Warrior Diet Challenge

Warrior Diet Challenge

100 Days to Unleash a New You!

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I will try this over the next 100 days (Starting on Monday, May 31st) and see what I notice. If you’d like to attempt a lifestyle change based on Ori Hofmekler’s book, The Warrior Diet, I have put together an outline of how to go about it. If you’re just curious, you can follow me on Instagram and see what you see for future reference. I do highly recommend purchasing the latest edition of The Warrior Diet.

The Warrior Diet

This Diet is a type of intermittent fasting called controlled fasting that was discovered based on eating patterns of ancient warriors. The modern-day Warrior Diet may be ideal for a football coaching lifestyle because you eat minimal calories over 20 hours (undereating phase), followed by a four-hour feeding period (overeating phase).

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If you are in a position where you would like to lose a considerable amount of fat, Ori Hofmekeler has designed a 3-week program that kicks off with three one-week phases to jump-start your body’s capacity to maximize weight loss. Here’s a download of that program for you: The Warrior Diet Fat Loss Program. I have heard numerous testimonials from women who have struggled with losing fat that this program has been beneficial.

Starting the Warrior Diet

The Warrior Diet requires you to start each day with the “undereating” phase and transition to the “overeating” phase after a twenty-hour controlled fast. Ori states, “You should not feel hungry during a controlled fast as you are going through the 20-hour fasting window.” While fasting, you are allowed to eat certain foods to satisfy your hunger.

  • Live (raw) fruits and vegetables.
  • Freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Yogurt (plain), kefir (plain), milk protein shakes (no sugar).
  • Eggs (Poached or boiled).

Note: In the afternoon, you can eat a handful of raw almonds.

What To Drink

Staying hydrated is a vital component of the warrior diet. Increase your daily consumption of water from eight glasses up to ten glasses while you are conquering your controlled fasting. I’d recommend that you put a drop of Doterra lemon essential oil in your water for its cleansing benefit. It’s even nice to keep a mint plant around where you can incorporate that flavor into your water.

Natural stimulants like coffee are allowed, and you can add a trace of milk or milk-foam. Most teas are okay. Make sure that the coffee and tea are not made with sugar or sugar substitutes to avoid over-triggering an insulin response.

After 20-hour Controlled Fast…

Now that you’ve gone through the controlled fast, your body is now ready to consume large amounts of food without gaining fat. As Ori says, “This is the best time to eat as much as you need and enjoy this wonderful sense of freedom.”

The “overeating” phase gives you a four-hour window in the evening to eat whatever you want, but with a sequential approach to how you devour your feast. According to Ori, ancient warriors spent their days foraging and would feast at night.

Three Rules for Feasting

Rule #1: Always start with subtle-tasting foods and move to the more aggressive tastes.

Rule #2: Include as many tastes, textures, colors, and aromas as possible in your main meal.

Rule #3: Stop eating when you feel much more thirsty than hungry.

What To Eat (Overeating phase)

“The Warrior Diet is based on the principle of eating one large meal per day, preferably at night. During this meal, you can eat as much as you want from all food groups (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), as long as you follow the Warrior Diet rules of eating.” [Excerpt: The Warrior Diet]

Start with leafy green vegetables (such as romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, parsley, endives).
Continue with protein (such as fish, seafood, eggs, beans, cheese), cooked vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, squash, mushrooms, eggplant, beet greens, kale, collard greens), and fat (such as essential fatty acid oils, olive oil, almonds, avocado, butter).
Finish with carbohydrates (such as rice, potatoes, corn, yams, quinoa, barley) or finish with raw nuts or seeds (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds).
Stop eating when you feel much more thirst than hungry. [Excerpt: The Warrior Diet]

So, What can’t I have on the Warrior Diet?

There aren’t any foods that are off-limits for the Warrior Diet, but there is a “kryptonite” to the warrior diet.

Here’s Your Kryptonite

  1. Sugary Processed Foods.
  2. Salty Processed Foods.
  3. Sugary Beverages.

The Warrior Workout

Ori states, “The goal of this training program is to enable you to reach your body’s potential and maintain it.” What he calls “body potential,” he defines as function, not fashion. For a more in-depth look into this training regimen, you can find this in Chapter 14 called The Warrior Workout: Controlled-Fatigue Training. Here’s a download of some of these exercises with a bonus of delicious recipes that you can eat on the Warrior Diet.

