Paying it Forward

I was recently asked a question that has been put to me several times over the last year….

“Why are you doing this … just giving away your stuff on game planning (or strength training… or strength and conditioning)? You know people pay for stuff that isn’t as good as this.”

Here are some reasons.

Pretty much everything that I know, or do, or have done as a coach, was given to me by other members of this fraternity we call coaching. I have had some great mentors and colleagues:

Fred Merrell, Buddy Young, Bill Warner, Terry Noland, Mike Foster, Roy Wittke, Mark Thomas, Mark Hulet, Scott Baumgartner… to name just a few.

And, I have learned from some great ones via clinics or spring break visits:

Billy Miller, John Smith, Boyd Epley, Dave Wannstedt.

None of these coaches ever asked for, or expected payment for sharing their information and knowledge.

I always thought that I did a good job of mentoring young coaches… many people who I had a chance to work with over the years went on to become successful coaches, teacher and administrators.

I thought that until some recent reflection regarding my last high school stop… Truman High School, in Independence, Missouri. In retrospect, I had some young coaches on my staff there that I did not do a good job of mentoring or teaching… I got too caught up with trying to find a way to cobble a few wins together.

I was not following my own credo… You Can Do More…. I actually was doing less.

It was not fair to those coaches, and the decision to write this blog was, in part, a result of that reflection… a penance… an attempt to make it up… to them and any other young coach that might stumble on this blog and take away a kernel or two that might help them along their way.

And, the tipping point was when I read Seth Godin’s book, The Icarus Deception… How high will you fly?… which gave me the push… the impetus to start.

So, thanks to all of the people that have helped me along the way… and thanks to all who read and respond to this blog.

A couple of requests:

  1. Pay it (your knowledge and expertise) forward
  2. Share this blog ( with anyone who might find it useful or entertaining.

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

Jeff Floyd –

“Top” posts … “Best” posts

I am back on solid ground… literally and metaphorically.  My wife and I just spent a week taking a class sailing and living aboard a 37 foot catamaran off the coast of Florida.   I will post later about what I learned about myself, about teaching, and coaching this last week.   Today I need catch up a bit.

2014I have been doing this blog for a year now.  I started last year, New Years Day, 2013, after reading Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception.   Over the course of this year I have written nearly 250 unique posts… well over 100,000 words.  Taking a cue from Coach Keith Grabowski, here are the top 14 posts at the start of 2014 (the “top” being most popular based on visits) from this past year:

  1. Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet                       
  2. Muscle Diagram                       
  3. Defensive Game Planning – The Play Grid                       
  4. Defensive Game Planning – Genealogy                       
  5. Your Best Work                       
  6. Defensive Game Planning – Weekly Workflow                       
  7. Defensive Game Planning – Game Procedures                       
  8. The Playbook is dead! Long live the Playbook!                       
  9. Defensive Game Planning – The Ready List           
  10. Defensive Game Planning – Film Breakdown and the Formation Analysis              
  11. Film Grading Tool                       
  12. Defensive Game Planning – Flipped Coaching                       
  13. Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms, and Video                       
  14. The Excel Workout Workbook

That being said, I am reminded by Seth Godin in his recent post, My most Popular blog posts this year that:

My most popular blog posts this year

…weren’t my best ones.

As usual, the most popular music wasn’t the best recorded this year either. Same for the highest-grossing movies, restaurants and politicians doing fundraising.

Best” is rarely the same as “popular.”

Which means that if you want to keep track of doing your best work, you’re going to have to avoid the distraction of letting the market decide if you’ve done a good job or not.

So…  here are 14 of my posts that did not make the “popular” list, but posts that I thought were some of my best!

  1. Enjoy the Journey
  2. True Team Building
  3. Just a Girl
  4. Do Things Right
  5. Some Assembly Required
  6. Justin
  7. Mettle, Metal, and Adversity
  8. Talent vs Attitude
  9. Get Uncomfortable
  10. The Courage to Compete
  11. Simply Multiple – The Coaching Paradox
  12. Chain of Accountability, Chain of Praise
  13. Goal Setting
  14. It’s the Singer, not the Song

Thanks to all for reading this past year…. I am looking forward to Doing More in 2014!

