FNF Coaches Talk

FNF Coaches Talk 10/12

It’s Game Day! Let’s get ready to roll. Here are some of the topics we’re talking about today.

1. Nike Signed Their First Athlete With Cerebral Palsy (Sports Illustrated)

This isn’t a football story, but it’s an inspirational one that we’ve been saving for Game Day. This one is bound to inspire you and remind all of us why we got into this profession.

“Runner Justin Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike. Gallegos, a junior at Oregon and member of the school’s running club, was told the news at the end of a recent practice. John Douglass, Nike’s insight’s director, showed up to give Gallegos his contract and a film crew from Elevation 0m was there to capture his reaction.”

The video below says it all.

Gallegos posted about the moment on Instagram and said: “You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes!”

We had goosebumps watching that one. Keep that one in mind if you’re searching for perspective after tonight’s big game.

Do you have an inspiring story to share with FNF Coaches?

2. Dedicated weight training in offseason boosts stock of East Aurora’s Julian Cuttie (The Beacon News)

Here’s another inspirational story — one you should show any player who is looking for a path to playing time. This Illinois offensive lineman parlayed his work in the weight room to a starting role on a powerhouse high school team and a potential college scholarship.

“NCAA Division III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater has expressed some interest in Cuttie, who enjoyed weight lifting in gym class as a freshman and then took it to another level.”

Nothing fancy here — just a story about an uncoordinated high school freshman working his tail off to become a team leader and college prospect.

“We work a lot on technique and only max out to a point that technique allows,” Kukuc said. “Julian’s first perfect squat three years ago was 85 pounds and first power clean was 95.”

He maxed out last winter at 385 and 225, respectively, in those lifts.

If you see a young player looking discouraged tonight due to a lack of playing time, show them this story. Hard work creates opportunities.

How do you inspire players to improve when they’re not getting playing time?

3. How Many Iowa Fans Fainted When Kirk Ferentz Ran This Trick Play? (The Big Lead)

Finally, it’s Friday so we know you have X’s and O’s on your mind. Are you a coach who embraces creative ways to out-scheme your opponent? If you’re not, that doesn’t mean you can’t be. Take this example of historically conservative Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz running a trick play in the red zone to put an easy touchdown on the board.

This was a 4th-and-goal play call, and it sure beat settling for a field goal. Don’t be afraid to call your most creative plays when the opponent is expecting a more conservative approach.

Do you have an exciting play call that you’d be willing to share?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!