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Coahes Corner: Allen Mann
October 18, 2013 - Troy Hyde
For the second installment of the "Coaches Corner" series, I talk with first-year Bobcat coach Allen Mann. Coach Mann played his prep career at Marshalltown and is now in charge of the Bobcat wide receivers but also was hired to install and execute a strength and conditioning program. He recently graduated from Central College.
Troy Hyde: You were once a Bobcat. After spending time as an assistant baseball coach and now a football coach, what is the biggest difference between playing for the Bobcats and coaching the Bobcats?
Allen Mann: Being an outfielder, pitcher, wide receiver in high school my main concern was improving myself at the current position I was playing at that time. I wanted to help my team by making plays and being a good teammate. As a coach, I need to take into consideration more than one position in order for the team to be successful. Having an understanding of each position and how to better improve our athletes at each position would be the biggest difference between playing and now coaching.
TH: There has been a lot of movement at wide receiver position this year. It is clear that the coaching staff has decided to get its best players on the field regardless of playing two ways or not. How much more challenging has it been working with a different group of guys each week?
AM: The biggest challenge was to get our players to understand the importance of competition during practice. Competing at a high level in practice will carry over into games. At the wide receiver position this year each week it is open competition and it has showed that each week a different kid will step up and earn a starting role. I give a lot of credit to our wide receiver core because once you lose a spot you could easily pack up your bags and not have a willing to improve themselves. Our players have responded well each week by wanting to earn their spot back, and I respect our guys a bunch for wanting to challenge each other each week and help each other to become better players at the wide receiver position.
TH: You play a large role in the offense. How much of a challenge has this year been? The fans are used to lots of points and lots of big plays.
AM: Our players have improved greatly since camp and with doing so our offense has improved. The biggest challenge this year is not being able to put everything together at once. We have a bunch of bright spots and see great things and our offense has an ability to move the ball up and down the field and score points, but we tend to lose traction at times. Penalties, missed assignments put us in a tough position to move the sticks when we get into 2nd and 3rd long situations. Our staff has been working to continue to improve our players each week.
TH: Coach Shipley also brought you on board to develop and start a strength and conditioning program at MHS. How has that gone and how much of a challenge has it been to shift gears toward a more active weight room regimen?
AM: It was a great challenge to build the foundation for a strength and conditioning program here at the high school. I received a lot of support and help from Coach Shipley, Coach Hoop, and Mr. Craig Huegal to get my program up and running smoothly. We are starting to hit our stride as a weight program and I couldn’t be happier with the results our athletes have gained over the past 10 weeks. It helps greatly to install a lifting program when you have athletes that are willing to buy in, and that is exactly what they did.
TH: What is going to be the biggest challenge in getting the S&C program up to where you and the staff want it?
AM: One of the biggest challenges in moving forward with the strength and conditioning program will be our off season program. A lot of that will fall on our athletes as they need to want to have an attitude/chip on their shoulder in wanting to improve themselves and their teammates around them. There is no doubt in my mind that our program will have success in the near future if they are willing to continue to better themselves each and every day.
TH: Iowa or Iowa State?
AM: My uncle (Marshalltown wrestling coach) Mike Mann wrestled for Iowa State back in the 80's and since that point red and gold has been in our family. Growing up watching Iowa State I was a big Dan McCarney fan and really enjoyed watching his teams play. With him leaving Iowa State I sort of stopped watching the Cyclones play until they hired Paul Rhodes. Coach Rhodes reminds me a lot of Coach McCarney where they bring excitement to Iowa State and its fan base.
TH: What NFL team do you root for?
AM: Not only do I own stock but I am a die hard fan of the Green Bay Packers. There is no better team in football.
TH: Tell me something about coaching football that most casual fans don’t understand?
AM: From a wide receiver standpoint some fans may not think about blocking, or running correct routes as being important. But those parts of the game are extremely important in making an offense go and to be a successful receiver. Something as casual as head placement throughout a route can spring a receiver wide open.
TH: When did you know you wanted to get into coaching and why?
AM: My sophomore year of college I asked Coach Hanson if he had an open coaching positions here at the high school. Thankfully he did because ever since I joined his staff I haven’t looked back.
TH: Did you have any coaching idols when you were younger?
AM: I have never really thought about it, but if I had to choose I would say Dan McCarney, while he was at Iowa State. He really brought excitement to the program and his players fed off of that.
TH: If you weren’t a coach and a teacher, what would you be doing with your life?
AM: I like to think I would become rich off the lottery or winning big at a slot machine. On a serious note, I earned my degree at Central College in Health Promotion and that would entail me working for corporations developing on sight workout programs to help corporations save money through health insurance. I believe I made the right choice to go back to school and earn a education degree and Coach High School sports.
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