5 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION BUCCANEERS

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I love LEADERSHIP LESSONS!  You can see my archive of what I’ve written about here.

I recently watched the NFL Network’s America’s Game about the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here are 5 Leadership Lessons I learned through this 1 hour documentary on these Super Bowl Champions!

1.  HAVE A PLAN

“The Bucs was nothing before Tony got there. He put the pyramid right in front of us and said this is how we are going to do it.  We realized that if everybody has their gaps and is responsible for what they need to be responsible for, we could win, we could win.”                    – Explained Defensive Star Warren Sapp

The first Leadership Lesson here is HAVE A PLAN!  Your troops need a battle plan; your chefs need a recipe.

People are silently looking to be led!  Lead them!!!  It’s obvious by Sapp’s comments here that the previous regime simply didn’t have a plan.  You can tell by how he basically said that everyone had a job to do, and we knew it would work.  So basic.  So simple.  So hard to really teach and lead if you can’t get your players to buy in to this philosophy.

2.  EVEN GREAT, PHENOMENAL, SUPER COACHES GET FIRED! WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME

Tony Dungy was hired in 1996 to turn around a traditionally poor football program in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.   And he did turn that program around.  He took them to the playoffs four times and won their division in 1999.

However, he didn’t take them to the Promiseland – the Lombardi Trophy.

Now listen, Tony Dungy is one heck of a coach!  He was the first coach to beat all 32 NFL teams, an interesting feat indeed.  It shows me he is a consistent winner.  He won the illustrious Lombardi Trophy in 2007 while with the Indianapolis Colts.  But he was fired in January of 2002; he was the only head coach in Bucs’ history to have a winning record!

He was fired for a reason: couldn’t get them over the hump.  “He let the offense relax too much,” said defensive captain Warren Sapp.

Defensive back John Lynch said “It always felt like the offense wasn’t held to the same standards we were held too, and there was tension.”

Their new head coach Jon Gruden did.  It’s interesting to note that the Bucs won the Trophy the first year after Dungy was fired.

3. DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

What is your coaching philosophy in the area of demeanor?  Are you a player’s coach?  Are you a hardened military commander?  Are you a guy that yells to motivate?  Motivate with fear or with love?  If you don’t know who you are as a coach, don’t become a head coach until you know that!

We spoke about how successful Tony Dungy has been as a coach in The League.  However, he failed in Florida because he wasn’t tough enough.  There was a quote from the documentary that explained his demeanor very well:

“Where Dungy was a pat on the shoulder pads, Gruden was a kick in the pants.”  Tony is a calm and cool and reflected man.  He is known for being a strong man of Christian faith.  He isn’t a yeller and he isn’t a screamer.  This approach simply didn’t work with the group in Tampa Bay; it did in Indianapolis.

Gruden came in, and he WAS a yeller and a screamer.  Sapp told a story about how when he would walk by Tony in the complex Tony would say “Hello Warren.”  But when he walked by Gruden, the rough and tumble coach would growl at him and say “I’m going to kick your ass at practice today Sapp.”  And Sapp loved it.  He was motivated by Gruden.

4.  CALL YOUR TEAM TO A HIGHER LEVEL

The Buccaneers had a really great defense under Tony Dungy.  And that carried over to Gruden.  In fact, this Super Bowl team led the NFL in fewest points allowed, most interceptions, and total defense.

One reason they became even better under Gruden was because he challenged them.  He called them to a higher level.

“I keep hearing how good this defense is.  If you are such a great defense, why don’t you score on defense?  If you are so good, catch the ball, intercept it and run it back for a touchdown!  If you want to win a Super Bowl, you have to dominate and score 9 tds.                        – Head Coach Jon Gruden

Both Sapp and Lynch said that this challenge from Gruden focused their defense.  They referred to the “Gruden challenge” many times on the practice field and in the games.  Sapp explained that they were offended at first.  “Here this guy walks in here and says we aren’t good enough?!  Okay, NOW watch us play Coach!”

Talk to a team like you want them to be.  Issue challenges.

I once called a kid “Kicker” in my class and around campus for two years before he finally decided to play football!  He was a great soccer player, with a strong leg.  Had NO faith he could come out and kick a football effectively enough to help a team.  But he became the starting kicker!  And he played about half of the snaps at DB.  Why?  Because I saw something in this kid and started talking to him like a football player!  I’ll never forget the day he came in to my office and said “Coach, stop calling me Kicker.  Start calling me a football player.  I’m going to play!”

Remember to praise the heck out of that team when they meet the challenge!  Watch how Gruden did it.

5.  POUND THE ROCK!

The theme for the 2002 Super Bowl Champions was “POUND THE ROCK.”

Line Coach Rod Marinelli told his charges during Training Camp to POUND THE ROCK.  He was talking about wearing down the opponent.  It soon became a theme with the linemen, then with the entire team.

Gruden seized the moment and had an eighty pound slab of granite brought in to the locker room as a visual aid.  Have you used any visual aids?  Read about one I used my first year as a head coach.

poundthatrock

It’s a long season.  You need to keep your team focused with a year-long theme.  I’ve chosen a theme each and every year as a Head Coach.  I put that on all of our t-shirts, have posters made, etc.  Most of you do the same thing I’m sure.

“The Rock is the opponent basically.  Visualize yourself holding on to a hammer and taking the best swings you can at that rock to try to crack your oppenet.  That is what Pound The Rock is all about right there.  Head Coach Jon Gruden

Safety John Lynch: “If you keep pounding that rock, pounding that rock, eventually it’s going to bust.   At first it’s not going to feel like it’s going to bust.  But particularly if you come together as a unit, it’s going to bust.  That became our rallying cry that year.”

Do you have a theme this year yet?  If not, find one!

DEVELOPING POWER FOR SPORT Part 2

This is Part 2 from Coach CJ Del Balso.  You are can read Part 1 about Developing Power For Sport here.

 

Part II – Principles for Developing Power that Transfers to Improved Sport Performance

      As discussed in part 1 of this post, understanding how to assess power output and the relationship that power has to successful sports performance is vitally important in helping the strength and conditioning coach design a specific training program that is most effective for developing explosive power that transfers to successful sports performance. Moving forward, the primary challenge is identifying the best training method for accomplishing this goal.

A key component in this process is recognizing the difference between maximum strength and power.  Maximum strength is the greatest amount of force one can generate regardless of the speed of movement or rate of force development, while maximum power represents the greatest amount of force one can produce in the shortest amount of time. More simply, an individual with a high level of maximum strength may be able to bench press 400 pounds for 1 repetition but it takes 5 seconds to complete that repetition. A more powerful individual would be able to take that same weight and complete the repetition in 2 seconds.

 Many training programs place a large emphasis on maximum strength development but this form of training, by itself, is not as effective for developing sport specific movement speed because there is not enough time during most athletic movements to apply the increased levels of maximum strength (Newton & Kraemer, 1994).   For example, an offensive lineman may be able to bench press 400 pounds in 5 seconds as mentioned above; however, this strength may not transfer well to game performance as blocking movements occur in a split second.

This dilemma, in regards to program design, is demonstrated in research by Hoffman et al. that compared the effects of Olympic weightlifting versus powerlifting exercises in 20 collegiate football players. During a 15-week resistance training program, test subjects were divided into two groups with one focusing on explosive weightlifting exercises and another group emphasizing high-force, slow-velocity powerlifting exercises. The results showed that jump performance improved significantly more in the weightlifting group indicating that weightlifting exercises are more effective for developing explosive power than slow-velocity powerlifting movements (Hoffman et al., 2004).

Ultimately, if explosive power adaptations are desired, a sound training program should include a balanced emphasis on movements that develop both maximum strength and power. 

 

 Olympic weightlifting and plyometrics are two of the most widely accepted training methods for developing explosive power. Although research has shown both to be an effective means for improving power, they have distinctly different qualities that must be considered.

Plyometrics are classified as low-load speed strength exercises because they involve power output without an external load or with a very light load that is less than 30% of 1RM for a given exercise.

Conversely, the Olympic lifts and their derivatives are considered high-load speed strength exercises because they involve power output with a relatively heavy load that is greater than 30% of 1RM for a given exercise (Hori et al., 2005).

In designing a training program, it is essential to determine the speed strength requirements of a particular sport to maximize transfer of training. For example, football frequently requires high-load speed strength as players must be able to explosively apply high levels of force against another individual who is equal to or greater in body mass than the individual applying the force; therefore, training for low-load speed strength would not be as effective in preparing a football player to carry out a task such as this.

 As stated by Hori et al. (2005), “To enhance maximal power, athletes need to perform training movements that involve rapid acceleration against resistance, and this acceleration should extend throughout the movement with no intention to decelerate at the end. Almost all rapid movements in sports exhibit such an acceleration profile; therefore, the training method that mimics this profile would likely induce desirable sport-specific adaptation” (p. 51).  Plyometric exercises fit this profile but they are limited in that they cannot improve high-load speed strength due to the light loads that are used for these types of exercises. On the other hand, Olympic weightlifting exercises are an excellent option for developing high-load speed strength as they require rapid acceleration, against a heavy load, that builds throughout the completion of the movement. Unlike traditional strength training exercises that require deceleration toward the end range of motion, the Olympic lifts allow the athlete to continue accelerating the weight upward until complete extension is achieved (Hori et al., 2005).

 phil

 Phillip Wilhelm

2011 & 2102 Junior National Champion

2012 Junior World Championship Team Member

2010 Express League MVP-Football

 In the next post, we will continue examining why the Olympic weightlifting movements are so effective for developing power that transfers to improved sport performance.

CJ Del Balso – MS, CSCS, USAW II

Twitter: @CoachDelBalso

 

 References

Hoffman, J.R., Cooper, J., Wendell, M. & Kang, J. (2004). Comparison of Olympic vs. traditional powerlifting training programs in football players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(1), 129-135.

Hori, N., Newton, R.U., Nosaka, K. & Stone, M.H. (2005). Weightlifting exercises enhance athletic performance that requires high-load speed strength. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 27(4), 50-55.

