"Body language screams, it never whispers"
Every once in a while we'll listen to a basketball coach's press conference or radio interview, or read an article, and hear or see something that resonates across the barriers of the coaching profession.
According to Vaughts Views (who handles all things Kentucky Sports) John Calipari was speaking to a group of adults and parents at one of his basketball camps Monday about the importance of body language and used his son as an example.
Apparently coach Cal's son, Brad, had a sleepover at a friends house the night before an early morning basketball game. As you could probably guess, Brad showed up to the game with very little rest.
Calipari admits that he normally doesn't say a whole lot at his son's games, but Brad's body language was so negative that it had to be addressed.
“Now, I don’t say things at (his) games. I don’t speak one way or another. I’ve probably got a camera on me. I don’t say anything. But on that morning I got up, walked the baseline, his coach was done talking to him, I said, ‘Come here, son. You’re not going to have that kind of attitude on the court. I will take you immediately off the court.’"
Then Cal turned his attention to his high school coach told him that if his son ever showed that kind of body language on the court that he would personally go out there and embarrass everyone by dragging him off the court if he didn't take action first.
Then Cal dropped this nugget that really hit us.
“Body language screams; it never whispers."
"When a baby is hungry or is frustrated, what does it do? Screams and cries. Well, how about when a 13-year-old is frustrated or anxious? They cop an attitude, the body language goes bad. So then you have to figure out, ‘What is going on here, because you’re a good kid, and you’re acting like a knucklehead, and you’re not.’"
That's an excellent point and a very good analogy for both parents and coaches. Body language is something that most teenagers (and even some college kids) don't pay attention to. However, as coaches and administrators it can be the difference between landing a job and finishing runner up.
Getting kids to understand that their body language screams and never whispers will help prepare them on the field and beyond.
10 Questions With: Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez
After spending his first 28 years in coaching east of the Mississippi, Rich Rodriguez trekked far west, to Arizona, to take over a struggling Wildcats program. After an 8-5 debut campaign in which his squad won three of its final four games, capped by a thrilling New Mexico Bowl win over Nevada, Rodriguez has the Wildcats primed for bigger things in 2013. We caught up with Rich Rod to talk about how important off-the-field personnel is to building a winner on the field, advance scouting, his role in the proliferation of the zone read and just how creative the Wildcats plan to get with their facemasks.
To see past installments of 10 Questions With, please click here.
1) We've had a chance to meet some of your off-the-field operations staff this off-season, guys like Mike Parrish, Matt Dudek, Andrew Warsaw and Billy Kirelawich. How do you find people like that where there's not as much data out there like there may be when you're looking for, say, a wide receviers coach?
Whether it's on the operations side or the personnel side, guys that have a passion for football, certainly have a passion to help build a program and then being a people person. If you're going to be running camps and clinics and dealing with your players on their various issues then you want somebody that's a joy to be around and enjoys helping young guys achieve college success. I've been lucky. These guys have been really good and I've been around a bunch of good ones in my career.
2) Guys like that all have jobs that hardly existed a decade ago. Is that a situation where you've always needed people to, for example, run your camps and clinics and never had the budget for it, or have you created new jobs for people as budgets have expanded over the last 10 years?
Ours is really small compared to some of our colleagues and other schools in similar situations. We have a relatively small staff. I'd like for it to grow like some of the other staffs. It is certainly bigger than what it was 10 years ago and a whole lot bigger than they were 20 years ago. I think it's been very beneficial in a lot of ways. The biggest benefit, obviously from a structural standpoint and an organizational standpoint, I think the biggest benefit is the things they're able to do to help your current players. Whether it's helping them when they have emergencies, helping them navigate through some tough times or making a transition from high school to college. I think that's been a big thing. Just a little bit ago a couple guys came back from helping guys do community service, visiting some children at the hospital. There's a lot of benefits to having some guys on your staff that are in non-coaching roles.
3) How do you set expectations for your off-the-field staff?
