You Can Do More: Jeff Floyd 10/30

Jeff Floyd

By Jeff Floyd former Truman High School Head Coach
Posted: October 30, 2014 - 7:15 PM

Last Saturday as I pulled out my phone to help guide me to a location I was not quite sure of, my thoughts drifted back to my early days recruiting at the University of Central Missouri, and how much technology has impacted that job.

I have written at length regarding how technology has changed various aspects of our profession: game planning, practice planning, video evaluation, etc. Many things we take for granted today that make our lives (and jobs) easier were not available in 1987 when our staff hit the recruiting trail.

OK, I have become that guy. “Back in my day we had to walk to school every day, uphill both ways in a blizzard.” I have become that coach. “Back in my day we didn’t have no stinkn’ Google Maps.

Here are a few of the changes:

Cell phones? We didn’t have them. To contact a coach (or a prospect) while on the road you became an expert at where the payphones were located – and not just any old payphones, but the kind you could drive up to and call from your car.

It was frustrating. You could not retry the number every five minutes from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone while driving. You had to pull off the road, find a phone, look up the number on a printed contact sheet and hope that they were available.

Google Maps? Nope. There was no pleasant voice giving us turn-by-turn directions as we drove. We usually had either a Mapco street guide (a huge book with about 100 different maps of about three or four city blocks on each page), or a giant folding map of the city. Both were cumbersome and impossible to use while driving. You had to figure out your best routes the night before and hope the map was not dated too badly.

Hudl recruiting packages? Nada. Remember VHS tapes? We tried to get two or three game tapes for each athlete we wanted to evaluate. Multiply that by four or five schools a day, and three or four days per week, and we came home each recruiting trip with easily 40 to 50 videotapes. With six or more of us on the road, the process of copying the tapes was a never-ending job for the people back in the office.

The NCAA Clearinghouse? Ha – it wasn’t in place in the ’80s. At that time, each school certified its own athletes regarding eligibility, meaning for each prospect we were recruiting we had to obtain (from the counselor) a transcript for each student, and a list of core courses for that school. We then had to calculate each student’s core GPA to determine their eligibility.

And there is much more – text messaging, email blasts, Facebook, Twitter feeds, and on and on.

But my wife reminded me of an accompanying truth: Being teachers and coaches, as each new technological breakthrough brings us a few extra minutes or hours, we just invest that time in another aspect of our job. It is what we do. We will not ever have “spare” time. I am not complaining. I am chuckling!

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