Newton, R.U. & Kraemer, W.J. (1994). Developing explosive muscular power: implications for a mixed methods training strategy. Strength and Conditioning, 16(4), 20-31.

 

 

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY SERIES Part 3

This Part 3 of the LEADERSHIP ACADEMY SERIES.  Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here.  This leadership series is courtesy of Coach Jesse German of Bear Creek High School, a 5A school in Lakewood, Colorado.  His twitter handle is@FBCoachGerman.

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LEADERSHIP ACADEMY SERIES Part 2

 

This part 2 of the LEADERSHIP ACADEMY SERIES.  Part 1 is here.  This leadership series is courtesy of Coach Jesse German of Bear Creek High School, a 5A school in Lakewood, Colorado.  His twitter handle is@FBCoachGerman.

 

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STADIUM INSTRUCTIONS FOR VISITING TEAM

As an Athletic Director, I really like to be able to prepare the road team who is coming to our site for a game.  I think that it is crucial to be a great host.  I send out this document to the Athletic Director and the Head Football Coach of who we are going to play on Tuesday of the week before the game.  I think one reason I put this together is because nobody really ever does it for us when we travel!  Again, I want to help the opponents coming to play with all of these aspects.

You can cut and paste this in to a new word document to create your own Stadium Instructions For Visiting Team.

HOME FOOTBALL STADIUM PROCEDURES

SITE

San Clemente High School, 700 Avenida Pico, San Clemente, CA 92673

DIRECTIONS

From Interstate 5, head east at the Avenida Pico exit about ¼ of a mile.  The school is on the south, or right hand side of the road.  Enter at the first driveway.

ADMISSION FOR VISITING FANS

There is one entrance for all fans.  It will be impossible to miss on the way to the stadium for your fans.  Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students with an ID card and children under 5 are free.  CIF and Academy League courtesy passes will be honored.

 FIELD ACCESS

Access to the field will be restricted to those essential with the game management of your team – photographers, statisticians, doctors/trainers, water helpers, administration, etc.  San Clemente H.S. has asked us to keep the number of people on their field limited.

 FIELD PASS LIST

Please email Athletic Director Chris Fore at cfore@cvcs.org with your Field Pass List prior 12:00 noon on the day before the game.  San Clemente H.S. has asked that we limit the number of people on your sidelines to those essential to the game management of your team – photographers, statisticians, doctors/trainers, water helpers, administration, etc.  There is one way on/off the field.  People will not be allowed access to the field unless their name is on the Field Pass List.

*** Only water is allowed on the field.  No sport drinks of any kind.  No food, soda, sunflower seeds, gum, etc.  

 

I was lucky enough to play in the best stadium in Southern California while at Capistrano Valley Christian from 2006-2011. We rented out their stadium for our games.

 

HALF TIME

At your request, the visiting locker room will be open at halftime by a San Clemente staffer.  It will be locked and closed following halftime.

 ICE

Visiting teams will be responsible for bringing their own ice to the game.

LOCKER ROOM

The visiting team locker room is in the Women’s Varsity Locker Room.  It is located right next to the main parking lot just past the gym on the right hand side.  Your bus can drop your team off within 20 yards of the locker room.  There are restrooms and showers available in this locker room.  It will be locked and unlocked by a San Clemente staffer.  Your staff is responsible for all supervision in the locker room.

The locker room is about a 4-7 minute walk from the field.

 

SAFETY/SECURITY OF YOUR POSSESSIONS IN LOCKER ROOM

The locker room will be locked once you leave it by San Clemente Staff.

Unfortunately, since this is NOT our property, we cannot adequately secure your player’s  personal property.  This is a multi-use facility. The athletes at San Clemente H.S. may need to access to their own locker rooms during the game.

We have had items gone missing from our own home locker room when our kids have not secured them.  Feel free to bring your personal belonging to the sidelines with you if you feel that is best for your team.

 PRE-GAME WARM UP

The visiting team is to warm up on the west end of the field.  This is the end nearest to the scoreboard.

PRE-GAME PRAYER/NATIONAL ANTHEM

At approximately 5 minutes before kickoff, we invite you to join us for a word of prayer and the singing of the National Anthem followed by an introduction of the game captains for the coin toss.

SAN CLEMENTE HIGH SCHOOL STAFF

There is one full time custodian on site for our games.  He will be opening and securing your locker room.  (James is usually the one that works our games.)

SIDELINES

The visiting sidelines are on the south side of the field.  This is the side furthest from you as you enter the stadium.

WATER

Visiting teams will have access to hose water at the snack bar.  We use this water and have never had a problem with it.  The nozzle is located on the north side of the snack bar next to the field.  We will have a staff member with a water key to turn the water on for your staff.

*** Only water is allowed on the field.  No sport drinks of any kind.  No food, soda, sunflower seeds, gum, etc.

 

 

TWITTER HELPS STUDENT GET FULL SCHOLARSHIP!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

EXCELSIOR’S WASHINGTON EARNS FULL SCHOLARSHIP

February 22, 2013

Victorville – A year of firsts for the Excelsior football program keeps on rolling as one of their own has accepted a scholarship to play football for Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.  Kyle Washington, the Most Valuable Player from the Eagles first CIF Championship team has been offered a scholarship for both his prowess on the field and in the classroom.  Between the athletic scholarship and the academic scholarship, the total offered is $32,500; more than the cost of the school.  He is the first player to accept a scholarship in the eleven year history of the Excelsior athletic department.  Kyle has earned a 3.4 GPA over the last three and a half years.

The Avila Eagles play in the Heart of America Conference.  It’s one of the toughest conferences in the National Association of Interscholastic Athletics as five of their teams finished in the top twenty five in the nation.  They have played football since 2004.

Coach Tony Caputo recruited Kyle through the use of technology and twitter, both of which played a key role in helping Kyle get noticed by the college level. Excelsior Athletic Director Chris Fore tweeted out that he was surprised Kyle had not had any offers to play at the collegiate level, that he knew he had the potential to do so.  That tweet caught the attention of Coach Caputo who ended up watching the Eagles CIF Championship victory in November which was broadcast online via Fox Sports West.  Coach Caputo noted the play of several players, and Kyle specifically.

“Kyle is a great athlete who runs well has great vision, patience, strength and speed.  He is smart and athletic enough to start in an All Star game at a position he’s never played; that shows he’s a team player and willing to try new positions and how well he played the position after learning in a short time is impressive.  After watching Kyle’s play in the State Championship game I knew I needed recruit him to be a Eagle.  Kyle is the type of player all coaches look for great attitude, great grades, great work ethic , and great athletic skills.  I can’t wait to see what Kyle is able to do at the college level I feel he will continue to excel and be a great addition to our team,” explained Coach Caputo about his recruitment of Kyle.

Kyle said “I’m really excited to keep playing football at the college level. It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to get going at Avila.”

Head Coach Bill Rivera and the Eagles will surely miss their leading rusher, scorer and team captain next season.  Coach Rivera said “I am blessed to have had the privilege of coaching Kyle Washington over the past three years. Kyle is not only a fine athlete, but a young man of great character. Kyle has been key to the success we have enjoyed the past three seasons. Eagle Nation will miss you Kyle Washington; we are proud of your accomplishments both on the field and in the classroom.”

The Excelsior community will celebrate with Kyle and his family on Thursday February 28th at 12:30 pm in the school gym as he signs his official letter of intent.  All media are invited to this event.

 

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ATHLETIC RESUME TEMPLATE

Have you been struggling with how to write your athletic resume?

Do you have a lot of great experience but have a hard time putting that all together in one place on a resume?

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When you purchase this customize-able athletic resume template, just download it, and fill in your information in a matter of minutes.  It’s already formatted and looks great.  This resume will walk you through exactly what to put, and exactly where to put it.

There are even sample bullet points that you can use.  For example:

  • Served as ______________________ on school’s leadership team with administrative duties of training existing and new faculty and staff according to the school’s mission, and developing policies, procedures, and handbooks
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills, as Athletic Director, supervising, evaluating, and mentoring 30-40 coaches and staff members
  • Prepared, trained and assigned faculty and staff in student related activities and functions
  • Led, managed and coached Varsity football program for three seasons; third most wins in school history; team reached the CIF playoffs every year I was the Head Coach;  Saw growth in program from 29-70 kids
  • League Football Champions/Coach of the Year – 2010

This customize-able athletic resume template has the following sections:

Education, Professional Summary, Experience, Athletics, Professional Development and Associations.

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There are THREE ways order your manual.

1.  Send a check or money order, with your email address, to:

  • Chris Fore, 6867 SVL Box, Victorville, CA 92395

2.  Pay via Paypal.  My email address to pay via Paypal is coach478@gmail.com. Send me an email with your shipping address.

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This resume template will be emailed to you as soon as I receive payment.

END OF SEASON REPORT

It is that time of year, the winter season is coming to a close. For our school here, both basketball teams are out of it, our winter season is officially over.  Now it is time to wrap things up with my head coaches.

Athletic Directors – what do you use to wrap up the season with your head coaches?

I use a very simple form.  This form is sent out to my coaches after their last game.  I have them fill this out and bring it to our one on one season ending review.  At this review, I also do a formal written survey of them.

This form helps to track school records, end of season awards, etc. etc.  I really like the simplicity of it. 

(I’ve compressed it below for you.)

3, Varsity Girls Start

Documenting your athlete’s performances are a critical part of the Athletic Director job.

YOUR HIGH  SCHOOL

Athletic Department

                                                     END OF SEASON REPORT

 SCHOOL YEAR:                              

SPORT:                                        (Indicate BOYS or GIRLS)

LEVEL:                                         

COACH:              ____   ASSISTANT(S): ________________________________________

 TEAM RECORD:

OVERALL:   WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:       

LEAGUE:      WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:        

LEAGUE FINISH:                  

PLAYOFFS: YES:               NO:                 RECORD:      WINS:             LOSSES    

FINISH:                                      

POST SEASON TEAM BANQUET AWARDS:

EAGLE AWARD

MVP

MOST IMPROVED

OTHER:

ALL-LEAGUE SELECTIONS:

ALL CIF, ALL COUNTY, ALL STATE ETC:

SUMMARY: PLEASE ATTACH A ROSTER AND YOUR SEASON STATS. 

