Welcomes back, Coach. These three stories caught our eyes today.
1. In COVID-19 year, high school football fans face new game-night plans (The Florida Times-Union)
If your season is starting this week (or soon after), you may want to take note of these plans by a Florida school to set up the bleacher section for fans.
At Clay High (Jacksonville, Fla.) this year, before fans can watch football plays take shape on the field, they will have to keep their eyes on the X’s when looking for seats.
As high school football prepares for kickoff amid the looming presence of the coronavirus, administrators in Northeast Florida are grappling with the challenge of limiting capacity and regulating game-night plans as fans climb into the seats for the opening week.
“We’ve had to be very creative,” Clay athletic director Jared Moses said.
At Clay’s high school stadium, X marks the spot. Where the X’s are sitting, spectators ought not.
That, at least, is part of the plan at Clay, where large X’s litter the bleachers at regularly-spaced intervals. Fans are supposed to remain in the spots without X’s in order to maintain a 6-foot physical distance and thus to diminish the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
Blue Devils players even participated in a video on social media instructing fans about the seating plans at the Green Cove Springs school and the procedures for exiting the stadium, clearing from the bottom to the top after the game ends.
Read the entire story about the measures a Florida school is taking to ensure the safety of fans.
How can you be proactive to ensure fans’ safety during games?
2. Nike and the NFL Create Online Training Program for High School Football Players (Sport Techie)
The NFL has partnered with Nike to develop an online training program for high school football players called 11-Online. Athletes can visit 11-Online’s website and select which position they play to watch videos of position-specific football drills taught by NFL athletes, coaches and Nike trainers.
Athletes looking to stay in shape during the coronavirus pandemic will now be able to get coaching from star football players including Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey.
All 32 NFL teams participated in the platform, which provides instruction for all 11 football positions from NFL players. Other athletes offering training include Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, George Kittle, Denzel Perryman, Taylor Rapp and Deshaun Watson.
Some of the programming includes NFL commentator Nate Burleson walking through one-on-one drills that includes a series of pushups and planks.
If you’re a defensive lineman, Donald will provide you with his pass rushing secrets and ways he likes to train in the off season.
In the running back section, Barkley takes you through his footwork and ball security drills to help you be a better ball carrier.
In addition to positional training, the hub also provides mental workouts led by psychologist Michael Gervais of the Seattle Seahawks.
What type of virtual training platforms have you used with your athletes?
3. Will S&C Be the HS Athlete’s Next Recruiting Weapon? (TeamBuildr)
We’ve all seen the way recruiting has been impacted by the pandemic. Players have fewer opportunities to put positive plays on film, particularly those players in states where football has been postponed until the spring season.
College recruiters will need to expand their capability to evaluate athletes from a distance. With access to less game film, showcases and camps, these recruiters are going to use any visual asset they can gain access to in order to assess how an athlete is progressing and whether the athlete is ready to potentially compete at the next level.
Filming athlete lifts, movements and drills is an athlete’s opportunity to create new content for recruiters. While it’s not game film, a college program may know that proficiency in certain movements will transfer well onto the field or court. Showcasing a “final product” of working through a well-designed, well-progressed strength and conditioning program can better help an athlete signal to a college coach that they are well-adapted to a collegiate-style S&C program and will ensure they have physical characteristics to assist the coach develop them into a skilled college athlete.
Read the TeamBuildr blog about using film from the weight room to lure college recruiters.
Have you considered sending film of players in the gym to college recruiters?
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