College Gameday What Does It Do For Football And Basketball 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 undergraduate years at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington (graduated in 1979), there were six teacher-instructors who left a lasting impression on me. I took classes taught by each of them and observed and learned from them as instructors. The only way to describe these people is best-best-best.

Here are their brief biographies and six health and wellness program tips that were inspired by them, plus a short story about each person:

1. James “Doc” Councilman: Swimming, won six straight NCAA Division I championships. Olympic coach 1964 (Tokyo) and 1976 (Montreal), coached Mark Spitz at IU and Olympics (seven gold medals). Doc was the first to use underwater video to improve a swimmer’s technique. Doc swam the English Channel at the age of 58. Trained at IU from 1957 to 1990.

Tip – imagine. I often feel that a general tip like “be more organized in the water” forces the swimmer to put together all the correct techniques without having to think about every adjustment. Give people a vision and it will be easy for them to include all the skills needed to achieve that vision.

Story: Regarding the treatment of athletes’ parents, Doc once said, “The best coaching job in America would be in an orphanage.” There was even a time Coach Knight (basketball) asked Doc to help an IU basketball player improve his vertical jump. Knight told the doctor that the man’s vertical jump was about an inch higher. Doc said that when he was helping a basketball player, Knight complained that the man’s vertical jump was only 3 inches high. But Doc pointed out that it was a 300% improvement!

2. Sam Bell: Track and Field, Olympic Assistant Coach 1976 (Tokyo). He coached 90 Hoosier All-Americans, including seven Olympians. Trained at IU from 1970 to 1998.

Tip – Prepare and work together. Continue your strength training, always use dynamic stretching before intense effort, cool down gradually, vary the tempo and pace each other. It’s okay to have high expectations for improvement at every level. Ease people into it, keep it interesting and bring everyone together.

Story: Jim Spivey was a four-minute mile runner at IU under Coach Bell. From ground level, a sub-four-minute run looks like the average person’s all-out sprint pace, but holds up to a full mile. I remember the players seeming like human muscle cars.

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

Tip – Attack and defend as a team. Don’t focus too much on calories, health risks, biometrics and calorie intake. Instead, consider broader strategies. Play to your strengths and utilize your playing field (community) to its maximum potential. Consider the best way everyone can play a role in creating a healthy culture.

Story: Coach Yeagley may be one of the greatest coaches in any sport. We shared a locker room with his team. But my memory of him was that if you didn’t know him, you’d think he was a towel guy. He led by example and the players respected him. The last thing IU’s soccer players were going to do was let their coach down.

4. Bob Knight: Basketball, won three NCAA Division I titles. Olympic coach 1984 (Los Angeles). Won 902 NCAA games, third best all-time in collegiate basketball. Trained at IU from 1971 to 2000.

Tip – Be realistic. Stop being Mr. or Miss Sunshine. Wake up and start preparing for all kinds of things to go wrong. And don’t whine to me about “lack of investment”. Get your @#%* on and engage yourself. Be prepared to overcome every obstacle to success you can imagine. Use a disciplined, moving strategy that can keep everyone in the game regardless of their set of ideas. Prepare to improve.

STORY: Coach Knight often criticized questions from the press. You may have also heard this because he often told reporters, “That’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard, next question!” Coach Knight had some colorful language, but was clear in his communication most of the time.

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

Tip – stay close. A wrestler who takes control and presses on the inside doesn’t have to go far to get inside. Deplete your basics, continue attacking, and then use your resources efficiently. It’s the smallest things that make the difference between scoring and not scoring. You’ll look fast and agile if you stay close to the action, but you’ll be close at the right time.

Story: Coach Bluebaugh was a farmer from Oklahoma. At the time when he was in his physical state, he went to the field to draw a horse. The horse will run 50 yards or more and not let Blue catch him. So Blue decided to run after the horse until it gave up. The run lasted for the next 13 hours. After that the horse never ran away from him. Anyone who knows Blue knows that’s a true story.

6. Lee Corso: Football, you probably know him as the popular host of ESPN’s College GameDay program. He is the guy who puts the school mascot on his head based on who he thinks will win that 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.

Note – Respect the media. Media is the most powerful organization on earth. Learn to tell stories, use humor to engage, leverage social media, and understand that communication is your most important asset.

Story: Laughter is what follows Coach Corso. He is fun to be around. Everyone is happy in his company. He is not only funny but also smart. We all learned a lot from him and never for a minute did it feel like work.

Trainers want people to reach the highest level of human physical ability. They criticize weaknesses, highlight strengths, always strive to improve and expect a lot from their players. It is only natural that we take lessons from top trainers for our daily life. Hopefully, you’ll find a golden nugget in the six tips they inspired in me for your event.

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