FNF Coaches Talk — Friday Night Lights Podcast, 10 Mental Health Strategies, High School Football Challenge

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

1. FNF Coaches Friday Night Lights Podcast: Watch Party w/ Coach Ryan Dieck (FNF Coaches Podcast)

We’re really excited about this one, and we like the way it turned out. In light of the current state of high school football, we figured now was a great time to go back and rewatch one of our favorite football shows, Friday Night Lights.

This special episode of the FNF Coaches podcast has Coach Ryan Dieck and Editor-in-Chief Dan Guttenplan talk about the “Pilot” episode of the hit NBC drama Friday Night Lights. We’ve always wanted to comb through this critically-acclaimed TV show and hear from the perspective of a real-life high school football coach.

How does the story of Coach Taylor and the town of Dillon, Texas, speak to the experiences of coaches in real life? Do we all have a Tim Riggins on our squad? Is there a Buddy Garrity in your ear every day?

Join us as we re-watch this uber-bingeable series on Hulu, and let us know your take on Twitter @fnfcoaches


This isn’t a football blog, but it’s one that can apply to athletes of all sports. Our friends at Honey Stinger have a great blog with inspirational stories from athletes at the top of their respective sports.

In a post that is particularly timely given the current situation related to coronavirus, Hive Gold athlete and Team USA wrestler Jenna Burkert shares how she builds her mental strength to tackle challenges from every day life to challenges on the mat.

We understand the disruption to every aspect of life has been difficult for everyone. Athletes are creatures of habit, so they may be struggling more than most.

We encourage you to read through all 10 strategies to build mental strength, but these two are particularly important with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

We have to get out of the mind frame of putting ourselves down. “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m not the best.” “I’ll never be that fast.”
With that attitude, you might be right. When your inner self says something negative, visualize a stop sign. Then, replace that negative thought with a positive one.

It’s easy to let your head go to these thoughts when so much is out of our control right now. It’s easy to watch the news and think, “This is so bad. It’s not getting better any time soon.” But try to redirect those thoughts into something positive.

And if you can’t do that …

I could break this down in wrestling and tell you exactly where I need to improve. But in all honesty, sometimes the most uncomfortable situation is receiving the wrong coffee at the coffee shop and not wanting to say anything because I don’t like conflict. Well, what a great time for me to work on speaking up for myself! Time to get uncomfortable.

None of us will be able to put it on cruise control and relax for a while. Better to accept that than fight it.


What resources are you seeking out to help with your mental health?

3. The High School Football Photo Challenge (Twitter)

Here’s another cool trend that started as a result of everybody being home and away from their respective football teams. Over the last few days, coaches have been posting one football photo that depicts their love for the game.


We love this social media outreach, and we encourage you to participate!

What have you been doing to keep your spirits up during this time?

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