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jerryking : football   5

The Philadelphia Eagles' Secret Coaches: Professors - WSJ
Sept. 16, 2014 | WSJ | Kevin Clark.

Kelly, in his second NFL season after an impressive run at the University of Oregon, has made academics as much a part of the team as the long snapper. He leans on them all off-season for new ideas and has them on speed dial when he needs a quick fix, according to those who have interacted with the Eagles coach.

"Chip says, 'This guy, with his social sciences or psychology or statistical model or his understanding of African-American history, let's bring him in and see if there's even one idea or one sentence that is a piece of trying to get done what I'm trying to accomplish,' ...Kelly is so devoted to the idea that one of his top lieutenants told professors that Kelly's goal is to have a sort of academic conference, where Kelly is essentially the only beneficiary. (Imagine, if you'd like to laugh, a TED talk with Kelly as the only audience member.)...Ericsson then addressed the entire staff in a 90-minute session in which Kelly tried to get to the heart of the matter. Kelly wanted Ericsson to understand the basic training methods of the Eagles, then ask of the professor, "What could be done differently?"

Ericsson's answer is tied to another Kelly secret. The Eagles use memory devices to get players to memorize formations. Safety Malcolm Jenkins said that during meetings, coaches will show an opponent's formation on a screen, and players will attempt to remember it and yell the play call they would use against it. Then, Jenkins said, snapping his fingers, "They start to flash it quicker and quicker. There's less time to process. And so you build those same cognitive skills where it's the same as getting a mental rep on the field."

Ericsson thought this a noble effort, but in his opinion, it wasn't enough. He recommended that the situations be harder to understand—to go beyond the formations and "get them to respond to video clips of more complex scenarios instead of simple, fast recognitions," he said. "You want to encourage players to be more analytical and open them up to more feedback on what they aren't paying attention to."
academia  innovation  football  sports  NFL  memorization  think_differently  pattern_recognition  PhDs  overlooked  coaching  video_clips  pay_attention  visual_cues 
september 2014 by jerryking
Football's Secret Strategies - WSJ.com
Nov. 29, 2013 | | By Nicholas Dawidoff.

Fans of professional football are used to seeing NFL coaches on the sidelines holding what look like enormous bistro menus in front of their faces. These are "call sheets" for plays, distilled from the week's game plan, and they summarize the tactical choices on which NFL games depend. Because everything in a game plan is a closely guarded secret, most football fans have no real idea what they are watching as coaches and players, communicating through headsets or face to face, share this privileged information.... It was a life of perpetual meetings. Through winter, spring and summer, the coaches pored over film of practices and games, working through the actions of every Jets player and opponent in every play of the previous season, trying to understand why ideas succeeded or failed.

Come fall, the assistant coaches would scour the coming opponent's recent games on film and supply the offensive or defensive coordinator with their thoughts. The advance-scouting department would compile an opposition research dossier for the coaches thick enough that some called it "War and Peace." Teams that had recently beaten the Jets' next opponent were scrutinized; elements of their successful plays might be adapted or lifted outright.
NFL  strategic_thinking  coaching  strategies  secrets  preparation  planning  football  ideas  competitive_intelligence  sleuthing  scouting 
december 2013 by jerryking
Iowa: The Harvard of Coaching - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 21, 2011 | Wall Street Journal | By JARED DIAMOND

Iowa: The Harvard of Coaching
How Hawkeye Great Hayden Fry Raised a Bumper Crop of Coaches; The 'Bell Cow' Theory.
football  Colleges_&_Universities  athletes_&_athletics  coaching  leadership  leadership_development 
december 2011 by jerryking
In Defense Of Black On Black Violence - - Personal -
Sep 9 2011 | The Atlantic | Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Well then. To paraphrase Ebert, it is true Howard football hasn't been
very good. But one day it will be. Herman Cain, however, will always be a
Morehouse man.
Ta-Nehisi_Coates  HBCUs  sports  Colleges_&_Universities  football 
september 2011 by jerryking

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