FNF Coaches Talk — The Importance of Summer Conditioning, Texas Coach’s Core Philosophy, Memphis Coach’s Kaizen Philosophy

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here are a couple of stories that we’ve been talking about today.

1. Carriker Chronicles: Why the summer is the most crucial workout time (Omaha.com)

Former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker has a “Carriker Chronicles” video series, in which he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X’s and O’s and more.

This is music to the ears of many coaches, so we’re happy to pass along his opinion that the summer is the most important time of year for players to be dialed in on their training.

Then you come back, and you usually got about an eight-week summer conditioning period.
Now to me, when summer conditioning started — I’m always an intense guy. If you haven’t noticed, I’m always an intense guy, but I would always take it to another level.
Because winter conditioning, you’re trying to get as strong and as fast as you absolutely can in preparation for that upcoming football season next fall. But you don’t necessarily have to be in tip-top conditioning shape simply because the next thing you have is spring practice.

The difference between summer and spring workouts is the conditioning aspect. In the spring, players try to get stronger and faster, but they don’t worry about endurance because they don’t have to get through a full game. In the summer? Games are right around the corner.

This is the most intense conditioning and training period they’re going to have as far as everything. Speed, strength and conditioning all wrapped into one. Because the next thing they have is day in and day out, getting to knock people on their rear-ends and whip their rear-ends sideways and getting your butt sideways. How are you going to react?

How do you get your players to make a commitment to improving their conditioning in the summer?

2. Everyone’s important: John King’s core philosophy has led Longview to long-awaited heights (Dave Campbell’s Texas Football)

John King has logged a record of 168-36 as a head coach at Longview High (Texas). He first took over at Longview in 2004 after spending four years as Pat Collins’ offensive coordinator at West Ouachita High School (La.).

“He taught me how to treat people,” King said. “Whether it was a football player, a parent, a band member, or a cheerleader, it didn’t matter because they’re all important. Pat was really, really good at that, and made people feel good about the whole process.”

Those around the program now point to King’s ability to relate to even the smallest pieces of his program, and his commitment to emphasizing their importance, as one of the things that makes him so unique.

“One of my favorite things about him is if they’re passing something out after practice, he knows every single one of their names,” Longview News-Journal Lobo beat writer Hayden Henry said. “I’m sure a lot of coaches do, but Coach King will also have a joke about them. To see him interact like that, even with a ninth grade ‘b’ team football player, is special.
“He really knows his entire athletic program, and it’s bigger than just football. Seeing him interact with the athletes – male, female, any sport – is always pretty cool.”

How do you make sure you’re making everyone in your program feel important?

3. Memphis coach John Simon’s hands-on style is improving Tigers’ receiving corps (Commercial Appeal)

First-year Memphis wide receivers coach John Simon has a three-fold approach to coaching: Hands-on, high energy and focus on getting better instead of just finishing a task.

The last part stems from his favorite word: kaizen. It’s a Japanese business philosophy meaning continuous improvement, and it’s something Simon lives as well as preaches on the field.

“I’m just trying to get those guys to see if they can just change the one thing about themselves on the field as well as off it,” Simon said. “In five weeks of spring ball, if you attack one area of your game and master it every week, you’ve improved in five areas of your game.”

Simon was hired in January from Arizona State. His teaching style relies on reinforcing fundamentals and showing the why behind every drill.

Being hands-on also comes from his NFL stints with Tennessee and Washington as well as being a former schoolteacher. If his words are going to change behavior, the actions must back it up too.

What approach to teaching players works best for you?

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!