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CONTENTS | FOOTBALL Edition | POSTseason 2012 | Vol. XX, No. 10
LEADERSHIP 25 When the Going
COVER STORY 18 Safety Patrol Today’s safeties are being asked to do more than ever before. Top coaches explain how they help these key players master all their assignments.
A losing season can take its toll on even the most experienced coach. Learning strategies for handling such a year can make a big difference.
High school team debates playing on Sunday … Replacing playbooks with iPads … Hosting a Victory Day … NAIA coach resigns, then re-examines … How to win in overtime … Dance coach helps reduce injuries.
45 Product Launch 46 UNIFORMS & APPAREL
47 STRENGTH & CONDITIONING 52 MORE PRODUCTS
Publisher Mark Goldberg
Marketing Director Sheryl Shaffer
Editorial Dept. Eleanor Frankel, Director Abigail Funk, Dennis Read, R.J. Anderson, Patrick Bohn, Kristin Maki, Mary Kate Murphy
Production Dept. Maria Bise, Director Neal Betts, Trish Landsparger
Art Director Pamela Crawford
Special Projects Dave Wohlhueter, Natalie Couch
Mailing lists for Coaching Management Football are provided by the Clell Wade Coaches Directory. The Coaching Management Football edition is published in March, May, and November by MAG, Inc. and is distributed free to college and high school coaches in the United States and Canada.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING 31 STRONG NECKS To help reduce concussions, this NCAA Division I strength coach implemented a comprehensive neck testing and strengthening program.
Q&A 15 Andro Williams The Head Coach at Linden (Ala.) High School, Andro Williams talks about coaching at a small school, motivating players to work hard, and what he looks for in assistant coaches.
On the cover
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 40 TEAM EQUIPMENT 42 FOOTBALL FACILITIES 44 COACHING AIDS
50 ADVERTISER’S DIRECTORY
University of Louisville safeties break up a pass vs. the University of North Carolina during a Cardinal early season victory. Our cover story, beginning on page 18, offers advice on working with safeties. COVER PHOTO: JAMIE RHODES/US PRESSWIRE
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Coaching Management Postseason 2012 1
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BULLETIN BOARD POSTSEASON 2012
5 iPads replace playbooks
High School News
Playing on Sunday Over the past decade, late August Sundays have become a showcase for high school football with the ESPN network matching powerful teams from different regions in a kickoff classic format at large, neutral site stadiums. This year, though, the cameras were also focused on a small Tennessee city when Maryville and Alcoa high schools renewed their annual rivalry. George Quarles, Head Coach and Athletic Director at Maryville, was thrilled with the idea of having the game broadcasted from his home field to a national audience—until he was told ESPN had slated the contest for noon on Aug. 26, a Sunday. His first response upon learning the date and time was to turn the network down. “I told them we can play on a Saturday or a Friday, but I was afraid Sunday wouldn’t be received well by the community,” Quarles says. “I did not want people to have to choose between going to church or going to the game.”
5 Spreading the
thrill of victory
6 Head coach
But ESPN was not budging on the schedule, and Quarles—excited about the exposure the event would generate for the area and his players—was hesitant to forego an opportunity most teams don’t get. In addition, his counterparts at Alcoa High School wanted to go ahead with the game. “They told me their community supported the idea and suggested that I call a couple of our churches,” Quarles says. One of the first churches Quarles turned to was New Providence Presbyterian, which is located right across the street from Maryville High School. “They provide a lot of the parking for our football games, and they probably would have been the most impacted,” he says. “To my surprise, they were very receptive to the idea. They saw it as an opportunity to reach out to the community and do some mission work. “From there, I called some other churches,” Quarles continues. “We received a couple of negative responses, but most said, ‘This sounds like a great thing for our community and we’ll gladly move our services. Church doesn’t always have to be a certain time every Sunday.’ If
8 3 Qs on winning in overtime
10 Dancing away injuries
we had gotten a lot of negative backlash, we wouldn’t have done it.” Although Quarles and Alcoa administrators received one out-of-town letter saying they would go to hell for playing on a Sunday, the local churches that didn’t support the game were far less strident. Quarles took the criticism in stride and kept the communication professional. “A couple of church leaders told me that I was only doing this for me and not the kids, and if we had the game on Sunday they wouldn’t be there,” Quarles says. “I replied that I respectfully disagreed, but I appreciated their honesty. We tried to honor their thoughts about the issue, then weighed things on both sides before deciding to play.” Quarles made it clear to his team that he was willing to accommodate players who wished to attend services on game day. “We had a few kids who wanted to go to church and then come to the game,” he says. “I told them, ‘Absolutely. You go to church and when you get to the field, you can go through warmups and everything will be fine.’ We would have been okay with that even if they got there after kickoff.” All of Quarles’s up-front work paid off, as the game was a huge success and Maryville beat its rival 42-24. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he says. “I really enjoyed talking with Dan Hawkins, the former Colorado and Boise State coach, who was one of the announcers. The kids got a lot of exposure and had a great experience—they’ll be able to tell people for a long time that they played on national TV.” While the overlap of church services and gametime was Quarles’s main concern with the noon Sunday kickoff, he also dealt with a short turnaround for the next week’s game, which was Maryville’s district opener. “We ended up giving the players Monday off,” he says “We couldn’t ask them to play on Sunday and practice on Monday. Tuesday we practiced in shorts and shoulder pads, and Wednesday was our only full practice day.”
Maryville (Tenn.) High School scores during its game against Alcoa High, which had a kickoff time of noon on a Sunday in order to be televised on ESPN. Head Coach George Quarles spoke with area clergy before going ahead with the contest.
Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 3
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BULLETIN BOARD The Red Rebels won that game against West High School in Knoxville 4733, but Quarles feels the short week took its toll. “We came out a little sluggish that Friday, especially defensively,” he says. “We didn’t have time to add anything to our game plan, so we just went with our base packages. “The biggest problem was the lack of routine,” he continues. “We had a long week before the Alcoa game and then a short week before West. I’m a big fan of routine and we just couldn’t get into one. It was definitely worth it, but I wouldn’t want to do it every year.” Equipment Room
Paperless Playbooks For the 2012 season, a handful of college football programs followed the lead of eight NFL teams by trading traditional printed playbooks for iPads. Along with their football-related uses, the tablets are also proving valuable for boosting academics. At Arizona State University, Head Coach Todd Graham has found his players are more involved with the electronic playbooks than they were with paper ones. “Most football players are very visual. I give them a playbook, they won’t look at it. They put it on an iPad, they’ll look at it,” Graham told the Tucson Citizen. “It also maximizes our time by using technology.” In addition to storing a team’s playbook, the iPads allow players to review game film anywhere at anytime. Tim Cassidy, Senior Associate Athletic Director for
Football Operations at Arizona State, thinks this has made the team more prepared for its opponents. “The iPads are linked to a server that holds all of our video information,” he says. “In the past, players would have to come to the football building if they wanted to watch film of upcoming opponents. Now they can watch film regardless of where they are. “We always tell our players the mental edge that comes from knowing your opponent is a big part of being a college football player,” Cassidy continues. “The tablets have become great teaching tools for us.” The University of Colorado is also using iPads, and Jashon Sykes, Director of Football Operations, says the cost is less than the expense for printing traditional playbooks, especially since the books would grow longer as new information was added throughout the season. “The old-school paper method where you print a bunch of information and hand it out to the team over the course of a year gets really expensive,” says Sykes. “We frequently had to purchase new printers because we were using them so much.” On the academic side, Jean Boyd, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development at Arizona State, believes the new technology has also made players a little more excited about their education. “Some of our stu-
Arizona State University junior safety Alden Darby watches game film on his iPad earlier this year. ASU Head Coach Todd Graham says using the new technology better engages his players and saves time.
dent-athletes loathe sitting down to do schoolwork,” he says. “But now they are more energized because they have this new way to do their work. It helps open their minds to ways they can be more constructive with their studies.” Arizona State utilizes the Dragon Dictation app, which allows student-athletes to write papers through dictation. The Text-to-Speech app lets players download textbooks and other class materials and then reads the text back to them. Colorado, meanwhile, uses the iPads to monitor team grades. The players’ tablets are linked to their school’s e-Education platform so a coach can check their progress whenever necessary. Boyd thinks the iPads will continue to have an effect on the Sun Devils football program for years to come. “The players love them. The coaches love them,” he says. “I think they’re definitely here to stay.” Community Relations
A Clear Victory After Aaron Segedi, Defensive Coordinator at Trenton (Mich.) High School, defeated cancer for the first time in 2005, he emerged with a new outlook on life. His sister had donated 70 percent of her kidney to him, and he was extremely grateful both to her and for being alive, so he decided to respond by giving something back to his community. This led him to implement a character development program with his players called Victory Day that gives cognitively and physically impaired children an opportunity to be involved in football. Now in its third year, the success of the program is starting to be noticed nationwide. Approximately 50 children are involved in the Trenton event each year, most of whom go to a local school catering to students with Down syndrome and autism. On Victory Day, each student is paired with a Trenton football player or cheerleader, who works with them throughout the morning. They participate in football or cheer drills, play a mock game, and are surrounded by the hoopla of a traditional high school contest. The highlight of the day is when each participant scores a touchdown against a defense made up of varsity football players. “As the kids run for their touchdowns, our players dive and roll around ‘trying’ to tackle them,” Segedi says. “There’s also a play-by-play announcer who does a terrific job. Part of the fun for the kids is hearing their names called after they score.”
Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 5
BULLETIN BOARD In addition to the events on the field, participants are treated to a lunch cooked and donated by the Trenton Touchdown Club, the school band plays, and a photographer is on hand to capture the memories. The children and their families are also given free admission to the varsity game the night before, and are honored on the field prior to the contest. While the event serves as a lifelong memory for the kids involved, it also is a great learning opportunity for the Trenton athletes. The football staff teaches a
different virtue to players each week during the season, and the virtue for Victory Day week is selflessness. “The players really enjoy meeting the kids and working with them,” Segedi says. “When they run for their touchdowns, some of our players will line the sides of the field and go crazy. “It’s also an eye-opening experience for them,” he continues. “Sometimes the players complain about having to run in heavy pads, but they see that these kids who come to Victory Day would love to be able to do that.” Victory Day had its third running at Trenton this past September, and is starting to be duplicated at other high schools. Segedi says three schools in Michigan planned their own Victory Days this For more information year, as did one on Victory Day, visit: school each in Ohio victorydayfootball.com and Kentucky. “We really want to get a lot of schools involved and turn this into more than just a Trenton thing,” Segedi says. 6 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
For coaches interested in starting their own Victory Day, Segedi says a key is to keep the event moving and the children occupied. He divides the participants into two groups. While one is waiting to score touchdowns, the other is participating in various football drills or learning cheers. “They’ll learn how to kick extra points through a youth goalpost and how to tackle using dummies,” Segedi says. “There are six different circuits in all. It’s important to keep the kids active. If you
Trenton (Mich.) High School players chase after a participant in Victory Day, a special event that gives disabled children the experience of being involved in a football program.