AS AN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, HERE ARE 6 THINGS I LOOK FOR ON A RESUME

Admittedly I have not been an Athletic Director for that long, not to proud to say that.  I have no clue what the turnover rates are for Athletic Directors, but I know they are high.  So maybe only being in my fifth year does make me a veteran!

I’ve hired 20 head coaches over the span of my 5 year Athletic Director career.  (This is at two different schools.)  When I took over at Capistrano Valley Christian on July 1, 2007, I immediately had to find three head coaches!  Talk about getting thrown in to the lion’s den right away!  Now, I’m at Excelsior Charter in Victorville.  Currently, I’m searching for 5 coaches – a head wrestling coach and his/her assistant, and three assistant soccer coaches. We are starting both sports at our school next yeaer.

I’ve hired head varsity coaches for the following sports: Cross Country (1), Boys Basketball (2), Girls Basketball (2), Boys Soccer (3), Girls Soccer (1), Softball (2), Cheer (2), Golf (1) and Girls Volleyball (2).  I’ve hired four head junior varsity coaches: basketball (1) and football (3).

I’ve also hired about fifteen assistant varsity and junior varsity football coaches during my eight years as a Head Football Coach.  One year, we really expanded our coaching staff, added a JV program.  I hired five coaches that season alone.  I interviewed roughly twenty candidates for those five spots.

I wanted to lay out my hiring experience so that you know I have seen hundreds of resumes, and hired many head coaches.  I think I have done a great job hiring coaches as my staff at Capo won 5 League Championships in my fourth year as AD there, the most in school history!  Overall, my staffs have won 14 League Championships, 1 CIF Section Championship and 1 8 man football State Championship in the last five years.

Head Coach searches can bring in anywhere from 5 to 75 resumes and coaching portfolios depending on the sport, and the timing.  I like to cast a very wide net when hiring, to give me the best shot at finding the absolute BEST coach.

 

Here are the 6 things I look for on a resume when I’m looking for a Head Coach:

1. EXPERIENCE

What kind of experience is the candidate bringing to the table?  Is the experience he or she garnered all at one school?  At multiple schools?  What level has this experience been at?  Varsity level?  JV level?  College experience?  To me, this experience is crucial, and why it is the very first thing that came to mind.  “Experience” is a very broad word that covers: the schools they have been at, the coaches they coached under, the jobs they had there, etc.  This all goes under the “experience” category.

2.  QUALITY OF PROGRAM

To me the quality of program a candidate is coming from is more important than the amount of years they have spent coaching.  For instance, if I have two guys that I see are “even” across the board, but one has been a Varsity defensive backs coach for fifteen years at a school that won one league championship and made it to the playoffs every other year versus a defensive backs coach who had only coached six years, but those six years were at a school who qualified for the playoffs every year and had several state championship playoff appearances, I would lean towards that experience because of the QUALITY of the program he is coming from.

I’m a firm believe that the quality of the program is more important than the years in the seat.  

3.  DID YOU MAKE IMPROVEMENTS?

I don’t want to see on your resume that you were the special teams coordinator for four years at XYZ School; I want to see that you improved their kick return average start from the 18.25 yard line to the 26.8 yard line after two years. I want to see stats on your resume. I want to see real numbers.  I want to see that as the wide receivers coach, your guys led the league in receiving every year you were there. I want to see that your running backs improved from averaging 3.8 yards per carry the year before you started to 4.9 yards per carry after you started.

If you’ve been a head coach somewhere else, I want to see the four year win-loss record on that resume before you got there, and the four year win-loss record for the four years you managed the program.  Did they get better or worse under your leadership?

Did you improve the quality of the program while you were there?  I tell coaches all of the time that you’ve got to spell this out on your resume for athletic directors and administrators to see.  Don’t just give the facts of the jobs you’ve held; give the figures too.  Figures that show YOU have made a difference where you have been.

 

bluespringsmissouri

 

 

4.  DID YOU INNOVATE?

Are you a status quo type of person or are you an innovator?  As an Athletic Director, I like innovators.  I like coaches who think outside of the box to get the job done, not “clock watchers” who are just happy with fielding a program.  I’ve been at relatively “small schools” most of my career.  At the small school level coaches have got to share athletes, they have to rely on some fundraising, and they have to work harder to keep their kids in the school.

Coaches who don’t innovate aren’t going to be able to build very good programs.  I want to see innovation on your resume. I want to see that you started programs at the places you’ve been.  Maybe you started a strength and conditioning program, a fundraising program, an after school study hall program, whatever it is.  I like to see innovation on a resume because it really tells me a lot about the coach.  It tells me a lot about their passion and work ethic.

5.  HAVE YOU MOVED UP THE LADDER?

Most career counselors will say it is important to move up the ladder, and I agree. I want to see that your career has progressed in a way that you have “moved up the ladder.”  I want to see that coaches applying for head coaching positions have put their time in to the profession and have done a good job of moving along up the ladder towards being a head coach.  It always amazes me seeing resumes of football coaches applying for a head job after having coached for a few years.  Many times these are cocky guys who think they are God’s gift to coaching.  I was named a head coach once where one of the coaches I inherited on the staff also applied for the job – he had coached ONE year!  Yet, he thought he knew enough to take over a program.  Amazing.

If you are just making a lateral move to my school, I’m going to really look at the reasons why.  I would hate to see you make that lateral move again, away from my school after I’ve invested in you.

6.  DID YOUR TEAMS OVER OR UNDER ACHIEVE?

This might be the most important thing for me, second to experience.

I want to see that the teams you’ve coached have overachieved.  Again, this tells me a lot about you as a coach.  Let’s face it, we all know coaches that we are better than who have won a lot of games simply because of the athletes that they are surrounded by!  A monkey could come in to their school and win right?!

Have you been able to win and achieve with mediocre talent?  To me, a coach who gets the most out of his team is much more valuable than coaches who have won with stacked teams.  Overachieving coaches will always be overachieving coaches.  They will always be able to get every drop of talent out of that sponge.  Coaches who have won because they were surrounded by athletes always have a difficult time when those athletes graduate.  They got by on being lazy when those athletes were there.

I want to see that you overachieved where you were.   I would rather a hire a 4-6 coach who should’ve been 2-8 but overachieved than a coach who went 8-2 but should have been 10-0!  

 

WEEKLY GAME GOALS CRUCIAL TO WINNING PART 2

Yesterday I posted WEEKLY GAME GOALS CRUCIAL TO WINNING by Coach Lee Weber.  He is the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Mission Valley High School in Eskridge, Kansas. 

Here is part 2!

GOAL #7: SCORE EVERY QUARTER

We felt like scoring every quarter was an extremely important goal for the confidence of our team. If we were able to score in every quarter, then we are in a flow and rhythm offensively that will allow us to win the game. This leads me into sharing with you one of my assistant coach’s interesting theory about high school football. I have seen this theory proven over and over again. His theory was that the first team to get to 21 points typically wins a high school football game. Rarely have I seen a high school football game that has proven this theory false. I think it would an extremely interesting case study.

GOAL #8: GET 2 SHUT-OUT QUARTERS

Our ability to hold our opponent scoreless in half of the game is a strong precursor towards winning. This goal goes back to wanting to have attainable goals for our team that we can check off as achieved when we win. To have a goal of a shut-out every game would be admirable, but asinine. A good goal is achievable. Even your most dominant defenses in the history of football gave up points. I want our kids to be happy about any great defensive effort whether it results in a 0 on the scoreboard or a 3, 6, or 10.

 GOAL #9: NEVER ALLOW OVER 8 POINTS A QUARTER

Keeping our opponent from having a big quarter is an important focus for us. Our opponent most likely will at some point score. If we can keep them from scoring more than eight points in a quarter, then we feel like we have a good opportunity to win.

Coach Lee Weber reminds his troops of their commitment to the 4th quarter!

GOAL #10: NO PROCEDURE PENALTIES

Romeo Crennel was universally mocked as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for a sign he put up in the locker room that said “Eliminate Bad Football.” Given the 2012 Chiefs’ record, they didn’t do a very good job of achieving that goal, however Romeo was a very intelligent coach to make eliminating bad football a focus. Bad and good teams often beat themselves with very avoidable procedure penalties. We want our players’ focus to be eliminating those very avoidable mistakes. We want you to be the first to blink. You make the mistake because we will not. A team with no procedure penalties is extremely disciplined.

GOAL #11: SCORE ON SPECIAL TEAMS OR SET THE OFFENSE UP TO SCORE

We spend a lot of time, effort, and focus on our special teams. We view our return teams as opportunities to score not just ways to get the ball back to our offense. We want to very solid, fundamental, and aggressive with our return teams. The momentum pay-off of a huge return in my opinion is worth much more than a 10-15 play drive.

GOAL #12: SCORE ON DEFENSE OR HAVE A GOAL LINE STAND

Scoring on defensive or having a goal line stand can be a huge momentum builder for your team. As I mentioned before, we are extremely aggressive with turnovers. We will scoop and score every fumble and any interception is a potential pick-6 for our team. I think the risk that you take in trying to score off a turnover is well worth the gamble. We feel that if we try to scoop and score a fumble, and don’t get the ball, then we are in no worse shape than we were before. We are right back to playing defense. On the goal line, we feel like if we can bow our backs and hold out their offense then we break our opponents’ spirit.

GOAL #13: 0 LOAFS

We classify our loafs on a specific scale with 9 different types of loafs.