Jeff Floyd –

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 –

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 –

Good Reads

pinkfloyd2I am just getting ready to start a new book, Out of My League, by Dirk Hayhurst.  I am no literary critic, but I do have my favorite sports related books, one of which was written by Hayhurst.  So here are my favorite reads by category… winners of the First Annual “Pinky” Awards… ok… maybe a few of you will get that.  Click on any of the covers and go directly to Amazon for more information.

  • Best Sports Biography
  • Best Football Book
  • When Pride Still Mattered – David Maraniss

prideIf you are interested at all in the history of professional football, and especially coaching genealogy, then I guarantee you will enjoy this biography of legendary Packer coach, Vince Lombardi.

When Pride Still Mattered, written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, David Maraniss is the quintessential story of how Vince Lombardi, the son of an immigrant Italian butcher, rose to the top, and how his character and will to prevail transformed him, his wife, his children, his players, his sport, and ultimately the entire country. It is also a great football story, filled with accounts of Lombardi’s life, from his playing days with the Seven Blocks of Granite at Fordham in the 1930s to the glory of coaching the Green Bay Packers of Starr, Hornung, Taylor, McGee, Davis, and Wood in the 1960s.

  • Best Running Book
  • Born to Run – Christopher McDougal
  • A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen 

bornIn Born to Run, McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe’s ability to run ultra distances (over 26.2 miles, commonly 100 miles or more) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners.  This book covers everything from the evolution (and de-evolution) of running shoes to the evolution of the human species.


  • Best Rags to Riches Sports Book
  • That First Season – John Eisenberg
  • How Vince Lomardi took the worst team in the NFL and set it on the path to glory.

first seasonThat Fist Season chronicles Vince Lombardi’s remarkable first year as head coach with the franchise he would reinvent and etch forever in football history. In a single year, as the grizzled coach who took no bull, he would transform a team of underachievers into winners and reignite a city known for its passion for its sport. Based on exhaustive new research and interviews, That First Season is the seldom-studied prequel to a football career marked by greatness.  I thought it was such a great story of doing things the right way that we had our entire Truman High School football squad read it prior to our District Championship 2011 Season.

  • Best Baseball Book
  • Bullpen Gospels – Dirk Hayhurst
  • Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran

bullpenSomewhere between Bull Durham and The Rookie, The Bullpen Gospels takes an unforgettable trot around the inglorious base paths of minor league baseball, where an inch separates a ball from a strike, and a razor-thin margin can be the difference between The Show or a long trip home

  • Best Book from a former college football player turned intellectual and founder of an entire Literary movement (Beat Literature)
  • On The Road –  Jack Kerouac

roadOK, full disclosure – On The Road is my favorite book, by my favorite author, Jack Kerouac.  Putting in into a list of sports related books is a bit of a stretch, BUT, Kerouac did attend Columbia College on a football scholarship.

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac. On the Road is based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use.

  • Best Strength and Conditioning Book
  • Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning, 3rd Edition

nscaNow in its third edition, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning is the most comprehensive reference available for strength and conditioning professionals. In this text, 30 expert contributors explore the scientific principles, concepts, and theories of strength training and conditioning as well as their applications to athletic performance.  Perfect for studying for the NCSA Certification Test.

  • Best Sports Business Book
  • Anything by Seth Godin from
  • Purple Cow to
  • The Icarus Deception

purple-cowicarusAlthough business/ marketing books, as I have referenced many time, Godin’s thinking aligns perfectly with athletes and coaches trying to achieve more.

I would love hearing from you… what are your favorite books in these categories?  What other categories and favorites do you have?  Please add to this list!

Comments and Questions always welcome!

