FNF Coaches Talk — Coaches Share Photos of Football Families, GoArmy Edge Football, USC’s Sprint Conditioning

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got three good topics for you.

1. Coaches Share Their Thoughts on Sharing Football with Family (FNF Coaches Twitter)

We always love to interact with coaches on Twitter, and we heard from a lot of coaches in the last day about a question we posed to our audience.

Thanks to all who took the time to respond. We’ll reach out to several for the purposes of the story, and we also want to share some photos that coaches sent us.

How do you share the high school football experience with your children?

2. U.S. Army Looks To Sports To Showcase Technology, Draw New Recruits (Front Office Sports)

We know many coaches are using the GoArmy Edge Football app, but one thing we didn’t realize is that the Army is using the app as a recruiting tool for high school football coaches.

Army’s ‘virtual walk-through’ technology allowed this year’s national champion LSU Tigers personnel to digitally replicate opposing teams’ play calls using a U.S. Army-built software system named GoArmy Edge.

“Some NFL teams had wanted to bring this back as a concept,” LSU Video Coordinator Doug Aucoin said last July. “When we were doing this renovation, it gave us an opportunity to carve out the real estate to put [GoArmy Edge] together.”

Army offers the technology to teams for free, with a dual goal: show its ability to develop cutting edge computer technology and also connect to high school and college athletes, from which the service draws a large number of recruits.

Robert Everett, subject matter expert and marketing coordinator for GoArmy Edge Football, also viewed GoArmy Edge as a recruiting tool for high school coaches. With the Army’s target audience ranging in age from 17 to 24-years-old, the software provides another layer to connect with prospective members.

In 2013, Everett was an assistant football coach and defensive coordinator for Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va. That year saw him coach the annual U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio at the Alamo Dome. It was also where he was introduced to a private, unreleased version of GoArmy Edge.

“Even though it wasn’t close to a finished product, I was able to connect what it could do,” Everett said. “[The Army] really opened my eyes into a different process that could allow me to make plays in a different way or reach players that haven’t been able to be reached in traditional methods.”

What apps are you using for the purposes of game-planning?

3. Beyond the weight room, South Carolina’s new strength coach is all about sprinting (The State)

South Carolina’s new strength and conditioning coach Paul Jackson has a philosophy that includes the incorporation of sprints two days a week.

Jackson’s approach to speed work is rooted in his experience at the Parisi Speed School in the early 2000s, where the former football player grew to appreciate the importance of development outside the weight room.

So what’s the big deal about sprinting, and how is it different than just getting a lot of running in?

“Most people who don’t have a track and field background, they look at running and they think running is all the same,” Jackson said. “And you got to differentiate between sprinting and running. So, when you’re conditioning or you’re doing anything, say, under 90% of your absolute best that you can do, for whatever reason — it’s because of fatigue, it’s because we did 20 reps, it’s because your effort — if for any reason you’re running less than, say, 90% of your absolute best, and when you’re looking at velocity, you’re thinking in terms of meters per second, for whatever distance you’re looking at.
“So that’s not gonna be sprinting, you’re not gonna be able to get faster running at those sub-max velocities, and you’re also not stressing the tissues the same way you will when you do run above those velocities.”

USC uses a system called Catapult to track players’ actions and biometrics.

Using that data, the Gamecock coaching staff noted halfway through this past season that skill players weren’t getting enough sprint work during practice — they set the threshold for sprinting at 80% or higher of max effort. That in turn led to soft tissue injuries.

Starting this week, when players reported back after the winter break, and before spring practice begins, Jackson said he already has a sprint program in place for guys to jump into.

“We will train four days a week. Two days will be those speed days we talked about, and two days will be more of a traditional conditioning days, and we progress those two days opposite. So our speed work, we’ll go from short to long where you’re working with shorter sprints, less volume, and eventually going longer sprints,” Jackson said.
“The conditioning does just the opposite. You start with longer, less intense — and by less intense I mean, it’s hard work, but it’s less meters per second. Slower might be a better word. So longer, slower and then those start to get shorter, faster. So as you get closer to football, those two days start to look more similar.”

How much of your offseason conditioning program includes sprints at game speed?

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