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Coaching Management VOL. XVIII NO. 10

FOOTBALL

POSTSEASON

EDITION

2010

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Becoming a media savvy coach

Using Shared Leadership

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Strength Training at Boise State


Circle No. 100


CONTENTS

Coaching Management Football Edition Postseason 2010 Vol. XVIII, No. 10

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COVER STORY

LOCKER ROOM

Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Delaying scholarship offers … Missouri mandates summer dead period … High school girls’ flag football takes off in Florida … Montana State linemen head to the ranch … Instituting a yoga training program.

In the Spotlight

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dealing with the media can be a major challenge for a coach. But managing that relationship is critical in today’s culture of 24/7 coverage.

Leadership

United We Lead

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

If you’re counting on team captains to make a difference on your squad, consider this concept: shared leadership.

Jeremy Gold, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Strength & Conditioning

NOW PLAYING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 On the cover: University of Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham speaks with a reporter at a game this season. Whittingham and other coaches discuss working with the media in our cover story beginning on page 20. COVER PHOTO: TOM SMART/UNIV. OF UTAH SPORTS INFORMATION

Teaching Toughness

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Boise State University’s rise into college football’s elite is a testament to its strength program, which emphasizes speed, functional power, and a team-first attitude.

FOOtball FACILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Team Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Strength & CONDITIONING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

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POWER RACKs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 More Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 ADVERTISERS DIRECTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Publisher Mark Goldberg Editor-in-Chief Eleanor Frankel Associate Editors Abigail Funk, Dennis Read Assistant Editors R.J. Anderson, Kenny Berkowitz, Patrick Bohn, Mike Phelps Special Projects Dave Wohlhueter

Marketing Director Sheryl Shaffer Business Manager Pennie Small Administrative Assistant Sharon Barbell Circulation Director Dave Dubin Circulation Manager Sandra Earle Ad Materials Coordinator Mike Townsend

Art Director Pamela Crawford Production Director Maria Bise Production Assistant Natalie Couch Graphic Artist Trish Landsparger Prepress Manager Neal Betts

The Coaching Management Football edition is pub­ l­ished in November and April by MAG, Inc. and is distributed free to college and high school coaches in the United States and Canada.

Copyright © 2010 by MAG, Inc. All rights reserved. Text may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without the permission of the pub­lisher. Un­­solicited materials will not be returned unless

accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Coaching Management, P.O. Box 4806, Ithaca, N.Y. 14852. Printed in the U.S.A.

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Advertising Sales Associates (607) 257-6970 Diedra Harkenrider, ext. 24 Pat Wertman, ext. 21 Business and Editorial Offices 31 Dutch Mill Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 257-6970, Fax (607) 257-7328 info@MomentumMedia.com Mailing lists for Coaching Management Football are provided by the Clell Wade Coaches Directory.

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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD

Should athletes be receiving college scholarship offers before their senior year of high school? A lot of people don’t think so, and if a proposal by the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet passes, coaches will no longer be able to offer such unofficial commitments. The Cabinet has drawn up new rules that would prohibit schools from making verbal

scholarship offers before July 1 of an athlete’s senior year of high school. Colleges would also be required to have five quarters of a high school recruit’s transcript on file before any scholarship promise could be presented. There are currently no NCAA rules specifically governing unofficial verbal offers. Petrina Long, Senior Associate Athletic Director at UCLA and Chair of the Cabinet, said that tying scholarship offers to established academic performance was a crucial part

of the legislation. “We felt that the fifth term is a point at which someone can evaluate whether a young person is on track to meet [a particular institution’s] academic entrance criteria,” she told The NCAA News. Coaches’ reactions to the proposal have been mixed. Some welcome the additional time to make both athletic and academic evaluations. “I think the NCAA is probably right: It’s gotten out of control with all the early offers,” Middle Tennessee State University Assistant Coach David Bibee told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Our sport has created our own monster by offering so many kids early. But really, what are those early offers really worth? All us coaches think we have to do it simply because if another school is offering a kid with talent when he’s a sophomore, you worry about losing out if you don’t do the same thing. “Kids and the parents are different now, and they freak out if they’re not getting offers by their junior year,” he continued. “They’ll take the first solid offer they get instead of really looking at everything. Maybe this rule would slow things down a bit.”

If a proposal by the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet passes, schools would be prohibited from making verbal scholarship offers before July 1 of an athlete’s senior year of high school. Above, top recruits such as Ronald Powell, left, compete in the 2010 U.S. Army AllAmerican Bowl in San Antonio.

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plan to follow the rules don’t follow the rules whether we can monitor them or not,” she says. “There has to be an agreement among coaches and administrators that the spirit of what we’re doing is as important as the rule itself, and the spirit is clearly that we do not want this behavior to go on.” The proposal will work its way through the NCAA legislative process this school year and could be rejected or modified at several points along the way. The measure will likely face its first vote in January and could be in effect as early as next summer. Another area of recruiting that has grabbed recent headlines is oversigning, the practice of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools offering scholarships to more than the 25 players they are allowed to bring in each season. Players who signed National Letters of Intent at two different Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools were asked in August to “gray shirt” their 2010 seasons, meaning their scholarships will not take effect until the second semester starts in January 2011. They have to pay their way through school for the first semester and can’t practice with the team.

Other coaches feel there’s no need for the NCAA to step in. “I think recruiting is okay as long as the parents and the high school coach are in control,” University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown told the Austin American-Statesman. “If a guy wants to commit as a sophomore and somebody offers him, it’s like a young man leaving college to go to the NFL or to play in the NBA. Who are we to say that’s not best?”

This came on the heels of a new SEC rule that was put in place last summer after media reports that schools were offering scholarships to 30 players or more, figuring some would fail to qualify academically or otherwise be unable to play. Since NCAA rules address only how many scholarship players a school brings in each season, not how many offers it makes, the SEC stepped in and established a limit of 28 new scholarship offers per team beginning in 2010.

Brown also expressed concern about the difficulty in enforcing such a rule, which Long acknowledged can only occur if all parties have the same goal in mind. “People who don’t

While newspaper columnists cry out, rules changes appear unlikely. None of the 40-plus NCAA legislative recruiting proposals made last year address the subject.

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ERIC GAY/AP PHOTO

Slowing Down Recruiting


Circle No. 101


LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD Summer Vacation In the ongoing debate over whether high school athletes should have a mandatory break during the summer, Missouri is the latest state to take a stand. Earlier this year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) passed a bylaw mandating a nine-day “dead period” for all schools over the summer and setting a limit of 25 contact days between athletes and coaches. Both measures went into effect this past summer. During the dead period, athletes and coaches are not allowed to use school facilities, including the weightroom. In addition, coaches cannot have contact with their athletes on or off campus. Tony Severino, Head Coach at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, believes the MSHSAA’s move was the correct one. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest thing they ever did,” he says. “At first, I thought, ‘Man, we’re giving these kids more time off?’ But now, I really hope they keep it. It allows kids to be kids for nine days and coaches to spend more time with their families.” Severino says the year-long commitment to football tires out his players, and the dead period provides a much-needed break. “You start building a football team in January, and that continues through the winter, spring, and summer,” he says, “Kids can bounce back from that work physically, but I believe everyone needs to get away from the mental grind at some point.”

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Coaching Management

understand the value of staying in shape.” Serverino also made sure he delivered a positive message of reinforcement to his players before the break. “I told them to give their bodies and minds a chance to recover, but not to let their training lapse completely,” he says. “I knew some guys would work out on their own, but I stressed that it was most important they came back refreshed and ready to go.” It wasn’t just the players who reaped the benefits of the dead period. The coaching staff had a chance to re-group as well. “We had our break right after minicamp,” Severino says. “It was the first time I was able to take the time to really go through and evaluate what the team had done over the previous two weeks.” MSHSAA rules do not specify when schools have to take the break. Severino says it’s important to make sure the timing is right. “Ours was from July 24 to Aug. 1, and by that point, we knew who was going to

continue to play for us,” he says. “If you schedule it earlier in the summer, it might cause a younger player who’s undecided to over-think whether or not they want to play.”

A Brand New Experience The first time Jason McEndoo branded a calf—with his future in-laws watching—he had no idea what he was doing. On his second attempt, he began to get the hang of it, and by the third, he felt a new sense of confidence. He’s done it every year since, and when he started coaching at Montana State University, he invited his offensive linemen to join him. “I have players from all over the country, and some of them have never even seen a cow up close,” says McEndoo, who is in his eighth year as Offensive Line Coach for the Bobcats after playing professionally for the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints. “This is a chance for them to experience something new

and take on a different kind of challenge. It’s a time to bond, get to know one another, and celebrate the end of the school year together.” Each spring, after an hour drive from Bozeman, players arrive at the Rambl-J Ranch at about 10 a.m., when they meet McEndoo’s mother- and father-in-law, who have been ranching there for 15 years. About 300 calves need to be branded, most of them two or three months old and ranging from 100 to 170 pounds. To start, the players watch as a couple of professional cowboys rope the calves. Then, working in pairs, the MSU athletes try it themselves, holding the calves’ front and back legs while cowboys brand and vaccinate the calves. It’s labor-intensive, exhausting work, and when the job is done after five hours, everyone relaxes with a wellearned steak dinner. “The calves are stronger than they look,” says McEndoo. “They don’t sit still, and they kick hard. It takes brute

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keith gard photography

There was concern among coaches that the break would hurt off-season conditioning, as athletes might lose the desire to continue to work out. But Severino says that worry is unfounded. “If they’re that kind of player, they’re going to slack off anyway,” he says. “You have to build a work ethic into kids so they

Every high school in Missouri, including Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, above, was forced to institute a nine-day “dead period” over the summer. Rockhurst’s Head Coach, Tony Severino, supports the new mandate. “It allows kids to be kids for nine days and coaches to spend more time with their families,” he says.


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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD strength to hold them, and you’ve definitely got to have some muscle behind you. But there’s a lot of technique and teamwork involved, too. Our guys figure out pretty quickly they need to rely on one another if they’re going to succeed.” For McEndoo, branding is a way to take players out of their comfort zone and force them to interact in a new way. He watches how they choose their partners, divide the work, and conquer a new challenge together. Three months later, when they return to Bozeman for preseason training, he can see how their day on the ranch changed them. “There’s a direct correlation between branding and their work on the field,” McEndoo says. “Going through an experience like that makes their situational awareness much

sharper. It’s an environment they’re not used to, but the connection is clear. In branding, there are a lot of things you need to pay attention to all at once, and on the offensive line, you have to be aware of everything going on around you and always remember to block your man.” Players start discussing the branding trip at the beginning of the season, and though attendance isn’t mandatory, no one misses it. For players, it’s the event that marks the end of classes, and for McEndoo, it’s the kind of organized activity that encourages players to work together as a team. “We have seniors who have been doing this for three or four years working alongside underclassmen,” he says. “It’s understandable that some freshmen might feel a little

At Montana State University, offensive linemen celebrate the end of each school year with a trip to the Rambl-J Ranch, where they work with professional cowboys to brand about 300 calves. The trip takes the players away from their comfort zone and forces them to work together to overcome a unique challenge.

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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD apprehensive, especially the ones who come from back East. But the players who’ve done this before take the younger guys under their wings. They show them some techniques, and once the new guys get over their nerves, they jump right in there. “This rounds out their college education with a true Montana experience,” McEndoo continues. “It’s something our players will talk about long after they’ve graduated.”

Carrying the Flag When Miramar (Fla.) High School played Tampa’s Alonso High School in a state semifinal last season, the game looked like countless other football playoff contests. Two teams with one loss between them faced off for the right to advance to the championship game. When the last seconds ticked off the clock, Alonso left victorious, and the Miramar players were crushed. Their goal of winning another state championship was denied, and they knew it would take a long time before the sting of the defeat would subside. Then the girls put on dresses and went to the prom.

pat carter/ap photo

Unlike in most states, high school football playoff games in Florida are not reserved for boys. Every spring, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) holds a girls’ flag football playoff, capping the season for a sport that continues to grow in popularity. “It’s a rising and promising sport,” says Damon Cogdell, who has won state championships as Head Coach of the Miramar girls’ flag football team and boys’ tackle football team. “The girls are very competitive, and there’s actually quite a bit of contact. I think it could become a collegiate sport someday.” Cogdell isn’t the only one excited about girls’ flag football. The FHSAA first sanctioned the

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sport in 2003 with 92 teams competing. This season, nearly 200 teams and more than 5,000 girls are expected to participate. The Anchorage (Alaska) School District also recognizes girls’ flag football as a varsity sport, with eight teams playing during the fall and games being held immediately preceding varsity boys’ games. Cogdell has had no problem finding enough players, carrying about 25 girls on the varsity squad and another 25 on j.v. “Most of the girls play other sports, and a lot of them are basketball players,” he says. “We play the same season as track and field, so it’s tough to get some of the faster girls to play. On the other hand, I’ve also had some fast girls who probably should have been running track, but they wanted to play football instead.”

girls,” he says. “I have to use a different tone of voice at certain times and not be as fiery as I am with the boys. “It wasn’t a big adjustment for me,” Cogdell continues. “I have two daughters and a wife, so I knew I had to change my approach.” Coaching the girls has even helped Cogdell when he is on the field with the boys in the fall. “I’ve become more poised and more calm on the sidelines,” he says. “If a ref made a bad call during a flag football game, I would get upset and the girls would come over and say, ‘Don’t worry about it, Coach—we’ll get the next one.’ I’ve carried that approach over to the boys’ team.”