have 50 kids standing in lines, it can turn into a nightmare. “We also try to keep the activities to one and a half or two hours,” he continues. “The attention span for the kids just isn’t there for anything longer than that.” Segedi adds that the costs are minimal. “You don’t need to have a big budget,” he says. “We’re in the process now of getting corporate sponsors to help out—for our own program and also to have seed money to help other schools get started. “The biggest fear I’ve heard from people is that they don’t have time to do it,” he continues. “But I would encourage anyone to try, because it’s so rewarding. What you gain far outweighs the time you put into planning it. It’s amazing to see the faces of the parents watching
their child run across the goal line, or to see a father pushing his daughter into the end zone in her wheelchair. It’s a very moving day.” Coaching Life
From Resignation to Revelation Sitting in front of assembled media and athletic department personnel on a Tuesday in Mid August, Carroll College Head Coach Mike Van Diest knew he had some explaining to do. Twenty-four hours earlier, Van Diest had resigned. Twenty-two hours after that, he had rescinded his resignation. A well-respected coach who has led the Saints to six NAIA Division I national championships and three runner-up finishes in 14 years at the helm, Van Diest had spent the day of Aug. 20 going through a personal and professional revelation. His explanation of the process was emotional and profound. “I resigned because I realized that I was only seeing players for what they could give me on the field,” says Van Diest. “I began to question the leadership I was providing, my approachability, and the philosophical direction the program was moving in.” A seemingly innocuous staff meeting following an intrasquad scrimmage prompted his decision to resign. “We got together as a staff to evaluate the tape and as I listened to us as coaches comment on players, I realized we were talking about a couple of them in a way that attacked their performance on a personal level,” he says. “As I processed that, it really bothered me.” Following the meeting, Van Diest began taking stock of all aspects of his life. “I was worried about my relationships with people off the field, including friends and family,” he says. “I felt I was getting so obsessed as a football coach and being controlling in all aspects of my life that I was forgetting about the human element.” Much of his approach, he realized, was driven by fear. In 1985, he was part of a staff that was fired from the University of Montana. “That was gut-wrenching,” Van Diest says. “I never wanted that to happen to me or my family again. Afterwards, I had a passion not to lose and not be fired—especially when I became a head coach. “Over time, that mentality grew to the point where I wasn’t enjoying the wins as much as I suffered when we lost,” he continues. “The losses stayed with me so long, and I wasn’t enjoying Saturday afternoons when the game was over. Continued on page 10 CoachesNetwork.com
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Few programs have enjoyed more overtime success than Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers entered the 2012 season with eight wins in nine overtime games, then added a historic 32-31 OT road victory over the University of Kentucky on Sept. 15. The common thread through all nine wins has been Willie Taggart. Now in his third year as Head Coach, Taggart was quarterback for WKU’s first three successful overtime contests and was an assistant coach at the school for eight seasons. He then spent three seasons as an assistant at Stanford University before returning to WKU as Head Coach in 2010. But even he had never seen a game end quite the way the Kentucky one did. After yielding a game-tying touchdown in the last minute of the fourth quarter, WKU saw the Wildcats reach the end zone on the opening possession of overtime. The Hilltoppers answered with a touchdown of their own and then used a trick play—a throw-back pass from running
Winning in Overtime back Antonio Andrews to quarterback Kawaun Jakes—to win the game with a two-point conversion. It was WKU’s first victory over a Southeastern Conference team and its biggest since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2007. We talked to Taggart soon after the big game. How have you been able to be so successful in overtime at Western Kentucky? There’s no secret formula other than to try to create the right environment at that time. As a head coach you can be too serious in those situations and then your guys are not relaxed enough to do their jobs. So I try to be even-keeled and talk to our players about how this is an opportunity to do something special, and how those don’t come along very often. What was your thought process behind going for the two-point conversion against Kentucky instead of kicking the extra point and extending overtime? You have to know your players and understand what your team is feeling at that moment in the game.
Defensively, we weren’t playing with the same intensity we had earlier in the game. Kentucky had taken over the momentum and started moving the ball easier than before. So immediately after they scored a touchdown to start overtime, I decided we would go WILLIE TAGGART for two if we scored. I don’t think that’s something you can decide before the game, but once we got to that moment, I knew it was the right decision for our guys. The Kentucky crowd had gotten back into the game and they had all the momentum. I believe the team that has the momentum has the advantage. Why did you call for a trick play on the two-point conversion with the game on the line? In that situation, I like to go with something the defense hasn’t seen yet. We had just put the play into our offense the week before, and our players begged us to call it throughout the game. We didn’t, though. The play wasn’t intended for a two-point conversion, but I saw how badly they wanted to use it. I told the guys, “Here’s your chance to make it go,” and they were fired up about it. When players are that fired up and feel that confident about making a play work, then I have no worries about making the call. I also expected Kentucky wouldn’t be thinking about a throwback to the quarterback in this situation. Our tailback had been playing well, so I figured if we threw the ball out to him, they’d all pursue him, and sure enough, they did. Kawaun Jakes crosses the goal line for the winning two-point conversion that allowed Western Kentucky University to beat the University of Kentucky in overtime.
8 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
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10 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
Carroll College Head Coach Mike Van Diest speaks to the media after resigning then rescinding his resignation during preseason camp.
else? What happened where you could have done something differently? “If you analyze those things every day, the next time a similar situation comes up, you’ll react better,” says Van Diest. “It’s just like teaching a player a skill on offense or defense—the more times they see something, the more it slows down and the more comfortable they become making decisions. “Before, when I made a mistake, I would just move on to the next day without really worrying about how my actions affected others on a personal level,” he adds. “Now, instead of only thinking about what I need to do the next day, I’m reflecting on what happened that day and how I can be a better coach and person tomorrow.” Injury Prevention
Dance to the Rescue People walking past the football field at Moriarty (N.M.) High School after summer practice sessions often do a double take. After all, the last thing they expect to see is football players doing splits and kicks with pointed toes. Head Coach Bob Allcorn has a reputation for producing winning teams at Moriarty. But after injuries plagued his 2009 and 2010 squads, he wanted to find
Even if we won, it was more of a relief, and I would immediately look ahead to the next game. I think those behaviors consumed me and carried over to my personal relationships. I lost touch with the people around me.” At that point, he felt the only solution was to resign, which he did. Over the next day, however, Van Diest did what he says felt like a week’s worth of soul searching. In the end, he realized that he couldn’t run away from his problems or his team. In fact, it became clear doing so right before the start of the season would be a selfish act that would negatively affect his players and assistants. But he knew significant changes were necessary if he was going to continue coaching. “I needed to spend more time leading with my heart, and not just my head,” he says. “One of my biggest problems is that sometimes I over-react to things rather than just react. I say something without considering the emotional consequences for the other person. I’m trying to develop a pause button so that when something happens, I’ll take a breath, think for a second about the emotional consequences what I’m planning to say will have on the other person, and then speak.” Another change he’s made is engaging in daily self-evaluation and reflection. Each morning before he leaves for work, Van Diest takes time to ponder that day’s duties and how he can be a better communicator and a better person in fulfilling them. When he returns home in the evening, he spends time reflecting on his day using a checklist that asks: What happened during the day that was positive? Did you make a difference for someone
a way to keep his players on the field. Enter Taña Chavez, the Head Coach of Moriarty’s Dance Team and the 2010-11 State Spirit Coach of the Year. “I felt that we needed to improve our flexibility in order to reduce injuries,” says Allcorn. “So I asked Taña if she would teach my players stretching techniques.” Chavez agreed and in the summer of 2011, the football squad joined the dance team at the end of their practices for 15 minutes one day a week. “We specifically focused on increasing the flexibility of their feet and ankles, legs, hip flexors, and backs,” says Chavez. “When the boys get hit on the field and their body is contorted, if they aren’t flexible enough to bend, injuries are going to happen. But if they are flexible, it will be easier for them to recover and keep playing.” For many of the football players, the stretches took getting used to—physically and mentally. “Challenging them to try things outside their comfort zone was probably the biggest hurdle,” says Allcorn. “Some of the stretches were a bit uncomfortable, especially the splits, so there was a bit of moaning and groaning. But the players bought into it once they realized it could help them.” Chavez’s routine includes many dynamic stretches that require body awareness. “One stretch called ‘rock the baby’ has the athletes stand with their feet further than shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips like they are going to touch the ground, cradle their arms like they are holding a baby, and swing them back and forth, trying to drag their elbows across the ground,” she says. “They do kicks where they take a step and kick forward, step and kick to the sides, and then step and kick backward. “I also have them do ‘step and squats’ where they take a step forward, squat, and then as they stand back up, rotate a half-turn, then step and squat again,” she continues. “We do lunges and ground rolls—in which the athletes take a step and roll across the ground in a very controlled motion, then stand up again without using their hands for support.” Other exercises zero in on the ankles. “To stretch their ankles, they sit on the ground with their legs straight out in front of them and their hands on top of their thighs,” Chavez says. “They try to point their toes down and flex their heels up off the ground.” The dance work paid off. Moriarty’s 2011 season was relatively injury-free, and the squad improved its record from 6-5 to 9-4, winning the District 5-4A Championship. Allcorn believes the stretches done with Chavez had an impact on performance and he increased his team’s time with her to three 20-minute sessions a week during the 2012 preseason. This
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BULLETIN BOARD year, the players were more excited about the stretching routine. “A lineman told me he could see the difference in his range of motion in the weightroom,” says Chavez. “He was able to squat down much deeper than last season while lifting the same weight. Another player recovering from knee surgery said because of his increased flexibility, his knee felt stronger than it did before the injury.” Allcorn plans to continue the workouts with Chavez as long as his team keeps seeing results. “Some old-school coaches might think it’s an odd choice, but I look at the benefits,” he says. “We are increasing the flexibility of our players and preventing injury. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep our athletes safe, and this is an innovative way to do that.” At Moriarty (N.M.) High School, football players improve their flexibility under the direction of Taña Chavez, Head Dance Coach at the school, which has helped reduce injury rates on the squad.
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Linden prides itself on its defense, allowing its opponents an average of less than eight points per game in each of the past three seasons.
Q&A with Andro williams | Linden High SchooL, Alabama The impact of Andro Williams on Linden (Ala.) High School’s football team would be difficult to overstate. Taking over as Head Coach in 2007, he inherited a program that had gone 6-3 the year before and directed it to a 10-win season and the third round of the state playoffs. Since then, things have only gotten better.
named Class 1A Coach of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
In his first five years at the helm, Williams tallied a 60-9 record and guided Linden to numerous runs deep into the state playoffs. In 2011, despite being forced to play every game on the road, the Patriots tied a school record by winning 13 contests and advanced to the state championship game. For his efforts, Williams was
What is your coaching philosophy?
Williams also serves as Athletic Director at Linden, and in 2008, briefly pulled tripleduty when he stepped in as head girls’ basketball coach. In this interview, he talks about instilling a work ethic in his players, the benefits of coaching at a smaller school, and why he likes to hire assistants who want to become head coaches.
We stress to our players that their focus shouldn’t be on winning and losing, but on working as hard as they can to improve every day. If they do that, the score will take care of itself. We also emphasize that there are life lessons not just on the field, but in the weightroom and the classroom, so they need to work hard in every endeavor.
We teach them that hard work needs to become a habit. The players are only here for a short period of time, and they can’t waste any of it not being focused in pursuit of their goals. That’s helped us achieve success. How do you get players to buy into working hard?
It helps to break goals down into smaller parts and show the players how accomplishing each part leads to something bigger. For example, we ask them to reach a certain goal in the weightroom because it’s going to directly impact what they’re able to do on the field. Then, when they accomplish that weightroom goal, they get excited and work even harder toward the next benchmark. You’ve been incredibly successful at Linden, but a state title has been elusive. How do you manage expectations? Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 15
Winning the state title is our ultimate goal, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on the players. We work hard to strike a healthy balance. For example, we had a sign on the wall in our weightroom that listed all the information about the 2012 state championship game, to keep the kids motivated. At the same time, we constantly stressed that we needed to take everything one day and one play at a time. In 2011, your team couldn’t play on its usual home field due to a rent dispute. How were you able to deal with that?
I always tell my players and staff not to worry about things we can’t control. We couldn’t control the field issue, so there was no point in worrying about it. During my career here, we’ve been as successful on the road as we have at home, and because of that, we’ve instilled an attitude in our players that we can win anywhere. Our stance is, if there are lines on the ground, we can play. What are the benefits and drawbacks to coaching at a small school?
One of the biggest benefits is that you get to know all your players. At a larger
school, kids can sometimes get lost in the in the future, it’s easy for them to become crowd. Here at Linden, I get the chance to be complacent, and when coaches become cominvolved with all team members. placent, the program doesn’t progress like it On the flip side, working at a small school should. If a program isn’t progressing when means I have fewer assistant coaches, and they each serve as the head coach of another sport. Sometimes, that “I don’t want someone means we can’t work on certain funwho is a ‘yes’ man ... damentals as much as we’d like. What do you look for in assistant coaches?
When assistant coaches start making suggestions, my mind becomes more active and that helps make me a better head coach.”