That’s it, I plan on starting this lifestyle next week and documenting what I notice on Instagram. I may even try some of the controlled-fatigue training. Follow me and see if you may want to give the Warrior Diet a try.


Comment Below

What do you think about the Warrior Diet?

If you decide to try it, please feel free to comment on what you notice below.

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The Coaching Carousel

The Coaching Carousel

A Football Coaches Guide To Job Opportunities

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In the Spring, the coaching carousel slows down and you can reflect upon the lessons learned from this turbulent time of the year when coaches are hired, fired and moving from place to place at an unprecedented pace.

In speaking with an Athletic Director friend of mine, he made mention that he wondered if football coaches are ever really happy where they are…

"Of all the sports that I deal with, Football coaches are the most transient group of all. With the current climate of ‘Win or you're out,’ these coaches are trying to stay one step ahead of the posse and another group is always searching for their dream job… One that may never exist."

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How much time is wasted in search of the next job?

In our profession, we have websites and social media that directly relate to the football coaching market. The most utilized website is footballscoop.com. In many ways, this type of media is brilliantly disguised as a coaching information source but one can see that the most viewed pages are related to searching for the next job.

I did a simple study of this a few months ago. I signed up for Twitter alerts to see how often and what type of information would come my way for 30 days. I told myself that I would open the Twitter notification when it showed up on my phone and read whatever came my way and spend time researching any and every job that came which I could tie myself in some capacity to (more on that later) …. It became addictive and time-wasting at the same time.

Coaching Carousel: Six Degrees of Separation.

Football coaches as a group are vain in their views of themselves in this profession. It’s intriguing how many times I have found coaches telling me how they feel they are a top candidate for a job as they triangulate to a position that just came open.

'I’m from Ohio and this job is in Ohio and I know somebody that went to school there, and I know someone that knows a former coach who's close to the wife of the Vice President… I’m in!'

Some things I have heard are not far off from that type of faulty logic.

In essence, you can connect yourself to just about any job opening, but do you really have a chance at getting that job? In most cases, your chance of getting the job is slim. Generally, you are wasting so much time focusing on what you can’t control.

In my 30 Day research project regarding the coaching carousel, I noticed the following:

The constant researching of who was going where and what job I could tie myself to became an obsession. The amount of time to just check the tweets was mind-boggling. Open the tweet, read it and then do some research on who I might know. Then start contacting these people.

In my research project, I decided to apply for a head coaching position for the sake of investigation. Regardless, even though I knew, I might not actually take the job, I just wanted to understand the time-consuming nature of the process. It’s remarkable how much time it takes actually to apply for a job.

The results… I applied for 3 jobs. One, I never heard back from. Two of them I had a phone interview and one of those wanted to fly me out to interview in front of the committee – I respectfully declined the offer.

Actually, one positive from this was I was able to help one of our assistant coaches at Widener get an interview for a Division II position job. Oliver Taylor interviewed for and accepted the receiver job at Saginaw Valley State University. Had I not been getting those alerts, I could not have helped him.

What is at risk when you decide to ride the coaching carousel?

This addiction can be detrimental to one’s career in so many ways. If one is locked into this way of thinking, it’s easy to get distracted from the current demands of your job. The post-season is so important in improving as a football coach. This is generally the time of year when I do research on the results of my strategies from the previous season. I also like to study the various trends going on in the college and pro game.

Speaking engagements are common during this time of the year, this Spring I spoke at the Glazier clinics in Baltimore, Maryland and Greenwich, Connecticut. Recruiting is ongoing at the college level. Player off-season development is also a component in high school and the small colleges where you may not have a strength coach or you are the strength coach.

Coaching Carousel: Who Are You?

I believe knowing who you are is critical to your career in coaching. Take a look at your strengths and be honest about your weaknesses and you will go a long way in making yourself more marketable to future employers. Getting an accurate assessment can certainly be eye-opening. Ask someone you trust to tell you how you are perceived in various areas of importance to a prospective employer. (More on what decision makers are looking for today, later.)

Where are you now and where have you been in your career?

The body of work you have put together, your influences and ultimately your results are what matter most. Once you accurately assess where you are and have been, then ask yourself this next question.

“Based on my career to date, what is my next best move, if any?”

Your next best move may be to continue to “bloom in place” and get better at each area of your job. You might just desire to handle the demands of your current coaching position and still have a life outside of the profession. You may even decide to get off the coaching carousel altogether and do a little bit of soul searching. Researching and just getting energized to make a run at it again. It’s your decision, not anyone else. It’s important that once you make this decision to act upon it with passion and integrity.

