Thursday, June 21, 2018

Social Media and College Recruiting

Nebraska Head Football Coach Scott Frost on Recruiting and Social Media

Click On Image To Go To Article
Scott Frost, after two years at UCF, is entering his first season as head coach at Nebraska, his alma mater. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Send In Your Spring Videos!

Lots of Fun In Nanaimo on 15 June When Barsby, Nanaimo District, Balleenas and Spectrum Dusted It Up!

Robert Bateman

Ballenas JV Jamboree

Barsby JV Jamboree

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 AA Varsity Football: The Tale of the Tape

How The Schools Stack-Up

Eastern Conference

Frank Hurt:  Boys G. 11/12 281

G.W. Graham: Boys G. 11/12 181

Langley: Boys G. 11/12  217

Pitt Meadows: Boys G. 11/12 213

Robert Bateman: Boys G. 11/12 253

Samuel Roberts Technical:Boys G. 11/12  192

Interior Conference

Clarence Fulton: Boys G. 11/12  139

South-Kamloops: Boys G. 11/12  178

Valleyview: Boys G. 11/12  198

Vernon: Boys G. 11/12   231

Westsyde: Boys G. 11/12  151

Northern Conference

College Heights: Boys G. 11/12  175

D.P. Todd: Boys G. 11/12  132

Duchess Park: Boys G. 11/12   193

Kelly Road:Boys G. 11/12  152 

Nechako Valley: Boys G. 11/12  94

Prince George: Boys G. 11/12  235

Western Conference

Argyle: Boys G. 11/12 248

Ballenas: Boys G. 11/12  218 

Holy Cross: Boys G. 11/12  175

Howe Sound: Boys G. 11/12  241

Hugh Boyd: Boys G. 11/12  156

John Barsby: Boys G. 11/12  162

Windsor: Boys G. 11/12  175

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Butterfly Effect and Coaching Football

Well Folks, what you do and say has big consequences, many times unanticipated and unintended.  What is neat as a coach or teammate, you can sow great seeds for many people by taking the time to encourage or deliver a sincere positive remark towards an individual or group of individuals.  Imagine the power of an entire staff, squad or program that intentionally finds positives and shares them with one another.  Done day after day, practice after practice, game after game, the potential positive outcomes both short and long range are exponential.

If you are reading this, do an experiment.  Make a list of three positives about a loved one, friend or teammate and share them each day for a week.  Observe and record what happens.  You have the power inside you to change lives for the better in ways you never knew or could predict.

Butterfly effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A plot of Lorenz's strange attractor for values ρ=28, σ = 10, β = 8/3. The butterfly effect or sensitive dependence on initial conditions is the property of a dynamical system that, starting from any of various arbitrarily close alternative initial conditions on the attractor, the iterated points will become arbitrarily spread out from each other.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.[1]

The term, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterflyseveral weeks earlier. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sharing Culture

Fun Times Over A Sunday Morning Coffee

The previous post "Building and Sustaining Culture" covered a lot of ground.  Reflecting back on it, it seems prudent to emphasize a few key points and provide one small, but important example of sustaining culture.  How and what you share with and about your programs is going to be as varied as one can imagine.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Building and Maintaining Culture


The BC Secondary Schools Football Association recently had a coaches clinic at Lord Tweedsmuir High School in Surrey, BC.   This event was far-sighted in its conception and I truly believe that it represents a great starting point to build off of in terms of coaching and program development.  There is a great reservoir of coaches and football knowledge in this province that is mostly untapped.  I strongly support this project and its continuation in succeeding years.  It can only get better.

I was honored to be asked to speak regarding the Building and Maintaining of Culture.  It is a pretty wide open topic and frankly, a bit daunting.  Writing comes a lot more easily to this child than speaking, so I figure I'd give it a second go and hopefully, bring more clarity to the topic.

Building and Maintaining Culture
The Bedrock of Your Values and Beliefs…Your Football Zen

Defining Culture

The word culture brings with it many connotations in the mind's eye that are as diverse as the people ruminating about it.  It stands to reason that we might want to formalize it a bit and see what can be milked-out thereafter.