I don’t want someone who is a “yes” man, but rather someone who’s comfortable giving their own insight and opinion. When assistant coaches start making suggestions, my mind becomes more active and that helps make me a better head coach. That’s why I communicate our program’s goals clearly to assistants right away—so they have the information needed to offer input on how we can achieve those goals. Additionally, I always look for assistant coaches who want to be head coaches someday, even though that means I have to deal with more turnover. My philosophy is that if someone doesn’t want to be a head coach
you’re the head coach, you won’t be around for very long. What are the keys to making the transition from assistant to head coach?
The main thing to remember is that you can’t coach the same way the head coach did at your last job. Coaches might see something that resonated with players at one school and automatically think it will work for them
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Q&A at their next job. But your kids might come from different backgrounds, or be dealing with different problems, and what worked for others won’t work for them. You need to figure out what your team needs and put your own stamp on the program. When I came to Linden, for example, they hadn’t experienced the same level of success as at my previous school, Sweet Water, where I was defensive coordinator. So I decided we were going to focus on the fundamentals of the game and not overload them with team rules and regulations right away. I simply told them, “Pull up your pants, take out your earrings, and let’s go to work at becoming better players.” Another tactic that has helped me is following the three D’s: Decide, Delegate, and Disappear. When something needs to get done, I make a decision, delegate certain responsibilities to my players or coaches, and then disappear and let them take ownership of the responsibility.
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What are some ways you’ve followed the three D’s with your players and assistant coaches?
I give my players the responsibility of showing up every day and doing what they need to in order to make themselves and those around them better. Rather than constantly remind them of that responsibility, I put it in their hands, and let it play out. That way, they develop the accountability needed for us to be successful. I employ a similar strategy with my assistant coaches. We meet every Sunday during the season and discuss each other’s responsibilities. Everyone has their role, and when people develop accountability, good things happen. How do you balance your role as athletic director with your coaching duties?
I have a great relationship with my administration. My principal always keeps himself involved and at certain times during the year—especially during football season—he handles some questions and small tasks. It’s been a huge help, and it’s why I always tell coaches they should look hard at the quality of the administration before taking any new job.
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sAFETY PATROL Today’s safeties are being asked to do more than ever before. Top coaches explain how they help these key players master all their assignments. | By Patrick Bohn
Jess Loepp, Safeties Coach at the University of Tulsa, expects his upperclassmen to remember detailed information about opponents’ tendencies. So when he spotted a trend in an opponent’s passing attack while studying film, he shared his discovery with then-junior safety Dexter McCoil. “I saw that every time they lined up in a specific formation, they had one of the receivers run a little dig route before throwing to him,” Loepp says. “I told Dexter that if he waited for the play to develop, he could jump the route and make a big play. He’s the smartest player I’ve ever coached, so I knew he would be able to store that information and use it when the opportunity arose.” Early in the third quarter, McCoil got his chance. The opponent lined up in the formation Loepp described. The quarterback dropped back to pass and McCoil, seeing the receiver’s route develop just as Loepp predicted, stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball, then raced 74 yards for a touchdown. That play was one of many reasons McCoil was named to the 2012 Jim
Thorpe Award watch list for the top defensive back in NCAA Division I. But it also highlights the changing nature of the safety position in the game. The proliferation of spread offenses means safeties are no longer responsible for simply covering the deep middle. More than ever, they’re being asked to cover receivers and help in run support, often while handling the brunt of a defense’s pre-snap reads. In this article, coaches share secrets on getting the most out of the last line of defense. COVER CHARGE
Without a doubt, one of the biggest changes in a safety’s job description is increased coverage duties. “The old-school thinking was that your safety was a player with all the skills
University of Louisville safeties Calvin Pryor III and Hakeem Smith break up a pass intended for University of North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron during a mid-September contest. Photo by JAMIE RHODES/US PRESSWIRE
of a cornerback except the ability to cover receivers man-to-man,” says Robert Craft, Head Coach at North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee. “But today, you’re going to need to match them up on a wide receiver in the slot more often, so they better be able to handle that assignment.” Teaching safeties the skills needed to blanket receivers is a challenge, however. Because
remind them that time is on their side,” he says. “If they’re dropping back and they turn their shoulders to the right or left, then the receiver has the advantage of knowing where we want him to go. The safety’s goal is to give ground to the receiver while keeping his shoulders square. Once the receiver releases to the right or left, then the safety can become aggressive.” Malone uses a “shadow” drill to help his
their eyes focused on the receiver’s core, and have active feet. To teach that, I incorporate a lot of coverage drills where the defensive player can’t use his hands as a crutch. “In one drill, I have a safety line up across from a wide receiver with his hands behind his back,” he continues. “The receiver runs at three-quarter speed and weaves left and right. The only way the safety can stay in front of
“Safeties have to change direction so often when covering a receiver that staying low is essential. I tell my players it’s like driving down a winding mountain road. You’d rather be in a Lamborghini than a monster truck.” Jess Loepp, University of Tulsa safeties are often covering slot receivers as opposed to wideouts, they need to use different techniques than cornerbacks. “The sideline limits what a wide receiver on the outside can do when working against a corner,” Loepp says. “But a slot receiver has the freedom to go wherever he wants and safeties are making a big mistake if they try to take away every possible route. So I always tell them, ‘Focus on whether you need to take away inside or outside leverage based on the coverage, and then do it. That’s your only goal.’” Van Malone, Safeties Coach at Oklahoma State University, also encourages his players to temper their aggressiveness in coverage. “I
safeties with that aspect of coverage. “I match a wide receiver with a safety and tell the safety to imagine the sun is directly behind the wide receiver, casting a shadow forward,” he says. “The wide receiver runs forward, moving left and right like a snake and the safety, shuffling backwards with his hands up and on the inside balls of his feet, has to stay in his shadow.” Proper technique is crucial for safeties who are trying to stick with receivers in coverage. “I spend a lot of time teaching my safeties that regardless of who they’re covering, their technique does not change,” says Ryan Andrews, Defensive Backs Coach at Benjamin Banneker High School in College Park, Ga. “They still have to be patient, play with
InterchangEable parts While cornerbacks and safeties have different roles and thus utilize different skills, teaching safeties the same things you teach your cornerbacks can pay dividends for both the team and the player. That’s the philosophy of Ryan Andrews, Defensive Backs Coach at Benjamin Banneker High School in College Park, Ga. “You need to make sure your safeties can make all the plays a corner does, because that’s how you keep your defense versatile,” he says. “That’s why my safeties do the same drills and work on the same techniques that my corners do. “For example, Chaz Elder, our starting safety in 2011, was 6-foot-2,” Andrews continues. “When we were going up
against a team with a good, tall wide receiver or tight end, we were confident that Chaz had the cover skills to play corner for that game and neutralize the receiver’s height advantage. Meanwhile, other teams had a matchup problem with that player because their tall safety didn’t know how to cover and their cover corner wasn’t tall enough to handle a big receiver.” Aside from team success, having safeties and corners work together can yield individual benefits. “Chaz probably played cornerback for us only five percent of the time he was on the field,” Andrews says. “But one day in practice, coaches from the University of South Carolina saw him playing the position, and now he’s playing corner for them.”
him is by using his feet. It usually takes them a little while to get the hang of it.” Another coverage basic safeties often have issues with is keeping their pads low, a critical component of staying with a talented receiver. “Safeties have to change direction so often when covering a receiver that staying low is essential,” Loepp says. “I tell my players it’s like driving down a winding mountain road. You’d rather be in a Lamborghini than a monster truck, because you’d be lower to the ground and in control. “A few years ago, I had a safety who struggled to keep his pads low, especially when he had to rotate his hips to run with a receiver,” Loepp continues. “His pad level would rise, and as a result he wasn’t as smooth and fast as he could have been. We’ve always had our players run through a chute to teach them how to keep their pads low when dropping back, so I thought we could use the same chute to teach him to stay low when rotating his hips to turn and run. We had him do that during a few practices. A couple of weeks later, I saw him do a rotation drill in 7-on-7 and his pads were much lower. As a result, he was moving better and staying with his man longer. Now I make all my safeties use the chute when learning to rotate.” Craft lays the groundwork for teaching low pad level during off-season weight training. “One of the major priorities for our safeties in the weightroom is improving hip flexibility, since that gives them the ability to stay low,” he says. “We have them do a lot of snatches, power cleans, and three different types of squats to help them gain hip strength and flexibility.” In addition to blanketing a receiver during coverage, a safety must learn to quickly PATRICK BOHN is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. He can be reached at: pb@MomentumMedia.com.
20 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
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make a play on an incoming pass. The key to doing that well is timing. “I tell my safeties to focus on the receiver’s hips,” Malone says. “If, from his perspective, the receiver is on the left side of the field, watch the inside of the receiver’s left hip. Once he drops his hip and weight, the safety should anticipate the ball is coming and drop his hips as well so he can make a break. If he looks up and sees the ball coming, he needs to react, and go for it.”
defeating a block step-by-step if you want them to be adept at tackling. “For example, if the safety is trying to step into a gap to his right, his focus should be on the offensive player’s left shoulder,” Malone continues. “He needs to fire his hands into it and push off like he’s bench-pressing the blocker. I have our safeties focus on locking their elbows and keeping their feet moving toward the gap. Then they rip their hands off the blocker, and go into the hole.”
BRING ‘EM DOWN
CAN’T FOOL ME
Coverage skills are certainly in greater demand these days at the safety position, but safeties still need to be able to tackle a running back who has broken into the secondary. Unfortunately, Loepp says traditional tackling drills don’t help safeties all that much,
Stepping up to make tackles in the run game is an important role for safeties, but, as in coverage, over-aggressiveness here can carry a steep price. A safety who consistently bites on a play-action fake leaves his team vulnerable to big plays.
and calling out checks to their teammates. “I always joke that our defense is in good hands because I have two safeties who scored 34 and 31 on their ACTs,” says Jimmy Miller, Defensive Secondary Coach at Bethel University. “The have to be smart because they’re the quarterbacks of our defense.” Loepp agrees, saying one of the first things he does when recruiting a safety is consult with the player’s high school coach about his football knowledge. “As college coaches, we can be fooled by a player’s book smarts and assume that he’ll have the requisite football intelligence simply because he’s looking at going to a good academic school,” he says. “I sit down with their high school coach and ask them to detail exactly what kind of responsibilities they give their safeties. How much freedom are they given to make checks? How
“I talk with my safeties during practice more than any other players. We’ll watch the offense line up and I’ll ask them, ‘What’s your responsibility on this play? Where do you need to go if the running back motions to the outside?’” John Hicks, Silver Bluff High school, Aiken, S.C. because they don’t reflect the types of tackles safeties typically have to make. “Coaches need to give safeties tackling drills that mimic what they are asked to do in games,” he says. “The traditional tackle drill where the runner and defender start five yards apart, run toward each other, and the running back cuts right or left isn’t going to help a safety much. During a game, they’re 20 yards from the running back when a handoff is made, and there are usually multiple holes a running back can go through.” So Loepp eschews the traditional drills for something more safety specific. He lines up a running back and safety about 17 yards apart and places a series of cones between them to give the runner three holes he can chose to cut through. This setup more closely mirrors what safeties face during games. “The part of this drill they struggle with the most is keeping their feet moving,” Loepp says. “When a safety approaches the running back, he tends to plant his feet, but he has to quickly get them moving again if the running back changes direction, so we constantly stress the need to keep the feet moving.” One of the toughest things for safeties to deal with when trying to make a tackle in run support can be getting to the running back in the first place. Shedding blocks is an important, but difficult, skill for a safety to learn. Malone focuses on the hands. “Most times, safeties aren’t adept at firing their hands to get off a block,” he says. “So you’ve got to break down the process of 22 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
“I joke with my safeties that my playing career ended when I bit on a play-action and the tight end got behind me for a touchdown,” says John Hicks, Defensive Coordinator at Silver Bluff High School in Aiken, S.C. “We spend a lot of time watching the offense practice so we can spot when the line is run blocking or pass blocking. Often, I’ll have the players call out ‘run’ or ‘pass’ as soon as they recognize what type of play it is.” One way safeties find themselves fooled on a play-action is when they focus too much on the offensive backfield. “On play-action, the goal of the backfield is to confuse the safety into thinking it’s a run,” Craft says. “A safety needs to move his eyes off the quarterback and running back and key on a receiver or tight end instead.” “When we’re worried about a play action pass, I tell our safeties that their key is a wide receiver,” Loepp says. “On a run play, a receiver’s job is going to be to block an outside linebacker. I have never seen a receiver get to a linebacker, start to block him, and then go down the field on a pass route. So if the receiver gets to that linebacker, the safety should recognize the play is a run.” Head of the Class
The physical demands of playing safety are challenging enough. But they encompass only part of the position’s job description. These players also have to be mentally sharp, since they are often responsible for recognizing offensive formations, lining up the defense,
much of the defensive scheme is he expected to know? Does he struggle to communicate on the field? These questions help me decide if a player’s going to be able to handle what we ask of him. “The increased tempo that offenses use today puts pressure on safeties to make adjustments even faster than before,” he continues. “But you can gather only so much about his ability to handle the mental part of the job from watching film. You need to go the extra mile.” Hicks spends a lot of time working on the mental aspect of the game with his safeties. “I talk with my safeties during practice more than any other players,” he says. “We’ll watch the offense line up and I’ll ask them, ‘What’s your responsibility on this play? Where do you need to go if the running back motions to the outside?’ It’s crucial to help them through it in practice since I can’t be out there with them during a game.” Craft preaches to his safeties the importance of getting everyone on the defense lined up properly. He helps them learn to do this through mental reps. “I’ll have the safeties watch a clip of the opponent’s offense and then have them call out how the defense should line up,” he says. “I also ask them what the right technique for the defensive linemen is and if the linebackers should be inside the box or out. The more they work on doing this during film sessions, the more comfortable they will be doing it during a game.” CoachesNetwork.com
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Loepp cautions, however, that you don’t want to overload your players with too much information, especially if they’re underclassmen. He suggests taking it slow to ensure the players understand completely.