According to Cogdell, the two teams are close. The girls will help out the boys’ team and the boys do the same for the girls. And most of the players on the boys’ team attend the girls’ games. “There’s a respect there,” he says, “almost a brother-sister type of thing. “I’ve even had a couple of girls who could have played with the boys,” Cogdell continues. “But most parents don’t want their daughters playing against the guys, so that hasn’t happened yet.” Despite his appreciation of the game, Cogdell understands that coaches who haven’t seen interscholastic girls’ flag football might be skeptical about making it a varsity sport. He

The FHSAA uses the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association flag football rule book with minor modifications. The game is played seven-onseven on a field 80 yards long and 40 yards wide with four 12-minute quarters of running time. There is punting, but no place-kicking. PATs are scrimmage plays, and instead of receiving a kickoff, teams take possession at their own 14yard line. On the surface, the game appears similar to that played by boys in summer passing leagues, but according to Cogdell, simply copying that style won’t cut it. “There are a lot more running plays in the girls’ game,” he says. “The guys have stronger arms and they can complete deeper passes, so the girls’ game has a lot more pitch backs and quick passes.” Practice sessions are much more similar, with the girls practicing an hour and 45 minutes to two hours a day using the same basic structure as the boys. But Cogdell says he has taken a different approach with communication. “I have to be more patient with the

The Miramar (Fla.) High School girls’ flag football team, above, advanced to the state semifinals last year before falling to Alonso High School from Tampa. The sport, which was first sanctioned in the state in 2003, has taken off, with 200 teams and 5,000 girls expected to participate this spring.

Coaching Management

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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD was too. “When I first started coaching, I figured I’d just go out to practice for 30 or 40 minutes a day and collect my supplement,” he says. “But when I got out there, I found a bunch of young ladies who were eager to play football and wanted to win. I’m sure any coach who tries it out will like it.”

Breathing Easy When Carlos Valenzuela, Head Coach at Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, Calif., took part in a yoga session as part of a school-wide freshman physical education program last year, he figured it would be a waste of time. He was wrong. “It wasn’t what I expected,” Valenzuela says. “I’m used to the yoga stuff you see on TV, and this was more about the

Above, players from Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, Calif., participate in a training session with a yoga instructor. Head Coach Carlos Valenzuela instituted the program after participating in a yoga session at school and despite some initial hesitation, his players have found it to be beneficial both on and off the field. “Yoga gives each player time when it’s just about him, and teaches him how to be relaxed and calm,” Valenzuela says.

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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD focus and relaxation aspect of it. We did some stretching and got our hearts pumping. After we finished, the trainer told us to slow our breathing by visualizing our stomachs and breathing from them and releasing air out. It sounded like mumbojumbo to me. “Then all of a sudden, I stopped breathing hard,” he continues. “People always tell you to control your breathing, but no one teaches you how to do it.”

Once he’d experienced the benefits firsthand, Valenzuela realized how much yoga could help his players. “When you’re at practice, the players are usually running or trying to catch their breath,” he says. “So what I say goes in one ear and out the other. I saw that these exercises would be a good way to get the players calmed down so they could listen better.” The yoga trainer agreed to work with the team for an hour after school on Mon-

days during the season, but Valenzuela admits the players didn’t take the sessions seriously at first. “I think they were concerned about their friends teasing them,” he says. “So they were in the room laughing and joking around. As a result, a lot of them couldn’t do the exercises properly.” But like their coach, once the players began seeing results, they bought into the training. “After a couple of weeks, we started doing the breathing exercises before games,” Valenzuela says. “The first time we used it, we had a pretty good game. Then the guys came back on Monday for practice and they were zoned in.” The rewards aren’t limited to the playing field. “Some of these kids have a lot going on at home, and they tell me they do the breathing exercises at night to help them get to sleep,” Valenzuela says.

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While Valenzuela appreciates the way yoga helped his team perform better as a group, the long-term benefits mean even more. “I did this to provide an opportunity for my players that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” he says. “In football, you’re always stressing the team concept, but you have to focus on the individual as well. Yoga gives each player time when it’s just about him, and teaches him how to be relaxed and calm.” The school dropped funding for the yoga program this year, but Valenzuela worked with a new instructor to continue the training. He also says by devoting a few weeks of time with a yoga trainer, any coach can learn how to teach the breathing exercises themselves.

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While some athletes may balk at the idea, Valenzuela says, as a coach, you simply have to make sure players understand yoga is an important component of your program. “I don’t give my players a choice about doing it,” he says. “You need to tell your athletes that they’re in a program, and yoga is a part of that program just like running, lifting, and film study. Once the older guys buy into it, they’ll help keep the younger players focused on it as well.”

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Q&A

Jeremy Gold

Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

After spending seven years as an assistant coach with four college programs, Jeremy Gold was ready for a change. The endless hours spent on the road recruiting were taking their toll, so Gold took a bold step. He left college football to become Head Coach at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., then the state’s largest school and second winningest program. His Pioneer debut in 2007 not only marked the first time he served as a head coach, but also the first time he coached at the high school level. Gold branched out further in 2008 when he was named Defensive Line Coach for the USA Football Junior

CM: What was the toughest part of making the transition to high school football when you started at Pioneer? Gold: It was definitely having to change the way I relate to players. I have to nurture these guys. There is no hugging in college football, but in high school football, you have to love these kids because they’re fragile. They’re children. They’re not there to just play football. You have to be willing to help them with their academics and other activities. How do you nurture younger players? I spend one-on-one time with them. If

National Team that won the first International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship the following summer. The Team USA defense allowed only three points in three games and only once allowed an opponent inside its 20-yard line. During his time at Pioneer, Gold has led his squad to a Southeastern Conference title and coached 46 all-league players. He also serves as a Community Assistant at the school, helping with school security and administrative and faculty needs.

the coaching staff has gotten after them a little bit or they’ve had a difficult day at practice, I put my arm around them and talk about what we were looking for. Or I may make a phone call at night to say, “Hey, Johnny, how are you doing? I know you had a rough day of practice, but this is what I was trying to get through to you. I hope you understand, and let’s have a great day tomorrow.” What did you have to learn when you became a head coach? Learning to delegate has probably been the hardest thing, and I’m certainly not

the best at it. I’m still learning. I tend to believe that if you want something done, it’s best to do it yourself. But I also know I have a great staff, and I’m learning that I have to trust them to do their jobs. How do you decide what to delegate? The first thing I do is delegate areas where my assistants have a strength or special knowledge, especially within their position assignments. Then there are areas that I share with the assistants, such as discipline and academics. If a player has a problem in one of these areas, I usually have the position coach handle it. But if the player isn’t responding well and there’s a second or third incident, then I’ll get involved. How do you prepare your players for college? I tell them that when I was a college recruiter, the first thing I’d want to see was the player’s academic transcript. If his grades weren’t where they needed to be, I’d tell the coach I didn’t even need to speak with the player because he wasn’t the kind of kid we were looking to recruit.

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jonathan knight

Since taking over at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., Head Coach Jeremy Gold has won a Southeastern Conference title and coached 46 all-league players. Above, running back Terrell Moran splits two defenders in an early-season win over Dexter High School.

What have you done to help your players academically? We have study tables set up for players between the end of school and beginning of practice. All of our freshmen are there along with any other players who have a grade point average below 2.5. They may not complete all their homework there, but it gives them a good start, so when they get out of practice they’re able to complete it in a reasonable amount of time. Then they can get some rest and be ready for the next day.


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Q&A How did you get involved with the USA Football Junior National Team? When I coached college football, I made a lot of contacts, which paid off during my second year here. I got an e-mail from Team USA Head Coach Chuck Kyle, who was friends with a couple of coaches who knew me. I thought it was spam because I had never heard of the USA Football Junior National Team. But I read it anyway. And the more I read the more interested I became in being part of the team. I called Coach Kyle and said I was interested but I wanted to know a little more. After 60 seconds of talking with him, I said, “Sign me up.�

You were one of 51 high school coaches to attend the 11th annual NFL-USA Football Summit in July. What did you get out of those meetings? It was very educational, especially concerning health awareness and concussions. When I started as a high school coach, we had several kids who would say, “Hey, Coach, I have a headache.� And your first response is to say, “Play through it.� But this summit opened my eyes. They showed a video about Zack Lystedt, a young man in Washington who made a tackle, hit the back of his head, and complained of head issues. He was taken out of the game for a few plays and then put back in. He collapsed shortly after the game, and had to have parts of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain. It took more than a year before he could move an arm or a leg again. The Lystedt Law [which requires any youth athlete in the state of Washington who shows signs of a concussion to be cleared by a licensed healthcare provider before returning to play] is in place because of him.

“If an athlete is injured during a game, no matter if it’s his ankle or head, he’s not going to play—period. I’ll take the player’s helmet away. I’ve had kids upset with me because of that.� How did you bring your Team USA players together in such a short time? The mission was Team USA. Coach Kyle did a great job getting his message across to the coaching staff: “It’s not about you or I. It’s about us—that USA across your chest.� He preached a team atmosphere from day one. The kids understood nobody would be bigger than the team.

After hearing that story, I have a different attitude about concussions than when I played. I tell my coaches and our parents that my main goal is to ensure the safety of these children.

It also helped that we arrived at our training site at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, two weeks earlier than the other teams. We got to spend extra time together, and the kids got to know each other. We did a lot of team functions and had some guest speakers.

How does your staff approach head injuries? Prior to the season, we do baseline testing on every player throughout our program. If a player shows any concussion symptoms, he’ll take the test again and if he fails, he can’t play until he passes that test.

What did you take away from the experience? I learned about building a staff and organizing a program. Chuck did a great job putting the staff together, and then he allowed the assistants to have ownership of their positions.

If an athlete is injured during a game, no matter if it’s his ankle or head, he’s not going to play—period. I’ll take the player’s helmet away. I’ve had kids upset with me because of that. I appreciate their passion to get back in the game, but I have to look out for their long-term health because they won’t do it for themselves.

It was also fun to be an assistant coach again for a little while and not have head coach responsibilties. I don’t handle any specific position group at Pioneer, so I enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time working with one group. These guys were elite high school players who understood the way the game is supposed to be played. It’s always fun to coach those kinds of kids up and help them get better.

What’s it like having Michigan Stadium, home to the University of Michigan, across the street from your school? I’ve had a great relationship with both Lloyd Carr and his staff, and Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Their office doors are open to our coaches whenever we have questions, and they’ve opened up their practices to us.

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Coaching Management

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Circle No. 111


Q&A I just wish I could get 10 percent of their crowd to show up for a game at our stadium. You would think that this is a football town, but it really isn’t when it comes to high school football. How are you trying to increase interest in your program? We do community service projects such as tree plantings, a breast cancer awareness event, a bowling fundraiser, and a spaghetti dinner. We’ve also reached out to our alumni. Pioneer is the original high school in Ann Arbor, with a rich tradition, and we’ve been able to tap into the alumni recently. We send out a quarterly newsletter to let them know about all the things we’re doing.

Your Web site (www.jeremygold.com) details your coaching philosophy and expectations for players and staff. Why do you feel it’s important to have that kind of information out there on the Web? Ann Arbor is a pretty mobile community, and we’ll typically have at least five or 10 new players transfer into our program each year. The site is a way for families moving into our area to1learn about 4:32 our PM oach & Athletic Director Ad:Layout 10/4/2010

philosophy and approach so they can decide if they want to be involved in our program.

he is, so I’ll say, “Go give them the AI,” and they understand what I’m talking about.

How did you integrate wide receiver Ricardo Miller, a University of Michigan recruit from Florida, who transferred to Pioneer as a senior in 2009? I had to build a relationship with him first. What we typically do, whether it’s a new student like Ricardo or a typical freshman, is get those kids partnered with a returning player who understands the way of Pioneer football. I teamed Ricardo with a couple of seniors so he knew what we expect out of our young men. He connected with them quickly and did a great job.

Ultimately, I haven’t taught anything if they haven’t learned it. If they’re not doing what I’m asking them to do and they’re looking at me with big eyes, then they do not understand what I’ve been telling them. So I have to figure out different ways to break it down and teach it, whether I go over it on video, a chalkboard, or demonstrate it myself. I have to figure out the right way to answer their questions.

What’s your teaching philosophy? My philosophy is that I’m going to break the subject down into the simplest form possible for these young men. I’ll teach it in a way that they can relate to because the language I learned from coaches when I played may not be familiar to them. Take a pass rush for example. One of the things I want players to do is cross the offensive lineman over. So I tell them it’s just like Page 1 Allen Iverson. They all know who

How did you develop that philosophy? I’ve learned a lot from all the coaches I’ve played for and worked with. But the first coach that I learned from was my mother. She raised four boys, who now range in age from 30 to 33. She was never a team coach, but she taught us how to be part of a team. She taught us discipline, tough love, and sacrifice. I also study other coaches. I study how they act and what they say in their interviews, trying to get a feel for how they carry themselves.

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Circle No. 113


COVER STORY

IN THE

In six seasons under Head Coach Kyle Whittingham, the University of Utah has garnered plenty of wins on the field and a good deal of media attention off it. Whittingham says his relationship with reporters is based on respect. PHOTO: TOM SMART/UTAH SPORTS INFORMATION


BY Patrick Bohn hen University of WisconsinWhitewater Head Coach Lance Leipold read the headline, “Spoiled Athletes Need Reality Check,” in the school’s newspaper one day in April 2009, he was not pleased. A student reporter for the Royal Purple wrote a column detailing an incident involving three Whitewater football players who went to work out in the school’s weightroom and didn’t show their student ID cards to employees. According to the article, when pressed for their IDs one player quickly complied, another grudgingly handed over his ID, while the third refused and campus police were eventually called in. Although Leipold says the player did not act properly, he claims there was a misunderstanding over when presenting an ID was required. The article went on to discuss “preferential treatment” for athletes in general and drew a connection between the Whitewater players and former Ohio State University running back Maurice Clarett. Leipold wasn’t happy. The column also called coaches and administra-

tors who allow such treatment “villains.” That depiction also did not sit well with Leipold. “I didn’t think the paper made a proper analogy comparing Clarett, who went to prison, and our guys,” Leipold says. “I also didn’t appreciate the implication that the coaching staff was okay with that kind of behavior, when no one from the paper called us to comment. We had already meted out discipline to the players for their roles in the incident, but the paper hadn’t realized that.” Angry, later that night, Leipold called and vented to a student reporter, saying, “The door is shut. Go cover soccer. I have [head coach] Greg Henschel’s number. I’m sure they will appreciate the coverage, and I’m sure you will have more fun doing that than you are this.” While the call may have placated Leipold’s emotions, his words were printed online, then picked up by newspapers and Web sites across the country. What started Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. He can be reached at: pb@MomentumMedia.com.