Definition of culture
1 a : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture
b : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line
c : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic studying the effect of computers on print culture
Changing the culture of materialism will take time … —Peggy O'Mara
d : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
2 a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training
b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills a person of culture
3 : the act or process of cultivating living material (such as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media; also : a product of such cultivation
4 : cultivation, tillage
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil. —Alexander Pope
5 : the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education
6 : expert care and training beauty culture


Building and Maintaining Culture within a football program requires some context.  Lets start with program.  In broad simplistic strokes what is it?


Physical Structure:  This is the “House” or better put “The Church”.  It is very important, but it means nothing without the PEOPLE who inhabit it. 
  • ·         Field
  • ·         Field Equipment and Storage
  • ·         Team Facility: Player Equipment, Uniforms and Storage
  • ·         Weight Room
  • ·         Finances
  • ·         Transportation

Simply put, a program has the physical structure.  You could add staff organization to the template as a part of the matrix as well.

Building a Culture

The word "Building" involves both a long term and a short-term approach.  Long-term involves a strategic approach and the short term is far more tactical in its nature.

Stategy vs Tactical, Understand The Difference

Strategy:  Strategy typically involves two major processes: formulation and implementation. Formulation involves analyzing the environment or situation, making a diagnosis, and developing guiding policies. It includes such activities as strategic planning and strategic thinking. Implementation refers to the action plans taken to achieve the goals established by the guiding policy.  It can be summed up with the following question:
Who are we, where do we want to go and how are we going to get there?  Do Your inventory!

Tactical: Tactics are the ordered arrangement of your program elements in relationship to one another and your opponents elements designed to accomplish your objective.

In a nutshell:  Strategy is a set of choices used to achieve an overall objective whereas tactics are the specific actions used when applying those strategic choices

Building A Culture: The Process aka STRATEGY

1.  Do your personal belief/philosophy inventory and DEFINE YOUR PHILOSOPHY.
-          This is the moral and spiritual compass by which all things in your program will be   oriented.
-          Whatever it is you say, YOU MUST DO! Walking-talking contradictions FAIL
-          Your Philosophy translates to your Performance Standards.


-Developing a Sense of Urgency-

Estimated Age Of The Universe: 13.799 Billion Years plus or minus 21 million

Estimated Age Of The Earth: 4.54 Billion Years

Modern Humans: Speciation to modern humans from Homo Erectus was 2-300 thousand years ago.  A very liberal estimate of lifespan during this time is 30yrs per-generation.   That would equate to approximately 10 000 generations.   Now think of mortality rates from drought, famine, disease, complications at childbirth, predators, human predation and conflict....  I can confidently state that your very presence here right now, the fact that you live and breath in the present, well....You are a miracle!

Average Life Span of Canadian Male: 80.2 yrs.   How old are you right now?  Subtract that number from 80.2 and that is what you have left out of 13.799 Billion Years. 

You are Here   xxxxx   

How and why are you going to spend the time you have? With some urgency perhaps???

How Are You Going To Approach The Life You Have?

Follow Your Bliss: "Do that what you love and doors will open for you, hidden hands will help you and lift you up along the way."  Joe Campbell

Building Your Football Culture: Look to Nature for Inspiration

A healthy ecosystem is in its essence BALANCE.   Take a pond for example, there are plants, insects, fish, birds and of course water.  Each of these entities affects the others.  Kill off a certain plant and you likely will affect the chemistry and oxygenation of the water, the life cycle of an insect, the cover for fish, or the food for the fish (no insect specie to eat), the birds that eat the fish or insect and then in the absence of one of those apex organisms, other plants or insects will multiply out of control affecting the balance of the ecosystem.  Nature is rife with such examples.  There is a masterful study of what happened in Yellowstone Park when wolves were killed off and then what happened when they were reintroduced.  Basically, the apex predator (wolves) were absent.  Their prey, elk exploded in numbers.  The elk ate the vegetation around stream beds, this had two major effects, shore erosion took place with no roots to bind the soil together and the streams then flooded and meandered widening the streams and wrecking spawning beds for the fish.  The streams were shallow and un- shaded.  The water temperature increased and the deep pools disappeared.  Bad for fish.  Secondly the riparian zone, the area where vegetation close to the bank that gave shade, habitat for insects and cover for the fish was gone.  Bad for fish. Now, bring back the wolves, bring the elk population back under control and BINGO, balance is restored.  Vegetation comes back and the streams are brought back in to their natural state.  More habitat for fish.  More insects and fish, more animals and birds that feed upon them.   