the ones to call them out to the rest of the defense. “One of the keys to working as a unit defensively is having everyone on the same page, and it’s the responsibility of the safety to
“If a safety is struggling with his communication, you need to hold his feet to the fire,” Malone continues. “In practice, tell your defense that if the safety doesn’t make the check, they should stand around
“When a safety makes a coverage call, the rest of the defense is going to take their cues from him, so he needs to be confident—whether he’s right or wrong. What he can’t be is unsure.”
Ryan andrews, Benjamin Banneker High School, College Park, Ga.
“I start by writing out a secondary coverage on the board, and progress to showing them film clips of how we’re supposed to line up in a Cover 2 or a Cover 4,” he says. “Then, I tell them they’re responsible for making any checks based on what the offense shows us. Finally, after they’ve mastered that, I tell them to come up to the board, draw a certain offensive or defensive formation, describe our coverage, and explain everyone’s responsibility.” The mental side of the game doesn’t end once the play call is made. If coverage adjustments are needed, safeties are usually
make sure that happens,” Andrews says. “When a safety makes a coverage call, the rest of the defense is going to take their cues from him, so he needs to be confident—whether he’s right or wrong. What he can’t be is unsure, because then the other players will be unsure as well.” Malone feels the same way. “I tell our safeties they’re the ones driving the bus,” he says. “The corners and linebackers are all waiting for them to make the check call—if they don’t, no one will. I tell them even if it’s the wrong call, at least we’ll all be wrong together.
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and wait for it. That should help him be more vocal.” With all the responsibilities a safety has today, Loepp says it’s important to avoid over-coaching them, expecting them to be robots, not football players. “Once I’ve taught our players their assignments and made sure they understand the proper technique, I tell them to just go out and make plays,” he says. “If we tell safeties every single thing they need to do in every scenario, they’re not going to think for themselves and they’re not going to be successful. And if our safeties don’t succeed, we won’t either.” CM
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH A losing season can take its toll on even the most experienced coach. Learning strategies for handling such a year can make a big difference. By Von Mitchell
cal sports media/AP images
Anyone who has worn a head coach’s whistle for even a short period of time would likely agree: The competitive season can be overwhelming. From planning practices to preparing for competition to communicating with constituents, it can often feel as if there is more to do every day than is humanly possible. CoachesNetwork.com
That is especially true at the high school level, where most coaches also have to balance teaching responsibilities. “By the end of the year, I’m dog-tired,” says Jack Thomson, Head Baseball Coach at Sierra High School in Manteca, Calif. “You try to make sure you do a good job in the classroom and with your team on the field, and that puts a lot on your plate.” While they may not have a teaching load, many college coaches have additional tasks beyond running their team. “Sometimes you have a season that’s going well, but you have outside stuff going on,” says Kelly Sullivan, Head Women’s Track and Field Coach at Oregon State University. “For example, right now I’m in the midst of an enormous fundraiser to help us build a new track facility. The future of our program depends on me raising the funds for this project, so there Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 25
is some outside pressure.” Coaches must also deal with the inevitable criticism that comes with their profession. “The environment we coach in has changed a lot due to social media,” says Randy Montgomery, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. “People get on Web sites and say things they didn’t used to say. You have to deal with that.” All the extra responsibilities and time spent at work are worth it when the wins are piling up and your athletes are improving every day. But what about those seasons that don’t go well? How do you get through a year when none of your strategies seem to work, injuries pile up, and heads are hanging low? Bruce Keith has spent 40 years in education, with 32 of them pacing the sidelines as Head Football Coach for various high schools in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. Although he has won seven state titles (one at Divide County High School in North Dakota and six at Sheridan High School in Wyoming), he also vividly remembers the down years. “There was one season when, by the fifth week, we lost seven kids for the year,” he says.
“It seemed like every time we made a little progress, we lost another key component and got set back. It was frustrating.” There’s a lot of advice available for coaches on how to win. In this article, we ask veteran coaches to share their insights on how to survive a season when losing takes center stage. KEEPING PERSPECTIVE
In the area of attitude, few compare to Jane Albright, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Nevada. After three decades of coaching, she has molded a wonderful perspective that any coach can use in the midst of a difficult season. “There’s always a teaching opportunity in everything,” Albright says. “In a season like we had last year, where kids are working very hard but we are losing, you can teach them many important things. “One is that there’s a huge difference between being a loser and losing,” she continues. “Just because you lose games, that does not make you a loser. I’m very much into John Wooden and his definition of success—peace of mind comes from doing your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. When we lost games this past
AFTER THE GAME What coach doesn’t over-think things after a close game—win or lose? Losing especially begets an onslaught of self-
analysis: I should have tried a different strategy, I should have played so-and-so. And winning a nail biter can throw enough adrenaline into the system to keep a normally placid individual awake long past bedtime. So what have the veterans learned? “I used to drive myself nuts watching film,” says Bruce Keith, a retired high school head football coach, who made stops in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. “I’d bring it home Friday night and watch it through the night, sometimes until sunrise on Saturday. I realized after a while that it was counterproductive, so I stopped. I think the best way for me to unwind was just to be with my wife and talk about it, or to not talk about it, but just to be with her.“ “Win or lose, I have trouble sleeping after games,” admits Dawn Redd, Head Volleyball Coach at Beloit College. “So I make sure that when I come home, I just sit for a half-hour to an hour—no matter what. Even if I get home at 1 a.m., I sit and process how everything went.” “After a game, I go out with my wife and assistant coaches,” says Randy Montgomery, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. “We sit around and talk for a while. As a head coach, you re-live everything—especially if you lose. I try not to watch film until the next day, though.” Jack Thomson, Head Baseball Coach at Sierra High School in Manteca, Calif., also always finds a way to unwind. “After a tough game, sometimes I’ll come home and run,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll just talk as a coaching staff after a game and sometimes we’ll meet with the players to figure out a solution together.”
year, we talked about what we could do better and stressed that as long as the players truly did their best, they were not losers.” Albright feels that’s a great lesson for both athletes and coaches. “In my first season as a high school coach, we finished 3-17,” she says. “That was the first losing team I’d ever been a part of, and it was an eye-opening experience. But I learned that sometimes you can do your very best and still not be good. It’s a lesson we all need to know, and there’s not that much wrong with losing as long as you’re doing your very best.” Keith trumpets the importance of being dependable as a coach in the middle of a tough season. “I tried to always keep how I treated the players and how I prepared consistent,” he says. “The plan pretty much remained the same whether we were 0-8 or 8-0. “Maybe we stunk on Friday night, but the kids would come in on Monday and know how we were going to do things,” he continues. “It wasn’t like, ‘Okay, you played bad on Friday so I’m going to run you into the dirt.’ I didn’t do that. To me, that shows a lack of maturity.” It was also important to Keith to still be a great teacher of football during down times. “We tried really hard to teach our kids how to play the game the right way,” he says. “I had a couple of teams where, because we were so young, we knew it was going to be a while before we could be competitive, so we focused on making the kids better football players as opposed to getting them ready with a particular game plan. The idea was, ‘We’re going to play football Monday through Thursday to get better and hope it shows up a little bit Friday night,’ all the while knowing that Friday night might be tough. “We just tried to stay steady and positive,” Keith continues. “We showed the kids that what’s really important is staying upbeat, working hard, and improving both individually and as a team.” Thomson agrees. “The number one way to keep your sanity in a losing season is to focus on the process and not on the result,” he says. “If you can keep that in mind, it alleviates a lot of pressure. By concentrating on teaching the kids, everything else kind of takes care of itself.” Part of that teaching can be showing young people that real life has its ups and downs. “Our kids today live in a world where they’ve been coddled and given trophies and told they’re the best there is,” says Albright. “So anytime I’m in the position to gently tell them a harsh truth, I do. SomeVON MITCHELL is a freelance writer as well as a business teacher and Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Delta (Colo.) High School. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
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times the truth is that the other team or person was better. It shouldn’t be the end of their world. Being real is always a good thing. You address it and keep trying to move the player forward.” At the same time, Keith points out the importance of not letting things get too serious. “I tried real hard to inject humor in practices and meetings,” he says. “There are just some things that are funny. I want the kids to work. I want them to be intense. But I
says Sullivan. “It’s about relationships with people. I’m in my 32nd year of college coaching and I still love bouncing ideas off other people to see what they think. I’ve coached at all different levels and enjoy friendships with a lot of different people.” FAMILY FOCUS
Balancing work with family is an ongoing struggle for many coaches. When the season is not living up to expectations, it can be even
me and then later coached with me, so he understood. I saw my daughters cry a couple of times, but my wife would sit in the stands with the kids and set an example of having class and being dignified. She taught them that even if people were critical of me and what I was doing, the family was going to be positive and strong.” What works well for Thomson is to not bring the game home. “I think it’s important that you have your coaching time and you
“I tried real hard to inject humor in practices and meetings ... I want the kids to work. I want them to be intense. But I want them to know it’s okay to laugh. They can’t be turtlenecked all the time. I think it really works against you if you try to intimidate them.” want them to know it’s okay to laugh. They can’t be turtlenecked all the time. When kids are having fun in practice, they’ll be more attentive and they’ll play harder. I think it really works against you if you try to intimidate them.” One last way to keep perspective is to remember the big picture. “There is more to what I’m doing than winning and losing,”
tougher to not bring problems home. That’s why coaches say it’s important to have some strategies in place ahead of time to handle it. For Keith, the hardest part was making sure his family was not negatively affected by any criticism he received as a football coach. “My wife did a great job with our kids, helping them keep a proper perspective about what I was doing,” he says. “My son played for
have your family time and you don’t mix the two,” he says. “When I leave the baseball field, I try to leave the game there. That doesn’t mean I don’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about baseball sometimes. Just like everybody else, I have my sleepless nights. But I don’t come home and rehash the game with my wife.” Montgomery takes the opposite approach,
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28 Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012
making his team a family affair. “My family loves it,” he says. “That’s the key for us. My wife and my daughters enjoy basketball as much as I do and it’s pretty much our life. We go to Las Vegas in the summers and watch the high school tournament while we’re out there. Everything is built around basketball.” Dawn Redd, Head Volleyball Coach at Beloit College, plans time for her family in a structured way, taking a trip prior to the start of the season. “Before the hectic time hits, I try to take a vacation with my family,” she says. “We then get good quality time together since it can be rough during the season.” Time for YOU
While taking care of your team and your family can be difficult enough on its own, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Especially during a trying season, when you may be second-guessing your decisions, you need to keep your body and mind functioning at its best. “To keep my sanity, I have to work out,” says Redd. “I play volleyball in what I call an old ladies league—I just go out and have fun. I also do a fitness class at my gym. I don’t work out at school, which a lot of coaches do.