  • Loaf #1- Staying blocked
  • Loaf #2- Not running out of the pile
  • Loaf #3- Noticeable change of speed
  • Loaf #4- Not running to the ball
  • Loaf #5- Being passed in pursuit
  • Loaf #6- Non-aggressive finish
  • Loaf #7- Taking the path of least resistance
  • Loaf #8- Turning down contact
  • Loaf #9- Poor play entry

If you can get a group of players to not commit any of these types of loafs, then you have a fine football team. Critics may contests that we may never get this goal in a season, but I think it is good to have this possibly unattainable goal on your board. Loafs are detestable, and if you can cut out laziness and lack of effort on every snap of football that your team plays then you will be very, very good.

GOAL #14: 100% ON THE 7-PLUS CLUB

To explain the 7-Plus Club, we want 7 players in view of the camera when the whistle blows. I think the idea of coaches saying get all 11 to the football on every play can be a little ludicrous. Those are the coaches whose teams get burned by reverses and trick plays. We want our players to rally to the football, but I want my backside players to follow the rule of “Play Away- Slow Play.” We felt this was a good balance of swarming to the ball and while not turning a blind eye to our players on playing their cutback and backside assignments.

Good goals are realistic, achievable, and measurable. I think these goals are great for our football team. The weekly game goals that you set for your team should be the same.

For us, focusing on statistically based goals was counterproductive so we moved to these process goals.

If you are going to use statistically based goals, then make sure that they are achievable, reasonable, and an essential part of the process of winning.

Special thanks to Coach Chris Fore for allowing me to write this guest column, and I hope at least one thing I shared can help you win football games!

Lee Weber, Head Football Coach, Mission Valley High School (Eskridge, KS)

Follow me on Twitter at @coachlaw71

Visit my blog on advice for the student athlete and their parents at http://weberexpectexcellence.blogspot.com/

GREAT RESOURCE FOR THE 3-3-5 DEFENSE!

Here is a great resource for coaches looking to learn the 3-3-5 defense.

This is published by Coach Joe Daniel from football-defense.com.  Here is what he has written about his new ebook.

There’s one thing every defensive coach knows. We can never have enough SPEED on the field!

Offenses today are constantly trying to take advantage of your slower athletes, and get their speed into open space on the field. What can we do to fight back?

With the 3-3-5 Defense, you can fight back and WIN. You can maximize your speed on the field. You will cut down on the open space that on the football field.

Coaching Football’s 3-3-5 Defense is the latest downloadable eBook Title from Football-Defense.com. With thousands of eBooks sold and hundreds of members to Football-Defense.com, you know you can trust our products for top notch coaching knowledge. This latest release is no different!

You Need a Flexible Defense. The 3-3-5 Defense Gives You Maximum Flexbility!

The 3-3-5 Defense can be adjusted and adapted each week to face any offense you see – Spread Option, Wing-T, Air Raid, Double Wing, Splitback Veer… you name it, the 3-3-5 Defense can stop it.

Why is the 3-3-5 Defense so flexible?

  • By using only 3 Defensive Linemen, who are quicker and more athletic than traditional linemen, everyone on the field can run.
  • Our Inside Linebackers need to be able to run, but they have protection from the guys up front. Because of the slanting nature of the front, Offensive Linemen can’t run to the 2nd Level until they check to ensure the front is secure.
  • The Overhang Safeties are our best athletes. They’re put in the most conflict by the offense. Start here with your top football players and fill in the rest. If these guys can play, you’re set.
  • The blitz package is simple to install. Once your blitzes are in, use different stunt and blitz combinations to create the ideal front you would want to run against anyone – no more Defense of the Week! It’s all in your package already.

Coaching Football's 3-3-5 Defense eBook

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PLAYERS

One thing I really like doing is surveying my players every years as their Head Coach.  You can read about one of these surveys I’ve used every year I’ve been a Head Coach here.

Another tool is here.

I really believe that getting feedback from your players and coaches will do three things for you:

1.  Help you see weaknesses in your leadership and your program that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

2.  Help you to make your program even better on a year to year basis

3.  Give your players and coaches a sense of trust and confidence in you as their Head Coach.  If you are humble, open and honest about making positive changes, you will gain their trust and confidence.

So, I like to do an anonymous survey that the kids do online, all at once in a computer lab.  I use Survey Monkey to do this.  They can put their name, but don’t need to.

And then, I meet with every player, like an exit interview type of thing one on one.  Even if I know the kid isn’t returning, I meet with them.  In fact, those types can be the most important ones to speak with.  Your seniors too. Don’t neglect them because they are leaving. In fact, many times, they will be more honest with you than the underclassmen, for obvious reasons.

Here are 10 questions I ask in my one on one meeting.

1.  How did you feel about our practices?

2.  How do you think we can improve our offense next year?  What steps can we take as a team to do even better offensively?

3.  How do you think we can improve our defense next year?  What steps can we take as a team to do even better defensively?

4.  How do you think we can improve our special teams next year?  What steps can we take as a team to do even better with special teams?

5.  How would you evaluate the team captains and the leadership on this team?

6.  Do you think the team as a whole kept focused on our theme and goals this year?  Why or why not?

7.  Are there any issues with any of my coaches and you or my coaches and any other players that weren’t solved at the end of the season that I need to know about?

8.  How could I have done a better job as your head coach this year?  What would you have handled differently?

9.  Who is one person on campus who is not playing football that you are going to try to recruit for our football team?

10.  What are three goals you have for football next year, and how can I help you achieve those?

 

SAMPLE JANUARY PLAYER COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA

I’m a big proponent of using a Player Committee to help steer your football program as a Head Coach.  To read more about the Player Committee format I’ve used for a long time, click here.

I’ve had coaches email me about what I do in these Player Committee meetings.

Here is a sample January Player Committee Agenda. I believe this is from January 2007.

PLAYER COMMITTEE AGENDA

Why you are here.  

Define what the Player Committee is and why the players are going to be a part of it this year. Talk about the process for how they were selected to the Player Committee or Leadership Council, or whatever you call it.  They need to understand the importance of their selection or appointment to this panel.

Open door policy.    

Explain to the players that your door is ALWAYS open for them, BUT only if it is truly open to them.  Explain to them the importance of the head coach-player committee relationship, and how there has to be trust and confidence from both sides.

Off season workouts policy – how much?   

Many coaches won’t agree with this, and I’m okay with that.  As a Head Coach, I’ve always had my Player Committee set the bar for the Off Season Workout Attendance Policy.  Do they want to have an 80 attendance policy, meaning that players must attend 80 percent of the workouts or not play.  Do they want to have a 90 percent policy?  We talk through this and come up with a plan  to announce to the rest of the players, put in writing formally, etc.

Recruit, recruit, recruit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

I’m a very firm believer that the players will recruit the hallways better than I ever will.  Recruiting the hallways is an important aspect of building a program that will be strong in numbers.  I give them a speech about reaching out to kids to bring them in to the fold of the football family.  I tell them that it starts with them as the Player Committee leadership.  We usually make a list of names of kids we want to target to be on the football team.

 

Theme for year?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

We choose a theme for the year to begin to focus on.   This theme is used as the basis for our offseason program, and in to the regular season.  

Pride Pack?   What do we want in it?  Colors? Sweatshirt? Jackets? Hats?  Beanies?          

We discuss what the Pride Pack or Spirit Pack will look like.  I have the players design the shirts, shorts, color scheme, logo, etc. that we put on the practice jerseys, shirts, shorts, hats, etc.  We talk about the color of socks that we wear with our uniforms, and make that decision for the next year.  We talk about ordering sweatshirts, or jackets, what do you players want?  I want for the kids to have a major say in these things so that we get their buy in.

Helmet color?  Blue vs. White

This specific year we discussed changing the helmet color.  I took over in 2006 at this school, and they had been wearing white helmets for just a few years.  They used to be blue for a long time. I really don’t like white helmets, and so I shared my vision of taking them back to blue helmets.  Kids liked the idea, so we went with blue.  Again, I wanted their input here, and they appreciated it.  I had them also help me with the design of new helmet stickers.    This helmet below is what we came up with.

 

Coaching staff situation                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

This particular year we hired 6 coaches and dismissed 1. I talked with them briefly about this process, so they would know what was going on.  One reason we hired so many coaches was because we added JV Football.  So, we also spent some time talking about having a JV program, what practice would look like with two teams, how coaches would help at both levels, etc.

Summer calendar                                                                                                                          

We talked about what the summer calendar would look like, what the summer commitment would look like.  I handed out the calendars from January to December’s Championship game at this January meeting.  I think it’s very important to be this organized enough to hand your parents a year long calendar in January so that everyone is on the same page regarding the time expectations and commitments.

Anything else? Any other needs?                                                                                                                                                                                                        

I opened it up for any other questions, and asked what other things the team needs to be successful.  Again, players can give great insight in to what the players need and want to get the most out of their program!

99 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE ACCEPTING YOUR NEXT HEAD JOB

99 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING YOUR NEXT HEAD FOOTBALL COACH POSITION

By Chris Fore               COACHFORE.ORG

(This list may not be republished or reused without the consent of Coach Fore)

1                    Who was the last head coach?

2                    Why is the last head coach gone?

3                    How did he do last year?  Last 3 years?  Last 5 years?

4                    What areas did former head coach succeed in?

5                    What areas did former head coach struggle with?

6                    What is the salary?

7                    What are the benefits?

8                    What kind of retirement benefits are there?

9                    Does your district give tenure to teachers/coaches?  If so, how does that work?

10                Who will be my immediate supervisor?

11                How will I be evaluated as a coach?

12                Who is responsible for hiring and firing my staff?

13                Is there a stipend for coaching?  If so, how much is it?

14                Where do most of your faculty/staff live?

15                What are his assistants doing?  Staying or going?

16                How many assistants are on campus with jobs as faculty/staff?

17                Can you remove any of them if you deem it necessary?

18                Can you hire any coaches for faculty/staff jobs on campus?

19                How many coaches are on the staff?

20                How much are the coaches paid?

21                Do I have control over how much the coaches are paid?

22                Do you compensate coaches for spring and or summer practice?

23                Can I charge kids for summer camp participation and pay coaches out of this income?

24                Can I have a camp for the community to help raise funds for the program, coaching staff?

25                Are there any built in raises on a year to year basis?

26                Any financial compensation for playoffs?

27                Is there a budget for video production of games/highlight videos?

28                What kind of video equipment is currently being used?  Hudl account?

29                What kind of computer lab availability is there for the team?

30                Where does the team watch film and hold meetings?

31                What kind of transportation is used for the team to get to games?

32                Is there a van available for the equipment?

33                Is there a rooter bus to transport fans to games?

34                Do the cheerleaders ride with the team? If that has been done in the past, can we separate them for next year?