Coaching Carousel: Research for higher probability.

The off-season is the best time of the year to work on your next job. Schedule some time to research and fully understand where you are a “fit.” Doing this exercise on your own time is generally best and make sure to block off the time so you are not interrupted. Look into the following areas…

Regarding “fit”, Is there a region of the country where you are a better fit for a position? What type of staff do you best work with? Fit may be assessed on your connections, your accent, style or just the type of place you feel most at home. I’ve had a few friends in the profession that stay on a job even though they don’t have the same philosophy as the head coach or their co-workers… that can be professional suicide! Trust me, to stay in the business among co-workers that are not aligned with your values is a one-way ticket to being miserable.

In the type of job you aspire, who is actually the decision-maker? The athletic director, the head football coach, the principal? And, what is this person’s background?

How about looking into prospective jobs that could open at the end of the season?

If you are searching for a head coaching job that may be a bit easier. All you have to do is see what programs are under-performing and have run their course in building the program. From there, you can look into who the decision maker may be and see if you have common ground.

I would not in any way approach these individuals. Why? Because, if they are taking communication from coaches regarding a job opening that isn’t even open, what does that tell you about working for them 3-5 years down the road? Your job security may not be what you want when you are always looking over your shoulder. Ideally, you want a trustworthy individual as your boss.

With that being said, most decision-makers already have their short list of candidates for each position in their program. I know that if I decide to take a head coaching job, I already have a list of 3 candidates for every assistant coaching position. And, as a head coach, I always knew who I would hire if I lost an assistant coach.

So, if you shouldn’t contact these decision makers, how in the world can you ever land a job working for them?

In most cases, it’s about your closest circle of influencers that can help you to get in on the job you aspire. Think about it, who is that very short list of people you are very close to that will help you and you would help them as well? A great book that explains this concept is The Power of Who, by Bob Beaudine. In essence, networking is just the opposite of what most football coaches think it is…

"It’s not the size of your network, it’s the quality that matters."

Watch this video to understand networking…

Coaching Carousel: A historical perspective.

Back when I started American Football Monthly we became known as experts regarding up and coming football coaches. As a result, we began Professional Services Group to aid schools in searching and hiring their next football coach. This search firm, led by Barry Terranova, created a rather rigorous process of researching the prospective candidate pool for a specific school.

PSG discovered that there was a startling trend in the hiring process resulting in some of the best and worst hires, which still goes on today. An understanding of these findings can be beneficial for you in your search for the next opportunity. It’s all relevant today regardless of the position you are looking to attain.

Before moving forward, take a look at some of these hires & see what you notice…

  1. Bill Snyder … Ron Prince … Bill Snyder
  2. Luke Fickell … Urban Meyer
  3. Mark Mangino … Turner Gill … Charlie Weiss … David Beaty
  4. Jim Grobe … Dave Clawson
  5. George O’Leary … Scott Frost
  6. Skip Holtz … Willie Taggart
  7. John Blake … Bob Stoops
  8. Spike Dykes … Mike Leach … Tommy Tuberville … Kliff Kingsbury
  9. Bill O’Brien … James Franklin
  10. Bob Simmons … Les Miles … Mike Gundy

Here are a few key points that were discovered by the Professional Services Group:

Schools generally employ the “opposite” of the coach who had departed. I mean it was bizarre to the extent that this was done…

Spread Offense vs. Pro-style offense. Offensive vs. Defensive background. Minority vs. Caucasian. Highly regarded recruiter vs. closet strategist. Thin coaches vs. heavy coaches. (Yes, this happens often) An experienced & seasoned coach vs. an inexperienced & enthusiastic young coach. Alumnus vs. Outsider.

With some of those examples mentioned above, the extent to which these types of hires were made was certainly evident in the mindset of the decision-makers. The probability is so high that you really should not ignore the fact.

There was also a disproportionate hire based on the “good old boys” network. Basically, hiring a friend on a recommendation from a friend without thorough research. (This rarely worked out)

Coaching Carousel: An AD’s Perspective.

As part of the research for this article, I decided to call upon some of my friends in the industry that have actually hired football coaches. One such athletic director who did a remarkable job of hiring his coaches is Jim Fiore, the former athletic director at Stony Brook University in New York.