I like to get away so I have a little space between work and my personal life. In season, if I can get three or four days of workouts in a week, I’m pretty excited about that.” Any workout can help, even if it’s a quick reprieve. “In the last five or six years, I’ve gotten into the cross-fitness workouts,” says Thomson. “It’s five days a week for about a half-hour. They’re short duration, high intensity workouts so I don’t have to commit an hour and a half to do them.” Sometimes, the best medicine is just to get away altogether. “I’m a Sabbath person, so I don’t work on Sundays,” says Albright. “I read and play with my dogs. I have a lot of friends. I get away from it. I think that’s why I still coach at age 57.” Eating right can also be important to maintaining your personal health. “I try to cook at home—even if it’s something in the crock pot,” says Redd. “If I know it’s going to be a late night, I’ll bring a lunch and also a healthy dinner I’ve prepared at home.” “I’m blessed with a wife who’s a good cook,” says Thomson. “So at home we eat very balanced meals. We don’t eat out much. You can probably count on one hand the number of times during a month when we
eat out. I make breakfast every day. It might be oatmeal or it might be eggs and a meat, but I try to eat a good breakfast. I take my lunch to school, and when we travel I always try to pack my own food.” ALL WORTH IT
At the end of a losing season, it can be tempting to hang up your whistle and call it quits. But those who have been in it for the long haul always find a way to come back. “There are so many ups and downs in coaching and it can consume you,” says Montgomery. “But if you can balance it all and keep making it fun, it’s a great thing. I’ve avoided being consumed by it for these 33 years because I love it.” Thomson keeps going because he knows he’s making a difference. “Coaching has given me an opportunity to connect with a lot of young people and hopefully be a positive influence in their lives,” he says. “We’ve had our share of success, but the connections are what make it all special.” CM Versions of this article have run in other sportspecific editions of Coaching Management.
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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
STRONG NECKS Many experts believe that developing a strong neck may reduce the risk of concussions. In response, the University of Memphis implemented a comprehensive neck testing and strengthening program. By Ryan Cidzik
Concussions occur in football more often than any other sport, and many people are working hard to reduce their prevalence. One method that I believe can help is to include neck strengthening work in our programs. CoachesNetwork.com
A study supporting this theory was published five years ago, and several concussion experts have spoken out in support of the idea. Though more research needs to be done, if it’s possible that a stronger neck may help prevent concussions, we have a responsibility to help players achieve this. At the University of Memphis, we developed a program to test, monitor, and improve our football players’ neck strength. After implementing the program for two years, we saw the number of concussions sustained by our players decrease. I believe this program was part of the reason why. In support of neck strength
Concussions occur when there is linear and/or rotational acceleration-deceleration of the head—a sudden change in momentum Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 31
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that is forceful enough to jar the brain and damage the tissue in it. A study in the August 2007 issue of Neurosurgery reported that a stronger neck reduced these forces, which can in turn reduce the risk of a concussion. In the study, researchers simulated 25 head impacts using dummies wearing helmets, and measured head translational and rotational accelerations, upper neck responses, head kinematics and biomechanics, head displacement, head rotation, and neck loads. When using a model with a stronger “neck,” they noted a decrease in head velocity and head injury criterion. They concluded that varied strength levels in the neck might explain different concussion risks. In other words, a weaker neck may predispose an athlete to concussion because they cannot create the internal muscle forces necessary to reduce the head acceleration caused by a strong hit. Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Concussion Program, spoke out in support of neck strength as a preventative measure when he was interviewed by Stack magazine in 2008. “One of the best ways to prevent concussions is through neck strength,” he said. “Having a strong neck actually allows the forces of the blow to be taken from the head down through the neck and into the torso. We really find that athletes with strong necks [have less risk of concussions].” Similar beliefs are held by Dr. Robert Cantu, Co-Director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. “It’s just straight physics,” Cantu told Fox Sports in 2010. “If you see the blow coming and you have a very strong neck and contract the neck muscles, you have a much greater chance to have significantly reduced the forces the brain will see.” Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, Chair of the University of North Carolina’s Department of Exercise and Sports Science program, has been quoted similarly. And the Sports Legacy Institute, an organization dedicated to concussion awareness and education, has published materials supporting the importance of neck strength.
knew each player’s neck strength level and how much work needed to be done. We continued to test throughout the year to make sure the training program was working and that athletes were not losing neck strength. One of the most accurate ways to test cervical neck strength is with a machine called an isokinetic dynamometer, but the equipment can be expensive and trained testers are needed to perform the evaluations. So we tested our players’ cervical neck strength by simply timing how long they could hold a dumbbell attached at the back of their head off the ground. A system of
padded straps worn around the head, and basic equipment already in our weightroom, was all that was needed. We used isometric as opposed to dynamic testing because the main function of the neck muscles is to maintain postural balance, not to lift, push, or pull. Isometric testing is also a highly reliable method, as various studies have found muscle endurance (specifically static strength endurance) to be a good indicator of neck strength. Prior to testing, players prepared by completing a general warmup for three to five minutes to elevate their heart rate. Then they
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Research, and comments like those just mentioned, led us to implement a neck training program for the football players at Memphis. We started with baseline testing, so we RYAN CIDZIK was the Director of Football Strength and Conditioning at the University of Memphis when this article was written, and is now Director of Strength and Conditioning for Football and Outdoor Sports at Columbia University. He has also worked with two NFL teams and NFL Europe.
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completed a dynamic warmup, moving their head in six different directions. The first movement was flexion and extension. The player went back and forth between the two for 15 seconds, holding each for about a second. Next was lateral flexion left and right, following the same timing. Third was rotation left and right. Finally, a partner applied light manual resistance, and the player again moved his head in all six directions, for a total of five repetitions in each direction. The athlete finished the warmup by performing the isometric test, but with a lighter weight (35 pounds) than what we used during actual testing.
For the test, the weight was attached to the back of the athlete’s head through a system of straps. There were two straps: One that went around the player’s forehead, and one that went around his chin. This allowed the weight to be evenly distributed across the athlete’s head. Both straps met at the back of his head and fed into a metal ring. (See Figure One, below.) A third strap was attached to the ring, and held the dumbbell. I constructed the straps that we used at Memphis, and any coach can create a similar system. I asked our wrist strap company for a two-inch strap for the forehead and a oneinch strap for the chin. Each strap was three
feet long. The metal ring can be bought at a hardware store. The athlete then lay on his back on a bench with his head extended over one end. He held his arms overhead, with elbows bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. (See Figure Two, below.) For safety reasons, we always had two coaches present throughout the entire testing process. To begin, the first coach attached a 55-pound dumbbell to the strap at the back of the athlete’s head and while still supporting the dumbbell, adjusted the weight’s strap so that it was two to four inches from the floor. We positioned the weight this close
Figure One: Assembled strap system
Figure Two: Athlete’s starting position
Figure Three: Proper spotting by coach
Coaching Management POSTSEASON 2012 35
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to the floor so that if the athlete needed to stop the test, he could just drop his head back and the weight would hit the floor before he strained his neck. The athlete was then told to keep his head in a neutral position with chin tucked while the coach continued to hold the dumbbell. Past cervical strength testing studies use the neutral position because it is considered the most central position of the spine while preserving the normal lordotic curve. When the neck is neutral, the spinal cord is in the safest position because more space is available for the cord, meaning there is a decreased risk of compression. As the first coach released the dumbbell on a count of three, he then spotted the athlete, who strived to maintain the same neutral position to failure. (See Figure Three, on page 35.) The second coach was present to keep track of time and give the following coaching cues to the athlete: n Hold your head up n Keep your hands overhead n Keep your chin tucked n Breathe through your nose. The test was over as soon as the athlete could no longer hold the weight and his head broke from a neutral position. The
amount of time that the weight was held was recorded. Once the test was over, the athlete performed a cool-down. We used a static 15-second rotation to each of the six directions as done in the warmup for the cool-down. I recommend 55 pounds to test muscle endurance for college or professional players who do neck training on a regular basis. This is based on the average weight Memphis players could hold for 30 seconds. Though weights as low as two kilograms have been used in clinical tests, small amounts are not a good idea for this test because that amount can be held for long periods of time, which can cause neck pain. When working with younger players, I suggest that a lighter weight be used. Since neck circumference is directly related to neck strength, a team’s average neck circumference can dictate how much weight to use. For example, the Memphis players’ average neck circumference was 17 inches and we used 55 pounds. So for each inch smaller your team’s average neck circumference is, you should drop the test weight by approximately 10 pounds. Most of the incoming players were deficient in neck strength, and could hold the
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weight for an average of only 10 seconds. For those players, a strengthening program was needed. Returning players and incoming athletes who tested well also participated in neck strengthening to make sure their strength was kept up. STRENGTH PROGRAM
Too often, the only thing coaches do when it comes to neck training is two sets of 10 reps on the four-way neck machine. But if you wanted to increase strength in the bench press, would you do the exact same workout every day? Of course not. Training the neck shouldn’t be any different. The six major movements we targeted were: n Forward Flexion n Extension n Right Lateral Flexion n Left Lateral Flexion n Right Rotation n Left Rotation. The four secondary movements we targeted were: n Right cervical anterior oblique n Left cervical anterior oblique n Right cervical posterior oblique n Left cervical posterior oblique.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
While the cervical obliques are predominantly slow twitch muscles, they need different forms of activation just like any other muscles in the body. We utilized a variety of exercises, methods, ranges of motion, and tempos throughout our neck strengthening program. While most of our training involved manual eccentric-based work—manual work is best because of the activation, hypertrophy, and kinesthetic awareness involved— we also used various resistances, including weights, bands, machines, stability balls, Airex pads, and combination methods.
Some of the neck strengthening exercises we did included: n Seated neutral perturbations with eyes closed n Four-way rack attachment neck machine n Neck bridging on Airex pads n Six-way manual neck movements n Manual Xs for the oblique methods n Band neck rotations. Rotations should be done at least once or twice per week. Rotation is the most common mechanism of a concussion in football, so while we incorporated most of the neck
is the product of
movements into our weekly training program, we never neglected rotations. Flexion is also important because most head contact occurs as a direct hit to the front of the facemask. This movement is also typically 25 percent weaker than extension, which is why the neck strength test was based on forward flexion. In addition to the neck muscles, we trained the upper trapezius, which is very important for dissipating forces, once or twice per week. The upper trapezius is one of the major superficial muscles of the posterior neck. It sits between the cervical spine and next to and/or over all of the other major cervical posterior muscles and it helps to extend, rotate, and laterally flex the neck. Our athletes also worked on maintaining range of motion. A stiff or sore athlete cannot properly absorb force, hence increasing the chance of a concussion. Various stretching and re-lengthening methods such as the six-way stretch performed after testing were a part of our team’s neck training. We worked on neck strengthening yearround and tested players frequently. At the start of the off-season in January, we trained the neck three days per week and performed upper trapezius work once per week, increasing that to four days and two days, respectively, in February. We continued to increase work capacity and began introducing perturbation training—reacting to a sudden unexpected force or movement—to improve reaction time. We backed off during spring ball, then over the summer got back to increasing neck strength and introduced some more advanced training. During the regular season, we did less strength work and focused on re-lengthening the muscles after workouts and practices. TEST RESULTS
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Based on the methods described in this article, we observed a very positive trend among our athletes at Memphis. We saw significantly fewer concussions—50 percent less—during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Players who missed playing time due to a head or neck injury also decreased by 50 percent over those years. While we cannot prevent all concussions from occurring, we need to do everything we can to provide athletes with the best protection possible. If neck strengthening can prevent just one concussion, it’s time well spent in the weightroom. CM 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.