Jeff Floyd –

“I’m Starting on My Team, Why Do More?”

seth godinLet me share this one more time.  Every day I read Seth Godin’s blog.  His blog would be categorized as a marketing/ business type blog – not directly athletic or sports related at all.  Nevertheless, I find it interesting and useful daily.  Often I find it directly applicable to coaching, and athletics.  Today was one of those days.  Here is the text of today’s post:

“I’m making money, why do more?”

  • Because doing more than you need to makes it personal.
  • Because work that belongs to you, by choice, is the first step    to making art.
  • Because the choice to do more brings passion to your life and it makes you more alive.
  • Because if you don’t, someone else will, and in an ever more competitive world, doing less means losing.
  • Because you care.
  • Because we’re watching.
  • Because you can.

The initial question can easily be changed to apply to athletics and coaching:

“I’m starting on my team, why do more?”  or

“We’re winning games, why do more?” or

“I was All-Conference last year, why do more?

  • Because it makes your work personal
  • Because it brings passion to your life and makes you more alive
  • Because if you don’t you will eventually lose
  • Because you care
  • Because you can
  • You Can Do More!

icarusI would highly recommend Godin’s blog and his books, his most recent being the “Icarus Deception, How High Will You Fly?”  It aligns perfectly with concept of Doing More.

Tomorrow I will share some data regarding the Power Quotient and Vertical Leap.

Jeff Floyd –

Championship Habits

Every day I read Seth Godin’s blog.  Although he is not a “sports” person, and his blog is not aimed at athletes or coaches, I find his writing to be aligned with my thinking most of the time.  His blog, books, and lectures are just as applicable to athletes and coaches as they are to CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.

Here is Godin’s post from yesterday:

Actually It Goes The Other Way

Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…

It turns out that choices lead to habits.

Habits become talents.

Talents are labeled gifts.

You’re not born this way, you get this way.

Simple and to the point…

  • make good choices
  • develop good (championship) habits
  • become “gifted

In case you missed it – I have more related content here:

Thanks for stopping by… Any questions, just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd –

The Little Things are Big

Do you make it to every practice?  Are you always on time?  Do you always give your best effort… Do you always do your best work?

moneyWhat if I told you that I would give you a million dollars if you made it on time and to every practice this year? Would you find a way to get there every day?

What if I told you, guaranteed you, that if you never missed a practice,and never missed a workout, that you would be rewarded at the end of your career with a full ride athletic scholarship?  Would you find a way to do it?

trophyWhat if I said that if all of your teammates did the same thing, I would guarantee a state championship?  Would you find a way to make sure that you and all of your teammates held up your end of the bargain?

What if I said that if you went any harder, ran any faster, blocked any longer, finished the drill any quicker… You would be rewarded with a championship or scholarship… Would you do it?

I am sure that the answer to all of these questions would be YES!  And if it was yes, then my next question is why aren’t you doing those things then?  Because, even though there are no guarantees that you will be rewarded with scholarships and championships if you do these things, it is almost certainly guaranteed that you won’t if you don’t !  Doing these little things, developing these good habits, these championship habits, will make greater success possible.

When you understand how important these “little” things are, most athletes, most competitors can find a way to do it.  You have to develop the mindset, the attitude that it IS important… that a million dollars, or a scholarship, or a championship IS riding on it.

Here is the deal… your brain will lie to you.   It will tell you that you are tired, that you can’t possibly go any faster or farther… You can’t get that last rep on your heavy hang clean day… You cant possibly make it down the court to block that shot… your brain will try to convince you that it is only ONE practice -being late or missing isn’t THAT big a deal… ALL LIES!

You can do all of these things and more.  I have witnessed it countless times when great competitors, young athletes just like you,  have done more than they ever thought possible…. Because they beat back that lying lizard brain… That voice that says “I cant”  and replaced it with the champions mantra of “I WILL” – And they do it daily until it becomes a habit.

It is not easy… I know… But I also know you can do more … Trust me… Be the best.

Here is some bonus content for those of you that did more and read to the end of this post.  This is Seth Godin talking about quieting the Lizard Brain.

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

Jeff Floyd –

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 –

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 –