Jim is known as a trailblazer in the industry and his success of putting Stony Brook University on the map is due to his ability to fundraise, administrate a department through growth and hire the best fit in leadership positions. On top of all that, he’s known as a change agent that “moves the needle.” He did this in basketball (Steve Pikiell) and football (Chuck Priore). In doing so, he took Stony Brook University from nowhere to notoriety.

Importance of hiring a head football coach…

"Hiring a head football coach is the most critical hire of any athletic director. I look for a coach I can grow old with, basically, a life partner who I can totally support and be able to debate behind closed doors."

Key points Jim Fiore looks for in hiring a head coach…

  1. A personable, passionate and humble leader.
  2. A leader that has made mistakes. Taken responsibility for his past errors and ultimately learned from these mistakes.
  3. A man with a vision and a detailed plan.
  4. A proven track record in recruiting.
  5. Must have paid their dues. (The level he has coached rarely matters.)
  6. Must be a fit for the university and community.

Jim also concluded that it’s important to know who’s going to be on your coaching staff. He would want to know why each of these staff members are so critical to the program’s success. When all these above mentioned boxes are checked off, the key that can separate a candidate from the rest of the pool is the next question…

Who are his mentors?

Jim wants to know who your first phone call is going to be to when you want to discuss an aspect of your program. The phone calls are based on topics from schematics to program issues. The better the mentor, the more likely he has a highly qualified candidate.

Ultimately, Jim says that the head football coach is the CEO of his program. To hire someone that is an unproven leader can be a catastrophe.

Coaching Carousel: Prepare for your opportunity.

Regardless of the type of position you aspire, you have to be ready when the job opens, based on the type of position. I would suggest preparing the following materials for each level of coaching.

Just breaking into the business. Drill manual for your position. Resume. Reference list.

Position Coach. Expanded drill manual for your position. Resume. Reference list. Presentation to discuss the fundamentals and drill progression you have been using to improve your position. Videos of your players executing drills.

Coordinator. Resume, references. Outline of your system. Practice schedule formatting for each position. Cut-ups of each type of play with coaching points. Training Camp installation. Game week organization framework. Game day protocol.

Head Coach. Curriculum Vitae. Career Summary. Cabinet references with quotes from these individuals. Enterprise Management System. Presentation of your Enterprise Management System.

Once you have your materials, you are halfway to being ready.

You are still going to need some other information ready to go when the job becomes available.

You will need a sample cover letter to customize for the position. Make sure to get the attention of the employer and take some time to make it in your own words. You have no idea how many people actually copy other people’s letters.

The Interview. This is where the rubber meets the road.

So, you think you are ready? It’s time for a mock interview...

I suggest you rehearse the following:

Ask yourself how you would handle a phone interview. This type of interview is generally the gateway to getting the in-person interview. Have someone question you and record the conversation you have with them over the phone. How does your voice sound? Are you truly being yourself? Do you show your passion for the job you are interviewing – with your voice? Remember, they can’t see you so you need to get your key points across in an auditory manner. Here’s some insights regarding a phone interview.

In-person interview. Maybe the most important and least executed type of interview preparation is the mock interview you need to do in the summer before each year. Here’s some additional tips on the mock interview process.

For example, if you are looking to be a defensive coordinator and you have your materials ready it’s time for that mock interview. Get a head coach or a former head coach and a couple of assistant coaches and deliver your presentation. I suggest you go through the entire process once you have created the mock committee.

The Process…

Send them your cover letter. Go through the phone interview. Send a follow-up Thank You letter. Give your presentation. Send another Thank You letter.

Video the presentation and take a thorough assessment of how you deliver the material. Ask for feedback from your committee.

Hope this helps as you work your way through your career.

Remember to enjoy the process because often the best job you will ever have may just be the one you have today.

Good luck riding the coaching carousel.

Comment Below

What have your experiences been like when looking for a new coaching job? Any advice or knowledge you’d like to share?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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Stop Hoping for Completion

Stop Hoping for Completion

Tomorrow May Never Come

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Some football coaches make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, “If I can work enough, then one day I can take a break.” Or, “One day my program will be entirely organized and life will be on auto-pilot.” The common error is to think that eventually things will be different in some way. They won’t. It never ends – that’s just part of the grind. As long as you are a football coach, there will be a creative tussle with the present moment as you give your unique gift to the world.

"Mike Leach once told me that coaching was a constant state of correction."