What I am trying to say is that an ecosystem can be modeled like a large hoop with tin can lids in it that are connected by rubber bands.  If you tug on one can lid and let go, there will be a reverberation amongst all the lids.  One affects all.

Now in the context of a "football culture", building and sustaining it, it is not a great leap of the imagination to use nature as an analogy.  Each part of your culture as you build it is not a singular independent entity.  In reality, each element should be a part of the bigger whole with a function that is supportive in a balanced way of all the other parts of the program.  Make sure your core values are complimentary.

Macte Virtute –Increase In Excellence!

Be sure to imbed and nurture the idea that improvement is to be sought in all aspects of your program from the physical structure to personel, communication and technique.  This is ongoing and improvement in one area naturally has an effect on all other areas.  There is great power within a program when all members are seeking to improve.  The Status Quo is not good enough.  

-MERITOCRACY: You Will Be Known For Your Commitment, Effort and Talent-

Think about it.  Talent never reaches its potential or is even able to express itself without Commitment and Effort.  Commitment to the program and its plan must precede everything else.  Once a Commitment is made, maximum Effort must be given at all tasks small and big.  Talent can then be expressed.  Players, Coaches and All Members of the program earn their role by this formula.  A Meritocracy is fair and it eliminates politics and people claiming roles for themselves that are unearned.  "If you want it, take it!" rules the day.  The most prepared mentally and physically are rewarded with the role they play.  Competition within this framework comes natural as does the reward.

•             Commitment: Be There! On-Time, In Uniform, Properly Equipped
•             Effort: You Control Your Effort.  Bring Your Best Every Day, All Day
•             Talent: We all like doing certain things.  If you like something, it is your hidden genius!  There is something in every endeavor we apply ourselves to that we can come to enjoy.

Some Maxims To Follow

-Try Your Hardest! Get Better Each Day!  Do The Right Thing!-

Lou Holtz took this wherever he went to coach.  It cuts to the core of things and any aspect of your program can be framed and emphasized as such!

-A Fierce Sense of Urgency!-
All tasks and operations of your prgram are important!  The health of one endeavor affects the health of all endeavors.  All program members should approach they do with a Fierce Sense of Urgency!  This becomes a habit and the program as a whole reaches new height after new height!

-The Harder You Fight For Something, The Harder It Is To Surrender –

When we commit to something and spend a precious moment of our life doing it, we are paying a price.  The more time we spend on target, the more energy we expend doing this, the more we invest of ourselves, the more valuable it becomes.  Quitting becomes out of the question.  Surrender becomes loathsome. 

“The More Sweat On The Training Field, The Less of Your Blood on The Battlefield”

This is both simplistic and True!  You are what you do every day.  Drill, Drill, Drill! and when you are exhausted, picture your opponent doing just one more two more perfect reps!  On game day, with the contest played within the same rules on a level playing field, there will be no lies.  You cannot go out and fake the training you have or have not done.

-Have Finish!-

Every rep, every drill, every task on or off the field must be done correctly and it must have Finish! Defeat's greatest author is partial or sloppy preparation.  Finish The Job!  Block to the echo of the whistle, run through contact, not to it.  Sprint all the way!

-Make The Big Time Where You Are-

You cannot use the air in front of you or the runway behind you, only the air beneath your wings!  We all had a social studies unit in elementary school on Egypt.  It is not really the topic that counted however, It Is HOW You learned about Egypt that really counted.  When you are doing something, the rest of the world stops, your focus is unassailable, it is the only thing that counts.  It is not the block on the next play that matters, it is the block you are executing Right Now that matters!

-From Death Comes Life-

Rest assured that every religion or mythology that has ever existed carry's this message.  Why? Because as humans we observe our universe constantly and codify it to bring meaning to our experience.  You are going to lose games, you are going to fail to achieve a goal you have worked for.  That does not mean quit.  It means that you need to treat a setback like a friend and learn from it.  Do a post-mortem on any breakdown or defeat and learn where it went wrong.  Build a better mousetrap and earn the next win!

Philosophy Of Competition: Success Place vs Success Road Embed in All Aspects of Training!  Being your best-self counts!  