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Kinesiology Tape Rolls Toward Mainstream Acceptance
t’s becoming more commonplace to see athletes with therapeutic stretch tape, also called kinesiology tape, on various parts of their bodies. While some sports medicine professionals still view the use of the tape as a rather unconventional treatment option, many athletic trainers have discovered its extensive benefits. Without a doubt, kinesiology tape is moving center stage, gaining fans and heading toward mainstream acceptance. Kinesiology tape can be used in a variety of ways, to address a variety of issues. When placed correctly and pulled to differing degrees of tension, the tape enhances muscle and motion, and facilitates an environment for healing to occur. It can be used to reduce and manage pain, swelling, and inflammation; relax tired or overworked muscles; improve muscle and joint function, and range of motion; and even strengthen muscles. Tim Koberna, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, is a big proponent of kinesiology tape and has used it on athletes in all sports for the past three years. Wartburg is an NCAA Division III school with 500 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. “Kinesiology tape has only been used in this country for about 12 years—so for us, it’s a relatively new technique,” Koberna says. “It is huge in Japan, though. It got its start many years ago with Japanese chiropractors. The tape started garnering attention in the U.S. after the 2008 Olympics when everyone saw beach volleyball players with tape forming unusual patterns on their shoulders.”
resume normal range of motion and strength. “It’s great for treating ankles and shoulders when limitations persist following an injury,” he notes. Methods used with kinesiology tape, Koberna acknowledges, somewhat oppose the paradigm that athletic trainers are used to following. “The tape enhances muscle and joint function, and range of motion,” he says. “It’s a taping philosophy with a lot of variance, and once you learn the basics, you put your own spin on it and develop your own application techniques. I encourage every athletic trainer to try it.” To really be proficient with the tape, Koberna recommends taking a continuing education class or training course in kinesiology taping. “The training isn’t expensive or time-consuming, and once you’ve got the basic fundamentals down, you can use the tape on any muscle,” he says. “It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox.” Koberna encourages his staff of young athletic trainers to use Sports Motion Tape and their athletes almost always have excellent results. “It’s important that seasoned athletic trainers use this taping technique whenever possible during teachable moments with athletic training students and those new to the profession,” he says. “The tape is non-invasive and practical. From every standpoint, using kinesiology tape is a win-win.” For more information about Cramer’s Sports Motion Tape, visit the company’s Web site.
Koberna says his tape of choice is Cramer’s Sports Motion Tape. “It’s outstanding from all perspectives,” he says. “We buy a lot of it here at Wartburg.” Koberna uses Sports Motion Tape as a therapy tool and a post-injury management tool, until the athlete can
Cramer Products, Inc. 800-345-2231 www.cramersportsmed.com
Coaching Management POSTseason 2012 41
Football Facilities Lasts For Years
The Tuffy® Windscreen will last for years because it’s made of Vipol® Matrix. This windscreen is used by high school, NCAA, and NFL teams. It is available in 20 standard colors, including purple, brown, burnt orange, and scarlet. The super durable Chroma-Bond Imprinting technology produces multicolor logos that do not fade like digital printing. This product comes with a five-year warranty. It’s the Official Windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, super-premium, and surprisingly value priced. It is sold only by Aer-Flo dealers.
Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com
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Ultimate Turf System
The synergy provided by the three elements that comprise the Mondoturf FTS3 system— Fine Tuned Panel, 3NX Fiber, and Ecofill— produce the ultimate turf system. The system provides outstanding biomechanical properties for the athlete throughout its useful life— including both shock absorption and vertical deformation, key elements that protect the athlete from injury. Due to increased resiliency and structure of the fiber, translational and rotational friction characteristics lend themselves to ease of pivots and turns even in high torque scenarios. Mondo • 800-361-3747 www.mondoworldwide.com
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Protection from the Elements
Your athletes work hard, so help them rest up between plays in a Players’ Sideline Shelter. This semi-permanent, all-weather unit provides protection from the elements with its tinted plexiglass back/sides and removable vinyl canopy shelters. The generously sized seat and backrest offers comfort and a conveniently elevated shelf with a hinged cover that opens to store athletes’ gear. An optional padded trainer’s table can be connected in rear. Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800-523-5471 www.myaaeworld.com Circle No. 540
Build for Success
VP Buildings is a world-leader in the steel systems construction industry, and is an ideal choice for athletic building solutions. Whether you need a football practice facility, gymnasium, arena, indoor soccer, or other structure, VP Buildings offers not only the design capability but also the flexibility and sophistication to fulfill your needs. VP Buildings • 800-238-3246 www.vp.com
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ATTENTION FOOTBALL COACHES! “200 balls a day keeps the drops away.”
TENNIS TUTOR ProLite
Why college and high schools have their players practicing with the ProLite: • Improves hand-eye coordination • Enforces proper catching technique and soft hands • Receivers can catch over 100 balls in 10 mins.
AC or BATTERY-POWERED!
“Practicing with the Tennis Tutor ProLite machine at Oklahoma helped make me the top receiver in college football. That’s why I still practice with one today.”
NCAA All-time reception leader
The Sports Machine Company
Circle No. 116 42 Coaching Management Postseason 2012
Visit Sports Tutor on Facebook to see a video of the Sooners using the ProLite!
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Football Facilities Enhanced Functionality
GearBoss® team room lockers strengthen program pride and enhance team room functionality. This product features more than 1,000 possible configurations—sizes, features, and accessories—with either metal or wood construction and is available in a variety of colors/finishes, from school colors to wood-grain laminates. Metal AirPro™ lockers feature an open grid design that promotes airflow, sanitation, and visual inspection. The integrated, hinged seat saves valuable floor space and is lockable over a security box and footlocker. Wenger Corp. • 800-4WENGER www.wengercorp.com
Mondo’s Inlaid Platforms enable weightrooms to maximize use and flexibility of space. They also provide seamless construction, simplify maintenance, reduce risk of injuries, and withstand heavy static loads such as free weights and cardio equipment. Unlike wooden platforms, the platforms feature an integrated surface that is completely flat with the rest of the floor. The Inlaid Platforms are made from non-porous, durable Sport Impact and Ramflex vulcanized rubber flooring. Mondo • 800-361-3747 www.mondoworldwide.com
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Vipol Matrix Material is a nonabsorbent mesh that does not retain water and body fluids like felt-type fabrics, and can be cleaned with water/ antimicrobial spray. It helps in the fight against MRSA, and with 50 percent more micro-fibers than conventional mesh, this extraordinarily strong material protects grass from football/baseball cleats, plus makes the world’s toughest windscreen for courts and fields. Available in 20 colors, Vipol Matrix is used in Aer-Flo products such as Bench Zone® Sideline Protectors and Tuffy® Windscreen. ®
Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com
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The Perfect Solution
Ball containment and safety is sometimes an afterthought on major stadium or sports field projects, but nonetheless important. With its full line of in-ground and portable BallStopper Systems AAE can design the perfect solution to many of the problems faced on a project—even fields surrounded by parking lots, residential areas, or steep embankments. BallStoppers also reduce the chance of misdirected balls causing bodily harm or property damage. Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800-523-5471 www.myaaeworld.com Circle No. 541
Liven Up YoUr WorkoUts
The Tsunami Barbell ™ (US Pat. No. 7,951,051 /other patents pending) ”comes to life” according to forces and movements that are used against the bar. • Made from a combination of special composite materials • Bar has amplitude and oscillatory movement to create a rolling wave that stimulates the sensory receptors or proprioceptors • Provides an extraordinary training stimulus
Tsunami Barbell™ Catch the Wave! CoachesNetwork.com
Coaching Management POSTseason 2012 43
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Coaching Aids Improve Your Coaching
Train Like the Best
Human Kinetics • 800-747-4457 www.humankinetics.com
Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com
Human Kinetics is proud of its relationship with the American Football Coaches Association, the professional organization for coaches at all levels of football—from high school to the NFL. The AFCA provides a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football and coaching. Together, the two have published a number of acclaimed books, including The Football Coaching Bible, Defensive Football Strategies, and Football Offenses & Plays. For more information, contact Human Kinetics. Circle No. 511
Saves Quarterback’s Arm
College and high school football programs are now using the ProLite ball machine as part of their drills with receivers. Set up several machines at close range to your receivers, and each player can catch 100 throws in less than 10 minutes. Using the ProLite tennis ball machine improves hand-eye coordination, enforces proper catching technique, and saves wear and tear on your quarterback’s arm. ProLite models start at $699. Sports Tutor • 800-448-8867 www.sportsmachines.com
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Porta Phone’s new ComStar Wireless is a revolutionary all-in-one headset that features a miniaturized transceiver built right into the earcups. This breakthrough system is more affordable because no belt-packs are required. ComStar operates in full duplex, which means that coaches can communicate simultaneously. The system can accommodate up to 22 coaches. For more information, check out Porta Phone online.
Porta Phone Co. • 800-233-1113 www.portaphone.com
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Ultimate Training Tool
The Snap Attack features solid, polyurethane wheels with wheel guards—no more inflating or burns. Its passing stand allows the throwing head to pivot instantly in any direction, accurately throwing passes, punts, and kickoffs to any location on the field. The elevation changes are quick and easy. Plus, the machine can be locked in for precise repetition. In its lowered position at ground level, the machine snaps the ball to any depth in shotgun and pistol formations, as well as practicing extra points and punts with realistic angles. Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com 44 Coaching Management Postseason 2012
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Some of the top football teams in all divisions train with the Snap Attack. Recent customers of the Snap Attack Football Machine include: Jacksonville Jaguars; University of Southern California; Junipero Serra High School (CA); Green Bay Packers; University of Alabama; Parkview High School (GA); Buford High School (GA); San Francisco 49ers; University of Georgia; Michigan State University; New York Jets; Cleveland Browns; Georgia State University; Tennessee Titans; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; New Orleans Saints; and Dallas Cowboys. Circle No. 515
Keep Plays Close
Be the master strategist and keep the plays as close as possible with Cutters’ Triple Playmaker Wristcoach. This wristcoach includes three windows for easy reference and stores more than 300 plays at once. The adult version features Cutters’ exclusive C-FLEX Material for a snug, yet flexible fit, while the youth version is made with spandex. Cutters’ Triple Playmaker Wristcoach is available in 10 colors. Cutters Gloves • 800-821-0231 www.cuttersgloves.com
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Offering guidance on developing season and practice plans for players between ages eight to 14, Go Coach Football from Human Kinetics will help take your coaching to the next level. Featuring 33 video clips and 21 animations, Go Coach Football demonstrates dozens of offensive, defensive, and special teams skills and drills. An authoritative app for any on-thego coach, it provides step-by-step instructions for tackling, blocking, running, passing, catching, and kicking. Now available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Kindle Fire. Human Kinetics • 800-747-4457 www.humankinetics.com
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In Developing Agility and Quickness, the National Strength and Conditioning Association hand-picked its top experts to present the best training advice and programs for optimizing athletes’ linear and lateral movements. Packed with more than 100 drills to help in the development of agility and quickness training programs and applicable to almost every sport, this book focuses on improving athletes’ fleetness of foot, change-of-direction speed, and reaction time. Human Kinetics • 800-747-4457 www.humankinetics.com
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Excel Lace-Up Brace
Active Ankle Systems, Inc. www.activeankle.com 800-800-2896 Circle No. 521
Wizard Custom Kicker/Punter Shoulder Pads Wizard Sports Equipment www.wizardsports.com • 888-964-5425 Circle No. 522 Unique features:
Benefits for the user:
• A brace for athletes looking for the best of both the bracing and taping worlds • The Excel lace-up brace provides the comfort and mobility of a lace-up—with the support and security of a “tape job” • Circumferential strap helps stabilize the brace
• Lacing system tightens all the way around, providing a conforming and comfortable fit • Lined with neoprene for maximum comfort and fit with nylon eyelets for reducing pressure points • Affordable price point
Benefits for the user:
• Custom cut-away shell design for maximum mobility with no back plate • Custom super shaved SC-18 flaps are free moving and ideal for kickers and punters • Open-cell foam design, lessening the blow on impact
• Increased mobility to enhance performance and prevent fatigue • Douglas Innovative Air Management technology • Durable, comfortable pad that will last for several seasons.
(US Pat. No. 7,951,051 and other patents pending)
Total Strength and Speed TotalStrengthandSpeed.com 888-532-8227
Amateur Sports Liability Insurance Program K&K Insurance Group, Inc. www.sportsinsurance-kk.com 800-426-2889
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Benefits for the user:
• Sexual abuse and molestation liability coverage • Eligible operations include amateur sports teams, leagues, tournaments, events, and youth camps
• $1 million liability with $1 million aggregate • Coverage is available when purchasing general liability coverage. A simple questionnaire must be completed and approved before coverage can be bound.