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Completion: Hoping

The process is never going to be over, so stop waiting for the good stuff. Decide now to spend a minimum of 90-minutes per day working on whatever you are putting off. Think about it, what are you putting on hold that you really want to do? Are you doing this because of your financial situation? Or, the children are still in the house? Don’t wait any longer. Don’t believe in the myth of “one day when everything will be different.” Do what you love to do, what are you waiting to do, what have you been born to do, now.

In spite of your daily duties that you feel are holding you back – do what you love to do. If it’s getting your life in order so you can propel your career as a football coach, then get it done! If it’s spending more quality time with your loved ones, then get it done! However, I am warning you that you may discover that you can’t do it; that, in fact, your dream of your future life is a fantasy.

Completion: Procrastination

“Procrastinator” was the first big word my father used to say to me. It was a label that he placed upon me and it stuck for so many years until I figured out what it really meant.

Procrastination is just an excuse for lack of creative discipline.

Limited money, lacking resources, or education have never stopped a football coach that really wanted to achieve something special. However, these things do provide excuses for a coach that is not really up to the creative challenge.

Find out today whether you are ready to get it done. To move forward on your big dream. Create time for that on a regular basis, I mean uninterrupted time. Turn off all the distractions and just go there and focus on where you want to go. The goal is to go to sleep at night knowing you lived your day creating the life you desire.

I am going to share with you something that happens once you make a decision to play life on your terms.

Completion: Put in Order

I’ve noticed that once I have made a decision to go into uncharted territory the world shows me a disorder. What I mean by this is that people around me become uncomfortable with the change. People like certainty, so they try to put me back in my place. Remember, order always results in a disorder. The way to overcome all this is to move simply forward and ignore the chaos that just showed up in your life. Just keep putting in order.

The world will always present you with unforeseen challenges. You are either living life fully on your terms, giving of yourself amidst those challenges… Or, you are waiting for that imaginary future that will never come.

Completion: Get it Done

Football coaches that have lived meaningful lives are men who never waited… for money, job security, ease of networking. They were active in their decisions and knew where they wanted to go. Here’s an inspirational book about a movie I recently watched on Netflix called, Undefeated.

Feel what you want to get done in this world and do what you can to move in that direction today. Every moment waited is a moment wasted, and this ultimately degrades your clarity of purpose.

There is nothing like an honest look at yourself to propel you to take your career to the next level.

Comment Below

What things do you do to make sure you’re getting things done? Any distractions that come up regularly?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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A Football Coach’s Guide to Self Assessment

A Football Coach’s Guide to Self Assessment

Annual Personal Inventory: Analyze Your Past

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Today I went through my morning ritual and I was inspired to create some information to get the New Year rolling with a self assessment. Realize that the New Year can start at any time. For most of us, it’s on January 1st. However, you can start the New Year when you are compelled to make a change and move forward.

Making a change shouldn’t be tied to the Gregorian calendar; it’s one of the most common causes of failure.

Self Assessment: Do Not Wait

The time will never be perfect. Start where you are and work with your current situation to take command of your future. New Year’s resolutions are useless.

In my estimation, It’s because most people check in on these commitments….

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At the beginning of the next year!

We have these great intentions to lose weight, get more productive, create special relationships and then decide to check up on our progress 12 months later. In my reading this morning, I came along a valuable tool that I’d like to share with you to set you up for victory.

Think & Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill wrote one of the greatest books of all time, Think and Grow Rich. He takes the concept of an annual self-analysis and develops a 28-question inventory for his reader. What follows is an application of his concept for you as a football coach. Even though his questions deal with the marketing of personal services you should see the coaching profession as your personal service.

Take this inventory by asking yourself the following questions, and, if possible, check your answers with the aid of someone who will “hold your feet to the fire” as to the accuracy of your responses.

Note: When you see the word “services” just replace it with “coaching.”