Frosty Westering spoke a lot about this.  He described the "Success Place" as the winner's circle, that moment after the big championship win where all the hands are raised, the ticker tape is falling and the trophy is raised high.  He went on to say that our society has come to embrace that as what success is.  Number One or No One!  We see it all the time.  There are winners and conversely, there are the losers.  He said that this is a dangerous mind-set that lacks consistency and that it creates problems along the way.  He also said that teams and individuals lack a crucial element of control in this mind-set.  You see, you cannot control your opponent.  You are going to face a better opponent along the way at some point and if you view yourself as a winner or a loser based solely on the outcome of a given game, your self-esteem is on a rocky road.  Picture your self-worth as a flow chart.  Your wins may be upward trending, but your losses will be conversely, downward trending.  You get into comparison games and as no one is perfect, that can negatively affect your moods, self-esteem, commitment, effort and focus.

Frosty then spoke of a different way to approach success and competition.  He called it the Success Road.   The success road is something you drive on all the time.  It will take you to the success place for sure, but it continues uninterrupted through defeats and tough moments.  When you take the success road you compete against yourself, not others.  The idea is continuous self-improvement.  You take calculated risks and up your game incrementally all the time.  What is great about this approach is that you control your effort and because your opponent is you, you can influence outcomes much more consistently.  The success road creates great self-esteem which translates to an inner-culture of self that creates wins and builds a positive momentum.

If you foster a "Success Road" culture within your organization, it creates a culture of excellence and humility.  When individuals embrace self-improvement and then taper that improvement to team/program goals the whole organization becomes stronger and closer to one another.  It becomes honest and resilient.  It is a STRONG and HEALTHY ECOSYSTEM so-to-speak. 

2.       Assemble Your Staff and Lead Them To Understand Your Philosophy. 
-          Your Leaders are an extension of yourself.  There must be no variance in what they communicate to all aspects of the program.  The message must be consistent and teaching is to be framed in the context of your philosophy.
-          Your Staff Teaches to your Performance Standards.

Sustaining Your Culture

1. Couche your teaching/phrasing in terms of your philosophy when you speak or communicate in writing/social media. SAY IT-REPEAT IT-EMPHASIZE IT!

2. Embed your Philosophy and Performance Standards in all activities that are in your Annual Plan.

3. Your Program Goals (Which are Your Performance Standards!) across the Annual Plan need to be celebrated and reflected upon in the context of your philosophy.

4. Team and Individual success are to be framed and celebrated within the outlines of your philosophy.  Show-em why they succeeded!  It’s not what you did, it’s how you did it! (Egypt)
5. Record and celebrate!

6. “Harden Your Position” Maintaining is the equivalent of Retreat as events around you are fluid.  When you get a moment of down-time, do an inventory and build a SITREP (Situation Report) on the program.  Find ways to double down, strengthen and reiterate.  Remember your competition is constantly upping their game, probing your weaknesses and getting ready to strike.  Good Enough is never Good Enough.  You have to do the hard things, make sure your organization is taking nothing for granted and is constantly "Getting Better" in all aspects.

7. Off Season or Opportunity Season!  There is no "off-season".  Certainly, you are not doing in-season things such as practices, games et-al, but you do have the OPPORTUNITY to GET BETTER across the board structurally, intellectually, physically, organizationally and in terms of equipment and facility.  Relationships don't end, they simply transition.  I read a quote once that said "The road to greatness is always under construction."  That makes a lot of sense.

Lastly: Cultural Transference

Culture takes time to build.  You cannot go to the store and buy a can of culture, sprinkle it around and expect results.  Over time, consistencies are built.  Behavior is established and history is built.  Things about that history become acknowledged and CELEBRATED.  Story's are told, deeds are recounted, expectations and common understandings enrich the narrative.  In time a pattern and expectation with its accompanying heros and villains emerges.  Behavior becomes guided by a code that is both formal and informal.  Those that came before have much to offer those of the present.  There is great strength to be found in the legacy that has been left.  Embrace the positive aspects of your history and be sure to encourage alumni to attend your practices and games.  Encourage them to tell stories from their time in the program.  Be sure you always take time to tell stories or show video about past successes.  This type of cultural transference is very powerful.

The  concept of Cultural Transference is brilliantly described in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers.   This book is a must read if you want to examine "Success" in its many forms.

So folks, this post probably just scratches the surface of a complex phenomenon.  Thoreau hit on some good observations below.  Use that time you have wisely and be grateful for it.  Remember that it is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness."
-- Henry David Thoreau