FNF Coaches Talk — Oklahoma lays out plan for resuming football, milk jug workouts, bringing humor to social media

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoy these three stories.

1. Oklahoma state association lays out blueprint for returning to play (Tulsa World)

There’s so much uncertainty surrounding high school sports right now, so it’s somewhat refreshing to read about a state’s efforts to start getting back to normal rather than more cancellations and postponements.

On that note, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is looking ahead to a time when the coronavirus pandemic will subside and high school athletic activities can be resumed.

During Monday’s meeting of the board of directors, OSSAA director David Jackson said the staff is considering different plans “to start our fall activities” and hopes to disseminate data on what summer activities might look like.

In the meantime, the OSSAA has determined coaches and directors may provide activity-specific instruction to their respective students, according to a statement Monday on the OSSAA website.

Workouts and instructions may only be provided to participants by way of a virtual platform, the statement said.
The entire statement read:
“As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and the effects on activities and the safer-at-home restrictions continue to be in place, the OSSAA Staff has determined coaches and directors will be permitted to provide activity-specific instruction to their respective students. Workouts and instruction may only be provided to participants via a virtual platform. This would include virtual tryouts.
“We appreciate your patience as we navigate the changing circumstances.”


What do you think your state’s return to football will look like?

2. Iowa coach sending milk jug workout video, having push-up competitions (The Hawkeye)

Looking for new ideas for communicating with players and getting them to do workouts at home?

Burlington High (Iowa) football coach Zach Shay, like many other high school football coaches, was looking for a way to keep in contact with his student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep them engaged, help them stay in shape while at the same time practicing social distancing.

So Shay went back to his roots, pulling some ideas former Iowa football coach Hayden Fry used when Shay played for the Hawkeyes back in the 1990s.

With a helping hand from head wrestling coach and assistant football coach Matt Seabold, Shay has come up with a way to stay in touch with his players, keep them motivated and help them find innovated ways to stay in shape when the school and the weight room are off limits and social distancing is required.

“Obviously everybody is in quarantine right now and not allowed to get together or go to the weight room, so to keep them active we came up with some creative ways to do that,” Shay said.
“We bounced ideas off other college coaches and high school coaches to see what they were doing,” Seabold said. “I talked to my coaches up at Central College to see what they were doing. We came up with some online videos we send players every week to do workouts at home using milk jugs and other things for guys that don’t have access to weights. We’re encouraging them to use what they can.”

Every Sunday, Shay and Seabold get together to make new videos for the coming week, whether it be at Shay’s house or Bracewell Stadium. Usually, Shay’s wife, Kayla, takes the video on her cellphone.

The first video Shay and Seabold came up with was in Shay’s garage. There, they filled a pair of milk jugs full of sand and demonstrated how to do makeshift workouts, doing lunges and lifts to keep their muscles active.

“We just want to keep the kids active and keep them competitive,” Shay said. “We are just trying to find something for them to do to stay active for 60 minutes a day or so.”
“We make four videos every Sunday and come up with some kind of competition to keep them engaged and competitive,” Seabold said. “We want to make sure they are still active and growing and not just sitting around being lazy and not getting better. We are trying to find any edge we can to keep them moving and growing and getting better every day.”

Other competitions they have tried include pushups.

Shay said he came up with a lot of the ideas from Fry, who came up with something new and unique for every day of the week to keep his players engaged and motivated.

“Coach Fry had Mental Mondays, Tough Tuesdays, Working Wednesdays, Perfect Thursdays and Focus Fridays,” Shay said. “We call it ‘Farm Strong Friday.’ This is a great way to create conversations and keep our guys engaged and stay in touch with them.”


What creative ideas have you come up with to keep your players working during this stoppage?

3. Virginia high school coach brings humor to quarantine workout videos (WUSA9)

One high school coach has a message for the world while in quarantine during the coronavirus crisis, “Get off the couch.”

J.C. Hall, head football and track coach at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia, has brought humor to life in quarantine. He creates workout videos to keep his athletes and adults in shape.

“Some people don’t know where their next paycheck is going to come from. It’s just my way to shed things in a different light and tried to add a little bit of laughter to somebody’s day.”

What humor are you bringing to this situation for your players?

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