35                What is superintendent’s commitment to athletics?

36                Does the principal support athletics by attending games and communicating with coaches?

37                What is the budget for football like?

38                Do you have input with the budget on an annual basis?

39                What fundraising is necessary to fund the things you want to do?

40                Who pays for reconditioning helmet/shoulder pads?  School or Boosters?

41                Who pays for new uniforms when they are needed?  School or Boosters?

42                What does the current equipment inventory look like?

43                How old are the current uniforms and when will new ones be bought?

44                Is there a football specific logo?

45                If not, can I create one for marketing purposes?

46                What has been done in terms of leadership development for the players in the program over the last 3 years?

47                Is there money for staff development from the school budget?  Clinics? Hotel/food/transportation?

48                Where are the home games played?

49                Can I tour the facility?

50                What are the locker room facilities like?

51                Is there a place for coaches to use as a locker room/changing facilities?

52                How far is the locker room from the field?

53                Is there a field house for pregame, halftime?

54                What is the press box facility like?

55                How many coaches can fit in the press box facility for my team?

56                Is there a good place to film from at the press box?  Is it covered?  Electricity available close by?

57                What other teams use the facility/field?

58                When do they practice during the football season?

59                Do other teams use the field/facility during the summer?  If so, when?

60                Do any youth football programs use the field/facility during the football season?  If so, when?

61                Who is responsible for securing game management like the chain crew and officials?

62                Who is responsible for field set up like sideline markers?  Chains?  Goal post pads?

63                Who is responsible for hydration?

64                Is there an athletic trainer?  If so, how is he/she involved in the football program?

65                Student athletics trainers available for the football program?

66                If no trainer, how are injuries dealt with and who supervises the medical side of things?

67                Who has the team doctor been?  Is he/she planning on returning?  Contact info?

68                Who has been the Booster Club president/officers?

69                What is the Booster Club management like?

70                Can I get a copy of the Booster Club by laws?

71                What kind of politics are happening right now in the Booster Club?

72                How much money is in the Booster Club account currently?  Any outstanding expenses?

73                Can I mandate that my football players and their families help to fundraise?

74                Is there a youth football “feeder” program for our program?

75                If so, what programs naturally feed in to our program?

76                Is there a junior high school that feeds in to our high school?

77                If so, what school is that and what kind of relationship does our football staff have there?

78                What kind of rules are there at this school, the league, the section, the state regarding recruiting kids to our school and football program?

79                What kind of volunteers are currently invested in the program?

80                What does someone need to do in order to volunteer for the program?

81                Is there someone who oversees the stat-keeping?  If so, who is it?

82                Is there an equipment manager?  If so, who is it?

83                What are the minimum scholastic requirements in order to be involved in athletics?

84                Who monitors the grades of the football players?

85                How often are the grades monitored and used for eligibility?

86                Has the team had a study hall historically?

87                What have the practice hours been traditionally?

88                Are there any restrictions on practice? School, league, conference rules regarding practice?

89                Is there a weight room facility?  If so, can I see it?  If not, what plans are there?

90                How does your school deal with multi-sport athletes?

91                Can I mandate that my football players lift weights year round?

92                Can I mandate that my football players attend a summer program?

93                Who has the final say on the players who participate in my program?

94                Is there a strength and conditioning coach?

95                How is the school enrollment doing?

96                What attracts kids to this school?

97                What deters kids from coming here?

98                What is the administration doing to attract the top student-athletes in the area?

99                Which sport is this school known for?  How is that sport doing currently?

5 KEYS TO WRITING AN ATHLETIC COVER LETTER

THE 5 “BE” S TO GARNER THE ATTENTION YOU WANT THROUGH A COVER LETTER

By Chris Fore               COACHFORE.ORG

(This may not be republished or reused without the consent of Coach Fore)

Since Football Scoop posted some of my stuff a few weeks ago, I’ve been inundated with emails from all over the nation.  It’s been a joy to help many coaches out with their resumes and cover letters.  I’ve seen some top notch stuff, have stolen some ideas for the future, and have been very impressed with the way some coaches are representing themselves on paper.

On the other hand, I’ve seen some resumes and letters that are not very impressive and simply will not get the attention of Athletic Directors, Principals, Head Football Coaches, etc.

I’ve had a lot of questions about cover letters so I wanted to put this together to help the coaches who need it.  Remember, these are just my ideas, coming from thirteen years in the business, five as an Athletic Director.  I’ve had positions open where I received eighty applicants for a head job.  You’ve got to get the attention of administrators, and it usually starts with your cover letter.  How are you going to stand out in that letter to make him/her put you in the INTERVIEW pile?  That’s the key!

1.        BE ORGINIAL! 

This about how to be original with your cover letter.  Break tradition from the standard cover letter format you see from advisors online.  Heck, break away from the keys I’m going to give you.  Yes, there might be a “certain way” to put a cover letter together, but think about looking through 50-100 of the same exact type of cover letters.  To be honest, I get bored!  They all start looking and sounding the same.

I’ve looked at about 100 resumes/cover letters over the last seven days.  Two coaches sent in cover letters that had a different format.  On the left hand side, there was a column that told me a little bit about them in bullet format. I liked that a lot. Again, it was a break from the normal looking cover letter, it got my attention and forced me to read it.

 

2.        BE UNIQUE!

The only person who has had YOUR experience is YOU!  Be unique in what you write.

Seriously, I could take some cover letters I’ve seen and just scratch out the schools and years on them and put in the schools where I’ve worked and changed the years or the schools and years from another coach and it would sound just like him!

What I’m trying to say here is that too many coaches write these very generic  sounding letters that aren’t very personal or unique.  Instead of using a statement like “I’m a passionate football coach” how about a statement like “The passion I have for football envelopes everything I do because I’ve been so impacted by the sport.  I want to share this passion I have with others in a way that they will be impacted by football.”

Instead of a statement like “You won’t find a harder worker than me” put in a quote from one of your reference letters about your work ethic.  I haven’t seen one person in the last week use a quote somebody wrote about them in the body of their cover letter.  That would be unique to YOU!

 

3.        BE SPECIFIC!

You need to use specific concrete numbers to grab attention.  These numbers need to be stats that show how YOU have made a difference where you coached.  For instance, this past year I was the Special Teams Coordinator at the school where I’m also the Athletic Director.  We had a kid return four kicks for touchdowns this year, this puts him number three in the National High School Record book for kick returns for a touchdown in eight man football.  That’s pretty great.  Plus, the head coach told me that they haven’t returned a kick for a touchdown in the six years he has been here.  We ended up with six returns for touchdowns this year, from zero in the last six years.  This would be an important stat to put in to a cover letter.  It would get the attention of an Athletic Director or Head Football Coach if I was applying for a Special Teams Coordinator job somewhere else.

In 2006, I took over a program that was 0-10 in 2005.  We turned that thing around my first year, went 5-5, lost two games on the last play of the game!!  It would be important for me to put something about that in a cover letter for a Head Football Coach job.  In fact, we were the ONLY team in the state of California to go from 0-10 to .500!  That’s a great stat to add to your cover letter.  It is a specific stat about my regime at Capo Valley Christian that is impressive.

 

4.        BE QUICK!

Notice I didn’t say be short here.  But you must be quick.  The people who read these cover letters are busy people.  They don’t have time to be bored by your cover letter, and they certainly don’t have time to read it if it doesn’t look and read quick.  By look quick, I mean keep your paragraphs short, 6-8 sentences; not 10-12.  This will help to cut up the lengthy look of the letter and encourage them to read it.  Notice how I’ve tried to break up this document.

Did you notice?  The attention span of people “ain’t what it used to be.”  So keep things moving quick.  Say what you need to say and not a sentence too much!  A key to making your letter read quick is by keeping your paragraphs short and to the point.  Don’t say the same thing three different ways.  Do you see what I’m doing here?  I’ve added a few extra sentences here saying the same thing. I’ve done this on purpose for you to try to understand what I’m saying because I’ve read a lot of letters where people are redundant!  Be brief and move quick!

 

5.        BE PERSONABLE!

I’ve been telling coaches to try to relate a personal story that takes you off the pages and in to the life of a kid or family that you have had a tremendous impact on, and relate that story in your cover letter.  This will help to make you personable; it will help to make you real; and it will help to make you liked by the reader.  Remember, they are reading a TON of cover letters.  They are making a decision on YOUR future and theirs by reading black and white letters on a piece of paper.  How do YOU jump off that paper and in to their mind?  By relating a powerful story.

What better way to do that than by sharing the story of a life YOU helped to influence and change.  For instance, this season we had a junior earn the FIRST 2.0 GPA of his life!  Why? “Because somebody finally cared” he told me.  I was on this kid just about every day of the semester, encouraging him, pushing him.  I met with him in my office often to assist him the best way I could.  This is a good story to relate.

I put this as my fifth key because I think it is important to have this story at the end of your cover letter.  One last paragraph that will catch their attention, and make them consider you if they had not yet considered you to this point!

 

Read more about the consulting Coach Fore does at his website.

HIGH DESERT ALL STAR FOOTBALL GAME ROSTERS AND MORE

Head Football Coaches/Athletic Directors of the High Desert:

 

A BIG THANK YOU to Adelanto High School and their administration for hosting the game this year!

