Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you enjoy the long weekend for July 4. Happy Independence Day!

1. The best football tradition for each Top 25 team (ESPN)

Tomorrow is July 4, a day rich with traditions like fireworks, cookouts and pool parties. At this time of year, many high school football coaches are looking to generate enthusiasm around their programs, and nothing helps do that better than starting some fun traditions for fans and players alike.

This story is a fun read heading into Independence Day. It’s a breakdown of the top traditions for each of college football’s top 25 teams.

Here are two of our favorites that can be applied at the high school football level.

1. Clemson
The team’s run down the hill into Memorial Stadium before kickoff is the obvious tradition that comes to mind, but the better one to focus on comes after the game — the one uninitiated observers seem to always get wrong, much to Clemson’s consternation. After each game, win or lose, Tigers fans pour onto the field. The coaches and players mingle, take pictures, sign autographs. But every year, at least once, Clemson fans get criticized for “storming the field” after a victory that wouldn’t seem to warrant such celebration. Nope, it’s just tradition.

Why not incorporate the fans into the postgame celebration? It will only make them more likely to return for more games.

Here’s another one that could work with Friday Night Lights.

13. Penn State
Playing in Happy Valley against Penn State is difficult enough because of the size of the crowd and how loud that crowd stays throughout the game. But, for whatever reason, it becomes that much more intimidating when the Nittany Lions hold a whiteout game at night. The entire crowd is decked out in white, on its feet, screaming and chanting, creating an incredible environment. The crowd gets so loud during these games, it has been known to shake the press box.

Of all of your team’s traditions, which is your favorite?

2. Perfect Hydration Partners with Arizona Head Football Coach Kliff Kingsbury (BEVNET)

Kliff Kingsbury has a track record of innovation and success as the master mind of the Air Raid offense. As one of the youngest head football coaches in the league and in his first year as head coach for Arizona, he will now partner with Perfect Hydration Alkaline Water.

Created with a mission to restore, replenish and rehydrate, Perfect Hydration aims to promote healthy living and a fitness-forward lifestyle. Kingsbury’s successful playing and coaching background as well as being a key architect in the Air Raid offense that’s taking college and pro football by storm gives Perfect Hydration a leading advocate for the brand.

Perfect Hydration is made up of 9.5+ pH alkaline water, purified to its cleanest form by a 9-stage filtration process, and enhanced through a proprietary alkalizing process and using electrolyte minerals including potassium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and magnesium sulfate, which help direct water (nutrients) to the areas of the body where it’s needed most. Perfect Hydration also proves to be much less acidic than most bottled water, so you can enjoy a light and refreshing taste while Perfect Hydration helps to restore and rebalance the body’s optimum balance.

What companies could you partner with to monitor your players’ nutrition and hydration?

3. UK players ‘blown away’ by mission trip to Ethiopia (Bowling Green Daily News)

Here’s an interesting story about a college team making a commitment to community service.

Jason Schlafer is the executive assistant athletics director at the University of Kentucky who has an adopted child from Ethiopia. His eyes were opened to the need when he started arranging for UK athletes to go on mission trips to see what the situation was like there due to the passion he had for the Ethiopian orphans.

Schlafer liked the way Ordinary Hero facilitated the trip and Putty says there are various ministry sites her trips always visit that include a feeding program on top of a mountain and visiting a trash dump community where the college athletes walk “right through the trash dump to smell and experience” the way kids live daily. They also visited an orphanage and took teenagers who had never been out of their village, been in a movie theater or even seen a movie to play arcade games and see the Avengers movie.

What type of activities does your team do to build a sense of community and service?

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!

About the author

Dan Guttenplan