FNF Coaches Talk

FNF Coaches — The Mental Side of Football, LSU and Perch, 8-Man Football on the Rise

Happy Friday, Coaches! We hope you enjoy these three stories before the weekend.

1. Conquering the mental side of sports (Lima News)

We’re always interested in stories talking about mastering the mental side of the game, and this one fits the bill.

Bruce Boguski, president of The Winner’s Edge, a peak performance consulting firm, was at Allen East High School (Ohio) last week speaking to athletes and their parents about the mental side of sports. He told the Allen East athletes about how to get into the zone.

“In order to do that, you have to control three things: your thoughts, your body and your emotions. Emotions are the key,” he said.

Getting in the zone can vary among each athlete as they prepare for a sport.

“Some people like it warm, some cold. Some like music pumped in when they’re playing; others like it very quiet. That has an effect on how you’re going to perform. Some are better in the morning than they are in the afternoon, and there are ways you can adjust your bodily clock,” he said.

Many times athletes say and do things that are self-defeating.

“A lot of times things they say, body language, not practicing the mental part,” he said. “Actually, the mental part, I believe, is more important than the physical part and yet I’ll ask them when I first start out, how much time do you spend working on the mental part of your game? And most of them don’t even know, and they’ll say 10 or 15%. But I’ll ask them a question before that. I’ll ask them how much of your sport is mental, and they’ll say, 80 to 90%. They’re only working on 15% of the time doesn’t make sense, and so I’ll teach them things they can actually use in study hall, before they go to sleep at night, visualization techniques that every great athlete uses,” Boguski said.

In what ways do you help your athletes prepare for the mental challenges that come with playing football?

2. LSU Used Big Data In The Weight Room To Return To College Football’s Biggest Stage (Forbes)

We’ve done stories on velocity-based training in the past. In fact, we’ve specifically featured this company that worked with the LSU football team in 2019.

It all began when the three co-founders of Perch reached out to LSU Football in a cold email to inquire if the SEC powerhouse might be interested in learning more about their product; a software-enabled gym hardware that uses machine learning to track an athlete’s movements during weightlifting and provide the user with instantaneous feedback. The email caught the attention of strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, who responded with a call to Jacob Rothman, Perch’s CEO, and Co-Founder. During their discussion, Rothman and his co-founders encouraged LSU to test their device, that collects data for “velocity-based training”, and, simply put, to bring data to LSU’s weightlifting efforts in order to make the sessions and sets as efficient as possible.

“Power is how fast you do something,” Moffitt explained to The Advocate’s Brooks Kubena. “It’s the amount of work you do per unit of time.”

As we know, in football, power is everything. It is the difference between a running back getting a three-yard gain or a 65-yard touchdown or a lineman driving his counterpart off the line of scrimmage in his preferred direction and subsequently impacting the play to help his team have a favorable result. The Perch device uses its high-tech camera, which adjusts automatically depending on the workouts that are selected on the tablet device used to operate them. The device is pointed directly at the players undergoing squat workouts and it rotates on a motor towards the weight bench when it is observing bench press workouts.

“What we’re doing is essentially making a weight rack smart,” Rothman told WSJ, who started working on the company with engineers Nate Rodman and Jordan Lucier in July 2016, according to Crunchbase. Perch was one of 10 companies to be a part of Techstars NYC’s 2018 program and gained further notoriety this year when it won the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference pitch competition for the sports technology track.

What piece of new technology or software are you using to improve performance in the weight room?

3. Number of 8-Man Programs on the Rise (The Ellsworth American)

The number of Maine high schools playing eight-man football is likely to more than double this fall, continuing the transition from the traditional 11-man game at many of the state’s smaller schools.

Eight-man football, which debuted in Maine last fall with 10 teams, could expand to 21- 24 teams next season. Eleven schools have indicated to the Maine Principals’ Association they are seriously considering making the switch from the 11-man version of the sport, with three other schools viewed as potential candidates. If 24 teams were playing eight-man football, that would represent nearly one-third of all Maine high school football programs.

Eleven schools have indicated to the Maine Principals’ Association they are seriously considering making the switch from the 11-man version of the sport, with three other schools viewed as potential candidates. If 24 teams were to play eight-man football, that would represent nearly one-third of all Maine high school football programs.

The overriding factor for schools switching to the eight-man game, which reduces three starters on both offense and defense, is that they can’t attract enough players to play the 11-man version safely and competitively.

The growth of eight-man football has been so rapid that the MPA Football Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend making it a two-class sport with separate championships for large-school and small-school teams.

How do you feel about the shift to 8-man football at smaller schools?

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

 

About the author

Dan Guttenplan