Dealing with the media can be a major challenge for a coach. But managing that relationship is critical in today’s culture of 24/7 coverage.

SPOTLIGHT


COVER STORY

as a small incident turned into a large negative, teaching the NCAA Division III national championship coach a lesson on the harsh reality of dealing with the media. Today, it seems the amount of media focused on high school and college football is growing exponentially. As the amount of media coverage grows, not only do the number of coach-reporter

with the media is to make sure everyone understands that nothing’s personal. “They’re professionals, just like we are,” he says. “They have a job to do and coaches have to respect that. ‘Respect’ is really the operative word, because you’re not always going to agree with everything they write, but you need to have a working relationship with them based on mutual respect.”

“Once the media is here, we want to make them comfortable. It’s almost like recruiting them.” interactions—and chances for conflict— increase, but also the speed with which stories spread. Knowing this, it’s important for coaches to understand the best ways to deal with the media, making sure your program gets the attention it deserves and avoiding a public black eye. Developing a Connection Despite playing in a conference void of a BCS automatic bid, the University of Utah has attracted a great deal of positive attention recently. Utes Head Coach Kyle Whittingham says one of the best ways to cultivate a constructive relationship

Of course, developing such a relationship is often easier said than done, but several coaches point out that simply taking the time to meet with media members goes a long way toward building goodwill. “It can be as easy as returning reporters’ phone calls or talking with them during a camp,” says Mark Lyons, Head Coach at Central Valley High School in Monaca, Pa. “They’re human, and they don’t want to be pushed aside. As a coach, you’re going to be pulled in a lot of different directions, but the media needs to know that, even when you’re busy, you’ll give them time.”

K

Leipold, who has since resolved his dispute with the Royal Purple, says he’ll even pull his players out of drills or hold interviews during practice if someone in the media needs to talk to one of them. “We’re an hour away from the nearest TV station,” he says. “I understand their time constraints, so I’m extremely flexible with making players available. I always find it interesting when coaches don’t answer questions or make players available, because if you want to grow your program, why would you not talk to someone who’s trying to cover your team?” Art Wilkins, Head Coach at American International College, echoes that sentiment. “Whenever the media covers us, I try to make it a good experience for them,” he says. “I give them as much access as possible and make sure any piece they do is the best it can be so they have an incentive to cover us again.” However, Wilkins, who was an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina from 1989-1994, admits things can be different at a bigger school. “At South Carolina, sometimes we told players, ‘Let’s not say this’ or ‘Be careful who you talk to about that,’” he says. “But at the NCAA Division II level, that doesn’t happen. Once the media is here, we want to make them comfortable. It’s almost like recruit-

elly Whiteside has spent more than a decade covering college football for USA Today. In that time, she’s covered numerous teams and dealt with hundreds of coaches. She has a few specific ideas on what you can do to facilitate a good relationship with the media.

coaches can do to help reporters. “For example, some coaches don’t make their assistants available,” she says. “I know they do that so they can have one voice for the program. But if I’m doing a feature piece on a player, I want to talk to his position coach, because that’s the guy who’s been working with him every day.”

“The coaches who the media likes to work with are the ones who understand our roles and what we need,” she says. “Sometimes, that can mean a culture change. When Brian Kelly came to Notre Dame, he opened up one practice a week to beat reporters. Even though what happens at the practice is off the record, it helps us with access to the program.”

Whiteside says media-friendly coaches also understand a journalist must report on both the good and the bad. “The disconnect comes when coaches don’t understand we’re doing our job when a story needs to be written, even if they don’t want it to run,” she says. “Everyone likes the good stories. The good coaches understand why the other stories have to be written.”

Even more than just talking to the head coach, program access is the number one thing Whiteside says

R EPO RTER’S TAK E 22

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COVER STORY

ing them. I tell them what makes American International stand out as a program, and why they’d want to cover us, just like I’d do for a recruit.” For Abilene (Texas) High School Head Coach Steve Warren, the priority is staying organized. “We have three TV stations, two radio stations, and a newspaper that regularly cover us,” he says. “That can become a distraction if you let it. I set up a two-hour window one day a week

them and start a war of words.” After delivering his opinion to the school paper, Leipold was surprised to see his words online the next day. “That was a learning experience for me with regard to how quickly something that began as small and internal can turn into a huge ordeal,” he says. So what is the best way to handle this tricky situation? Leipold wishes he had simply taken a step back before reacting.

“In the early stages of my career, I was more closed off than I needed to be and that created some bad situations. I was a young coach and didn’t realize I shouldn’t get defensive about difficult questions. The media responds well when I’m direct.” so they all have access to me and can get most of their questions answered then. It’s our version of a press conference. I also let them talk to our players right after that, usually around noon.” After taking time and effort to ensure the media has what they need to do their jobs, it’s natural to want to see the fruits of your labor. But Whittingham says paying attention to every article and sound bite could be opening Pandora’s box. “During the season, there’s no time to read what everyone writes,” he says. “Thanks to the Internet and social media, there’s so much more information than there was 20 years ago. Paying attention to the media could be a full-time job on its own. It’s best to just stay focused on what you’re doing as a program.” Bearing Bad News Even if you don’t often read stories about your team, you’re bound to find out from others when negative things are being written or said. Sooner or later, there will be analysis you don’t agree with or feel is unfair. How a coach handles those situations can be critical, especially in the new media age. As Leipold learned, a poorly thought-out reaction to negative publicity can get more attention than the original piece. “The media is going to write what they want, and if you disagree with what they write, you have to approach it correctly,” says Lyons. “It’s not helpful to call 24

Coaching Management

“I got wind of the original article as we were heading to a workout and, after reading it, I should have taken some time to consider my opinion before sending off my response,” he says. “Once this had blown up and I called my colleagues for their advice, the prevailing opinion was, ‘Next time, count to 10.’ I reacted to the situation poorly from the get-go.” “You can’t get flustered,” says Wilkins. “I don’t always speak very well on the spot, so sometimes I need to take a night to think about what to say. In those situations, I won’t answer the question at that moment, but I tell the media they can ask again the next day.” However, once a coach has taken the time to assess the situation, it’s important to follow through on addressing it. Avoiding the issue won’t make it go away. “In the early stages of my career, I was more closed off than I needed to be and that created some bad situations,” says Warren. “I was a young coach and didn’t realize I shouldn’t get defensive about difficult questions. The media responds well when I’m direct with them. Standing there and giving them a very terse, ‘No comment,’ is just going to put me in an adversarial situation.” Lyons says it’s important to provide whatever information is requested. If you don’t, the media will likely fill their needs through other sources—some more accurate than others. “You have to give them enough to allow them to report on the

situation correctly,” he says. “We don’t want incorrect information out there.” Whether you decide to bare all or keep your cards close, telling the truth is mandatory, according to Kelly Whiteside, USA Today’s national college football writer. “There are a lot of times where a coach might not be able to reveal everything that’s going on,” she says. “But rule number one is: Don’t lie. Take the Mike Leach situation at Texas Tech or the Jim Leavitt situation at South Florida—by allegedly not telling the whole truth, it turned their situations into a big issue.” If a coach and a reporter find themselves at odds over something that’s been published, the situation is best handled with a face-to-face meeting. “If I have concerns about the way the media reported on something, I’ll go talk to that reporter one on one,” says Warren. “I’ll ask, ‘Is something I did being misconstrued?’ or ‘Why did you write it that way?’ Then, I’ll ask them to explain their side of the story and hopefully as a result of that, we can find some common ground.” Whiteside agrees that dialogue is key. “If it becomes a battle, you better sit down and talk about it with each other because you have to work together,” she says. “Even if you agree to disagree, you need to work it out.” When Leipold realized the ramifications of what he’d said, he knew the best thing to do was extend an olive branch. “Not long after the incident, I had a sit-down meeting with the writers at the paper and apologized,” he says. “I took full responsibility for what happened. As an adult, I did not handle the situation correctly initially.” As a result of Leipold’s apology, a potential long-standing feud was avoided, and the two sides resolved their differences. “There’s no grudge between our program and the student paper,” he says. “We’ve moved on and have a professional relationship.” Watching the Flock Any head coach will say they feel a responsibility to and for the players in their program and this extends to dealing with the media. Coaches have to ensure their players are protected from critical attacks or unwanted attention, but also need to allow them an opportunity to interact with the media. “Media exposure has changed so much,” Lyons says. “You could get a freshCoachesNetwork.com


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man who does well, and the media turns him into the next Heisman Trophy winner. I don’t think it’s fair for a kid to be put into that spotlight. As coaches, we’re often referred to as father figures, and we have to be careful with what we allow our kids to talk about and make sure we look out for them.” But as Whiteside points out, being too restrictive with access can be counterproductive. “For example, some coaches may have a policy where they don’t make freshmen available to the media,” she says. “If your freshman quarterback is the leader of your offense but he’s not available to reporters, we won’t be able to cover the team as thoroughly and fans won’t be drawn in.” One of the best ways to help players is to have a policy that spells out how you make them available. At Whitewater, Leipold requires every media member to go through either him or the sports

sure their players don’t get put in front of a camera or microphone with no idea what to say. “Players will usually mimic their coach,” Wilkins says. “I don’t think telling the players exactly what to say is honest, but when I address the team, they get a read on what we, as coaches, think we’ve been through as a team. That tends to get repeated by your players.” “Barry Alvarez [former University of Wisconsin Head Coach] was great at driving one singular message home,” says Leipold, who served as a Badgers’ graduate assistant from 1991-1993. “You would read quotes from players later in the week, and it would be almost the same thing he’d told the team earlier. It’s easy to get flustered when you get a microphone in front of you, so you need to prepare kids.” Wilkins says that no matter how you decide to handle access to your players,

“Players will usually mimic their coach. I don’t think telling the players exactly what to say is honest, but when I address the team, they get a read on what we, as coaches, think we’ve been though as a team. That tends to get repeated by your players.” information department when setting up an interview with a player. Not only does this protect the players, it also allows the coaching staff to reward the players most deserving of exposure. “The media doesn’t always have the full story on our players,” he says. “If a kid has been late to a couple of meetings and we’ve made him do extra work as a result, he hasn’t earned that interview, even if he’s a good story because of what he’s done on the field.” Warren always gauges a players willingness to talk before granting an interview request. “I won’t make my players available unless they’re comfortable with the idea,” he says. “That’s my number one concern. If a player tells me he’s uncomfortable, I’ll address any questions the media has for him.” There’s nothing unusual with a teenager being nervous about having to answer questions from a reporter. Coaches can ease the anxiety by making 26

Coaching Management

you shouldn’t forget that talking to the media can be a special moment for them. “This is especially true at the lower levels of college football, because a lot of those guys aren’t going to be interviewed in the pros,” he says. “Talking to the media makes them feel alive, so I tell them to seize the moment.” Brave New World Although a coach may have some measure of control regarding what a player does and doesn’t say to traditional media in a formal interview setting, the ubiquity of social media and the Internet has changed the communication game drastically, and the dialogue flows in both directions. While not all coaches have active restrictions in place regarding what can be posted on Twitter and Facebook accounts, many try to educate their players about the impact of what they do—and say—online. “This is the major challenge with the

availability of cell phones, e-mail, and Facebook,” Leipold says. “If a reporter has a player’s cell phone number, they can bypass the process of going through myself or sports information.” Warren says that he doesn’t make restrictions regarding what players can post online, but he warns them about the dangers that lurk. “I remind them that if they’re posting things on the Internet, they’re taking their focus away from the game,” he says. The Abilene coach, whose team was the 2009 Class 5A state champs, says both players and fans need to address any issues directly, and not under the cloak of electronic anonymity. “I tell my players they either need to talk to the media, or come to me if they don’t feel like speaking on camera,” he says. “But don’t decline to talk to the media and then post on message boards where you’re not accountable for what you say.” One way to take control of message board furor is to be proactive with any rumors you can control. Warren does that and has discovered significant benefits. “There are always rumors floating around, especially about coaches,” he says. “So I’ll submit a press release saying ‘We’ll name our such-and-such coach within a two-week period. If you do that, you quell the rumor mill quickly.” Serving the Students The Whitewater incident also brings up another issue unique to a coach’s job at the high school and college level: dealing with student media. This can be challenging as student reporters are less experienced than professional reporters, yet they have much easier access to players and inside information. If dealt with properly, student reporters can be a major help in growing your program on campus. But they do present different challenges for a coach than more experienced media members. They may have problems finding the best way to phrase a question or be too timid to ask for information they need, while others may go out of their way to criticize as a show of independence. It’s important for coaches to strike a balance between treating them like professionals and helping them do a job they may still be learning. “You have to have fun with them,” Warren says. “You want to make their job easy because they’re trying to figure CoachesNetwork.com


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out how to do it properly. So you want to give them easier, more concise answers so they don’t get too confused.” There’s a fine line between teaching and patronizing, however. “I don’t act any differently with the student media,” Wilkins says. “They’re just as smart as