 

A BIG THANK YOU to the South Head Coach, Robert Kistner of Oak Hills HS, and the North Head Coach Jayson Hughes of Adelanto HS for taking on this responsibility for the kids!

 

North: Barstow, Boron, Desert, Granite, Lucerne Valley, Riverside Prep, Silver Valley, Silverado, Yucca Valley

(Trona, Burroughs and Victor Valley have chosen not to participate)

South: Apple Valley, Big Bear, Excelsior, Little Rock, Oak Hills, Serrano, Sultana, Victor Valley Christian

                (Hesperia and Rim of the World have chosen not to participate)

 

 

***BRAND NEW THIS YEAR!  Nike Sparq will be doing a combine and each kid in attendance will leave with a Nike Sparq rating.

 

DETAILS ABOUT THE 2013 HIGH DESERT ALL STAR FOOTBALL GAME

Who: Senior football players from 22 High Schools in the High Desert will play in this prestigious event.  It is the only All Star Football Game in the High Desert.

When: Saturday January 19th   Kickoff is at 2:00 pm

Where: Adelanto High School’s brand new stadium!  One of the finest in the High Desert.

15620 Joshua Street, Adelanto

Tickets: Tickets are $8 presale for General and $10 at the door.  Students/Children are $5 presale and $8 at the door.

Selection Process:  Every Head Football Coach and Athletic Director in the High Desert, 22 total high schools included, were emailed a ballot form in early November.  These forms were then turned in to the CYAP Committee.

The CYAP Committee forwarded these nominations to the Head Coaches. In conjunction with both Head Coaches, the CYAP President Jiles Smith and Football Operations Committee Member Chris Fore, the teams were selected.

(Burroughs, Victor Valley, Trona, Rim of the World and Hesperia High Schools did not nominate anyone for this game.)

2012 HIGH DESERT ALL STAR FOOTBALL GAME ROSTERS

NORTH ALL STARS
Head Coach: Jayson Hughes (Adelanto)
Austin Crank Barstow HS
James Noble Barstow HS
Kyle Pittman Barstow HS
Maquis Jones Barstow HS
Sultan Handam Barstow HS
Tracy Venable Barstow HS
Austin Russell Boron HS
Austyn Fink Boron HS
Domingo Guiterrez Boron HS
Drake Job Boron HS
Troy Caillier Boron HS
Anthony Vigilante Desert HS
Brandon Valdez Desert HS
Grayson Steele Desert HS
Kris Washington Desert HS
Myquan Turner Desert HS
Brandon Olson Granite Hills HS
Derrick Patterson Granite Hills HS
Elijah James Granite Hills HS
Jordan Wright Granite Hills HS
Julian Jones Granite Hills HS
Stanley Nicholson Granite Hills HS
Brett McGinnis Lucerne Valley HS
Gavin White Lucerne Valley HS
Kody Sanchez Riverside Prep HS
Russell Denny Riverside Prep HS
Tyler Stewart Riverside Prep HS
Will Smith Riverside Prep HS
Anthony Aguilera Silvery Valley HS
Ashton Thrash Silvery Valley HS
Devon Thrash Silvery Valley HS
Illi Monroe Silvery Valley HS
Jordan Gibson Silvery Valley HS
Matt Williams Silvery Valley HS
Myron Sykes Silvery Valley HS
Celester Asuega Silverado HS
Dajuan Gary Silverado HS
Landon Coleman Silverado HS
Marcus Moore Silverado HS
Ryan Silveria Silverado HS
William Fifita Silverado HS
Ben Hetz Yucca Valley HS
Cody McBride Yucca Valley HS
Daniel Currier Yucca Valley HS
Forrest Cowley Yucca Valley HS

The North All Star Team will have a mandatory meeting on Monday night, December 17th at 6:00 pm.  This meeting will be held at the Adelanto High School football field.  Please report to the field and a coach will meet you there.

Players who wish to be a part of this prestigious All Star Game, the only one in the High Desert for Senior football players, must attend practice during the week of January 14th – 18th.  Time is to be determined.  You will practice at Adelanto High School.

If you have any questions about this meeting, and or practice, please contact Head Coach Jayson Hughes at  760-885-0787 or jayson_Hughes20@yahoo.com.  If you are unable to, or do not want to play, please contact Coach Hughes at his email as well so that we can find an alternate for you.

 

Your custom made jersey will be yours to keep after the game; the cost for participating in the game is $25, and that goes directly to your game jersey. You will pick your number at the meeting on Dec. 17th. Please bring your $25 to this meeting.

 

SOUTH ALL STARS
Head Coach: Robert Kistner (Oak Hills)
Bryan Fuentes Apple Valley HS
Jonathon Gonzales Apple Valley HS
Kenneth Carcamo Apple Valley HS
Matt Hijazin Apple Valley HS
Tyler Bernal Apple Valley HS
Tyler Murphy Apple Valley HS
Gabe Cicero Big Bear HS
John Hawkins Big Bear HS
Johnny Diaz Big Bear HS
Lane Dowty Big Bear HS
Lucas Jenkins Big Bear HS
Tyler Babbitt Big Bear HS
Andre Guinn Excelsior Charter HS
Andrew Jakubec Excelsior Charter HS
Darren Corbin Excelsior Charter HS
Kyle Washington Excelsior Charter HS
Lido Lynn Excelsior Charter HS
Anthony Bryant Little Rock HS
Daveion Hefflin Little Rock HS
Edgar Avitia Little Rock HS
Juan Contreras Little Rock HS
Sergio Ayon Little Rock HS
Sultan Handam Little Rock HS
Tracy Venable Little Rock HS
Casey Cambell Oak Hills HS
Chase Jeffrey Oak Hills HS
Tyrone Gilmer Oak Hills HS
Austin Beltram Oak Hills HS
Ryan Kistner Oak Hills HS
Cade Tropila Serrano HS
Daniel Epperson Serrano HS
DeAndre Williams Serrano HS
Kyle Jergensen Serrano HS
Mark Smith Serrano HS
Michael Hawkins Serrano HS
Shawn Sparks Serrano HS
Andrew Robbins Sultana HS
Chris Gooding Sultana HS
Cody Penfold Sultana HS
Jay Lee Sultana HS
Joel Sandles Sultana HS
Richard Holguin Sultana HS
Kyle Wilson Victor Valley Christian HS
Ben Mettias Victor Valley Christian HS
Caleb Rowling Victor Valley Christian HS

The South All Star Team will have a mandatory meeting on Tuesday night, December 18th at 6:00 pm.  This meeting will be held at Oak Hills High School.  Please report to the high school office and a coach will meet you there.

Players who wish to be a part of this prestigious All Star Game, the only one in the High Desert for Senior football players, must attend practice during the week of January 14th – 18th.  Time is to be determined.  You will practice at Oak Hills High School.

 

Your custom made jersey will be yours to keep after the game; the cost for participating in the game is $25, and that goes directly to your game jersey. You will pick your number at the meeting on Dec. 18th. Please bring your $25 to this meeting.

 

If you have any questions about this meeting, and or practice, please contact Head Coach Robert Kistner at  robert.Kistner@hesperiausd.org.  If you are unable to, or do not want to play, please contact Coach Kistner at his email as well so that we can find an alternate for you.

ANATOMY OF A BLOCKED SHIELD PUNT

I absolutely love the Shield Punt!

I’ve been using it since 2002; I like to say “before it became cool!”  Because 10 years ago, nobody was doing it.  And now, it’s all over the college and high school landscape.   In fact, I learned of the Shield punt from the Rutgers Special Teams Coach who wrote an article called “The Shield Punt: Dare To Be Different.”  I loved it, so we tweaked it a little for us, and put it in.  Will never go back to any other way of punting.  The Shield Punt allows teams to get down the field F-A-S-T therefore minimizing returns.

I helped one school put it in this year, and just saw their stats this weekend: 24 punts, only 7 yards allowed, TOTAL!  The whole year, 7 yards!  Only one kid attempted a return, and he had 7 yards.  Other than that, NOBODY attempted a return!  Fantastic.  In 2009, my team punted 56 times, and gave up only 16 yards, on 2 returns.

I’ve written about the Shield Punt extensively.  Here are some of the articles:

The Shield Punt: Maximizing Field Position, Minimizing Blocks and Returns Part 1 on CoachFore.org

The Shield Punt: Maximizing Field Position, Minimizing Blocks and Returns Part 2 on CoachFore.org

The Shield Punt on Film

The Efficiency of the Shield Punt by X and O Labs

 

I’ve seen some great Shield Punts this season, and I have seen some not so great Shield Punts this season.  I thought it might be good to break some of these punts down for you.

Here is the first one: University of LaFayette v. Florida (November 10, 2012)

It is interesting to note that there were TWO blocked punts for touchdowns in this game, very rare.  Florida blocked one with seconds remaining, and returned it to the house for the win.

But before that, the Rajin Cajuns blocked a Gator punt.  Let’s take a look at how that happened.

1.  MISTAKE ONE –  Gators put a man in motion from the shield.  I’ve never seen this before. As soon as I saw him motioning, I thought to myself, they are going to block this thing.  Reason being, you HAVE to have those three guys in the shield, period.  The weakness of the Shield Punt is that it can be blocked up the middle if they bring four guys through the A gaps and head up of the guards.  2 guys in the A gaps, and 2 guys on the guards, in their nice and tight, they can bring the heat then.

You will see in this first pic the man in motion.  And you will see the four Rajin Cajun D linemen in there right, ready to bring it.

This man going in motion doesn’t take ANYBODY out of the box with him.  So, why do it?  You are now outflanked.  Interesting move, but who am I to question a college coach?!

 

 

2.  MISTAKE TWO – When I install and teach this, I always drive home to the guys in the shield “DON’T CHASE ANYONE!”  Stay square to the line of scrimmage, like a brick wall!  Be wide, be strong, be tall.  If a person in the Shield, usually linemen, choose to turn themselves or chase someone approaching from the outside, they will open a huge hole. And usually, will get beat back to the inside.  As is the exact case that you see here, in the photo below.  Look at 99, he has chased a guy AND turned his shoulders, not good.