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Benefits for the user:
• A flexible barbell made from a combination of special composite materials • The bar’s dual-action includes amplitude and oscillatory movement to create a rolling wave, stimulating the sensory receptors or proprioceptors • The Tsunami Bar “comes to life” according to forces and movements that are used
• Provides an extraordinary training stimulus • EMG testing data suggests that muscle activation is approximately 20-percent greater, and stabilizer muscles are three times more active when using the Tsunami Bar compared to a standard barbell • Helps build a power reservoir to meet modern-day athletes’ needs Coaching Management POSTseason 2012 45
Uniforms & Apparel Ironclad Protection
Get ironclad protection for the gridiron with McDavid’s 7332 Hex™ Integrated Girdle/five-pad. McDavid’s nine-millimeter light and flexible Hex Technology confidently shields at the hips and tailbone. This girdle features hard-shell guards protecting at the thighs and a must-have cup pocket. The hDc™ Moisture Management Tech keeps a player cool and comfortable. The 7332 Hex Girdle is 100-percent washable, and dryable, and 110-percent reliable.
McDavid • 800-237-8254 www.mcdavidusa.com
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Just What You Want
Pro Look Football is where tradition meets innovation. Combine the latest in material technology with the unique ability to create any style uniform for one low price, and you get a superior uniform experience. In fact, Pro Look uniforms are so good that they are backed with a limited lifetime manufacturing warranty. Call today for your free custom design mock-up.
Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com
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The FlexPad III™ football compression girdles feature Shock Cone™ segmented, high-impact absorbing pads and dual-layer hip pointer protection. The new 1535T has five pads, including Shock Cone™ hip and tail pads, plus hard thigh pads. This product is made of 80-percent nylon and 20-percent spandex and utilizes anti-microbial and moisturewicking fabric. It is available in a number of sizes from small to 4XL.
Stromgren Athletics • 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com
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2012: an Olympic year!
Complete Ankle Protection
Stromgren Athletics’ model 329 brace offers complete heel-lock ankle protection without tape, yet has outstanding compression and moisture-management features. A Spandex sock applies comfortable, even compression to the entire foot complex, yet stays cool and dry due to the fabric’s moisture-wicking properties. Permanently attached heel-lock straps help control severe eversion and inversion of the ankle complex. This brace fits both the left and right foot. Stromgren Athletics • 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com Circle No. 542
Add Confidence to Your Game
The 7932 Hex™ Sleeveless Shirt/five-pad gives you five ways to instantly add confidence to your game. Go light, fast, and strong with McDavid’s nine-millimeter Hex Technology. It has superior protection at your shoulders, ribs, and spine. With added comfort via its Flex-Neck styling and smart armhole design, the 7932 Hex Sleeveless Shirt will let you keep your mind and body in the game. Plus hDc™ Moisture Management Tech keeps you cool in any situation. This sleeveless shirt also washes and dries without a problem. McDavid • 800-237-8254 www.mcdavidusa.com Circle No. 526
Gain the speed tO succeed. TurfCordz® resistance tools meet the extreme demands of high-level athletic training. Used by pro and Olympian athletes, the best-selling Resist Assist, Safety Super Bungie and Tug-of-War Harness increase speed, improve endurance and overcome resistance.
Made in USA
Order today! 800.886.6621 or visit nzmfg.com
Virtually Unstoppable Uniforms
Since 1996, Pro Look has developed award-winning 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 stretch tackle twill technology creates tackle twill that is designed to soften and move with players, all the while maintaining traditional tackle twill strength and longevity. Combine stretch tackle twill with innovative moisture management fabrics, and make your next set of uniforms virtually unstoppable. Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com Circle No. 527
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Strength & Conditioning Go a Long Way
The StrechCordz® Long Belt Slider is NZ Manufacturing’s best-selling in-water resistance product. For resisted swim-out and speed-assisted swim-back exercises, this product can increase acceleration, strengthen stroke finishes, and improve times. The Long Belt Slider features a two-inch belt that fits up to a 44-inch waist. It’s padded for comfort and connected to 20 feet of latex safety corded tubing. In fact, the Safety Cord runs the entire length of the tube for additional security. For more on StrechCordz resistance tools, contact NZ Manufacturing today. NZ Manufacturing • 800-866-6621 www.strechcordz.com
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Mission Competition Fitness Equipment created and manufactures The Halo, a dynamic rotary neck strengthening cable attachment. The Halo works the neck out by applying horizontal resistance during neck rotation. The company’s goal is to help in the prevention of concussions and neck injuries by increasing the athlete’s neck strength. Greater neck strength equals greater force dissipation upon head impact, which equals far fewer neck injuries and concussions. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission Competition Fitness Equipment • 310-776-0621 www.halostrong.com Circle No. 537
Natural Wrist Motion
New York Barbells offers a complete selection of training ropes in 1.5- and two-inch diameter in all lengths up to 100 feet. New York Barbells offers a 1.75-inch braided rope that retains its shape and is more resilient than twisted rope. New York Barbells also offers and installs handles on the ropes for a natural wrist motion. A complete line of exercise chain is also available. Fulfill all of your rope needs for climbing, battling, pulling, and special applications with New York Barbells. New York Barbells of Elmira, Inc. • 800-446-1833 www.newyorkbarbells.com Circle No. 504
Reduce Groin Injuries
The High Stepper develops explosive power in the hip flexors and legs. The stepper uses a running motion, which substantially increases athletes’ speed, quickness, and durability. Coaches notice fewer groin injuries with their athletes after training on the High Stepper. The High Stepper 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 CoachesNetwork.com
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Ideal for training runs or coach-assisted runs, the Monster Sled™ features a 37-inch-wide handle to accommodate wide and narrow grips, as well as alternate grip positions. This red sled comes with a padded shoulder harness for comfort, and a strong nylon lead. Two 12-inch weight posts hold up to 540 pounds. The 45-pound weight plates are sold separately. With strong welded steel, the Monster Sled requires assembly—instructions are included. Its dimensions are 50” long x 32” wide x 2” high. Its retail price is $367.95. Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.powersystems.com
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Samson Equipment is introducing its revolutionary Adjustable DB. This solid, heavy-duty, and easyto-use unit doesn’t break the bank. It features two 15-pound handles and enough 10-, 5-, and 2.5-pound plates to adjust each DB up to 90 pounds. The plates slide on effortlessly, pinning in place with solid-steel rods, while the handles allow wrists a full range of motion. The custom table operates on lock-in-place casters, and the top staging area is coated with heavy-duty urethane—and its front can be customized with your school’s graphics. Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766 www.samsonequipment.com
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A Trusted Authority
The National Strength and Conditioning Association is a trusted authority on strength and conditioning, bridging the gap between science and application since 1978. The NSCA offers four highly sought-after certifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist ® (CSCS®); Certified Special Population Specialist™ (CSPS™); NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer ® (NSCA-CPT®); and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator™ (TSAC-F ™). Being a part of the NSCA gives coaching professionals the tools, access, and knowledge to reach higher in their career. NSCA • 800-815-6826 www.nsca.com
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Indoor Cycling Options
The Power Lift Indoor Cycling Bike is available in both a chain- and belt-driven version. The belt-driven version allows users to pedal backwards with resistance. Standard features for both bikes include: dual-sided pedals with a clip-less system on one side and toe-cages on the other; adjustable positions for the seat height and forward/back position; and adjustable positions for the handlebar height. Power Lift • 800-872-1543 www.power-lift.com
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Strength & Conditioning Total-Body Power
Powernetics offers many products— including the Bulldog and the Attacker—for the strength training needs of your players. 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
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Best of Both Worlds
The 1.25-inch thick Infinity iTurf is the perfect companion for the Infinity Max tiles. Both have the same thickness, which allows you to have the best of both worlds in your weight room in a flush installation. The Infinity iTurf is perfect for running, jumping, and agility drills. This product does not have rubber infill. It is available in 16 colors, with option of customizing with your layouts and logos. Infinity Performance, Inc. • 888-479-1017 www.infinityflooring.com
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Brings Coaches Together
The National Strength Coaching Association’s Coaches Conference brings together the top coaches and practitioners of the weight room—men and women working with high school, college, and professional athletes to develop some of the most successful strength and conditioning programs in the world. Come to Nashville for the 2013 Coaches Conference. There, you will experience one of the finest gatherings of top professionals in the field of strength and conditioning, while participating in educational presentations and hands-on training sessions. NSCA • 800-815-6826 www.nsca.com
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The Rogue Bar is a polished 28.5-millimeter bar with no center knurling—and both powerlifting and Olympic lifting knurling marks. This bar has the great understated knurling that has made Rogue Fitness’ bars famous. It features high-quality brass bushings for reliable spin, and will whip enough for use in Olympic Weightlifting. Rogue Fitness • 614-358-6190 www.roguefitness.com
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Strength & Conditioning Withstands Abuse
The Power Racks from Rogue Fitness are all built using 3 x 3” steel tubing and one-inch hardware. The larger steel tube size and substantial hardware increases stability resulting in a virtually immovable piece of American-made training equipment. The Rogue Monster Series Rigs and Racks were designed specifically for use by the world’s top professional, collegiate, and high school athletic facilities. Their substantial construction will withstand abuse from the most powerful athletes.
Rogue Fitness • 614-358-6190 www.roguefitness.com
Adhesives for All-Season Installations
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Designed for You
Custom-design any power rack with Samson Equipment. Everything—including Samson’s Power Racks—can be customized for any customer. Samson’s team will take you step-by-step through the company’s revolutionary custom-design software, so each piece meets your exclusive needs. Do you need to incorporate band training, chain work, single leg squats, or TRX movements? No problem—just let the company know what you need and you’ll get to see, in 3-D, what your design will look like. Contact Samson Equipment today to see how you can make your concept a reality.
Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766 www.samsonequipment.com
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Strengthens Shoulders and Chest
The Multi Grip Bar™ has three different hand positions for complete muscular development of the shoulders and chest. The ergonomic placement of hands helps reduce stress on shoulders and wrists during pressing exercises. The Multi Grip Bar is made of heat-treated alloy with knurled handgrips. It measures 84 inches long, weighs 60 pounds, and uses Olympic plates—which are sold separately. The Multi Grip Bar retails for $314.95. Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.powersystems.com
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Stands Up to Abuse
Infinity Max 1.25-inch thick tile stands up to the constant abuse of heavy weights being dropped directly on the weight room floor without denting, tearing, or splitting. This tile is backed by the company’s exclusive 10-year warranty--and you can even use the floor itself as an Olympic Lifting Platform. The tile is available in 10 standard colors and an unlimited number of custom colors, with custom logos also available. This product contains up to 95-percent recycled content and may qualify for up to eight LEED Points.
Infinity Performance, Inc. • 888-479-1017 www.infinityflooring.com
Nordot ® outdoor turf adhesives have high green strength, or “grab,” to prevent unwanted movement during installation. Their wide-working window and open time means they can be adhered in both hot or cold weather. Nordot adhesives are one-part urethane, and can be used in any weather—windy, hot, cold, wet, or dry. They have a long history of successful outdoor use in a wide variety of climates and conditions. Nordot adhesives are used worldwide for both the total glue-down and seaming of synthetic turf. Their key handling properties, as well as the company’s 39-year reputation for successful outdoor installations, make it easy to see why professionals choose Nordot adhesives. Synthetic Surfaces Inc. also produces two adhesives for indoor turf installations, where adhesive odor during installation is unacceptable. In the above photo, Nordot adhesive is being applied via squeegee in a cold weather synthetic turf installation.
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Versatile and Effective Tool
Push it. Pull it. Drag it. Since its first sale in April 2005, Williams Strength’s Prowler 2 has been featured on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” called “quite possibly the most versatile and effective conditioning tool ever devised” by Muscle and Fitness, and has been used by more than half of all NFL teams and countless colleges, high schools, and training centers. All of this has made it one of the most popular conditioning sleds ever built.