Outside of Division I, campus media outlets may be students’ main source of information about your program. If utilized correctly, they can play a vital role in generating support. “When I was at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1994, they didn’t sell football T-shirts in

“Be welcoming. The media’s coverage can promote your program in a positive way, but you need to allow them to do that.” traditional media, and I have the same high expectations for them as I do for any other reporter.” The audience and number of stories a campus publication runs each season means the student press may pursue story ideas other media outlets ignore. “They’re going to see things from a different angle and take a different approach, so you need to be ready,” says Whittingham. 217-431_ExScience_3.4x4.8_4C:Layout

the bookstore,” Leipold says. “Two years later, thanks to the school newspaper’s coverage, they were selling our jerseys. The student media can really change the way students look at a program. Smaller programs need to take whatever exposure they can get and the student paper is a great source for that.” Reaping the Benefits of the AM stance you 1take with 1 Regardless 1/8/10 11:10 Page

the media, it’s important to recognize that they can ultimately be an asset to your program and school. “Be welcoming,” advises Lyons. “The media’s coverage can promote your program in a positive way, but you need to allow them to do that.” “Through the media exposure we’ve gotten in recent years, we’ve attracted a number of players to our program from areas we otherwise wouldn’t,” Leipold says. “And that’s important for the school as well, because the attention increases its profile and helps attract students, even if they’re not athletes.” Warren says that a good relationship with the media will go a long way toward selling your program, and coaches shouldn’t treat it as an afterthought. “Understand that dealing with the media is part of your job,” he says. “They’re important because the public wants to know about my players and I want the public to know about the program. Use the media as a positive force to build up your program in the community.” n

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RICHARD ORR SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

leadership

A

United We Lead

By Dr. Philip Willenbrock

t every level, from high school to college, just about every team has them: captains. And coaches, myself included, typically put great faith in these student-athlete leaders. Most coaches would go so far as to say that peer leadership is a critical aspect

If you’re counting on team captains to make a difference on your squad, consider this concept: shared leadership.

of team performance. After a difficult season, we often express disappointment with the leadership exhibited by captains. Following great seasons, we have high praise for our team leaders. But how much time do we put into thinking about the structure and success of our team captaincy model? Peer leadership has a great impact on a team’s

chemistry and competitiveness—and ultimately a coach’s job security—yet we place this responsibility in the hands of one or two young people who may or may not be “all-in” with the program. This dichotomy got me thinking about how to make team captains more effective. Through 20 years of coaching football at the NCAA Division II, Division III,

Philip Willenbrock, EdD, is the former Head Football Coach at the University of Puget Sound. He has also coached at the NCAA Division II and high school levels and served as an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University. He welcomes comments and questions about this article and can be reached at: philwillenbrock@aol.com or sharedteamleadership.com.

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leadership

and high school levels, including nine as head coach, I have been intrigued by improving team leadership, and I was interested in exploring a new model. After some research and experimentation, I feel I’ve found an exciting new concept. Called “shared team leadership,” it spreads captain responsibilities among a group of athletes and teaches them how to be effective leaders. Implementing the idea with the football team at the University of Puget Sound was a great success for both coaches and studentathletes. What is Shared Leadership? My initial research into the topic of team captains found that many coaches are frustrated by the quality of team leadership on their squads. I also learned that team captains often do not under-

three captains, a larger group of team members takes on the role? This is the basic premise behind shared leadership. Used successfully in the business world, shared leadership is defined by Pearce and Conger in Shared Leadership: Reframing the Hows and Whys of Leadership, as an interactive influence process in a group or team, which may include peer leadership and influence among and between members of the group. Shared leadership practitioners believe that no single individual possesses the capacity to effectively play all possible leadership roles within an organization. Instead, leadership should be spread among many individuals, allowing each to use their own strengths to assist peers. On a sports team, this means that the responsibility of captaincy is taken on by not just a few of the top athletes, but by a whole segment of the team, such as all the seniors. This group works together to foster teamwork and camaraderie, with each student-athlete bringing unique qualities to the table to help lead the team.

Shared leadership practitioners believe that no single individual possesses the capacity to effectively play all possible leadership roles within an organization. Instead, leadership should be spread among many individuals, allowing each to use their own strengths to assist peers. stand their role or have not been counseled on leadership principles. Part of the problem is the way we choose captains. In most instances, team captains are assigned by the head coach or elected by team members. My research and experience found that neither system consistently works well. Individual popularity and athletic ability earns certain individuals captaincy, but that doesn’t mean they will be effective in their roles. Recognizing the shortcomings of our current selection systems, I looked at leadership models used in the business world and was intrigued by the idea of shared leadership. What if, instead of the traditional model of one, two, or 32

Coaching Management

A Valuable Asset In 2002, I took over a football program at Puget Sound that had seen only one winning season in nearly 20 years. But from 2004 to 2008, the team experienced its most successful and consistent performance since the early 1980s. While numerous factors contribute to a team’s competitiveness, a major factor impacting the cultural change within our program was the introduction of shared team leadership. The traditional captain system had proven ineffective in my first seasons at Puget Sound, producing poor peer team leadership and a senior class not aligned with the program’s philosophy. So starting in the fall of 2004, we decided to challenge the entire senior class to share in the leadership of the team. Because all seniors have social power based on their class status, this was a good group to hand the leadership reins to. We called them the Leadership Group, or LG. The experiment proved successful, and we committed to using shared lead-

ership from then on. The first benefit of the new approach was that the system brought greater team unity by developing a community rather than a collection of segmented groups within the team. Because there was sharing of information and collective decision-making among a large segment, our players bought into the entire program. This led to a climate of trust and respect. Second, it furthered the leadership skills of my student-athletes. Through this program, we taught our student-athletes specifics on how to lead effectively. Most institutions today want to teach leadership to their students, and this gave us a structure to do so. I also like that shared leadership has the potential to teach every studentathlete in a program leadership skills. Instead of allowing just a few athletes to be captains, everyone is afforded the opportunity. That provides more learning opportunities for more individuals—and also can uncover a great leader who would otherwise go unnoticed. And don’t dismiss the increased satisfaction players experience when they’re able to feel included as a leader. Shared leadership offers the additional benefit of developing maturity and responsibility in young people, which may curtail off-field problems. When team members are given responsibility, there are more likely to take ownership of their actions and toe the line. The only problem we found was that sometimes there was a perceived absence of a leadership voice. Some players like to be able to point to one or two specific teammates to lead them, and they wondered who to turn to when they had a problem. We corrected this by appointing game captains to take the lead on key issues during each week. Some coaches fear that shared leadership takes the head coach out of the picture, but this is not the case at all. The head coach still remains at the top of the organization with final approval or veto power on all actions. Program Specifics Implementing shared leadership is not difficult, but it does take a commitment by the coaching staff. Coaches must buy into the concept that every senior has an important role on the team and put time aside for teaching leadership skills. Here’s a rundown of CoachesNetwork.com


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leadership

the steps I took with our Leadership Group: Get to Know Players: An initial action for me each year was to learn more about every senior and understand him better on a personal level. During the spring semester, I scheduled a one-hour lunch meeting with each senior. I asked about his future plans, family issues, goals, aspirations, and friendships—anything but football. By establishing a dialogue with no hidden agenda, trust was developed in our relationship. Learning more about each individual allowed me to take opportunities for brief but thoughtful conversations throughout his senior year. Implement Curriculum: In addition to one-on-one meetings, I met with the full group weekly during the spring semester to talk about leadership, team dynamics, and decision-making. We also discussed team policies and shared thoughts on what changes, if any, needed to be made. After a few years, I formalized the meetings through a 16-week seminar addressing issues in Character, Leadership, Actualization, Synergy, and program Sustainability (C.L.A.S.S.). The curriculum covers issues from leadership principles to decision-making. (See

“Top Topics” below for a closer look.) Providing a clear agenda for each meeting was important to stay on topic. We also asked everyone to follow these simple but important rules: n Withhold judgment about another person’s values. n Respect individual differences and divergent views. n Speak personally and specifically rather than generally. n Eliminate personal prejudice, expectations, biases, and the need to control the discussion. n Listen when others speak. Organizational Change: The group established team goals for the season and a list of things they needed to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in order to meet behavioral expectations. This was an important organizational change strategy that clearly identified key behavioral objectives and alterations to team culture. Some examples of STOP areas included: making excuses, poor practice tempo, and complacency. Some examples of START areas included: getting together socially more often as a team, community service activities, and 100-percent team attendance at off-season training sessions.

To teach our seniors how to tackle their leadership roles, I implemented a curriculum that includes 16 topics, with only minor facilitation needed by a coach. The program pro-

gresses from general principles of character and self-leadership to aspects of team leadership dynamics and decision-making. It can be implemented as a 16week off-season curriculum or a 16-hour weekend retreat. Below are the 16 topics addressed: n

n

n

n

n

General qualities of leadership and personal perspectives Shared leadership principles and personal leadership strengths Principles of leadership and team captain traits Organizational leadership and personal priorities Self leadership, including how to be an effective leader

n

n

n n

Team expectations and developing a shared vision Community-building and culture change strategies Character Dealing with the reality of the situation

n

Goal-setting

n

Decision-making strategies

n

Leading in conflict and learning from failures

n

Servant leadership

n

Team leadership dynamics

Class

n

n

Team building strategies

TOP TOPICS 34

Coaching Management

Some CONTINUE examples included: doing more than what is asked, maintaining competitiveness, and holding teambuilding activities. Give Each a Voice: LG members each took turns addressing the team following a spring practice or workout through a three- to five-minute talk, helping to establish their accountability for leadership and sense of influence. We identified 10 character traits—responsibility, trust, self-control, balance, respect, forgiveness, fairness, integrity, sacrifice, and perseverance—as program keystones. Each LG member chose the day he would speak to the team and the term he wanted to talk about. Courageous Conversations: Throughout the year, LG members and I engaged in courageous conversations with each other about attitudes, assumptions, habits, and behaviors. Some of the sessions were discussions on issues and others were called to handle disciplinary situations. I would introduce the question or topic, then let a senior lead the discussion or make the final recommendation for discipline. As head coach, I always had veto power, but enabling the team to wrestle with these concepts in a democratic setting taught them how to reach consensus. These conversations were key in creating a sense of community among the senior class. They all needed to be on the same page for shared leadership to work. One such conversation led to the dismissal of a returning all-conference player who would not buy in to the direction of the program as a senior. While we were concerned about losing a player of his caliber, it turned out to be positive. None of the staff realized this player was undermining the program, but the leadership team did. They saw that his negative attitude was doing more harm than good. This decision was a significant turning point in the program. Leadership Pods: During fall practice, I divided the team into 14 pods, each led by a senior. This structural change immediately placed every senior in an equal leadership role. The pods were used to create a daily line of communication among all team members. Pod members were assigned lockers near each other, warmed up together, and operated as a team for the entire fall. Fun situations were organized where pods would be pitted against each other CoachesNetwork.com


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LEADERSHIP

in competitions. The pod leader was responsible for assessing the “heartbeat” of each member of his pod and addressing any necessary issues. If one of his pod members needed to run after practice, missed a study session, or required extra discipline, the pod leader would enforce such activity. Communication: I met with the LG as necessary throughout the early part of the season to discuss issues of team morale, effort, and chemistry. The group would tell me when it thought

we might need to lighten up practices, if some players were burned out, if any freshmen were talking about quitting, if there was any after hours behavior detrimental to the team, and other similar issues. At the beginning, LG members hesitated to reveal such information for fear of “telling on someone.” But when they realized it would help keep the team on track, they were willing to bring up issues that I could address one-on-one with a player when necessary.

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Team Building: Seniors were divided into six groups, with each group responsible for organizing one fall team-building activity. Coaches were not present, but due to the leadership curriculum, LG members knew the type and format of programs that would benefit team chemistry and keep everyone engaged. Some examples were: bowling and pizza night, volunteer activity at the local Boys & Girls Club, board game night, and a wiffle ball tournament. With any of the competitive activities, teams remained in their pods. Game-Week Captains: Twice during the season, each senior served as a game captain, becoming responsible for team decisions on discipline, motivation, and team building and representing the team to the media. If a team member had a significant policy violation or interpersonal issue, the game-week captains acted as LG meeting facilitators. Reflection: Every Sunday, we had meetings with the LG where we discussed previous and upcoming weeks. I started with a leadership quote or story, which sparked a brief conversation about the team’s morale after the game on Saturday. We then discussed organizational issues from the past week and established our main message points for the next week and opponent. In addition, Sunday meetings enabled game-week captains to discuss any leadership challenges they faced. This process of reflecting on leadership ensures that there will be improvement when the next opportunity arises. While the above structure worked well for us year in and out, we did tweak it based on the senior LG. One year when I felt that our senior leadership skills were weak, I named one player as an everygame captain along with the two weekly captains. Some years I had to be present for many of the off-season discussions, while in other years, the group was capable of handling most issues on its own. A shared leadership model may be the key to solving any team dynamics problems your coaches have been facing. With a little planning, any team can find great rewards, both on the field and off, through this concept. n A version of this article appeared in our sister magazine, Athletic Management. To access more articles from AM, please visit: www.AthleticManagement.com.

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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

teaching toughness

W

Boise State University’s rise into college football’s elite is a testament to its strength program, which emphasizes speed, functional power, and a team-first attitude.