 

 

Let’s see what happens when you turn your shoulders.

Oh oh, he’s beat isn’t he?  That’s exactly why you don’t chase that guy, or turn your shoulders.  Now he is beat back to the inside.  He has opened a HUGE hole there, and can’t get back.  Now the Cajun has a direct path to the punter’s foot!  Never good.

And, there we have it, shoot!  It’s blocked!  What’s worse, it’s going back the other way for 6.

Watch the whole thing here. 

QUESTIONS I ASK WHILE INTERVIEWING POTENTIAL HEAD COACHES

I am in my sixth year as an Athletic Director.  I thought I would share the list of questions I ask in an interview while searching for a Head Coach.

Here is the list I’m going to use.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

 

HEAD COACH INTERVIEW

  1. Years experience coaching?   Where?
  2. What has been your most important accomplishment as a coach?
  3. What has been your biggest disappointment?
  4. What are your coaching goals?  Short term?  Long term?
  5. What are your strengths as a coach?  List your top 3.
  6. What are your weaknesses as a coach?  List your top 3.
  7. When your team encounters a problem, such as irritation with a teammate or a member of the coaching staff, how do you reach a good resolution?
  8. How do you distribute and collect uniforms?
  9. How do you go about conducting your first Parent Meeting and what do are some important items to go over with them.
  10.  What steps are you going to take to generate interest in girls getting involved in the softball program here?
  11.  What steps are you going to take to get the “outside” community interested in the program here?
  12.   What is your philosophy of Strength and Conditioning in your program?

SITUATIONAL COACHING QUESTIONS

  1.  What do you know about our softball program?
  2.  How are you going to improve a 32% winning program over the last 5 years?
  3.  How do you score runs in softball?  Offensive philosophy?
  4.   Defensive/pitching philosophy?  What is it?
  5.   How do you coach baserunning?
  6.  How do you prepare your team for a game?
  7.  How do you work with officials? What is your philosophy on the way that you treat them?

Ever been tossed from a game?  If so, what did you do and what did you learn from it?

  1.  If a parent approached you after practice or a game on your way to your car and wanted to talk with you about playing time, what would you do?  How would you respond?
  2. What do you think is the most important aspect of a championship (sport) team?
  3.  Our athletic department motto here is “ . . . . . . . . .”  How will you do both of these things in our softball program?

Do you have any questions about our program?

Your time commitment?  Compensation?  Facilities?  Equipment?  Fundraising?

CALIFORNIA COACH FIRED FOR FOLLOWING SCHOOL POLICY

I’ll be honest, this story infuriated me when I read it tonight.

Another high school football coach loses his job while trying to teach kids to commit to something.

Read the whole story here.

See a CBS news segment here.

I’ll summarize it:

1.  Kid tells Head Coach he will miss a varsity football game because he has a baseball “showcase” out of state.

2.  Coach says if you go, don’t come back, you will be removed from team for missing that game.

3.  11 other kids quit in support of the player.

4.  Principal fires the coach.

5.  All 12 kids are reinstated to team.

Coach Mahaffey Photo Credit Victor Calderon

What are we teaching our kids these days administrators?  What value in teamwork and commitment are we teaching them if we allow the kids to call the shots?   That is what happened here.  

The kids called the shots.

The principal said that: “Based on the fact that there weren’t any rules, guidelines or expectations given to the players in a written format that they had signed off on, I felt like I didn’t have anything that could support the decision he made.”

There are two sides to this coin.  I agree with putting something in writing for everyone at the beginning of the season.  This might clear up a lot of issues for you, and put all of the expectations on the table.  Having a written policy on the discipline is always a great idea.  I have a bunch of those forms in my Outside The Lines Manual.  But even if there was a written contract, would the kid not have gone to the showcase? I doubt it.

Principal Ginter: here is what I don’t understand sir, with all due respect:

In your school’s very own Athletic Code of Conduct, it clearly states that:

Failure to Participate
If a student/athlete fails to participate without justifiable cause or drops out of a
sport after the teams first league contest, the student/athlete will not be allowed to
participate in any other sport until the season of the dropped sport is completed.

Practice
Missing scheduled practices, performances, or games without approved medical
reasons, or having made prior arrangements with the person in charge may be
grounds for dismissal from the team. Each school will have its own policy on
attending practice sessions.

Student Athlete Code of Conduct

2. To acknowledge that participation on an athletic team is a privilege, not a right and
as such is subject to the rules and regulations of Rio Americano High School, the
California Interscholastic Federation, the San Juan Unified School District and the
San Juan Unified School District Athletic Department. Student athletes are under
the direction of the administration, the athletic director, the head varsity coach and
the assistant coaches.

Principal Ginter: wasn’t Coach Mahaffey justified to remove this student-athlete from the football program because of the general school athletic policies put in to place, and signed by this student-athlete and parents?  You said that there “weren’t any rules, guidelines, or expectations;” but there were.  I found them myself with a simple Google search of your school’s athletic department.

I’m very curious, as an Athletic Director and 13 year football coach to know why these school policies weren’t applied in this case.  Why was a coach fired for following school policy sir?

This happened to me before, in 2009, with the SAME EXACT baseball “showcase.”

 I had two kids tell me they had to go to this same baseball “showcase” that this kid went to.  

They went.  I suspended them an entire game when they came back.  One of the kids didn’t like that so he quit.  A starting running back. I let him go.  Where is that kid today?  Let me tell you this, he certainly didn’t get the “promised scholarship” from that “showcase!”  He quit school during his senior year, didn’t even play baseball his senior year, he quit that too.

Folks, that’s what we get when we let kids call the shots!  We teach them it’s okay to call the shots, what do they learn?  (I’m getting fired up again just thinking about all of that I dealt with in 2009!)  That kid that missed our varsity football game, then quit football altogether never learned anything from his “all star baseball” coaches growing up because he was always the star of the team.  And he was treated differently.  He was allowed to break the rules, to bend the rules and to stretch the rules.  Was I around to see this happen?  No.  How do I know?  Because of how he acted in my football program.  And by how he ended up quitting the varsity baseball team when things didn’t go his way!

I don’t know this head football coach Christian Mahaffey, I’ve never met the guy.  But if I ever did, I would say “Coach, great job sticking to your guns and teaching these kids life skills beyond the football field.  I’m sorry that principal through you and your entire program right under the bus.”

You see, now that entire program (in my opinion) has just lost years of discipline and commitment by this one act of the principal.  I would hate to be the next coach.  You have ZERO pull now with the kids.  If they think you are running them too hard one day, they will run to the principal.  If they think you are not calling the right plays, they might run to the principal.  If you yell at Johnny because he isn’t trying, the whole team might quit, walk to the principal’s office and get the new guy fired!

Coach Mahaffey, so the principal suspended the kids for one game for walking away from the team. Was this in writing?  He said your discipline wasn’t in writing so he couldn’t support you.  Was it in writing somewhere that “If you and 10 other teammates quit your team in support of another player who quit the team, then get reinstated, you will serve a one game suspension.”  I want to see that in writing.

Coach Mahaffey, this is a tough time to be in the coaching profession.  In so many ways, our hands are tied by the politics in our communities and by administrators who are more concerned with making parents and kids happy than teaching them life lessons.

Coach Mahaffey, I admire that you stood by your policy and had the backbone to stand up for the right thing.

Coach Mahaffey, can you imagine missing one of your varsity football games for an out of season “showcase?!”  Of course not!

Coach Mahaffey, I wonder how those other 22 boys feel?  The ones who didn’t quit.  What has your principal taught those kids?

Coach Mahaffey, I feel bad for you.

Coach Mahaffey, you did the right thing.

Coach Mahaffey, good luck finding a new coaching gig.  I know you might be too sour on it to try to find another gig when a school you’ve been at for so long throws you under the bus.  Hang in there.

Coach Mahaffey, I’m an Athletic Director, and I will use this story for a long time.  I will use it to teach my coaches to have written guidelines up front for parents.  I will use it to communicate to athletes how important commitment to the team is.  I will use it to talk with administrators about policies and procedures to make sure we don’t allow this to happen on my watch.

Coach Mahaffey, good luck to you in the future.

– Coach Fore   http://www.coachfore.org   @coachfore on twitter

EVALUATING YOUR SPECIAL TEAMS ON A WEEK BY WEEK BASIS – Part 1

I absolutely love Special Teams!  I have for a long time.  Not sure what it is, and why it makes me tick, but it does.  I was named Special Teams Coordinator at Linfield Christian in 2002, and ever since then I’ve coordinated the Special Teams of every team I’ve been a part of.  (It helps since I’ve been a Head Coach for 8 of those 10 years!)  I really believe that when the Head Coach is the Special Teams Coordinator your team will always get the most fair shot of practice time to do it right.

Currently, I’m the Special Teams Coordinator at Excelsior Charter School in Victorville, California.  This is my first year with the school, I was hired as the Athletic Director back in May of this year.

Speaking with my kickoff team during our first game of the year.

 

Like most of you reading  this, I’m an absolute film junkie!  There is NO better way to evaluate your Special Teams than by video.  As they say “the eye in the sky don’t lie!”  I’ve developed a system for each weekend for me to evaluate my Special Teams play.  This does two main things:  1.  Helps me to evaluate our personnel and how we are executing the plans.  2.  Organizes my Special Teams Player of the Year chart.

 

The system that I use every weekend works like this:

1.  I watch every single Special Team a multitude of times.  I try hard to watch every player on every play.  Sometimes, depending on the film, this can be hard.

