Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here’s our collection of stories for today.
1. AC In The AM: New Coaching Staff Sending Clear Messages (MiamiDolphins.com)
Coaches — We read a lot of stories about new coaches settling in to their first season with cliches and standard coach-speak. “We want to change the culture, create a winning environment.”
We generally don’t recommend those stories because if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. This is a pretty good one with Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores.
I have carefully watched first-year Head Coach Brian Flores during his press conferences and on the practice field and what I have seen is a man comfortable in his new role, a man who wisely measures each word before speaking and who has clearly instilled a sense of discipline and commitment in his players. No, don’t expect many long-winded quotes or flashy one-liners. Flores comes from the Bill Belichick school of disclosure. In other words: Keep it in house. Keep it close to the vest. I can deal with this if the trade off is a highly efficient, well-organized plan and that certainly seems to be the case.
Some examples of the commitment and discipline: The players don’t jog from drill to drill; they flat out sprint. Make a poor play and push-ups may just be on your to-do list. They even run gassers at the end of practice.
Then there’s that TNT sign on the side of the end zone at the practice field. The letters mean Takes No Talent and when a player makes a mental gaffe, a pre-snap penalty, maybe a botched exchange between the center and quarterback, he runs to that sign and touches it. It’s all about not beating yourself, about focusing on the little things, and about doing away with all the senseless penalties we have witnessed far too often in recent seasons.
There is a wide-open feeling on this team. Wide open in that very few starting jobs are secure and wide open because there are so many opportunities for young players, drafted or undrafted, to crack the 53-man roster. Last season means little to these new coaches. It’s all about today and tomorrow and, in some respects, projecting long term.
What is one piece of advice you’d give a new coach during his first summer and preseason?
2. LSU football’s new power play: How strength AND speed is giving a true measure of Tigers (The Advocate)
Analytics and tablets are finding their way into all of our weight rooms, so better to embrace it than fight the new technological advances.
In order to develop an athlete’s power — a workout regimen called “velocity-based training” in strength and conditioning circles — you can’t just slap a couple of weight plates on either side of a barbell and have the athlete start lifting.
You have to know how fast the athlete is lifting.
Hardly a foot long and a few inches wide, the camera in the LSU football team’s weight room is connected to a cable box-sized plastic container that has a white logo of an owl on it.
The LSU weight room only has one of these devices, called a “Perch,” while the strength program works through a trial phase with the device’s creators. But the goal is to have 22 fully operational devices by July.
The Perch locates the barbell and tracks the bar’s movement in meters per second — or, to continue the science lesson, the velocity, which is paired with the amount of weight on the bar to calculate how much power someone is generating.
And when compared to the technology the LSU strength program was previously using, the Perch device will allow LSU to have one of the most efficient and effective velocity-based training programs in college athletics.
LSU trains for absolute strength weekly, Moffitt said, but in their power-based workouts, players are trying to lift an amount of weight in a certain amount of time.
And since velocity-based training began, strength professionals have been developing new technologies to measure that kind of power in the most accurate and efficient way.
How are you tracking your athletes’ gains in the weight room?
3. The Case for Allowing Schools to Make Scholarship Offers Public (SI.com)
Coaches — Here’s a suggestion from this writer: Allow schools to publicize when they’ve offered a player a scholarship.
In the current college football recruiting universe, a scholarship offer doesn’t really and truly exist until scholarship papers arrive via FedEx the day before the start of the December signing period. This fact and the NCAA rules that restrict school employees from commenting on players they’re recruiting have been used by coaches and by recruits to jerk one another around. Coaches make offers that they’ll later claim weren’t “committable.” Meanwhile, high school players will tell reporters they have offers from schools that never offered them. This is often accepted as fact, and programs later endure negative headlines for getting “beaten” on a player they never offered in the first place.
It’s not a bad idea. Make the offers public record and then the colleges will have to come under scrutiny if they decide to rescind the offer.
Bringing this process into the sunshine could help both sides of the equation, and some changes in the past few years have created an environment where this suggestion is actually the next logical step. The schools have tried to adjust the NCAA’s rules regarding publicizing recruiting to keep up with changes in technology. The rules originally existed to keep the schools with the biggest followings from using the intensity of the coverage of their programs to generate copy that tied a recruit to a particular school.
Coaches — How would you feel about a rule that requires college coaches to make their scholarship offers public?
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!