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Leadership training with the Navy Seals

Brady Hoke, director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman, and the seniors of the Michigan football team took a trip out to California last week aimed at developing leadership skills and helping them grow as men. It is a trip that Hoke and Wellman have been taking since 2006 while together at Ball State.

"To watch the kids grow and see how they treat their teammates and influence their teammates is fun to watch. If they run the locker room, we're going to be OK. If I have to run the locker room, we're going to be in trouble." Hoke said.

The trip's itinerary consisted of leadership classes, a tour of the Rose Bowl, a youth camp completely organized and conducted by the seniors, and of course, training with the Navy SEALS. The full article can be found here and has some great insight from the players on developing leaders as well as a day to day itinerary of what they were up to.

Wellman talked about the trip during an interview with ESPN. Pay attention to his thoughts on how physical and mental conditioning are intertwined.

Inside Scoop: Inside the NFL / NCAA Coaches Academy

Last week the NFL & NCAA hosted a coaches academy for 60 up and coming coaches. We spoke with three participants about their experience at the academy and spoke with NFL Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent about the NFL's input into the academy. 

Each of the coaches we spoke with (see the full list of coaches that attended) raved about their experience at the coaches academy. 

Vincent told us that the goal of the academy is to prepare these coaches to be better leaders of men; both on the field and in the communities in which they live. "This isn't about Xs and Os, this is a different kind of boot camp for coaches" Vincent told FootballScoop. He went on to say that coaches talk Xs & Os all the time within their staff and with other coaches; but they rarely get to spend time preparing in a professional environment to handle all of the other things that go into being a great coach. "The academy is about professional and personal development." 

One of the coaches that attended told us, "My head coach recommended me. It was very educational. Personal and professional conduct, leadership, budget, contracts, search firms, interview process, media training, etc... were all areas were learned a lot about. It's also great for networking. Speakers from 8AM to 9PM. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is invited to attend." 

Vincent told us that 30 current NCAA assistant coaches were invited to participate (based upon recommendations from their head coaches) and another 30 former NFL players (some of whom are currently coaching, others are looking to get into the profession) were invited to participate. 

Look through the agenda below and you will see a great program for the development of coaches that want to take their careers to the next level..."leadership", "personal and professional conduct", Business operations, "becoming a head coach", "strategic crisis navigation", the "search" process, "contracts"... all great stuff that you typically don't have many opportunities to truly learn about / prepare for. 

From all accounts, the coaches academy was a tremendous success and we're sure that it will be "oversubscribed" next year.

Vincent also told us that they are hosting a "Champions Group" in late June which will consist of 16 coaches that have been selected to participate based on the belief that within the next 1-3 years these coaches will be in a position to accept a head coaching job. We'll keep you informed about that one as well. 


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GA of the Day - Ben Duvall (Western Kentucky)

Ben Duvall played outside linebacker at Western Kentucky and was in the right spot at the right time when a defensive grad assistant position opened and he was fortunate enough (i.e. he had impressed the coaching staff enough with his leadership and work ethic) to get the job. 

Listen to Duvall tell you about the transition from playing to coaching and the turnaround that he has been a part of at Western Kentucky. 

Derek Dooley gives an interesting slant on expansion

Derek Dooley sat down for an interview with the Nashville radio guys @3HL1045.

In the first few minutes Dooley provides an interesting take on what he views as an unfortunate downside of the SEC's expansion to 14 teams. Dooley says he struggles "as a person who has grown up in this league...there's an amount of respect for the schools, the traditions....I'm really concerned that in light of the expansion that we will lose some of the familiarity and that passion will start to dissipate with it." 

Very interesting point and one that has merit. Clearly the university presidents felt that the additional revenue outweighed this point; but nonetheless it's an interesting point. 

Saban: Avoiding complacency

According to Nick Saban, one of the things that separated his 2009 - 2010 BCS National Champs from the 2010 - 2011 team that finished 10-3 was a sense of entitlement and complacency among the players.

Two days after beating LSU for the national title this past season, Saban gathered the team for a meeting to ensure that complacency and entitlement weren't going to settle in this time.

Saban explained to the team that they are no longer the National Champs, "I said, you guys are not the National Champs. You haven't done anything. Now some of you played on a National Championship team last year, but that team is gone."

Coach Saban also talks about observing the positive direction and maturity of the Tide after the loss to LSU, and why that was his proudest achievement of last year.

Coaches buying into Twitter



Recently, Arkansas' John L. Smith and defensive assistants Steve Caldwell and Kevin Peoples, along with running backs coach / recruiting coordinator Tim Horton joined the Twitter world.

Smith says that social media allows them to get closer with the fan base. “I think taking ourselves as a university and a program out to the people more is a challenge that we all have to embrace and do as a staff."

Since starting his account, many of Smith's tweets have been aimed at fulfilling that message. Many of his tweets are to update his followers with construction progress on the new HD video boards going up in the stadium and the field turf going down on the practice fields.

According to Matt Jones of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, director of football operations Mark Robinson urged them all broaden their social media perspective to aid in recruiting.

“You can actually carry on a conversation with a guy and it’s legal for us recruiting-wise. The coaches all have Facebook accounts. You’ve got to be able to Facebook. You’ve got to be able to Twitter. It’s today’s world.” Smith explained.




Video: Day 1 of Summer Workouts at Baylor

It's that time of year...happening everywhere...Summer workouts are beginning!

For those that miss it, here's a look at Baylor's workout yesterday.

Sark: An interview like no other

Michael King of King5.com sat down with Coach Sarkisian in an interview you've got to see for yourself.

Sark is asked about everything ranging from the origin of his last name, to what he'd be doing if he weren't coaching, the best advice he got from Pete Carroll, and even his favorite Disney Princess.

Yes, you read that last one right.

Plenty more in the video, as well as Sark's serious side talking about the impact that cancer has had on him and his family.