FNF Coaches Talk — Arizona coaches organize Madden tourney, strength training platforms, Ohio schedule changes

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got three interesting stories for you.

1. Arizona coaches building bonds between players through Madden Tournaments (Sports 360 AZ)

We’ve heard more and more stories like this over the last few weeks, and we think it’s a great idea. How can you keep your players connected and play to their competitive fire?

Here’s one way.

With students studying and training from their homes, the Tolleson Union High School District (Ariz.) Athletic Directors dabbled with the idea of using esports to bring some competitive nature into the houses of student-athletes. That idea evolved into making a spring football tournament. This tournament would take place virtually on EA Sports’ popular Madden NFL series.

An email addressed the idea to the football coaches of Copper Canyon, La Joya Community, Sierra Linda, Tolleson Union, West Point, and Westview. Once the idea was universally accepted by the coaches, the staff at Westview took hold of the reins.

We often hear from coaches — even when football is being played and practiced — that players gain from the experience of playing Madden because it helps them learn offensive and defensive schemes. Players become familiar with play calls vs. certain schemes.


What activities have you discovered to keep players connected virtually?

2. Strength coach shifts training platform from Google Meets to TeamBuildr due to remote training (My Record Journal, Conn.)

We’re always interested in hearing about which platforms coaches are using to reach their players remotely, and this is a story about that very topic.

Last month, when gyms were forced to close by the coronavirus pandemic, Steve Rossacci needed to adjust.

Rossacci is owner of Triton Athletics in Wallingford, Conn. Among his clients is Sheehan High School. Rossacci trains a number of Titans teams and several, including the reigning Class S state champion football squad, were in the midst of strength and conditioning programs.

Rossacci had already been using Google Sheets to follow the workouts of the athletes, but he knew he needed more. So, with the use of the Teambldr and Zoom platforms, he created a complete remote training system.

“Teambldr is an app that allows us to enter our workouts in there for our athletes and shoots it out to them,” Rossacci explained. “They access that to their phones or tablets. As long as they are tracking, we can see what they are doing and then it emails me daily what they are doing.”

Among Rossacci’s biggest clients is the Sheehan football team. For the past five years, he’s been the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rossacci said, the remote training has gone well.

“Their response has been good,” Rossacci said. “It’s been an adjustment and there’s more self-motivation. They don’t have me or my staff on them.
“This is a great experience for all of us,” Rossacci added. “We have been able to expand our business without having a physical location. I have some athletes from out of state that I have been able to train now. This has open up a new option in our training world and it’s something we can look to expand on.”


What platform are you using to track your players’ training during the stoppage in play?

3. Ohio state athletic association considering moving football to spring of 2021 (Cleveland.com)

Bad news out of Ohio, as the state association is considering postponing the football season until the spring of 2021. Seems early to make this decision, no?

The OHSAA is already considering the possibility of delays for football and other fall sports, depending on what happens in the coming months as the state and country deal with the coronavirus pandemic. OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said his organization is already preparing for the “what-ifs of the fall.”

“There’s a lot of concerns about the fall,” he said, “even the start of the season. If things are shut down during the summer, we have so many kids and schools that will not have had physical activity like they normally would.”

In an example of Ohio schools making the best of a bad situation, schools had a state-wide celebration of seniors last Monday when they lit up their stadiums to celebrate the Class of 2020.


What is your prediction for the way the summer and fall schedule will play out?

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