Total Strength and Speed • 888-532-8227 www.totalstrengthandspeed.com CoachesNetwork.com
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Synthetic Surfaces Inc. 908-233-6803 www.nordot.com Coaching Management POSTseason 2012 49
Legend Fitness Receives Customer Approval
“The equipment we got from Legend Fitness is great. I look forward to business with the company for many years to come, as its associates instilled a sense of loyalty in me.” —Chris Hobbs, Huntland High School, TN
“I gave a tour to all of the football coaches in our league this season. They were very impressed with the quality and strength of these racks. Plus, our team has cut time in the weight room, since the studentathletes can cycle through so quickly.” —Chris Essig, Sandy Valley Local Schools, OH
“My facility would not look the way it does without Legend Fitness’ professional expertise and technological insight—it created the exact layout we wanted. Fitness is my passion and this facility is my dream. Now it has officially happened— thanks to Legend Fitness.” —Camie Cragg-Lyman, Camie Cragg Fitness, NV
Legend Fitness 866-753-4363 www.legendfitness.com 50 Coaching Management Postseason 2012
Advertisers Directory Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
124. . . AAE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
118. . . NSCA Coaches Conference. . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
105. . . Active Ankle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
111. . . Porta Phone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
108. . . Aer-Flo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
119. . . Power Lift®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
120. . . Athlete’s Guide to Nutrition. . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
126. . . Power Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
101. . . Cutters Gloves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
132. . . Powernetics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC
109. . . Dream Team Italy Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
112. . . Pro Look Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
110. . . Florida State University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
115. . . Rogue Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
133. . . Gatorade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
114. . . Rubenstein and Ziff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
128. . . Human Kinetics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
125. . . Samson Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
123. . . Infinity Flooring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
116. . . SMi Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
106. . . Longhorn Locker Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
100. . . Sports Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC
103. . . McDavid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
117. . . Sports Tutor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
104. . . MilkPEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
107. . . Stromgren Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
102. . . Mondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
127. . . Student Athlete Recognition Poster. . . . . . . 39
113. . . Mueller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
121. . . The Halo (Mission Competition). . . . . . . . . . 33
122. . . New York Barbells of Elmira . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
129. . . Total Strength and Speed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
131. . . NSCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
130. . . TurfCordz®/NZ Manufacturing. . . . . . . . . . . 46
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Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
Products Directory 541. . . 540. . . 531. . . 521. . . 533. . . 517. . . 520. . . 538. . . 539. . . 536. . . 529. . . 530. . . 532. . . 511. . . 516. . . 553. . . 548. . . 549. . . 523. . . 524. . . 526. . . 535. . . 537. . . 519. . . 518. . . 546. . . 547. . . 504. . . 534. . .
AAE (BallStopper Systems). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 AAE (Players’ Sideline Shelter). . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Active Ankle (Excel lace-up brace). . . . . . . . . 52 Active Ankle (product launch). . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Active Ankle (T2 ankle brace). . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Aer-Flo (Tuffy® Windscreen). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Aer-Flo (Vipol® Matrix Material). . . . . . . . . . . 43 Cutters Gloves (Triple Playmaker Wristcoach).44 Cutters Gloves (X40 C-TACK(TM) Revolution). 40 Dream Team Italy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Florida State University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Gatorade (Energy Chews). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Gatorade (Recovery Beverage). . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Human Kinetics (AFCA). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Human Kinetics (Go Coach Football). . . . . . . . 44 Human Kinetics (Developing Agility). . . . . . . . 44 Infinity Flooring (iTurf). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Infinity Flooring (Max tile). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 K&K Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 McDavid (7332 Hex™ Integrated Girdle) . . . . 46 McDavid (7932 Hex™ Sleeveless Shirt). . . . . 46 MilkPEP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Mission Competition (The Halo) . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Mondo (Inlaid Platforms) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Mondo (Mondoturf FTS3 system). . . . . . . . . . 42 Mueller (PerformPlus™ Tape). . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Mueller (The One®) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 New York Barbells of Elmira. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 NSCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
528. . . NSCA (Coaches Conference). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 502. . . NZ Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 513. . . Porta Phone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 503. . . Power Lift® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 506. . . Power Systems (Monster Sled™). . . . . . . . . . 47 509. . . Power Systems (Multi Grip Bar™). . . . . . . . . 49 508. . . Powernetics (Bulldog/Attacker). . . . . . . . . . . . 48 505. . . Powernetics (High Stepper) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 525. . . Pro Look Sports (custom). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 527. . . Pro Look Sports (stretch tackle twill) . . . . . . . 46 544. . . Rogue Fitness (Power Racks). . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 545. . . Rogue Fitness (Rogue Bar). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 510. . . Samson (custom design) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 507. . . Samson Equipment (Adjustable DB). . . . . . . . 47 552. . . SMi Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 515. . . Sports Attack (recent customers). . . . . . . . . . 44 514. . . Sports Attack (Snap Attack) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 512. . . Sports Tutor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 543. . . Stromgren (Flex Pad III™) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 542. . . Stromgren (model 329 brace). . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 551. . . Total Strength and Speed (Prowler 2). . . . . . . 49 550. . . Total Strength and Speed (Tsunami Barbell™).45 554. . . VP Buildings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 555. . . Wenger (GearBoss®) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 500. . . Wizard Sports (+3 Kicking Shoe) . . . . . . . . . . 40 501. . . Wizard Sports (Custom Bags). . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 522. . . Wizard Sports (Shoulder Pads). . . . . . . . . . . . 45
More Products Best of Both Worlds
For athletes looking for the best of both worlds, the Excel lace-up brace provides the comfort and mobility of a lace-up with the support and security of a tape job. With its circumferential strap that helps stabilize the brace and lacing system that tightens all the way around, the Excel provides a conforming and comfortable fit. The Excel is also lined with neoprene for maximum comfort and fit with nylon eyelets to reduce pressure points.
Active Ankle Systems, Inc. • 800-800-2896 www.activeankle.com
What will be the biggest game-changer for your team this season? For athletic trainer and Hall of Famer, Phil Hossler, it’s refueling his athletes after practice or games with lowfat chocolate milk. It has the right mix of protein and carbs—scientifically shown to refuel exhausted muscles—and fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate and replenish nutrients lost in sweat. Watch how Hossler refuels his high school athletes at gotchocolatemilk.com. MilkPEP • 202-737-0153 www.gotchocolatemilk.com
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Get an Edge with FSU
Interested in advancing your coaching career or breaking into this highly rewarding field? Then the Florida State University Graduate Certificate in Coaching is a promising place to start. The program, which requires 12 credit hours over four online courses, provides advanced coaching education to give you an edge in this extremely competitive field. Visit FSU online for program requirements, admissions, cost, and course descriptions.
Florida State University • 850-644-4298 www.coe.fsu.edu/sportcoaching
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An Unforgettable Experience Dream Team Italy Sports is a leading European sports travel company that based in Italy and has more than 15 years experience in the U.S.A. sports-travel industry. Dream Team Italy Sports provides college and high school teams from the U.S.A. with customized sports trips to Europe. The company’s professional and international experience and its worldwide sports connections create an incredible opportunity for your team to live a valuable and unforgettable experience. Dream Team Italy • 011-39-031-200-943 www.dreamteamitalysports.com
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G Series Energy Chews are a pre-game fuel in a convenient form. They are designed to be used about 15 minutes prior to training or competition to provide energy from a concentrated blend of carbohydrates to fuel athlete performance. G Series Energy Chews help make carbohydrate energy rapidly available to working muscles for the start of activity, so athletes might feel the difference at the beginning of training or competition. Gatorade • 800-884-2867 www.gatorade.com
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Awards and Promotional Items
SMi Awards is the official awards supplier of the NFHS. The company offers a full line of custom logo watches, plaques, rings, gift sets, and more. They’re perfect for senior/letter-winner awards, championship teams, staff gifts, golf outings, and donor gifts. More than 300,000 promotional products are now available. The company offers significant pricing incentives for annual purchases and will work with you on an unparalleled personal level to provide the service you expect and deserve. If you’re looking for a reliable awards supplier with quality products, outstanding prices, and 24 years of business experience, contact SMi Awards. SMi Awards • 800-326-8463 www.smiawards.com 52 Coaching Management Postseason 2012
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Active Ankle T2 provides exceptional ankle protection for active lifestyles during exercise or athletic activity. The Solid U-Shaped design relieves pressure from the ankle and provides superior inversion/eversion protection. With a bi-lateral anatomical hinge, T2 allows freedom of motion in plantar flexion/dorsiflexion. The T2 also has a single quick-fit strap that adjusts for high- or low-top shoes and custom-molded EVA padding for a comfortable fit and firm support. Active Ankle Systems, Inc. • 800-800-2896 www.activeankle.com
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Supports Muscle Rebuilding G Series Protein Recovery Beverage is a protein and carbohydrate beverage formulated with the consistency of a thirst quencher. It has an effective amount of protein that contains essential amino acids needed to help support muscle rebuilding after training or competition. G Series Recover should be consumed within about 60 minutes after exercise for maximum muscle benefit. Gatorade • 800-884-2867 www.gatorade.com
Circle No. 532 CoachesNetwork.com
Winning “Lean” — Strategies for Athletic Equipment Storage A Q&A with Gregg Nelson, Senior Market Manager, Wenger Corporation
Once the process is mapped, look for steps that can be combined or eliminated. Solicit input from everyone. Then document the new, streamlined process. Benefits will include reduced time and fewer mistakes.
Q: Do you have any specific tips for reducing mistakes?
A: Travel-related equipment mistakes, for example, are very common. Minimize the chance of forgetting anything by implementing simple visual tools for travel days. In your staging area, create outlines on the floor with tape indicating where the necessary equipment, cases, and bags to be transported belong. At a glance, you’ll know if something’s missing.
Q: How does lean relate to good sanitation?
Q: Why is an equipment room like a factory?
A: Both environments share similar challenges, including managing workflow and logistics; maximizing productivity; and tracking inventory. Both can benefit from implementing “lean” thinking that focuses on streamlining value-producing activities, while eliminating wasted time and resources. Lean is a journey of continuous improvement. With handling athletic equipment, this can provide the framework necessary to win control of the space and manage logistics.
Q: How can I start to implement lean thinking?
A: Think small. Even world-class companies like Toyota begin by applying lean principles to small areas. Lean tools are simple, expandable, and repeatable. The opposite of value is waste, so strive to eliminate wasted time and resources. Lean focuses on five types of waste: overproduction, waiting, unnecessary movement, mistakes, and excess inventory.
Q: Can you share an example of how to cut waste?
A: Assessment is the first step. When you have some downtime, choose a process to study—such as the weekly movement of laundry—and assemble everyone involved. Use sticky notes or a whiteboard to make a “process map” by documenting every step and sub-step.
Wenger Corporation CoachesNetwork.com
A: An environment that is organized and a sanitary environment goes hand-in-hand. To be really clean, a facility must be cleanable. After de-cluttering, cleaning is the most important way to improve. This goes beyond laundering uniforms, warm-ups, and towels; it expands to cleaning floors and corners, as well as under benches and inside shelves. Any neglected area, particularly if it’s moist and dark, can harbor mold, mildew, MRSA, and other dangers. If you can’t get in, around, and under things, they will not get clean. Anything you put on the floor in your equipment room should be on wheels to facilitate cleaning. Whatever the stage of your lean journey, GearBoss can provide the expertise and specialized storage/transport solutions necessary for success. Gregg Nelson is a senior market manager with the Wenger Corporation, which offers a free Athletic Facility Planning Guide that outlines best practices and includes helpful information and worksheets. Nelson has presented on the topic of lean thinking at meetings of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA); and has written for the AEMA Journal. He can be reached at 800-4WENGER or email@example.com.
Coaching Management POSTseason 2012 51
Box 329 Riverside, TX 77367 1 (800) 829-2928 www.powernetics.com http://www.youtube.com/Powernetics2020
Programs training with the Bear
Quarter Squat Jumping Angle Squat Jumping Angle Squats
New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers New York Jets Houston Texans Kansas City Chiefs Cleveland Browns New York Giants Miami Dolphins Tennessee Titans New York Yankees Minnesota Twins Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Houston Rockets Dallas Mavericks Univ. of Michigan Univ. of Texas Univ. of Arkansas N.C. State Virginia Tech Univ. Boston College
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Don Beebe CEO, House of Speed LLC Nine Year NFL Veteran Super Bowl Champion
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