BY Tim Socha

CoachesNetwork.com

hen people think of Boise State University football, the first image that usually comes to mind is the blue field. If pressed to think of something else, they might bring up our penchant for running trick plays at critical moments in games. While we’re proud of each of those things in its own way, neither shows what our team is truly about. The Boise State program strives to put the best possible product on the field for every game. That’s our primary mission, and though it sounds very simple,

it shapes every aspect of our approach to developing strength, speed, power, toughness, and personal accountability. It’s present in the design of our workouts, the priorities we set throughout the year, and the way we teach players both the physical and mental aspects of performance. When we excel on the field, we know we’ve put our players in a position to get the most out of their skills. Any person Tim Socha is Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Boise State University. He can be reached at: timsocha@boisestate.edu.

Coaching Management

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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

who wants to master their craft needs the right tools for the job. A great conditioning program is about giving players all the tools to succeed. Functional Strength & Power Our approach to strength training is two-pronged, emphasizing both totalbody strength and individual sport-specific needs. First, we focus on building general strength for all our players, using heavy doses of the basic Olympic lifts and their variations. That means our weightroom staples include cleans, snatches, and jerks, along with hang cleans, power cleans, hang snatches, power snatches, split snatches, push jerks, split jerks, clean pulls, snatch pulls, and clean and jerks. We perform the Olympic lifts with both a straight bar and dumbbells—the straight bar allows us to use greater weight loads, while the dumbbell variant helps recruit the stabilizer muscles needed to control the weight and maintain proper form. To maximize the sport-specific value of these lifts, we instruct the athletes on

a few of the finer points of technique. For instance, during hang cleans, the catch is performed in a full front-squat position, which helps promote overall flexibility and core strength. Likewise, when performing any Olympic lift, we avoid the use of straps. Lifting without straps forces the athletes to develop greater grip strength, which is essential in football. Not using straps also helps reduce some of the technique flaws commonly seen when athletes attempt to lift more weight than they can truly handle. By helping them stay within their safe weight limit and eliminating those flaws, we reduce the risk of injury in the weightroom. While those lifts build raw strength, we use squats and the bench press to help maximize power. We believe the squat is the single most important exercise for football players after the Olympic lifts. Squats increase force production in the legs and develop sound, explosive movement patterns that improve everything from hitting opponents with maximum impact to accelerating through

narrow gaps to separating from defenders downfield. Like with the Olympic lifts, we use many squat variations, including back squats, front squats, single-leg squats, speed squats with chains, box squats, lateral squats, and split squats. We always reinforce squatting “to depth” with the thigh parallel to the ground, as this helps optimize power development in the hamstrings—a key component of force production and increased foot speed. For the bench press, our variants include standard, incline, close-grip, wide-grip, board presses, floor presses, dumbbell work, and the one-arm bench. While upper-body strength is obviously important for performance, there is also a psychological component to this type of training. When someone wants to know how strong an athlete is, their first question is often ‘How much do you bench?’ That may not be the single most important measure of football-specific strength, but it’s part of the strength culture, and we know that confidence is an important

W OR K S HEET This outline shows an example of one day’s individualized extra work assigned to a member of the Boise State football team. It is based on specific needs identified through testing and/or observations during workouts.

Additional Exercises

CORE

SHOULDER

POSTERIOR CHAIN

HIP MOBILITY

Turkish get-ups: x5 each arm, Glute-ham sit-up: 3x15

DB retraction with two-second pause: 2x10, DB skiers: 2x10

Straight-leg SB hip lift: 2x10

Hurdle unders and lateral lunge with drop: x4 trips, lunge elbow and hold with squat: 2x10

To download a document with more detail and a complete week’s sample outline, go to: http://bit.ly/CMBoiseFB and click the “Download” button.

40

Coaching Management

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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

element of success. When our players can answer that question with an impressive number, and when they see added muscle mass in their arms from bench pressing, they get a mental and motivational boost that pays dividends in the weightroom and on the field.

lifting selections in periodization cycles lasting three to four weeks each. Variation is important to our program for several reasons. First, it prevents boredom, staleness, and overtraining—it’s crucial to keep the athletes interested and having fun. We want them excited

or cross-fit type workouts in which they attempt to maximize reps of something like chin-ups or burpees in a given time period. We also add variety through highintensity “burnout” sets, such as triple drops on a lat pulldown or seated row, chin-ups, or dips to failure and assisted failure. As much as possible, our strength and power exercises involve multi-joint training. It goes without saying that most football movements involve coordination between several joints and muscle groups, so any time we can choose a multijoint variant of an exercise, we do so. Some of our favorites include one-arm DB shoulder presses in a lunge position and TRX inverted chin-ups.

Football is a game of speed. The faster team generally wins, and team speed has played a pivotal role in our recent success. From a training perspective, that hasn’t been by accident ... It’s something we emphasize year round, and it’s part of our team culture to take speed training very seriously. The hang clean, back squat, and bench press are the three lifts we test the athletes on—the hang clean and back squat before spring ball, and the bench press before spring ball and again before the season—so we perform them yearround. For everything else, we vary the

to come into the weightroom. Second, it helps ensure that we develop truly versatile strength, and not just the ability to perform a few specific lifts with precision. To increase variety, we occasionally surprise the athletes with special challenges such as a strongman competition

Circle No. 127

Individual Attention So far, I’ve outlined our team-wide approach to strength training. But you can’t prescribe a “cookie cutter” program for everyone and expect the best


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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

results, so we modify workouts on an individual basis due to position-specific and athlete-specific needs, injury accommodations, and other special concerns. Our individualized focus begins with a functional evaluation, performed on each player when they first come through

From these exercises we determine any areas of functional weakness that may need additional attention. Our “needs extra work” list is broken into seven categories: n Hip mobility n Core strength n Hip girdle strength

As an institution, Boise State expects its athletes to make the right decisions on and off the field, and to do the little things that will help them stay focused, make consistent progress, and meet all their responsibilities as student-athletes. the door at the start of a new training year. It’s comprised of six parts: n Overhead squat (8 reps) n Pull-up (as many as possible) n Stability ball push-up (8 reps) n 60-second front elbow bridge n Single-leg squat (8 reps/side) n Side hip abduction (4 reps/side)

Posterior chain integrity Shoulder strength n Muscle mass n Foot quickness Based on the preseason evaluation and observations we make throughout the training year, we prescribe individual exercises for an athlete to perform n n

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after team workouts. (For an example of how we assign individualized extra work to an athlete, see “Work Sheet” on page 40.) Fast Acting Football is a game of speed. The faster team generally wins, and team speed has played a pivotal role in our recent success. From a training perspective, that hasn’t been by accident. Football speed is, of course, about much more than straightahead running. We train all aspects of speed: linear movement (acceleration and maximum velocity), lateral movement (change of direction), and deceleration. It’s something we emphasize year round, and it’s part of our team culture to take speed training very seriously. Every player who dreams of reaching the next level knows the importance of the 40-yard dash. Just like with the bench press for strength, when someone wants to know how fast you are, your 40 time is typically the first thing they ask about.


STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

So when we train our athletes to improve their 40-yard dash speed, it’s not just about the performance benefits—it’s also about the confidence boost. Our comprehensive speed training focuses on acceleration mechanics (with ground starts and kneeling starts), top speed mechanics (with flying 20-yard runs), posture (with fast-leg mini hurdle drills), and arm swing mechanics (with a seated, kneeling, and standing arm swing progression). We concentrate on optimizing the 40-yard dash start by instructing athletes on force production angles and first-step explosion, but we also sometimes start them in other body positions besides the typical 40 start. In particular, we’ll put them in positions they use on the field, such as various pre-snap stances for wide receivers, tight ends, fullbacks, and running backs. We prefer resisted running instead of overspeed training, because the latter can lead to overstriding, which we feel increases injury risk. Beyond straight-ahead speed, we incorporate change-of-direction and deceleration drills throughout the entire year, because we know that slowing down and cutting efficiently are some of the most useful skills on the football field, regardless of position. In footwork and cone drills, when athletes are coming out of their breaks, we cue them to focus on putting their weight on the outside foot and keeping a positive shin angle when changing direction. We also work on change of direction with patterned agility drills and reactive agility drills. Just like with strength training, we vary the exercises to keep things fresh and challenging all year long. Discipline & Accountability As an institution, Boise State expects its athletes to make the right decisions on and off the field, and to do the little things that will help them stay focused, make consistent progress, and meet all their responsibilities as student-athletes. In strength and conditioning, this means setting high standards and having consequences for failure to live up to them. The ultimate goal, of course, isn’t to punish-—it’s to teach, and to encourage leadership by example. We don’t have many rules, but the ones we do have are very important to us. We expect players to be on time for all CoachesNetwork.com

workouts, which sounds like a no-brainer. But with redshirt freshmen lifting at 5:45 a.m., it sometimes needs to be emphasized. Also, whenever our players are in the weightroom, we expect them to not wear anything that draws attention to themselves, such as necklaces, bracelets, or non-issued clothing. Simple rules like these send an important message: No one is bigger than the team, and if you want to garner attention, you earn it through hard work and not the way you accessorize.

These basic rules give rise to some interesting conflicts involving new athletes, who were almost always stars in high school and may come from programs where such strict standards didn’t apply to them. But our older players set the example, and as time goes on, everyone eventually “gets it” and sees that it’s an important part of our success. Our accountability system is progressive. At those early freshman lifting sessions, the first athlete who shows up late

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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

typically pushes a plate for the length of time he missed, with a minimum of 10 minutes. For the next person who is late, he and his roommates receive the punishment. After that, we might apply it to everyone who plays the late athlete’s position. This system teaches another important lesson-—that the players must be accountable to each other. We’ve had instances where the entire defensive line went to the room of a freshman who was not at a workout. They saw it as their responsibility to figure out where he was and get him to the facility. Those situations, though rare, are great teaching moments to reinforce that we are only as strong as our weakest link. Competition is Key Anyone who works with serious athletes knows there is no better motivator than competition, so we try to create it in every workout. Sometimes it’s nothing more than competing against your own personal best. Other times it’s oneon-one or in small groups against each

other, and some activities pit the whole offense against the defense. Besides keeping things more exciting, this helps us build tough, intense competitors who are adept at handling pressure situations. During the off-season, we split the team into four separate squads, and after every workout we hold a competition between them. It might be something quick and simple, such as a heavy dumbbell hold to work on grip strength, or something as complex as a strongman competition with four different stations. We keep track of scores throughout the off-season, and the winning team is recognized at our strength banquet at the end of the year. We’ve seen the ways these competitions help prepare our players for the challenges of the season. When your right tackle has to bear down in a body weight squat contest to get his team 10 points to win the day’s challenge, he will be more poised and comfortable on third-and-five when he knows the team is counting on him to stop the defensive end’s speed rush so the

Total Strength and Speed

www.fatbars.com 888.532.8227

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quarterback has time in the pocket. Another benefit of this emphasis is that it lets the coaches see who the team’s fiercest competitors are. True competitors want to win at whatever they are doing, whether it’s holding a dumbbell, flipping a tire in a strongman contest, or playing in the fourth quarter of a nationally televised bowl game. It helps the coaching staff decide who will be the team’s go-to players in clutch situations during the season. All the elements I’ve described in this article are aimed at giving our athletes the best chance to succeed on the field. Is it the best possible program? I don’t know. But I do know that we believe in it, and more importantly, our players do as well. When they’re willing to follow our process and work their butts off at it, they’re only going to get better. It’s that simple. n A version of this article appeared in our sister magazine, Training & Conditioning. To access more articles from T&C, please visit: www.Training-Conditioning.com.


WINNING FOOTBALL THROUGH NUTRITION From Training & Conditioning This book provides athletic trainers, strength & conditioning professionals, coaches and football players with cuttingedge information on how to gain a competitive edge in this demanding sport. It follows the annual football calendar and offers nutrition strategies for each of these stages. Author Lisa Dorfman is Sports Nutritionist for the University of Miami Athletic Department and Director of Sports Nutrition & Performance in the Department of Sports Medicine at the University of Miami. She combines her two decades of work in the field (and experience writing two other books) into a comprehensive, easy-to-follow strategy for football players at all levels.

There are tips on... n Food Timing n Gaining Weight n How to Assess Supplements “Nutrition for Football is a must read for any athlete or anyone who has an influence on the eating habits of football players. Lisa does a great job of providing practical examples of how to properly fuel your body, enhance recovery, improve your body composition, and improve performance.”

—Tavis Piattoly, MS, RD, LD Team nutritionist for the New Orleans Saints

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Nutrition & Conditioning Books/DVDs available by Coaching Management

Bigger Faster Stronger

Performance Nutrition For Football Author Lisa Dorfman provides athletic trainers, strength & conditioning professionals, coaches and football players with cutting-edge information on how to gain a competitive edge in this demanding sport. It follows the annual football calendar and offers nutrition strategies for each of these stages. There are tips on such topics as food timing, gaining weight, and how to assess supplements. 264 pages. 2010.

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Bigger Faster Stronger is now bigger and better than ever! This second edition of the book presents the most popular strength training system for today’s high school and college athletes. Establish the solid foundation you need to compete successfully and advance your athletic career. During the in-season or off-season, the customizable programs can accommodate any sport, and every level of competition.

The Nutrition Edge

Learn how proper nutrition can help your players reach their true potential through the valuable information presented in this collection prepared by Susan Kundrat, Sports Dietitian for the University of Illinois. Topics include recovery nutrition, nutrient timing, pregame meals, losing weight, caffeine, and hydration. It also includes case studies and a look at special situations including celiac disease and vegetarian athletes.

180 pages. 2010.

Price:

21.95

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Item Number: 9780736079631

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Speed, Agility, and Quickness: Comprehensive Drills and Conditioning for Athletes! This 70-minute DVD features, innovative drills/variations. Included are warm-up drills, mobilities, speed development, sprint mechanic drills, non-resistive force production drills, resisted force production drills, complex drills, and ‘pure’ speed drills, athletic quickness drills, ball reaction drills, agility drills, program construction and more.