Self Assessment: Personal Inventory

  1. Have I attained the goal which I established as my objective for this year?
  2. Have I delivered service of the best possible QUALITY of which I was capable, or could I have improved any part of this service?
  3. Have I performed service of the best possible QUANTITY of which I was capable?
  4. Has the spirit of my conduct been harmonious, and cooperative at all times?
  5. Have I permitted the habit of PROCRASTINATION to decrease my efficiency, and if so, to what extent?
  6. Have I improved my PERSONALITY, and if so, in what ways?
  7. Have I been PERSISTENT in following my plans through to completion?
  8. Have I reached DECISIONS PROMPTLY AND DEFINITELY on all occasions?
  9. Have I permitted any one of my fears to decrease my efficiency?
  10. Have I been either “over-cautious” or “under-cautious?”
  11. Has my relationship with my associates in work been pleasant or unpleasant? If it has been unpleasant, has the fault been partly, or wholly mine?
  12. Have I dissipated any of my energy through lack of CONCENTRATION of effort?
  13. Have I been open-minded and tolerant in connection with all subjects?
  14. In what way have I improved my ability to render service?
  15. Have I been intemperate in any of my habits? (Excessive indulgence)
  16. Have I expressed, either openly or secretly, any form of EGOTISM?
  17. Has my conduct toward my associates been that it has induced them to RESPECT me?
  18. Have my opinions and DECISIONS been based upon guesswork or accuracy of analysis and THOUGHT?
  19. Have I followed the habit of budgeting my time, my expenses, my income, and have I been conservative in these budgets?
  20. How much time have I devoted to UNPROFITABLE effort which I might have used to better advantage?
  21. How may I RE-BUDGET my time, and change my habits so I will be more efficient during the coming year?
  22. Have I been guilty of any conduct which was not approved by my conscience?
  23. In what ways have I rendered MORE SERVICE AND BETTER SERVICE than I was paid to render?
  24. Have I been unfair to anyone, and if so, in what way?
  25. If I had been the purchaser of my own services for the year, would I be satisfied with my purchase?
  26. Am I in the right vocation, and if not, why not?
  27. Has the purchaser of my services been satisfied with the service I have rendered, and if not, why not?
  28. What is my current rating on the fundamental principles of success? Make this rating fairly, and frankly, and have it checked by someone who is courageous enough to do it accurately. (Excerpt: Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill)

Now, the book I took this from was written in 1937! However, the information you’ll acquire from taking this inventory is still valuable to creating the coaching career you desire.

Your Past is Not Your Future

"Things do not change; we change."

There is nothing like an honest look at yourself in the mirror to propel you to take your career to the next level. I have found so many resources in the last three decades that have helped players and coaches alike to make profound changes in their lives. This is just one of them and I’ll be sending more information your way in the months ahead.

It is my goal to develop these resources so that you may propel yourself to lead others to extraordinary heights.

Comment Below

How do you take a personal inventory of yourself? Do you do this regularly or have you never even attempted it?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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Is Life Balance Possible Coaching Football?

Is Life Balance Possible Coaching Football?

Creating a Balanced Life In a High Pressure World

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In 2003, I took over the reigns of the football program at Southwest Texas State University and what happened in that year changed the course of my coaching career. In that one year, a balance was non-existent as I was obsessed with turning around the fortunes of this I-AA program in San Marcos, Texas. I used an approach that we had implemented at Texas Tech, and I had learned from my mentor Bill Snyder at Kansas State. I hired an excellent coaching staff (Pictured in the image above right; clockwise: Myself, Frank Hernandez – WR’s, Ron Roberts – DC, D.J. Eliot – LB’s, Chris Stacey – FBO, Louie Matsakis – STC, Darrin Hicks – RB’s, Clancy Barone – OL/OC, Not in Picture: E.K. Franks – DL)   and we embarked on a 5-year plan which I had documented in a 240-page manual. I was sure that this method would put us at the top of the Southland Conference. That year was a blur.

Balance; A Failed Attempt…

This master plan was very aggressive in part because I believed that the University was considering a move up to the I-A level. The underlying drive of the scheme was laid out in the concept of “Fill the Stadium,” and everything we did was aligned with the mission to fill our stadium.

We felt that to accomplish this we would work internally and externally to fulfill our mission.

Inside the program, our staff created an approach to improve our players with peak performance mental state training. We also hired a top strength coach Nick Kyros (Nick had worked at Alabama in Track & Field and Football for the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant) to develop our player’s physical bodies and athleticism on the field. Then our entire coaching and support staff was trained in the Egoscue Method, which is a physical therapy designed to align player’s bodies for the rigors of football.

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We made progress as our team gained confidence, ran faster and became better football players. The Egoscue Method reduced our injury rate with a proactive approach to the game.

Externally, we started with a re-branding of the football program. I was enlisted to help in changing the name of the University to Texas State University, and this before the season. We also aided in the creation the new Bobcat logo with a Texas State student, which is still used today.

Our public relations strategy involved promoting the program statewide and in our community. Our coaches would regularly go out on campus and support the vision of Texas State Football. Student participation was paramount, so we created a unique weekly television show that was a football version of the Tonight Show.

This was fun, but it was also labor intensive for our coaching staff.