2.  I have a spreadsheet in front of me.  This spreadsheet has the list of my kids on my Special Teams in alphabetical order on the far left column.  It’s an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Across the top of the spreadsheet are 10 columns:

TACKLE ASSISTED TACKLE KEY BLOCK EXTRA EFFORT CAUSE TURNOVER RECOVER TURNOVER DECLEATER PENALTY MISSED ASSIGNMENT TOTALPOINTS
 3 points  2 points  3 points  3 points 10 points 10 points  3 points -5 points -5 points

3.  For every single play, I will grade out the kids and give somebody some kind of points, OR take some away!  I think it’s just important to give the “extra effort” points to kids as it is to give them “tackle” points or take away points for a penalty.  This will help motivate kids.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years, is that these kids come to my classroom/office first thing Monday morning to see where they stand.  You will find that some kids really start fighting for their points.  And some don’t care.  Those kids racking up the rushing yards or passing yards, they care about those things.  But a lot of kids don’t have anything to measure themselves by.  This is a great measurement for kids.  A lot of times, especially when points are taken away, they want to see it on film!  “Coach, I don’t believe I missed an assignment, show me.”  It becomes a great teaching tool.

I update this chart after every single game, and the players get a copy in their Scouting Report each Monday.  Many times, it’s the first thing the kids turn to.  I also keep a running total for the season.  It looks just like the weekly report.  Names on the left, the schools across the top, like this:

FAITH ANNENBERG BLOOMINGTON JOSHUA VICTOR LUCERNE CAL LU UPLAND

So, here is what my running total looks like through one game this year (I’ve changed the names):

FAITH
FORE 6
WILSON 6
HAMILTON 3
HOWELL 3
MARKS -2
FAGES -5
BLAYLOCK -5
NELSON -20

ROAD GAME EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

My first game EVER game on the road as a Head Coach, we have a kid sent off the field in a stinking ambulance right?!  My principal went to the hospital with him so I could keep coaching.  He was an international kid, a Korean living over here with some host parents.

Principal calls me from the ER, “Coach, how do I get hold of his host parents to tell them what’s going on?”

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks . . . . . .

The emergency health cards notebook is sitting in the golf cart back on campus.

“I have no clue,” I sheepishly told my boss.  “I have no clue who he even lives with.”  I literally had NO idea how to reach his host parents OR parents, and here the kid is being treated for possibly a ruptured spleen in the ER. Oh yeah, and I’m trying to call a 3rd and 12!!

Don’t forget your water bottles, OR the caps!

That next day, I put this list together, and I’ve NEVER forgotten that health card notebook again!  Or a kicking tee, or the ball towels, or extra shoulder pads. I’m a list guy, I thrive of off lists and reminders to get things done.

This is a great list I literally go over with my assistants the night before the game as we double check who has what, and then on game day as we are loading the busses.

Would love to see what you use, send it to me at coach478@gmail.com if you don’t mind.

Health Forms!!!
Bag of misc. player equipment 1
Bags for injury ice 20
Ball bag (1) with balls 12
Cleat box 1
Cooler for ice – small 1
Coolers for water – large 2
Equipment brown tray 1
Headphones case 1
Kicking net 1
Kicking tees – black 2
Kicking tees – orange 2
Medical black bag 1
Stats bag w/clipboards 1
Taping folding table 1
Towels 3 or 4
Water bottles 18
White board 1
White board pen 1

SO CAL FOOTBALL TEAM TAKES “CONCUSSION TEST”

On Wednesday August 8th, approximately 40 football players from Excelsior Charter School in Victorville, California got a welcome break from 100+ degree heat as they packed in to Dr. Thomas Liu’s Southern California Bone and Joint office.  Air conditioning served as a relief for the teenagers as they sat to wait to take the Impact Test.

I’m the Athletic Director and Special Teams Coach for the Eagles.  I’ve used the Impact Test before, and it served my former team very well as one of the tools to help doctors determine the severity of a concussion.  With that background, and wanting to help establish some new protocol for concussions at Excelsior, I contacted Dr. Liu.  It just so happens one of the top doctors in the nation regarding the care and management of concussions is right here in our backyard; literally 300 yards from our football field! 

Dr. Liu completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) under the world-renowned Dr. Freddie Fu. He continued his sports fellowship at UPMC, where he helped take care of the defending world-champions Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins along with numerous collegiate teams.

During his fellowship, he also worked with Drs. Lovell and Collins, who wrote the new NFL guidelines on concussions. (Source: Dr. Liu’s website.)  I was very excited to meet Dr. Liu in order to learn more about concussion management at the high school level.  He is all about the kids, and serving them to the best of his ability.  I find this approach refreshing in this day and age of nightmarish doctor experiences with insurance, co-pays, etc!

Our players were asked to pay $12 for this test.  If they weren’t able to come up with the funds, the school covered the costs.  Dr. Liu had 8 computers set up for us to take the test; this meant 8 kids were able to take the test in the total privacy, one person per room.  He shut down his office to make this happen for our team.  The length of the test varies for every player.  I would guess that the average length of time was about 16 minutes or so.  After each and every test, Dr. Liu had a private one on one consultation with the players.

During this time, he went over their test results, shared the numbers and what they meant.  But more importantly, he did a great job of explaining exactly what a concussion is to these kids.  He also went over some of the signs and symptoms to look for in themselves and their teammates.  Most of the players I spoke with afterwards enjoyed this one on one time the most.  It took about 3 hours for all 40 players to go through the Impact test and the consultation with Dr. Liu.

I would highly suggest every football program in America do some sort of baseline testing for their athletes.  This will greatly aid for medical staff for the care and management of concussions in your program.  I wouldn’t be surprised if 5 years from now, we see this as a mandatory, state mandated law in most states.

Head Coach Bill Rivera said “We are trying to establish a baseline for our athletes making sure we provide maximum protection for our players using all of the education and technology that is out there for us to take advantage of.”

Junior linebacker Justin Hoover: “It was a memorization and action time test, with a lot of shapes and colors.  I think it can be very helpful to determine if we’ve had a concussion or not.  The Impact Test was fairly simple and it makes me glad that our Coaching Staff cares about our health.”

Senior linemen Jacob Ramirez told me “It definitely checks your memory and reaction time.  Dr. Liu explained what a concussion is and how we can help ourselves and our teammates.  Now I will be on the lookout for myself and other teammates.”

Senior lineman Ryan Sanburg: “I learned a lot about being on the lookout for concussions, what causes them and how to identify them,” said senior Ryan Sandburg.  “Dr. Liu explained a lot about concussions to me.  I’ve never had a concussion, but now I know what to look for.”

Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach and football parent Elvis Gibbs: “I’m very appreciative of the coaches taking their time to do this program. It’s something all of our students need to be doing.  They will now have a baseline for my son if he has a concussion.  For the future of his life, they will know if a concussion has effected him or not.  This is a proud moment for me, this is special for Excelsior.”

Senior quarterback Darren Corbin: “I think this was good because when you get a concussion you can’t react that fast on the test.  So, it’s good to know what’s going on.  I scored a 99% on my memory, but my reaction time was a little low.  Next time I take the test, if I have to take it, they will know if my memory and reaction are worse because of a concussion.”

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE IMPACT TEST? 

(I’ve simply cut and pasted the following from the Impact website to here.  I hope this is okay Mr. Impact lawyers!)

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT was developed to provide useful information to assist qualified practitioners in making sound return to play decisions following concussions.

Developed in the early 1990’s by Drs. Mark Lovell and Joseph Maroon, ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes from age 10 through adulthood. ImPACT Applications, Inc. was co-founded by Mark Lovell, PhD, Joseph Maroon, MD, and Michael (Micky) Collins, PhD.

Given the inherent complexities of concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing whenever possibe. Neurocognitive assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has been called the “cornerstone” of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.

ImPACT can be administered by an athletic trainer, school nurse, athletic director, team doctor or psychologist, provided that they have completed training in the administration of the test. Post-concussion care and the management of concussion should only be administered by professionals with specialized training in concussion management. ImPACT assists doctors in making return-to-play decisions and should never be used as a stand-alone tool or as a diagnostic instrument.

ImPACT is the most widely used computer-based testing program in the world and is implemented effectively across high school, collegiate, and professional levels of sport participation.

Test Features

  • Measures player symptoms
  • Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
  • Reaction time measured to a 1/100th of second
  • Assists clinicians and athletic trainers in making difficult return-to-play decisions
  • Provides reliable baseline test information
  • Produces a comprehensive report of test results
  • Results are presented as a PDF file and can be emailed
  • Automatically stores data from repeat testing
  • Testing is administered online for individuals or groups
  • Compatible with PC and MAC

The test battery consists of a near infinite number of alternate forms by randomly varying the stimulus array for each administration. This feature was built in to the program to minimize the “practice effects” that have limited the usefulness of more traditional neurocognitive tests.

ImPACT takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:

  • Attention span
  • Working memory
  • Sustained and selective attention time
  • Response variability
  • Non-verbal problem solving
  • Reaction time

SHIELD PUNT CUT UPS

I’ve written quite a bit on the SHIELD PUNT!  I really love it!  I’ve been using it since 2002, before it became so popular at the college level.  It’s been trickling down to high school for the last 2-3 years.

I’ve uploaded a few minutes worth of SHIELD PUNT clips here for you:

http://youtu.be/JRcuHDcpHxM

Here are some of my blog articles on this:

Shield Punt Part 1

Shield Punt Part 2

Shield Punt Part 3 

Punt Rules To Live By

 

 

 

https://coachchrisfore.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/shield-punt-maximizing-field-position-minimizing-blocks-and-returns/

https://coachchrisfore.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/shield-punt-part-3-getting-down-field-to-make-the-tackle/

http://xandolabs.com/2012/01/the-efficiency-of-the-shield-punt-scheme/

https://coachchrisfore.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/shield-punt-see-how-effective-it-is-on-film/

ON VACATION THIS WEEK

Hi Folks!

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be “off the grid” this week to spend time with my family.  I’m not going to be doing any posts, responding to email, on Twitter, etc until

one week from today (Sunday, July 29).

So, I will catch up with you all next Sunday, August 5th!  Have a great week.

If you order a manual during this time, they will be emailed out to you on Sunday, August 5th.  USB orders will ship on Monday, August 6th.

Thank you!

Chris