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MORE INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKS AND DVDS AVAILABLE BY GOING TO COACHESNETWORK.COM

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Announcing New Marketing & Fundraising Program Evaluation, Planning and Specific Services to Ensure Maximum Financial Return

We will develop, organize and invigorate your booster clubs through the sharing of successful structure and marketing suggestions. In addition, we will share many exciting ideas including step-by-step methods for success. Components InClude: • Tools for increasing advertising and sponsorship revenue • Restructuring Booster Club, including examination and revision of policies and methods to develop “inclusiveness” • Educational materials for booster club officers and volunteers • Creation of marketing programs to build community support • Selection of appropriate fundraising initiatives • How-To’s for your selected fundraisers—institutional checklists to follow • Promotional materials for your fundraising and sponsorship efforts • Customizing our services to fit your needs. This service is led by Dave Hunter, who served more than 40 years as an athletic director and head football coach in Georgia and earned several state awards and received national recognition for his accomplishments.

Dave Hunter’s traCk reCorD • Brookwood High School, Snellville, GA Raised $3.2 million dollars over an 18-year period. These funds were used to build a new football stadium, track, baseball and softball stadium and fieldhouse. • Hoover High School, Hoover, AL Worked with booster clubs to restructure all individual sport clubs and improved the overall financial gain in excess of $350,000 over a oneyear timeframe. • Starr’s Mill High School, Peachtree City, GA Assisted in the development of an overall umbrella club and individual sport booster clubs, and guided the support arms of the athletic program, which had the effect of increasing the number of people who participated in supporting their program. • North Hall High School, Gainesville, GA Structured the booster clubs for efficiency and created a new level of excitement about what could be accomplished. “It’s obvious this isn’t just a job for Dave Hunter, but a passion.” — Bob Christmas, Head Football Coach, North Hall High School

Using our services will be of great value for your program, as well as a tremendous time saver for you. Our price structure is geared toward your being a tremendous success.

Are you ready to take your fundraising & marketing programs to the next level? Call Athletic Management Publisher Mark Goldberg at 877-422-5548, ext. 11 (toll free) to receive more information, or go to athleticmanagement.com/frservices and fill out the form to be contacted.

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Football Facilities Taking Pride

GearBoss offers a wide range of team room lockers designed to strengthen program pride and enhance team room functionality. More than 1,000 possible configurations—including sizes, features, and accessories—are available with either metal or wood construction. Metal AirPro lockers feature an open grid design that promotes airflow, sanitation, and visual inspection. Wood lockers are constructed of a durable, easy-to-clean wood laminate. Wenger Corp. • 800-4WENGER www.wengercorp.com

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Optimal Performance

Mondo’s Ecofill artificial turf infill is made with a polyolefinbased resilient granule to meet the highest standard of playability. Ecofill infill delivers the appropriate amount of shock absorption and energy return for optimal athletic performance. An environmentallyfriendly material, it retains less heat than traditional black rubber granules, so it reduces the potential for athletic fatigue and dehydration, and does not contain potentially harmful substances.

Mondo • 800-361-3747 www.mondoworldwide.com

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Springing to Life

LigaTurf mimics the properties of natural grass, yet provides a highly durable synthetic surface. The structural design of the LigaTurf system is optimized to ensure excellent playing characteristics over the life of the field. Featuring “spring-back” monofilament fibers with an outstanding ability to bounce back due to their resilience-enhanced design and soft elastic yarn composition, LigaTurf is ideal for stadiums and high-performance sports venues. Polytan-USA • 877-POLYTAN www.polytan-usa.com

Solid & Durable

OakWood Sports has helped over 500 schools and sports organizations design and install wood lockers for their athletic facilities. Its lockers are constructed from special cuts of high-quality veneer and solid wood to ensure a vibrant grain pattern and beautiful color. Each locker is assembled by hand prior to installation, with LEED-compatible finishes, glues, and veneers. OakWood’s specially-formulated finish resists moisture, citric acid, and up to a 25-percent solution of sulfuric acid. All hardware is either solid brass, stainless steel, or powder-coated steel in your choice of colors. OakWood Sports, Inc. • 517-321-6852 www.oakwoodsports.com

Kick off your training right. TurfCordz™ resistance products meet the extreme demands of high-level athletic training, from core strength and agility workouts to explosive start and quick-reaction drills.

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Best seller for increasing speed and improving endurance

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Maximizes running speed and acceleration with less restriction in movement

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Football Facilities Higher Ground

Against the Wind

Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800-523-5471 www.myaaeworld.com Circle No. 504

Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com

Added Revenue

Maximizing Space

The Portable Multi-Purpose Tower provides football programs with an ideal perspective for taking practice/game videos or elevating coaches to observe and drill the team. The tower features a sturdy, rust-proof aluminum frame and platform, with pneumatic swivel casters that make it easy to move across any surface and heavy-duty brakes for secure anchoring. A detachable ladder leads up to a hinged door, and the maintenance-free roof can be custom powder-coated in your team’s colors.

AstroTurf ® GameDay Grass is among the most state-of-the-art, safe, and durable synthetic turf fields on the market. AstroTurf ® systems can also help create new revenue streams. After installing AstroTurf ® last year, Brenham, Texas High School has gone from 10 events at Cub Stadium to almost 100 events this year. Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga., just signed the NAIA National Championship football game through 2015, generating nearly $2 million in annual economic impact for the community. AstroTurf® • 800-723-8873 www.astroturfusa.com

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Are you behind? For a limited time, get your free copy of The Ultimate Coach Handbook.

The Tuffy Windscreen will last for years because it’s made with Aer-Flo’s exclusive Vipol matrix mesh. The official windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, it is a super-premium product. Used by major colleges and world-class clubs, Tuffy is available in 17 standard colors, and the company’s super durable chroma-bond imprinting technology produces sharp multi-color logos that can exactly match any team’s PMS colors. The Tuffy Windscreen comes with a four-year factory warranty. Circle No. 502

Wenger’s new GearBoss II storage system improves inventory management, space utilization, and sanitation of athletic equipment at half the cost of the premium GearBoss solution. These flexible, highdensity carts are easily configured to accommodate a variety of equipment. The carts roll along a fixed track in the floor, allowing easy access and minimizing wasted space. The open design enables equipment to dry quickly, improving sanitation. Wenger Corp. • 800-4WENGER www.wengercorp.com

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SITE

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The Ultimate Coach Handbook is all about what great coaches get right and the 7 strategies the best coaches have mastered. It takes lots of research, case studies and coaching experiences and makes it an easy read with practical solutions to many of the coaching challenges.

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Plus: browse and upload your favorite team photos, review rosters and player bios, and check out the competition in The Bleachers. Then, play Massey Matchups to see how rival teams stack up against yours!

HEY COACH! You can instantly update game scores and stats with statsEZ.com. Create your own team pages with photos, rosters, player bios and more on HighSchoolSports.net. Go to www.highschoolsports.net and click on “Coaches” at the top or call 800-258-8550.

www.athleteassessments.com/cm Email cm@athleteassessments.com Circle No. 135

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Football Facilities Resilience, Stability, Recovery

Mondo’s new 3NX fiber is an innovative monofilament fiber that features a semi-concave structure with three asymmetrical spines. The unique patented design combined with a state-of-the-art polymer provides superior molecular alignment and orientation of the fiber. The result is an optimal level of resilience, dimensional stability, and recovery. With its increased resilience and structure, the 3NX fiber’s translational and rotational friction characteristics lend themselves to easy pivots and turns. Mondo • 800-361-3747 www.mondoworldwide.com

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SAFE & Durable

Anyone who saw the Capital One Bowl between Penn State and LSU knows that the field at the Florida Citrus Bowl was unrecognizable, and was reduced to a giant mud pit. This year, to combat that issue, they’ve gone to AstroTurf ®, the first name in synthetic fields. Call to learn how AstroTurf ® can provide you with a safe, that performs all year long. AstroTurf® • 800-723-8873 www.astroturfusa.com

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On Track

The Cross-Over Zone Track Protector protects costly track surfaces from damage due to teams, people, and equipment at crossing areas. Constructed of thick, tough geotextile fabric, it features vinyl edging with a steel chain inserted all around, providing ballast to keep the protector down even in high winds. The Track Protector cannot be punctured by steel-tipped cleats, but rain drains through. Easy to install and remove, it is offered in sizes for all tracks, and comes standard in black with edging in a choice Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com

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Low-Maintenance Turf

Polytan LigaGrass synthetic turf is made with highquality monofilament fiber that’s uniquely textured using an exclusive manufacturing process. Due to the nature of the textured fibers, LigaGrass provides more of a closed playing surface, which prevents the infill materials from coming to the surface, even during player contact such as tackling or kicking. Therefore, less maintenance is required. The LigaGrass system is optimized to ensure excellent playing characteristics over its lifetime. Polytan-USA • 877-POLYTAN www.polytan-usa.com

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Power Balance Wristbands

Since 1984 1984 Since

Wizard Sports, Sports, Orange, Orange, CA CA Wizard

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CoachesNetwork.com


Football Facilities A Professional Look

OakWood Sports is a premier custom wood locker-builder, with experience in design, construction, delivery, and installation. For new builds or renovations, the company takes care of your locker needs with LEEDcompatible finishes, glues, and veneers. OakWood has furnished more than 500 locker rooms since 1991, and the company’s experience and knowledge ensures that your locker system will be visually stunning and highly durable. OakWood understands the construction requirements of athletic lockers and prides itself on applying that expertise to the specific needs of each customer.

OakWood Sports, Inc. • 517-321-6852 www.oakwoodsports.com

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Best of both worlds

The Shaw Sportexe Legend synthetic turf system features a combination of the company’s highperformance monofilament fibers and its most durable slit-film fibers. The result is the best of both worlds—an amazingly soft and aesthetically-pleasing surface with the performance, durability, and safety you need for multi-use fields. Other features include reduced infill fly-out, higher resiliency, and a firm surface for predictable, consistent ball roll.

Shaw Sportexe • 866-703-4004 www.shawsportexe.com

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Expect Great Things

ProGrass is a proven leader in artificial turf systems, offering design, installation, project management, and product development. High school and college football teams across the country play on ProGrass turf. The company has installed fields from above the Arctic Circle to the Rio Grande. ProGrass’s philosophy is simple: The company expects 100-percent customer satisfaction. ProGrass doesn’t want to be the biggest turf company on the market, just the best. ProGrass, LLC • 866-270-6003 www.prograssturf.com

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Fresh Start

If you’ve ever wondered what to get the coach who has everything, Mueller Sports Medicine introduces Stench Air Freshener. When your team stinks, nothing kills the awful smell of defeat like Stench. Use Spray Stench in locker rooms to start eliminating the smell of stinking performances so you can get out there another day with a new, fresh attitude. Featuring a fresh citrus scent, Stench is a real air freshener that will clear the air and bring a laugh to those who give and receive. It’s certain to wipe out the sour smell of defeat. Stench is available in 10-ounce cans. Mueller Sports Medicine, Inc. • 800-356-9522 www.muellersportsmed.com Circle No. 518

NSCA

DALLAS, TEXAS / JANUARY 7–8

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COACHES CONFERENCE 2011

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he new NSCA Coaches Conference brings together the field generals of the weight room—the men and women who work hands-on daily with high school, college and professional athletes to develop some of the most successful strength and conditioning programs in the world.

Top coaches like Perry Castellano (MN Twins), Tom Myslinski (Memphis), Jon Jost (FSU), Matt Krause (Cincinnati Reds), Andrea Hudy (Kansas), and Bob Alejo (Oakland A’s) lead a field of outstanding practitioners and researchers who will share their multi-sport conditioning expertise.

Get the edge on the competition and improve your athletes’ performance.

CEUs – NSCA 1.6 / BOC 16

HOT TOPICS • Preventing Sudden Death in Sport: Considerations for the Strength & Conditioning Coach • Special In-Depth Session with the Florida State Strength and Conditioning staff • The Tool Box of the 8 Hour Baseball Day • Complete Basketball Strength and Conditioning • Off-Season Training for Winter Sports

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Team Equipment Strength & Longevity

Since 1996, Pro Look has developed awardwinning uniforms for title-chasing athletes. The company is proud of its innovation and attention to detail. Its garments work with athletes when they need it most. Pro Look fabrics and construction methods stand up to abuse, season after season. The patented “soft” tackle twill technology creates a fabric that is soft to the touch, while maintaining traditional strength and longevity. Combine soft tackle twill with innovative jersey fabrics and make your next set of uniforms virtually unstoppable. Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com

ELITE WARMUPS

Eastbay Team Sales gives you “THE MOST” when it comes to colors, sizes, models, and inventory. It’s all in stock and ready to customize and ship, including the Nike Players Training Warmup Jacket and Pant, which is available in seven core colors. It features elite French terry polyester construction, and zippered pockets and legs for great versatility at a price that puts the press on the competition. Call the company today for team-discounted pricing. Eastbay Team Sales • 800-841-5748 www.eastbayteamsales.com

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Next Generation Know the Play

The 197 Triple Playmaker Wrist Coach is made with C-FLEX™ and Cutters Gloves’ exclusive “fits like a glove” technology for optimal comfort and fit. It includes three windows for easy reference, allowing you to store up to 300 plays at once, and is available in 11 team colors. Visit the downloads section of the company’s Web site for free blank play card templates.

