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Fond Memories

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

One of the cool things about being a teacher and coach is when one of your guys comes back to see you. Sadly, this is not so easy anymore due to the changing times and rules. Now all the doors are locked and visitors must check in at the office first. It’s still possible to get a surprise visit but it’s tougher. Or maybe I was just lucky back when I was teaching because we never had any security at our school and that was all the way up to 15 years ago. We were a small school (500) students in a small town (5,000). I’m sure things have changed now. Anyway, there were times I’d be sitting at my desk and one of my former athletes would knock on the office door (it was always open) and say, “Hi Coach” with a great big smile. I loved it. Big hug – “How ya doin man? Good to see ya!” Hey, they were my guys. One guy who dropped in every other year,Tim, was a real knucklehead when I had him. His freshman and soph years he was always in trouble. Not bad stuff, just so goofy in class he couldn’t stay out of detention. I had him in my PE class and there were a couple of times I came down harder on him than I did anyone else. But his senior year he finally started to take things a little more serious. Enough anyway that he had a banner year on my wrestling team. But he came back and told me how much he respected me and how much I had helped him. Wow! I thought he never paid attention to a word I said and probably hated me cause I was so hard on him. But no, I was the guy he came back to see. I was touched and now when we see each other our relationship is very warm. It’s gratifying. Guess there’s a lesson there, don’t give up on anyone.

But then there was the day that Frank dropped in. He was now a senior at Carthage College in Wisconsin and doing well on the football team. Great kid, hard worker, always a smile, heckuva player, he was special. He played in the O line and D line in football for us and wrestled 185 for me. One of those kids that was a joy to be around every day. Big smile when he came to my office and it was wonderful to catch up. At one point he dropped a folder on my desk and said, Give that a look. My head coach at Carthage College calls it the Football Effeciency Test. FET. Now this was way back in about 1982 or 83. I gave it a look after he left and liked it. Basically it tested every player on the Bench Press, Shuttle Run, Standing Long Jump, 40 Yard Dash, and Body Weight. It then gave a point value depending upon how you test. For example:

Body Weight – A player receives one half points for every five pounds of body weight. A player weighing 175 pounds would receive 17.5 points. Size is important in football but is at a premium when combined with good speed, quickness, and power. Players should be weighed in t-shirts and shorts and weight rounded off to the nearest five pounds.

Bench Press –  A player receives a half point for every 5 pounds over his body weight. He loses a half point for every 5 pounds under his body weight.  So yeah, a guy could end up with a bunch of negative points. In later years I changed it to more like the way they do it for the NFL combine. They give a score for every rep at 225# but I went 135#. Getting a max takes a long time. The way I did it we just threw 45s on the bar and counted reps. A player gets .5 point for every rep of 135 pounds. No reps = 0 points.

Forty Yard Dash – The forty tests speed, perhaps the single most important ingredient on the football field. It can be run on grass or the track but we prefer the track. Timer begins the clock on the player’s first movement. Run it twice and take the best time rounding off to the nearest .05. A player receives .75 points for every .5 of a second under 5.5 seconds.   

Shuttle Run/Pro-Agility Run – The pro-agility run tests quickness and change of direction ability, two important skills for football. It can be run in the gym or on grass. Three lines five yards apart are needed. (10 yards between outside lines) Player begins by straddling the middle line – sprints right or left five yards to line, touches line, sprints ten yards to opposite line, touches line, and sprints back through middle line. Clock starts on player’s first movement. 

Standing Long Jump – The standing long jump (SLJ) tests for explosiveness. The vertical jump test is great for this but takes a long time to administer. The SLJ can be quickly administered to a large group and tests the same skill as the vertical jump. To administer, divide the players into two groups. The first group will be the jumpers and the second group will be the partner that marks the jump. The test works well in the gym. Group 1 jumps from the sideline of the basketball court while group two (partners) marks the jump with a finger. Players get three jumps – measure from the back heel of the back foot landing. Two coaches measure and record. The two coaches just go down the line with a tape measure and clipboard. One coach measures the jump and one coach records. After recording, switch groups and test group 2. 

You as a coach can also adjust the points of the Combine table to reflect your philosophy. Maybe you feel speed should be weighed more heavily or maybe you think strength should be more of a premium. Feel free to adjust, this table is my opinion. Of course, every coach can feel free to test those areas that he deems important. If you feel strongly about an area, test it. The ones I mentioned are simply suggestions and are the most common. By all means be consistent in your testing. Use the same order in the same environment on every athlete or the test results might not be reliable. Keep a history of scores recorded each time you test. This allows you and the athlete to evaluate their progress. Athletes will improve and this is great motivation. High school players usually improve greatly between their freshman and senior years and I always found it a lot of fun. The kids love it too. Turns into good team competition.   Keep in mind that the Football Combine or any similar test for another sport only tests physical skills. It does not measure heart, desire, courage, or toughness. It is quite possible that a player could score through the roof on this test but not have the mentality or savvy for the game. Testing and evaluating is another component of player development…AND…THAT’S MY TAKE.

During this horrible pandemic I keep hearing that the way we’re living is the New Normal. Really? Empty restaraunts, stores, streets, stadiums…no sports…this is not normal! I can’t call that the New Normal. I don’t want to catch any virus, corona or otherwise. But I don’t want to starve either.

Chiefpigskin has 3 new presentations on the Online Clinic. Man, they just keep coming. Nice little jump rope routine video from Bart Curtis in IN. He is a veteran HC with a winning resume. He’s big on this jump rope routine to improve footwork and coordination. I was reminded of just how good of a workout you can get your guys with the jump rope. 2nd new release comes from Josh Linke, the Passing Game Coordinator/QB Coach at Toledo Central Catholic in Ohio. He covers their QB Drills and RPO Pass Game. You spread guys that love RPOs, this is for you and Linke is a young coach that knows his stuff. Finally, a Chiefpigskin Classic – former HC at Wabash College in IN Eric Raeburn talks Defensive Keys – Turnover Margin and Explosive Play. Hey, these DIII coaches are good.

Does a race car movie count as a sports movie? If it does, Ford vs Ferrari would break into my top ten sports movies of all time that I did I few episodes ago. I saw it when it first came out last fall at the theatre and watched it again this weekend on DVD. It’s really good. Matt Damon and Christian Bale are top notch. Heckuva true story, well acted and well done. I’d hafta remove my #10, Invincible, from the list and put in Ford v Ferrari.

One more thing…Willie Davis, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman that starred on five world championship teams for the Packers during the 1960s, has passed away at the age of 85. The Hall of Famer was a 6 time all pro and started 138 straight games in his 10 year career with the Packers. Man, the 60s were instrumental in my development of loving football. I remember Willie Davis of the Lombardi led Green Bay Packers well. I wasn’t even a Packer’s fan but these guys were household names and Willie Davis was one of ’em.

Wanna make a comment on anything I’ve discussed? Drop me a line at popsalbaugh@gmail.com. Wanna take a look at the transcript of this podcast? Go to the website at clinic.chiefpigskin.com and click under “more” then click on blog. There are more fun things to look at and read.

Hey, join us next week for another CP coaches podcast and we’ll see you then!

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.    Nelson Mandela

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.