playbook into the 21st century with little to no cost, and do it with relative ease.

multi media playbook2This week I created a sample playbook to demonstrate the possibilities.  It took me maybe 30 minutes to complete.  I used a program called Tactilize to make a “Card” – essentially a digital playbook that can be viewed on a computer, but is optimized for the iPad.  It has the following components to aid in the instruction of your student-athletes or assistant coaches:

  • A digital picture of each page of our printed playbook that the athletes can bring up to read and study with a click.
  • An animated PowerPoint presentation – essentially a whiteboard talk
  • Actual telestrated game video with audio explanation of the material described in the playbook and whiteboard pieces

Here are the advantages of this multi-media playbook:

  • Your whiteboard talks or film reviews are not “one and done”.  They are preserved digitally and can be accessed at any time, and as many times as the athlete needs to see them
  • It is interactive.  The learner can watch, rewind, or stop at any point
  • It incorporates many different learning styles
  • It can easily be updated and changed… it is fluid
  • Your athletes can learn at their own pace, on their own time
  • You can “flip the classroom” – your athletes can get a head start by viewing the material (print, PowerPoint, video) ahead of the actual installation – leaving you more time to teach and practice.

Here is a short video that shows the capabilities of the multi-media playbook

Here is the process that I used to create the digital playbook:

  • The digital images of the playbook pages were created by “printing” each page to a PDF file.  This function is native on both Mac and PC’s
  • The animated ”whiteboard” videos were made using PowerPoint (using automated transitions) and saving the presentation as a video.  This, too, is native on both Mac and PC’s.  After making the first presentation, you can use it as a template for each successive presentation.
  • The telestrated video was a screen recording (screencast) using clips that were already “tagged” in Hudl according to front/stunt/coverage.  If you are already using Hudl, you already know how to do this step.
  • The videos were all uploaded to YouTube.
  • The Tactilize “Card” allows you to link the hotspots with the YouTube video and PDF files.

As I mentioned, the whole process to create this sample took me about 30 minutes.  I am guessing you could convert your entire playbook to a multi-media teaching tool in about a day.  Would it be worth your time to do it?

  • If having a multi-media playbook helped just one athlete perform better on one play during the season….
  • And that one play made the difference between winning and losing one game….
  • And that one game made the difference between being conference or district champions…

Would it be worth your time then?

If you have any questions about how you might be able to make this conversion, please drop me an email or leave a comment.  If you would like me to help in this process, I would be glad to do it!

Jeff Floyd –