Cutters Gloves • 800-821-0231 www.cuttersgloves.com

The newest addition to the Adams line, the A3000 adult football helmet is equipped with a Next Generation Adams Performance Suspension Liner. The APS system increases airflow throughout the shell due to its innovative offset, which allows the unique energy-management system to compress and distribute energy. Helmets are offered with a choice of three specialty facemasks with added cross members to increase jaw coverage. Adams USA • 800-251-6857 www.adamsusa.com

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Special Delivery Kick Into This

Wizard Sports offers a great portable football kicking cage. The new and improved Wizard Pro Kicking and Punting Cage is lightweight and stable, ships via UPS, sets up quickly, and breaks down to fit into a very small but durable carrying case. It’s used by top pro and college teams. “The Wizard Kicking Net handles my kicks with consistency,” says Shaun Suisham, NFL kicker. “When the pressure is on, the last thing you need to be worrying about is where your practice kicks are going to end up. That’s why I recommend the Wizard Kicking Net.” Wizard Sports Equipment, Inc. • 888-964-5425 www.wizardsports.com Circle No. 515

Hands-Free Communication

Continuing more than 35 years of innovation, HME’s DX300 expandable wireless headset system provides secure, two-way, handsfree communication with superior digital sound clarity for school football coaching applications. It’s easy to set up and transport from location to location with no frequency coordination or license. The industry’s lightest beltpac, DX300 can be expanded to include up to 20 users. HME • 800-848-4468 www.hme.com/coaches

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The new Snap Attack Football Machine, with its solid polyurethane football throwing wheels, provides tight spirals, long distance, and accuracy—all without air pressure. Using the universal ball cradle in the elevated position, the Snap Attack can pass, punt, or deliver the perfect kick-off. At ground level in the lowered position, it can snap the ball to any depth for shotgun or pistol formations, extra points, and punts. Pre-set locations make any change (from left- to righthanded spirals or from spirals to end-over-end) quick and easy. Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com

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Consistent Catching

The JUGS Field General Football Machine can throw more than 600 passes or punts in under an hour. The machine produces highlofting punts that have over five seconds of hang time, making it great for punt and punt return drills; it can save up to 30 minutes of wated practice time by eliminating shanked punts. Receivers and backs gain consistent practice catching the football. Lightweight and portable, the JUGS Field General weighs less than 95 pounds and features a transport wheel. M.A.S.A., Inc. • 800-264-4519 www.sportsadvantage.com.

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Team Equipment Just What You Want

Easy on the Eyes

The makers of the Original No Glare® Glare-Reducing strips has just released the MVP of their glare-reducing lineup: Mueller No Glare® Stealth GlareReducing Strips. Mueller Stealth are pressure-sensitive strips that are easy to remove and reuse. Like the original, Stealth won’t smear or sweat off, and the new revolutionary design reflects 86-percent less light compared to leading brands. The secret is in patented, state-of-the-art materials that actually blast light away from the eye. Mueller No Glare® and No Glare® Stealth Glare-Reducing strips are worn by high school, college, and professional athletes around the world to keep distracting light and reflections away so athletes can keep their eyes on the game. Mueller Sports Medicine, Inc. • 800-356-9522 www.muellersportsmed.com Circle No. 524

Quick & Easy

The universal cart clamp allows the Snap Attack Football Machine to mount onto any cart. It is uniquely designed to fit any round or square mounting post or pedestal from 2 1/2 to four inches wide. The clamp securely attaches the Snap Attack to the cart, allowing the operator to swivel the machine in any direction for punts, passes, and end-over-end kickoffs. Then, the clamp quickly and easily detaches the Snap Attack for use in snapping drills. Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com

Circle No. 521

Fingertip Catches

GreatCatch teaches players how to properly catch a football by putting all the focus on their fingertips. The palms and heels of the hands cause bobbles and drops—with Cutters’ GreatCatch, the fingertips do all the work for proper catching technique. As a result, players develop soft, reliable hands and fingertip control, resulting in fewer bobbles and drops.

Cutters Gloves • 800-821-0231 www.cuttersgloves.com

Circle No. 523

Factory-Direct Value

In five short years, Prep Gear Headwear has become a national leader in factory-direct headwear products for high schools and institutions. At Prep Gear, each hat is assembled from scratch using the highest-quality materials and expert craftsmanship. In today’s economy, why pay an extra mark-up when you can buy premium products direct from the factory? Prep Gear Headwear • 800-279-7060 www.prepgear.com CoachesNetwork.com

Circle No. 525

Pro Look Football is where tradition meets innovation. Combine the latest in materials technology with the unique ability to create any style uniform for one low price, and you get an unmatched uniform ordering experience. Pro Look uniforms are so good that they are backed with a two-year manufacturing warranty. Call the company today for your free custom design mock-up. Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com

Circle No. 519

Tradition Meets Performance Made with 100-percent double-knit polyester, Adams USA’s FP-882 Football Pants feature a full athletic cut, 2 ½-inch elastic waist, lace-up front, five-panel construction, duke crotch, sewn-in thigh pads with plastic inserts, and sewn-in hip, tail, and knee pads with perforated EVA foam. They are available in both youth and adult sizes and are offered in black and white. Adams USA • 800-251-6857 www.adamsusa.com

Circle No. 552

New Technology

In 2009, Stromgren Athletics introduced Nano Flex, a completely new concept in therapeutic compression sleeves for the elbow, ankle, knee, calf, and wrists. The Negative Ion and Far Infrared Rays technology in the compression cloth help increase blood circulation and body temperature in the treated area, enhance the body’s natural healing processes, and reduce pain and discomfort while also helping stabilize a joint with compression. Nano Flex products are antimicrobial, moisturewicking, odorless, and extremely comfortable. Stromgren Athletics • 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com

Circle No. 557

Better Fit, Less Impact

The new Xenith X1 football helmet features Xenith Adaptive Head Protection. The X1 adapts to impact by responding in a smarter and more optimized manner, thereby combating the effects of every hit. Xenith Adaptive Head Protection encompasses three components: Aware-Flow shock absorbers provide a more optimized response at a variety of energy levels; the Shock Bonnet creates a suspension system that adapts to impact direction; and Fit Seeker adapts to head size and shape to provide a superior fit. The X1 has shown outstanding performance when tested against today’s standards. It is smarter, tougher, and built to last. Xenith • 866-888-2322 www.xenith.com

Circle No. 558 Coaching Management

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Get it Online.

Directory

Advertisers Directory

The place for used sports equipment Used track & field fixed equipment, goals, accessories, benches/seating listed for free. Post for free or buy

Post a Classified for Free. All kinds of sports-related classifieds, job postings too. All free. Tons of other neat features on this free site, you gotta check it out.

.com who are we? Aluminum Athletic Equipment Co. wanna stop by? 1000 Enterprise Drive • Royersford, PA 19468 phone ? 800-523-5471 • 610.825.6565 fax? really? 610.825.2378 what’re our games? Track & Field • Football • Soccer Lacrosse Field Hockey • Baseball • Softball

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

134. .AAE (The Rivalry). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 140. .AAE (used equipment). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 110. .Active Ankle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 113. .Adams USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 105. .Aer-Flo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 104. .AstroTurf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 135. .Athlete Assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 117. .California University of Pennsylvania. . . . . . . 28 119. .Colorbiotics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 100. .Cutters Gloves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC 145. .Dave Hunter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 116. .Eastbay Team Sales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 144. .Gatorade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC 114. .Gearboss by Wenger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 126. .Hammer Strength Clinics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 136. .HighSchoolSports.net/ScheduleStar. . . . . . . . 51 112. .HME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 120. .Legend Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 137. .M.A.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 127. .MAXX Football. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 111. .MilkPEP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17 121. .Mondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 102. .Mueller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

124. .New York Barbells of Elmira. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 122. .Next Level Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 128. .NFHS Coach Certification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 139. .NSCA Coaches Conference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 142. .OakWood Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 103. .Ohio University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 132. .Performance Nutrition for Football. . . . . . . . . 47 123. .Polytan-USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 125. .Power Lift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 130. .Power Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 143. .Powernetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC 118. .Prep Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 107. .Pro Look Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 108. .ProGrass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 129. .Samson Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 141. .Save-A-Tooth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 109. .Sports Attack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 106. .Stromgren Athletics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 131. .Total Strength and Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 133. .TurfCordz/NZ Mfg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 138. .Wizard Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 101. .Xenith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 115. .ZAMST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Circle No. 140

Athletic Management 1/6-PageTeeth Verticalare 800,000 2.125 x 4.8125

Knocked Out Each Year During Sports! Protect Your Athletes!

Save-A-Tooth gives you time to treat more serious injuries and get athletes to a dentist or emergency room. Call (888) 788-6684 or visit www.Save-A-Tooth.com for more information

Product Directory Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

539. .Active Ankle (ASI lace-up ankle brace). . . . . . 63 542. .Active Ankle (T2 rigid ankle brace). . . . . . . . . 62 553. .Adams USA (A3000 adult helmet) . . . . . . . . . 54 552. .Adams USA (FP-882 Football Pants) . . . . . . . 55 510. .Aer-Flo (Cross-Over Zone Track Protector). . . 52 502. .Aer-Flo (Tuffy Windscreen). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 504. .Aluminum Athletic Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . 51 509. .AstroTurf (Florida Citrus Bowl). . . . . . . . . . . . 52 505. .AstroTurf (GameDay Grass). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 545. .Athlete Assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 523. .Cutters Gloves (GreatCatch). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 517. .Cutters Gloves (Wrist Coach). . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 555. .Eastbay (All Sport Jacket/Pant) . . . . . . . . . . . 57 554. .Eastbay (“THE MOST”) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 540. .Gatorade (Nutrition Bar/Shake) . . . . . . . . . . . 63 548. .Gatorade (Protein Recovery Shake). . . . . . . . 62 506. .GearBoss by Wenger (GearBoss II). . . . . . . . . 51 500. .GearBoss by Wenger (lockers). . . . . . . . . . . . 50 516. .HME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 530. .Legend Fitness (Pro Series Half Rack). . . . . . 60 536. .Legend Fitness (weightlifting platform) . . . . . 58 528. .Life Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 503. .M.A.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 551. .MAXX Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 544. .MilkPEP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 508. .Mondo (3NX fiber). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 501. .Mondo (Ecofill) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 524. .Mueller (No Glare). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 518. .Mueller (Stench) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 526. .New York Barbells. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

531. .NSCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 512. .OakWood Sports (custom wood lockers). . . . 53 522. .OakWood Sports (lockers). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 543. .Ohio University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 511. .Polytan-USA (LigaGrass) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 507. .Polytan-USA (LigaTurf). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 529. .Power Lift (Nine-Foot Performance Rack). . . . 60 535. .Power Lift (Plate Loaded Seated Leg Press). . 58 537. .Power Systems (Power Yoke). . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 527. .Power Systems (Pro Series Half Cage). . . . . . 60 534. .Powernetics (Bulldog/Attacker). . . . . . . . . . . 58 532. .Powernetics (High Stepper). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 525. .Prep Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 520. .Pro Look Sports (“soft” tackle twill). . . . . . . . 54 519. .Pro Look Sports (uniforms) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 513. .ProGrass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 533. .Samson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 546. .Save-A-Tooth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 547. .Schedule Star/HighSchoolSports.net. . . . . . . 62 550. .Shaw Sportexe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 514. .Sports Attack (Snap Attack). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 521. .Sports Attack (universal cart clamp). . . . . . . . 55 556. .Stromgren (Flex Pad II girdle system). . . . . . . 57 557. .Stromgren (Nano Flex). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 538. .TurfCordz/NZ Mfg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 515. .Wizard Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 558. .Xenith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 549. .ZAMST (A2-DX). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 541. .ZAMST (IW-2 Icing Set). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

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CoachesNetwork.com


Team Equipment

Five-Pad Compression

Stromgren Athletics introduces its Flex Pad II dual-layer integrated football girdle system. The 1585 is a five-pad compression girdle with moisture-wicking hip, tail, and thigh pads. The 25-percent 280 denier lycra/75-percent 70 denier nylon fabric is treated with negative ions to enhance its antimicrobial, moisturewicking, and anti-odor properties. All Flex Pad II girdles have closed-cell EVA foam pads inside and outside the waistband, providing athletes with dual-layer protection to the iliac crest.

One-Stop Shopping

Eastbay Team Sales is your one-stop shop for everything players, coaches, and supporters need to get in the game. Check out the Eastbay All Sport Moisture Management Jacket and Pant, which features 100-percent moisture management construction to wick sweat away from the body, a full-zip jacket and snap-bottom pants for elite styling, and an internal media pocket to get you into the pregame flow. Call the company today for team-discounted pricing. Eastbay Team Sales • 800-841-5748 www.eastbayteamsales.com

Circle No. 555

Custom Athletic Interiors

Stromgren Athletics 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com Circle No.556

Web News Site features high-quality, versatile resistive exercise tools Detailed product information. An easy-to-use shopping cart. Limitedtime offers. And resourceful training videos. You can find it all on the NZ Manufacturing Web site. Known internationally since 1985, NZ Manufacturing provides high-quality, versatile resistive exercise tools for swim training, physical therapy, rehabilitation, sports training and general fitness. Its extensive line of TurfCordz, StrechCordz, and MediCordz products are engineered for maximum comfort, function and security to enhance performance. Explore the company’s easy-tonavigate site for more on these high-impact exercise tools. Search by product line or sport, order or download a catalog, check out the advisory blog, or contact NZ Manufacturing directly.

www.nzmfg.com

Consulting Designs Construction Delivery Installations

Lockers

1025 Clark Road Lansing, MI 48917 Phone: (517)321-6852 ◆ Fax: (517)321-0975 Email: OakWoodSports@aol.com

www.oakwoodsports.com Circle No. 142

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Coaching Management

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Strength & Conditioning Total-Body Power

Powernetics offers many products for the strength training needs of your players, including the Bulldog and the Attacker. The Bulldog isolates the hamstrings and glutes without putting stress on the knees and back. It also offers an explosive hack jump that develops power in the hamstrings, glutes, and quads—all from one exercise. The Attacker allows the athlete to fire and roll his hips while moving up and out into a full hand separation. Because of the intense movement, power is developed from the feet through the hands. Powernetics • 800-829-2928 www.powernetics.com

Circle No. 534

Super Training Tools

The TurfCordz Super Bungie Kit features interchangeable elements to help enhance performance through resistance. Elements include the Super Bungie Belt for comfort and security and a Super Bungie Handle designed to maintain comfort during strength and stretching exercises. The kit also includes three eight-foot (2.4-meter) Super Bungie Cords with 75 pounds (34 kilograms), 150 pounds (68 kilograms), and 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of pull. For more information on the full line of TurfCordz resistance products, designed to meet the extreme demands of high-level athletic training, contact the company today. NZ Manufacturing • 800-866-6621 www.turfcordz.com

Circle No. 538

Conference Call

NSCA’s new Coaches Conference offers a perfect combination of strength coaches’ education, the latest sport science information, and practical field coaching presentations. The Conference recently expanded to include presentations not only from respected leaders in the strength and conditioning world, but also from experts on hot topics such as legal issues for strength coaches and preventing sudden death in sport. Get the edge by registering at www.nsca-lift.org/coaches2011/.