Season Tickets were vital to filling the stadium, and I created a marketing group of 100 students that would help to promote the upcoming season. Together, we had put together a strategy to put fans in the stadium as we went into that summer.

We placed an assistant athletic director in charge of following through with that plan. I regret that to this day…

A month into the summer, I met with the assistant athletic director to check on the progress of the season ticket program. Much to my surprise, I realized that there had been no progress toward season tickets, and we were approaching the season. What I did next, I am not proud of…

In the confines of my office, I was so upset about the lack of commitment to the plan that I verbally attacked the work ethic I noticed in this gentleman. I realized after this outburst that I had done what I knew not to do… I made an enemy for the program.

In building a football program, it’s about making friends for the program – but in my unbalanced state this was the result.

A few months later, I was haunted by my childish outburst.

I decided that to have success in our inaugural season at Texas State University, we had to create a foxhole mentality. I withdrew from all peripheral areas and focused heavily on the task at hand…

That Fall, we had made significant progress in executing this master plan to the point that we concluded the season as #1 in Total Offense & Passing Offense in the Southland Conference (#8 in the nation). We steadily improved our attendance due to tremendous student support. In fact, in our last game versus Sam Houston State, we defeated the Bearkats in front of a packed house, and we had only won 4 games that season!

I realized there was more to filling the stadium than just winning… There are programs everywhere that win yet do not fill their stadium.

"The #1 priority of a head football coach is to fill their stadium."

That evening after our final game, I felt we had established ourselves to be a contender in the upcoming season. We set out to sign some outstanding players and our staff just kept “burning the midnight oil” as we out-recruited many of the mid-major I-A teams in our state.

What happened next “rocked my world”…

As we approached signing day, allegations were coming across my desk of what was deemed minor violations regarding the 20-hour rule. Our athletic trainer supported a difference of opinion that the Egoscue Method we used to help players align their bodies counted in our 20 hours per week maximum allotment. According to this, we were over the limit by 2 hours per week. Other bizarre inquiries kept showing up as we were recruiting a banner class.

I just stayed focused on signing an outstanding recruiting class.

Then on January 28th, 2004, I got a call from the Vice President saying that they fired my athletic director (Greg LaFleur) and an hour after that, our staff had been let go… One week before signing day.

I was burned out, felt jaded, and could not understand that there had not been any communication regarding all these allegations. I was kept out of the loop during the season as various reports were being filed.

I decided to leave the profession because I felt that I needed a break from football. My marriage was a wreck, I rarely saw my children, I had lost 20 pounds, and this was all I had to show for my 100% commitment to Texas State University.

I am still grateful to Texas State for that opportunity to test out my plan. I know I’ve become a much better coach from that experience.

I had no idea of what balance was let alone how to achieve it while coaching football.

Balance; Defining the Concept

Many times in our profession, we never really get a hold of this thing called balance. Is there such a thing as life balance in coaching? Yes, there is, but it depends on how you define it.

I think that a lot of times coaches believe life balance means you can evenly distribute your time & energy to your work and personal life. That’s not the case in our profession.

My definition of balance is spending the appropriate amount of time in each of the major categories of life, so you’re in balance. That looks different in different seasons. Each part of the year is different for football coaches. In fact, you’re never going to be entirely balanced, but it’s always going to be this back-and-forth flow if you will.

There are three vital aspects of balance

Balance is not the same as rest.

Usually when coaches talk about how they need more balance, what they’re saying is, “I have to get some sleep. I’m worn out, and I need some rest.” I think that if you’re in balance, you’re getting an appropriate level of rest, but it’s not the same as balance.

If you told me you were out of balance, I might say to you, “Well tell me about your rest. What are you doing to rejuvenate? How much are you sleeping every night?” A football coach can still be getting rest and not be balanced, but that’s the first place to start.

Rest is like a piece of the whole “balance” puzzle, but it’s not “balance” in its entirety. Rest is the first and most important thing. In fact, if you’re not getting enough rest it will lead to a lack of productivity and creativity. It’ll result in not being focused and a lack of performance in preparing your team.

Balance is ever-changing.

There have been numerous times when I’ve been out of balance as a football coach. There are so many times I’ve had to give a lot of attention to projects at different times of the year. My solution to this workflow is to create a plan for recovery time. This arrangement enables me to act in a mode of “surge and rest.”

For example, if I’ve done a training camp installation for several days in a row, then I plan a free day or two, so I can just rest and recover. This method will counterbalance that work with an opportunity to rest and recover. It’s kind of a dynamic relationship between the two, a yin and yang so to speak.