I think the biggest thing is to communicate. It starts with the head coach. We've got to communicate our message, what we want from our program and then everybody has to be on board with that same message and that same kind of goal and mindset. If there are issues that come up it's usually because of a lack of communication. As a head coach, we've got to make sure that we communicate what we want out of the program, what our expectations are from them, and I also believe that our whole staff has to communicate amongst each other. We have a really, really tight staff. A lot of us have worked together a really long time. We tease each other, we have a lot of fun. There's also a professionalism there that everybody understands as well.
4) The Pac-12 South is expected to be a wide open race this year. Is that something you stress to your players, or is it no different from any other year?
Our goal every year is to win the league. I think that's the same no matter where I've coached, no matter where I've been. I think that's always going to be your first goal. We don't talk about it too much. A lot of people talk about the process, talk about what you've got to do every day to get better. We always look at our opponents. Like now, in June, we do some scouting of our opponents. Watch some film and talk about them a little bit. More than anything, we're always concerned with us first and foremost and what we're doing to get better.
5) How much time do you devote in the off-season to scouting your upcoming opponents?
There's about a two week window where we'll watch some of our opponents in our league, our rivalry game, we'll watch that a little bit. When camp starts in August it's all about us. After about a week and a half of looking at opponents our focus is still mainly on us for the rest of the time.
6) So when the Arizona State games roll around in November, how much will the notes you took in June factor into your game-planning?
In the spring we looked at it a little bit and then a little bit again in June. We'll make notes of it and when that game comes back up we'll refer to it. But there's a lot of things that can happen between now and the time we play them again. They're always on our mind and we certainly think about them but not nearly as much as we think about ourselves.
7) How much tinkering do you do with your offense every year?
We study some other people that are doing spread principles just to see if we can learn anything, and over the years we've added quite a few things to our package. At the end of the day we're always more concerned with what we do and making sure we're able to execute and those types of things. We tweak it and we've been tweaking it for 20 years. I think the base is still the same but for 20 years we've looked at ways we can make it better.
8) The story I've always heard about the berth of the zone read came from your backup quarterback suggesting one day in practice that he could keep the ball instead of simply handing it off to the running back. How close is that to reality?
That was at Glenville State, actually by our starting quarterback Jed Drenning. This was way back in 1991 or 1992. We didn't run a lot and he wasn't a zone read type of guy. We ran it some at Glenville, that's when we first started doing it, but then it really became part of the package at Tulane with Shaun King. We already kind of knew what we wanted to do with it but it was new to college football, particularly to Division I football. With Shaun at Tulane was when it really kind of took on its own life, I guess.
9) How has the Pac-12 Network impacted your program on an everyday basis?
I think it's been positive for everybody. Our guys know that every game we have during the season and even our spring game are going to be on a national network. I think it's fun for them and it certainly should help in recruiting. The network has been really good about their coverage and getting content and getting our message out in a lot of ways. I think the Pac-12 is probably in a better place than it's ever been.
10) Some very unique facemask prototypes popped up on the Internet earlier this week. Is there any chance they see the field this season?
We haven't been talking to anybody about that. I think that's an individual that's come up with a unique idea. It's not anything that we're going to be wearing this year, but they look pretty neat.
This video will have you ready to max out
At the end of each year South Alabama invites the public to come in for their "Rumble in the Jungle" lifting event where players showcase their strength gains.
Much like last year's version, you'll want to make sure to pay special attention toward the end when one player goes for a school record squat of 775 pounds, shattering his own record from last year's event (730 pounds) .
These guys are throwing around some serious weight.
Time-lapse video of Boise State's new logo going down
We told you a few weeks ago that Boise State was updating their mid field logo by removing the "Boise State" under the Bronco, as well as giving the Bronco a more modern look.
With the logo now officially changed, here's an interesting look at how that went down with a nicely done time lapse video. These things are always fun to watch.
The Ravens sent Cam Cameron a Super Bowl ring
The toughest, but most brilliant, call any NFL head coach made in the 2012 season was undoubtedly Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's decision to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron during the stretch run of the regular season.