NSCA • 800-815-6826 www.nsca-lift.org

Circle No. 531

Whole Body Vibration training is here to stay. Scientific white papers say so, and the benefits go beyond body weight exercises. Legend Fitness is the first to introduce a weightlifting platform designed to house a VibePlate unit inside for safer, more effective routines. The platform is also compatible with bench exercises, as the VibePlate is sold separately. Contact the company by telephone or online to learn more about its revolutionary platform.

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Coaching Management

The Plate Loaded Seated Leg Press is one of the newest innovations from Power Lift. Standard features include a ratchet seat mechanism that accommodates all user sizes; low start resistance; standard counter-balance; three-inchthick pads for user comfort and support; movable joints that feature ball bearings; standard weight horns; and standard rubber feet. The press is finished using Power Lift’s state-of-the-art power coat paint system. Power Lift • 800-872-1543 www.power-lift.com

Circle No. 536

Circle No. 535

Keeping Plates in Place

The Power Yoke allows athletes to perform dynamic or static movements without the hassle of plates shifting. Its threaded sleeves keep plates in place so even rotational exercises can be done without interference. The Power Yoke has a padded area for the shoulders and neck for added comfort, and can hold up to two 45-pound Olympic plates on each side. Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.powersystems.com

Circle No. 537

Reduce Groin Injuries

The High Stepper develops explosive power in the hip flexors and legs in a running motion, substantially increasing athletes’ speed, quickness, and durability. Coaches notice fewer groin injuries with their athletes after training on the High Stepper. It can improve 40-yard dash times, decrease groin injuries, and train the legs to explode higher and more powerfully. Powernetics • 800-829-2928 www.powernetics.com

Circle No. 532

Ideal for Everyone

The Samson Belt Squat’s brand new design limits the amount of floor space needed for this unique piece while making it easy for athletes of all sizes to use. It features adjustable handles, a unique loadrelease that brings athletes’ hands closer together while performing the exercise, an adjustable yoke that allows the hips to stay in their natural range of motion, and an adjustable chain with three different size belts. Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766 www.samsonequipment.com

Safety & Efficiency

Legend Fitness • 866-753-4363 www.legendfitness.com

Fully Loaded

Circle No. 533

Instant Feedback

This off-season, while your opponents are lifting, you can put the intensity of football into your workouts. MAXX provides a life-like dummy and a durable weight machine with state-of-the-art computer technology. The LED board gives your players instant feedback on their speed off the ball and the power of their punch as they work to increase strength and perfect their football technique. MAXX Football • 800-294-4654 www.maxxfootball.com

Circle No. 551 CoachesNetwork.com


Case Study

Spreading the Word Tennessee Finds an Indispensable Tool for its Passing, Receiving, and Snapping Drills Roger Frazier, University of Tennessee Equipment Manager

N

prepared to catch long punts, reacting to the spin and the direction the ball bounces when it hits the ground. That may sound like a little thing, but it can be quickly practiced with lots of reps, and it just might make a big difference in a game.

Based on recommendations, Frazier ordered a Snap Attack to replace a malfunctioning competitor’s machine. After several weeks of use by Tennessee’s special teams, he was instructed to buy a second machine; soon after, he received word to buy a third.

“Punt coverage is also much easier to practice. On returns, we sometimes do reverses. In the past, these exchanges were time-consuming and difficult to replicate. We couldn’t get reps because our old machines just weren’t accurate enough. Now reps are easy. We also do pooch kicks and on-side kicks, working on both coverage and returns. We also use the Snap Attack for defense. We can now work our defensive backs on protecting the seams of our zone coverages.

owhere does news travel faster than in the game of football. From coach to coach and equipment manager to equipment manager, word about the new Snap Attack Football Machine is spreading fast. Roger Frazier, University of Tennessee Equipment Manager since 1983, recently told Sports Attack that he heard about it from his counterpart at the University of Georgia, who in turn found out from Tommy Barber, a retired football coach.

Here’s what Frazier has to say about his Snap Attack Football Machines:

Compared to our old machines, the Snap Attack is “ much easier to operate because of its unique, solid throwing wheels. No longer do I have to worry about keeping tires inflated. Our new machines are extremely consistent, and with a short recovery time, we get in a lot of reps. Wherever I set the machine, balls are accurately thrown to the spot I want. “Our coaches immediately commented on the increased number of consistent reps they got in each drill. It is easy to operate, and even switching from right-hand to lefthand spin is a simple adjustment. “Once you lock in the Snap Attack, either in passing, punting, kickoff, or snapping position, every ball release is precisely repeatable. Both throwing wheels are well-guarded with easy-to-access controls, eliminating the burns I frequently got from brushing up against the exposed spinning tires of our old unit. I got more burns than you would think! “Our Snap Attacks are all mounted on carts, one set for long punts and one for deep, end-over-end kickoffs. For punts, we can instantly change the spin from a rightto a left-footed spin. Our receivers are

CoachesNetwork.com

“A very important feature of the Snap Attack is its ability to snap from ground height. The machine can instantly be set to throw from the same release point as an actual snapper. We use the machine for long snaps to our punters and for short snaps to our extra-point holders. As a result, we saw an immediate improvement in the timing between our kickers and holders. During practice, the machine frees our centers for other drills that are going on simultaneously. “There are almost too many uses of this machine to mention, from linebacker pass defense drills to bad snap drills. But the real key is repetition, no matter the drill. The Snap Attack provides quality repetitive drills that were impossible with our old tire machines. We are better off using the Snap Attack, and I am glad to spread the word.”

Sports Attack P.O. Box 1529 • Verdi, NV 89439 800-717-4251 info@sportsattack.com www.sportsattack.com

Coaching Management

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Power Racks Wide Base Monster Rack

The Wide Base Monster Rack features a specially designed non-slip diamond plate covering to protect athletes’ feet, self-locking jumbo steel pins and “J” hooks, a deep-knurled chinning bar in front, a side-mounted chinning bar, and 33 inches of space between the front and rear posts. An extra-wide base increases versatility by allowing for stretching and rowing movements.

Dimensions: 84” tall x 84” wide x 76” deep

(also available in 84” and 96” heights) Weight: 464 pounds Tubing: 3” x 3” Gauge: 11 New York Barbells • 800-446-1833 www.newyorkbarbells.com

Circle No. 526

Pro Series Half Cage

The space-saving Power Systems Pro Series Half Cage requires only 12 frame bolts, but includes dozens of features and accessories. Monster Hooks with advanced polymer contact surfaces, seven-gauge chrome racking, a multi-grip chin-up bar, resistance band pegs, Olympic bar storage, 3” x 2” adjustable bar catches, chin-up ropes, dip attachments, and landmine attachments are included.

Dimensions: 99” tall x 64” wide x 58” deep Weight: 425 pounds Tubing: 3” Gauge: 11 Warranty: 12 years on structural welds and frames, five

years for bushings and bearings Customizing options: Team colors Recent installations:

• US Embassy in Afghanistan Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.power-systems.com

Circle No. 527

Heavy Duty Racks

Hammer Strength Heavy Duty Racks are ideal for athletic fitness facilities that take strength to the next level, and are available in six-, seven-, and nine-foot systems.

Recent installations:

• University of Louisville • Baylor High School, Chattanooga, TN • Canton High School, MA Life Fitness • 800-634-8637 www.lifefitness.com

Circle No. 528

Performance Power Rack As standard features, the Nine-Foot Performance Rack includes five-peg weight storage, bumper plate storage, safety catches, spotters’ platforms, space for a “lever action” bench, and a pulley unit. This combination makes it the perfect weight-training station for any facility.

Dimensions: 108” tall x 104” wide x 122” deep Weight: 1,500 pounds Tubing: 4” x 3” Gauge: 7 Warranty: Lifetime conditional warranty on frame compo-

nents, one year on bearings, 90 days on items not specified Customizing options: Design, team logo, team colors Unique accessories:

• Patented “lever action” bench • Patented “rhino hook” bar catches • Adjustable cable columns with 600-pound weight stack Recent installations:

• University of Connecticut • University of Northern Colorado • University of Kansas Power Lift • 800-872-1543 www.power-lift.com

Circle No. 529

Pro Series Half Rack

The Pro Series Half Rack comes standard with a fully-welded frame with 12 frame bolts, a seven-gauge chrome racking system, chrome-plated Olympic storage, bar storage, long-reach hooks with replaceable polymer contact surfaces, resistance band pegs, and band storage. Dimensions: 104” tall x 64” wide x 58” deep Weight: 630 pounds Tubing: 3” x 3” Gauge: 11 Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on frame, one year on

components, 90 days on grips Customizing options: Design, team logo, team colors, 16

standard paint colors, 87 standard upholstery colors Unique accessories:

Dimensions: 110" tall x 66” wide x 76.5"

deep Weight: 868 pounds Tubing: 3” x 3” Gauge: 7 Warranty: 10 years on frame Customizing options: Design, team logo, team colors Unique accessories:

• Band pegs at the top and bottom on the rack • Multiple chin-up handles • 10 Olympic weight plate holders

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• Single and dual landmine attachments for versatile, ground-based exercises • Octagonal insert platform with three frame pieces • Fully welded technique trays with chrome plated rest area Recent installations:

• D1 Sports Training, Savannah, GA • Florida Panthers • Ohio State University Legend Fitness • 866-753-4363 www.legendfitness.com

Circle No. 530 CoachesNetwork.com


Case Study

Grass Isn’t Always Greener

Boys’ Latin School of Maryland Makes the Switch to Synthetic Turf

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n a town where lacrosse is king, every Tuesday and Friday brings a highly competitive game in the revered MIAA Conference. Canceling even one game due to weather or an unrepaired grass field makes playoff bids almost impossible to determine. As a solution, schools scramble to find highly durable synthetic fields, paying top dollar in rental fees and even scheduling some games in the mid-afternoon. One of the participating K-12 schools, Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, decided it was time to upgrade to a more dependable option for its students. Athletic administrators needed a surface that could handle extensive use by 631 boys and satisfy the demands of the entire sports program, consisting of lacrosse, football and soccer. In October 2004, the Board of Trustees, along with school officials, made the decision to replace their long-time natural grass fields with a synthetic surface. “The Boys’ Latin School and its athletic department made a strategic move to install two synthetic turf fields to replace our two primary natural grass fields,” says Athletic Director Michael Thomas. “While being landlocked, the condition of the natural grass fields was terrible with determinants such as weather, compaction, and overuse.” After doing some research and meeting with representatives from Shaw Sportexe, Boys’ Latin learned that synthetic turf systems can withstand up to four times the amount of play of natural grass, allowing them to endure high traffic from every sport, club, and organization in its athletic program. And with a high-tech drainage system, teams can stay on schedule regardless of the weather.

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“We looked at multiple playing surfaces before deciding on Shaw Sportexe,” says Thomas. “It is a similar surface to that used by the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, which is ranked one of the best by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).” In addition to a great reputation for quality, Shaw Sportexe designs turf systems around key performance criteria. By measuring both athlete-surface interactions and ballsurface interactions, turf systems can be built to ensure the ultimate combination of durability, playability, and safety. “Our Shaw Sportexe fields have provided our community with a safe, consistent, and playable space for athletic events, physical education classes, and a variety of other school activities,” says Thomas. In addition to the game schedule, Boys’ Latin physical education classes have been using the fields non-stop. Additionally, visiting toplevel college teams are using it as a practice site prior to their games in Baltimore. Boys’ Latin students are able to see college practices and get first-hand knowledge of the physical demands of NCAA Division I sports programs. Over time, Boys’ Latin has continued to see great things from its Shaw Sportexe fields. “Our fields are five and six years old, respectively, and have held up very well,” says Thomas. “Post-installation maintenance and the associative service from the Shaw Sportexe crews have been wonderful.”

Shaw Sportexe 1201 Roberts Blvd. NW, Suite 220 • Kennesaw, GA 30144 866-703-4004 • info@shawinc.com www.shawsportexe.com

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The English Channel, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Great Britain from northern France, is known for strong tides, chilling temperatures, and heavy commercial traffic. In fact, it boasts a less than 50-percent success rate for solo swims each season.

“After looking at all the different synthetic turf providers available, we felt FieldTurf was the best choice. FieldTurf’s commitment to player performance and safety was a major factor in our decision.”

However, the channel proved to be no match for “Fast Eddie” Peinado. Peinado successfully crossed it on July 18, 2010. And NZ Manufacturing, a leader in high-quality resistance training tools, was proud to be part of this achievement.

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—Houston Nutt, Head Football Coach, University of Mississippi

—Jim Tressel, Head Football Coach, Ohio State University

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