Are There Any College Football Bowl Games On Today 6 Great Health and Wellness Program Tips From 6 All-Time Great NCAA Coaches

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6 Great Health and Wellness Program Tips From 6 All-Time Great NCAA Coaches

During my years at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington (grad. 1979), there were six teachers-mentors who left an indelible impression on me. I took the lessons they each taught and observed and learned from them as a coach. The only way to describe these people is the best of the best.

Here are their brief bios and six of my health and wellness program tips inspired by them, along with a short story about each person:

1. James “Doc” Counsilman: swimming, won six consecutive NCAA Division I championships. 1964 (Tokyo) and 1976 (Montreal) Olympic coach, Mark Spitz coach at both IU and Olympics (seven gold medals). Doc was the first to use underwater video to improve his swimming technique. Doc swam across the English Channel at the age of 58. He coached at IU from 1957 to 1990.

Hint – visual. I often feel that a general tip like “get better in the water” combines all the right techniques without the swimmer having to think about every adjustment. Give people a vision, and they will find it easier to incorporate all the skills necessary to achieve that vision.

Story: Regarding dealing with parents of athletes, Doc once said, “the best coaching job in America is in an orphanage.” There was also the time Coach Knight (basketball) asked Doc to help an IU basketball player improve his vertical jump. Knight told Doc that the boy’s vertical leap was about an inch high. Doc said when he helped the basketball player, Knight complained that the boy’s vertical jump was only 3 inches high. But Doc noted that it was a 300% improvement!

2. Sam Bell: athletics, Olympic assistant coach 1976 (Tokyo). He has coached 90 Hoosier All-Americans, including seven who went on to become Olympians. He coached at IU from 1970 to 1998.

Tip – Prepare and work together. Keep up your strength training, always use dynamic stretching before intense effort, cool down gradually, vary speed and pace each other. It’s true to have high expectations for improvement at any level. Ease people into it, keep it interesting and keep everyone moving together.

Story: Jim Spivey was a four-minute mile runner at IU under Coach Bell. From ground level, a four-minute run is similar to the sprint pace of the average person, but is maintained for the entire mile. I remember the athletes looking like human muscle machines.

3. Jerry Yeagley: Football won six NCAA Division I titles from 1973 (when football became a varsity sport) to 2003. All-time winningest coach in college football with 544 wins.

Tip – Attack and defend as a team. Don’t focus so much on calories, health risks, biometrics and calorie intake. Instead, think about broader strategies. Play to your strengths and make the most of your playground (community). Think about the best way for everyone to play a role in building a healthy culture.

Storyline: Coach Yeagley may be one of the best coaches in any sport. We shared a dressing room with his team. But my memory of him was that if you didn’t know him, you’d think he was a towel. He was a role model and the players respected him. The last thing the IU football players want to do is let their coach go.

4. Bob Knight: Basketball, winner of three NCAA Division I titles. 1984 Olympic coach (Los Angeles). 902 NCAA games won, third most all-time in college basketball. He coached at IU from 1971 to 2000.

Tip – Get real. Stop being Mr. or Mrs. Sunshine. Wake up and start preparing for anything that goes wrong. And don’t complain to me about “lack of engagement”. Get your @#%* out there and get yourself involved. Be prepared to overcome every obstacle to success you can imagine. Use a disciplined and dynamic strategy that can keep everyone in the game regardless of any setbacks. Get ready to improvise.

Backstory: Coach Knight was often critical of questions from the press. You may have heard it too, because he often told reporters, “That’s the dumbest donkey question I’ve ever heard, next question!” Coach Knight had a colorful tongue, but was often clear in his communication.

5. Doug (Blue) Blubo: A wrestler, Doug (himself) was an NCAA Division I Champion (1957), Olympic Champion in 1960 (Rome) and was named World’s Most Valuable Wrestler that same year. He was the toughest person I ever knew (I wrestled for him at IU and then was his assistant coach 1980 – 82). He was considered one of the best wrestling clinics in the sport. He coached at IU from 1972 to 1984.

Tip – Stay close. A wrestler who controls and presses inside doesn’t have to move far to enter. Lower your bases, keep attacking, and then use your resources effectively. It’s often the smallest things that can make the difference between scoring and not scoring. If you stay close to the action, you will be fast and agile, but you will only be close at the right time.

Story: Coach Blubo was an Oklahoma farmer. At a time when he was at his peak, he went out to the field to get a horse. The horse runs about 50 yards, not letting Blue catch him. So Blue just decided to run after the horse until it gave up. This run lasted another 13 hours. After that, the horse will not run away from him. Anyone who knew Blue knows this is a true story.

6. Lee Corso: Football, you may know him as the popular host of ESPN’s College GameDay. He’s the guy who puts the school mascot on the head based on whether he’ll win the football game. He led IU to victory in the Holiday Bowl (1979). He might be one of the funniest men I’ve ever met. He coached at IU from 1973 to 1982.

Tip – Respect the media. The media is the most powerful organization on earth. Learn to tell a story, use humor to engage, maximize social media, and realize that communication is your most important asset.

Story: Laughter is what follows Coach Corso. He is fun to be around. Everyone is happy to be in his company. He is not only funny but also smart. We all learned a lot from him and it was felt not even for a minute.

Trainers want people to achieve the highest level of human physical ability. They criticize weaknesses, highlight strengths, always strive for improvement, and expect a lot from their athletes. Naturally, we learn from great mentors in our daily lives. I hope you find some gold in the six tips they inspired me for your program.

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