In Harbaugh's eyes, the 9-4 Ravens had stagnated on offense, so Harbaugh got the entire franchise's attention by letting the respected Cameron go on Dec. 10. "It was a brilliant move," Cameron later told The New York Times. "Everyone on the team took a look in the mirror after that."
Under new boss Jim Caldwell, the Ravens jumped from 344.4 yards of total offense per game to 406.2 for the remainder of the regular season, and to 424.7 during their run through the NFL playoffs. Baltimore lost two of the three remaining regular season games after Cameron's dismissal, but ultimately played a perfect postseason en route to claiming the franchise's second Super Bowl title.
Though it was no doubt a hard pill to swallow watching his former team's run to ultimate glory, Cameron landed squarely on his feet as the SEC's highest-paid offensive coordinator. And as the time arrived to share in the spoils of victory, the Ravens made sure to remember Cameron's contribution to the cause.
The newly-hired LSU offensive coordinator shared this with the Twitter world on Tuesday evening.
Thank you, Baltimore. twitter.com/LSUCoachCam/st…— Cam Cameron (@LSUCoachCam) June 11, 2013
Baliff and Levine share the Scoop's Humanitarian of the Week Award
If there's such a thing as down time on the college football calendar, a Sunday in early June would certainly land in that category. Instead of taking some time to tinker with their golf games or work through a backlog on the DVR, Rice head coach David Baliff and Houston head coach Tony Levine spent their Sunday in about the most productive way possible. The Space City rivals teamed up to help put together care packages to send to our men and women fighting overseas.
"I know these are actually going directly to help those soldiers," Baliff said. "I think it's great for Rice University and these football players to give back to the community, and I think it's important that we let our soldiers know how proud we are of them and thank them for their job they're doing."
Check out this news story done by KTRK-TV in Houston. (Video is Flash-based and may not play on all browsers.)
Studying equals winning: NCAA releases APR scores
Grades are in, and now it's time for college football programs across America to toast their success or figure out what went wrong. The NCAA released the 2012 Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores on Tuesday, and each FBS program earned a passing grade of 900 or greater. However, the standard will move to 930 in 2014, and several programs fell below that threshold this year.
Coaches constantly preach that players - and, consequently, teams - that take care of business in the classroom fare well on the field, and vice versa. The 2012 APR scores absolutely reflect that, with the top 12 APR scores belonging to teams that collectively posted a 102-55 (.650) record. Conversely, the bottom 10 APR scores were attached to teams with a combined 55-70 (.440) mark.
FBS Top 10
1. Northwestern (10-3) - 996
2. Duke (6-7) - 989
3. Wisconsin (8-6) - 985
Clemson (11-2) - 985
5. Georgia Tech (7-7) - 983
6. Missouri (5-7) - 982
Ohio State (12-0) - 982
Boston College (2-10) - 982
9. Rice (7-6) - 978
10. Alabama (13-1) - 978
Stanford (12-2) - 978
Rutgers (9-4) - 978
Among the conferences not listed, the top performers by conference were Air Force from the Mountain West and Northern Illinois from the MAC with 974 scores, Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt with a 972 and TCU of the Big 12 with a 962. Each of those four programs posted at least six wins last fall.
FBS Bottom 10
1. New Mexico State (1-11) - 916
2. UTEP (3-9) - 917
3. Idaho (1-11) - 919
4. Troy (5-7) - 921
5. Louisville (11-2) - 924
Tennessee (5-7) - 924
7. Buffalo (4-8) - 925
8. Oklahoma State (8-5) - 926
9. Iowa State (6-7) - 928
10. Tulsa (11-3) - 929
Video: All Access tour of Penn State's impressive weight room
Excellent tour of the new Penn State weight room here, led by director of strength and conditioning Craig Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald has put some nice touches on the new facility, including our personal favorite which is the addition of jerseys to hang from to do core and grip work. As he explains, "we're grabbing jerseys on the field, we're going to be grabbing jerseys here."
This facility has all you'd ever need in a weight room from TV screens showing the workout, to competition boards and a solid music setup, and for some added motivaiton, Bill O'Brien's quotes also litter the walls of the facility.
Enjoy this one.