Balance has to be created.

In other words, like so much of life, it’s a caused thing. It’s not just going to show up on your doorstep and say, “Here I am, I am in balance.” You have to make it happen with appropriate planning. I think that begins with your intention to create something different.

Balance; An Action Plan

Balance is achievable, and it starts with a clear focus on what that will look like in that time of the year or season of your life. That “balance” would be intentionally having time for each area of your coaching life. From recruiting, player development, teaching, professional development, family, exercise just to name a few.

Here is how I am intentional about creating and designing my life.

I start with a calendar and lay out a 5-year plan, then I take a look at my 2-year plan and work myself to the year’s calendar.

In dealing with my next year, I will break it up into the seasons that make sense for coaching football. In college, it will have the following areas: Recruiting, Professional development, Player development, vacation and the season. I believe that there has to be intention around my yearly schedule regarding how I want to have the balance on an annual scale.

Then it’s time to drill down even deeper into each segment of the year. At this point, I break up everything at 6-week intervals for significant projects. This routine ultimately comes down to my weekly and daily planning sequence. The key is to create an ideal week, so I can set myself up for success daily.

I believe that a football coach has to “win the day” within alignment to his master plan. It’s easy just to have a great day but if it doesn’t align with the compass you’ve set up then you are wandering throughout the wilderness, and you never get to where you’d like to go.

Balance Feels Like Imbalance!

Balance Feels Like Imbalance. In fact, real balance to attain your goals is similar to standing in a canoe. Always correcting, adjusting, and moving around. It may feel like you are off-balance, but in fact, you are on-balance. If you stay perfectly still, you will fall into the water.

Exercise: Conquering Exhaustion

There are some means of recovering your enthusiasm for work, and it’s very simple and easy to understand. As simple as the following exercise may be, do not underestimate its power.

The nature of coaching football is such that it is prevalent for you to have to deal with resulting introversion as well as extroversion. Introversion means “looking in too closely.” Extroversion means nothing more than “being able to look outward.”

A typical example of how you can become introverted follows:

You spend hours upon hours watching the video of practice, then scouting the opponent, creating reports all in front of a computer at your desk… We have all been there. Just focusing on what is right there in front of us. It almost feels claustrophobic. At the end of the day, you are spent… Exhausted.

An example of how you can become extroverted follows:

You are talking to students, recruiting, dealing with players, parents, and boosters. You put yourself out there to build the football program with speaking engagements and various appointments. At the end of the day, you are spent… Exhausted.

Notice that in each case, exhaustion sets in and it’s not necessarily due to the long hours it’s because of the state that type of interaction creates.

So, here’s a solution to handle each of those conditions.

If you get introverted, take a walk. This process is straightforward to perform.

When you feel tired upon finishing your work you should go outside and take a walk. Walk until you feel rested. In short, walk around and look at things and notice what you probably don’t usually see. Check out the leaves on the trees, birds chirping and anything else that comes of interest.

Walk through your exhaustion. It’s not the exercise that makes this happen it’s that you are unfixing your attention from your work to the external world. This works, trust me, it’s a near cure-all.

If you get extroverted, get out and look people over.

If you’ve been talking to people all day, recruiting, selling the program or just handling people who are challenging to manage all day, the wrong thing to do is to run away from all the people there are in the world.

The cure for this is very straightforward. You should go to a place that is well populated – a shopping mall per se – and walk around just noticing people. Merely look at people, that is all. After a while – you will feel people aren’t so bad. You’ll see that you have a much better attitude toward them. More importantly, the condition of becoming over-strained with people tends to go away if you make a practice of doing this at the end of the day.

One final note. Balance is not a pipe dream. It’s something that is attainable. It’s something you’ll have to keep working at for the rest of your life, but it is achievable. The real question is, “Do you want it?” If you do, you can set your intention and begin to move toward it.

I am here to help you develop new strategies to create the life you want coaching football. Take a look at some of these concepts, give them a try and if they work for you, great. If not, take a look at some others as you work to establish the ‘work-life’ balance that is rare in our profession.

I believe you can happily achieve and live the life you desire by optimizing each aspect of your life.

Let’s work together to Propel Yourself to Raise Others to Extraordinary Levels!

Comment Below

Are there other ways you like to avoid being too introverted or extroverted? How do you keep balanced in your life and career?

Leave a reply and let me know!

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