Monthly Archives: November 2015

Over. Done With. Gone.

Logically, our high school football season would end either when we lost our playoff game or we failed to make the playoffs. Makes sense, right?

Game over, mope around a couple of days, check in equipment, and say those awful goodbyes to senior young men who will never play organized football again. Over. Done with. Gone.

But that’s never the way it happened. Never.

Sure, we’d do all the stuff listed above. Plus, we’d have the requisite end-of-the-season banquet where I’d have to fake-smile my way through the whole ordeal because all I could think about were my failures as a coach that season (Although the player-produced highlight videos were always cool, no matter how few highlights we may have actually produced on the field that year.).

Even then, the season was never really over for me until the last game, the 4A state championship, was played. Somebody in 4A was still playing AND it wasn’t me. That was tough to let go. People still playing when I was not ready to be done. 

Until the point of the finality of nobody else playing, I was mired in the reality of our failure. I slept poorly, I worked poorly, and if you take a vote, I was probably a pretty crappy person to be around. The majority of my waking thoughts dwelt on what we did wrong and what we needed to do to get better.

Once the state title was safely in the books, I relaxed. I started to think optimistically about next year. I started to prepare winter, spring, and summer weight workouts with a hopeful smile on my face.

Did I say I relaxed? Well, apparently, when I relaxed at the end of the season, so did my immune system. About every year, come late November, I would get a God-awful, upper respiratory infection which made my life miserable right up to Christmas. I spent a month every postseason hacking and coughing my way through life. So much for optimism?

Coaching is a weird thing. It gets in your head and worms its way into the marrow of your bones. There are bad things I really don’t miss in the least of which I could rant for hours upon. But the good things and great memories far outweighed the bad and I miss those things dearly. These good things are the things which keep people coaching sports year after year.

Not money, not glory, not the fancy headsets, but the pure joy of competing and coaching young people.

But…as the great Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Putting football things on the shelf.

The pain of letting a season go. The pain of telling those seniors goodbye.

The bumps from slipping back into a normal family life.

Is everyone finally done playing?

Game over. Back to life.

Over. Done with. Gone.

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Name On The Front

You may or may not have heard, but the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series! They out-hustled, out-worked, out-scouted, out-played the Mets to win four games to one. I was happy. I sat in complete bliss watching the postgame celebration late Sunday night and into early Monday morning.

It was fun.

But, as my head hit the pillow a little after 1:00 AM on Monday, November 2, 2015, my thoughts shifted to the one question. That one question that always haunts a coach, “How do we get better?”

In the Kansas City Royals case, “How do they keep winning into 2016 and beyond?”

If you’re looking for a happy, blue-Kool Aid-infused blog post about how awesome everything is and how we should keep the train on the track as is, I apologize in advance. You are going to be pissed off at old Coach Hays. This is going to be a rant about how we can leverage this current success into a long-term success by focusing on the stale, overused team sports saying about playing for the “name on the front of the jersey”.

The secret to the Royals future success and with the associated continuance of your fandom needs to be grounded in this. We need to be Royals fans. Not just Gordon fans, not just Hosmer fans, not just Cain fans, and not just Perez fans. We need to cheer like crazy for the guys on the roster, the guys who go out and play the games every day. AND we need to avoid falling in love with the individual over the team.

Small market or mega-market, professional sports teams have to be smart about how, when and where they spend money. The mega-markets can afford mistakes on long-term, high dollar contracts. The small markets cannot. They have to be willing to part ways with current players and/or parlay a current start into two or three future stars.

That is what I believe Dayton Moore’s as a general manager lies. Don’t get bogged down in heavy, long-term contracts at the expense of your future. Be consistently great by being an organization consistently evolving.

  • Acquire talent.
  • Develop talent.
  • Coach up the talent.
  • Put the talent in a position to win.
  • Deal talent.
  • Repeat.

But, this is tough. It’s tough as a GM to pull the trigger. Okay, you short memory people, remember how ticked off you were last year when they let Billy Butler walk to the A’s. Remember?

The Royals have built an exceptional system under Dayton Moore. It is something I never could or would have believed the Glass family would have committed the resources to a decade ago. They have great scouting on both the talent and game front. They have great assistant coaches and minor league coaches (I forego inclusion of head coach Ned Yost in this list as his greatest asset to the organization is allowing people around him to do their jobs.). They have tapped into Latin America like few other teams did to mine talent.

In short, I trust this management to compete.

Compete.

Is that all we can ask as fans?

Compete, compete, compete, and then, on occasion, tremendous things will happen as fortune smiles on your endeavors and the baseball gods sprinkle your team with greatness—like the 2015 World Championship.

Don’t be mad at either the player or the management for the Gordo’s, the Salvi’s, the Zobrists, the Hosmers and the Cuetos walking out the door. Remember, they are leaving a whole bunch of awesome memories and results in their wake.

The name on the front, people.

The “now’s” instead of the “has been’s”. The “producers” instead of the “washed-ups”.

Go, Royals!

Thank you to everyone in the organization for 2014 and 2015. It’s been an awesome ride as a fan.

Now, let’s go get 2016!

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#FamFit: Swinging Through November

It’s kind of hard to believe I started this blog in January of 2010 as a record of the daily workouts we did. I had done a similar thing on a Blogger site (coachhays.blogspot.com) since I resigned from football coaching to record the workouts and learn how to blog.  Then along came this thing called “WordPress” and I was intrigued, so I started http://www.coachhays.com.

What began as a record of workouts, rest day reads, and workout songs soon turned into an outlet mainly for my stupidity. This is the 342nd post on The Coach Hays Blog and the stats monkey says there has been 19.008 visitors to the site and 40,344 page views. The stats monkey may be a tad bit skewed as I’d guess about half those numbers might be attributed to my mother. The writing portion of it all started with a silly little serial story called Alien Dog Attack I wrote just to make my mother laugh. She did. After that the stupidity took over and now I rant, rave, tell stories of the olden days, and use the blog to present and discuss things (mainly sports) that are on my mind.

Today, we go back to the roots. Back to training and exercise. Swinging Through November is a workout I’ve done for the past three years and have had others join in for the past two years. The workout is simple. The workout takes 30 minutes a day and can be as hard or as easy as you wish to make it. The important thing is doing something to improve health and/or maintain physical fitness as the daylight hours fade to the darkness of winter.

The workout is simple. We do five weight swings on Day One, followed by a movement for the remainder of 30 minutes. Every day, we add five weight swings. So on Day 30, November 30, we will do a total of 150 swings (I usually break them into sets of 15-20 with minimal rest between sets.) and walk, run, jog, on the road, track, or treadmill for the remaining minutes.

If you don’t know what weight swings are (they are awesome and you should give them a chance.), below is a link to a training video for the exercise from BreakingMuscle.com.

Or try this one by Jeff Martone.

Bonus video of Jeff Martone talking about how to work at flexibility and body position for the swing.

I like the weight swing.  I hope you do too.  It is a great exercise for power endurance. They are great for teaching body control, flexibility and  body awareness. They will work you if you give them the chance.

If you’re new to swings, take it slow. Work technique above the amount of weight.  The beauty is you can use just about any weight you can grip with two hands for this. Plastic gallon jugs, small sandbags, dumbbells, kettlebells, shot puts, rocks, etc. I like my Weider weight plates because of their built-in, open hand grip allows for a good swing grip.

Happy swinging.

Iron

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