FNF Coaches Talk — Benefits of Velocity-Based Training, Coaching Continuity at Alabama, Incentives to Keep Fans in Seats

Good afternoon, Coaches! Welcome back. We’ve got an Alabama-slant on our stories today.

1. The Benefits of Velocity-Based Training for High School Athletes (Perch)

Our friends at Perch have been making their mark in the strength and conditioning space for a few years with a focus on velocity-based training.

They supplied the LSU football team with their equipment before last season, and the Tigers went on to win the national championship. Earlier this week, Perch announced it will be working with the Philadelphia Phillies this season.

The Perch staff recently published a blog in which the benefits of velocity-based training are highlighted for high school athletes.

Because of the young training age, a lot of initial adaptations for high school athletes are neuromuscular [1]. Meaning they may not initially be getting “stronger” they may just be increasing the efficiency of their movement patterns. This process is enhanced by greater volume, not load. And the volume can help be quantified when it is backed up by data points related to velocities.

Without using velocity to inform the intent of the athlete’s pattern, we’re guessing if the volume is enough to initiate the desired adaptations.

With exorbitant variables at play for developing high school athletes, having additional data points from velocity based training can only help paint a full picture. Coaches can use this data to help athletes who may be struggling, to encourage those who need it, and ultimately help improve wellness and overall performance.


What metrics do you measure in the weight room besides load and repetitions?

2. Even with minimal turnover, Nick Saban shows he isn’t fearful of change (The Athletic)

We all recognize the importance of continuity on a coaching staff, and Alabama is a good example of that. For all of the coverage that the recent change in strength coach received, this offseason has seen only one on-the-field assistant coach leave: defensive line coach Brian Baker, replaced by Freddie Roach.

Nick Saban found his replacement(s) for strength coach Scott Cochran, and those hires were made official on Tuesday: David Ballou, from Indiana and before that Notre Dame and IMG Academy, will take the helm of the strength and conditioning program and will be joined by Matt Rhea, who served as Indiana’s athletic performance coach.

For now, the staff not turning over again in great numbers is a good thing. But as Saban once again proved with Cochran and how he went about finding his replacement, he’s not scared to make a change when he views its warranted.

Saban could’ve easily kept Cochran in the program by granting him the upward mobility he wanted and making him an on-the-field assistant coach. Saban didn’t. Feel free to read into that how you want.

What it says without a doubt is that Saban is always evaluating his program, and he isn’t fearful of making a change, even if it’s uncomfortable.


How do you balance the need for continuity on a coaching staff with the need for bringing in new ideas?

3. Alabama used an app to keep students at football games. How did it work? (AL.com)

We hadn’t heard about this strategy to keep students in their seats for football games, but we wonder if it might work for high schools as well.

Tide Loyalty Points was Alabama’s answer to sagging student attendance late in football games — one that tested the bounds of technology while sparking privacy concerns.

In the five home games the app functioned properly, and temperatures didn’t cause safety concerns, 49.7 percent of the students who scanned into games participated in the program. The data for the Tide Loyalty Points program was provided to AL.com through a public records request.

Just showing up, however, isn’t the main idea. It was staying in the stadium for the fourth quarters of games that haven’t always been competitive.

The percentage of students who participated in the program and stayed four quarters stood at 67.2 percent. The data does not include the season opener against New Mexico State or the Sept. 28 visit from Ole Miss when the app failed and weather didn’t cooperate, respectively.


What incentives do you offer fans who attend high school football games?

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