Making the Offseason Count

Making the Offseason Count

What are the factors that go into creating a top-tier high school baseball program from a newly opened school in under five years? Clear Springs High School (just outside Houston) opened in 2007 and the school moved to varsity level with its junior class in 2009. Since their first playoff run in 2011, the Chargers baseball team has only missed the playoffs once.

Head coach Chris Floyd has led the Clear Springs baseball program since the school’s inception. The team started with just freshmen and sophomores, and played sub-varsity competition the first year. With the first clear springs class of four-year seniors in 2011, the team advanced to the regional quarterfinals.

“It’s interesting to start from scratch,” Floyd says. “As coaches, we took successful pieces from other programs we were with and tried to figure out how it would work with a different dynamic of kids.

“The biggest key to our success is having a coaching staff that has been together for 10 years now,” he says. “In no way is this a one-man show. I have former head coaches as assistant coaches, and that’s a huge plus.”


One of the developments was the unique offseason program that eventually became known as the round rock challenge. The team plays through the spring and players move to elite and select, then play July through September.

“When the players come back to school in the fall, we lift and begin rebuilding the body from the first day of school through thanksgiving,” Floyd says. After thanksgiving break, the team begins the Round Rock Challenge.

Events are determined for each day over the subsequent 3-4 weeks and include tire-flipping relays, weight room challenges, sprints and distance races, obstacle courses, and a talent show. The 36 players in the baseball program vote on four captains, and the captains “draft” the players they think will best benefit the team based on the upcoming events. Individual times become part of each team’s overall score, and teams and individuals with the best scores are recognized.

“We try to get them comfortable at being uncomfortable,” Floyd says. “When you get to the playoffs and you’re facing the best of the best, you’re going to run into a lot of uncomfortable situations. We’re teaching them how to compete and how to be a good teammate.”

“The challenge can be easier or harder for each kid, and the competition by design doesn’t focus on baseball skills,” Floyd says. “Captains have to draft kids who are strong in different areas, so they have to be able to envision what each teammate’s skill set is. It gives them a taste of what it’s like to be a coach and how to rely on teammates.”

The challenge also helps identify leaders, Floyd says. “They have to learn how to communicate with each other, how to plan, and how to help coach one another,” he says. “There are a lot of lessons outside of training to be bigger, faster, and stronger.”


“Coaches have to be in it for the kids,” Floyd says. “Helping kids develop into the best people they can be needs to be the focus of any coach. As a coaching staff, we focus on preparing these players for life after high school to be a good father, a good husband, a responsible citizen. I believe winning will take care of itself if this is our focus. Winning a state championship is always a goal, but what good is that goal if you aren’t developing young men? If you’re just pursuing a championship to pad your resume, the kids will see right through that. They want to know you care first.”

One change over the past 10 years is that almost every athlete has a personal coach outside of school. “We’ve tried to find people who have similar coaching philosophies as we do, and point parents and kids in the right direction if they ask for a recommendation,” Floyd says. “For us, it’s a way to connect them with someone who preaches what we preach. And we do remind them personal coaches are not free.”

Every offseason, Floyd sets up a time to take his staff to visit with a college coaching staff. They’ve visited the University of Houston Texas, Texas A&M, Sam Houston State, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). “We pick their brains, ask them about their experiences and apply what we learn to our program,” Floyd says. “We don’t need to see them taking batting practice or fielding grounders. We’re interested in how they coach and communicate with their kids. One year, coach Tony Robichaux at ULL, who passed away in July, spent three hours talking with us on character development. That has had a huge impact on our program. If you’re a young coach out there, read the tributes from coach Robichaux’s players. They all talk about how he has impacted them as men.”

Fuel the Right Way Before Your Workout

Fuel the Right Way Before Your Workout

We’ve all done it before.

You sat at your desk in class all day just waiting for the final bell to ring, dismissing you to your afterschool workout. You get into the gym and begin your training routine, and as you start to kick up the intensity your stomach begins growling.

You realize you last ate during your 11:30 lunch hour, and now you’re taking on your workout with an empty stomach.


Not only is your stomach growling, but you become weak, get distracted, and cause your body to break down muscle to give it energy, instead of building it. None of which are recipes for success in the weight room.

In order to give your body an opportunity for a good workout, it all starts with fueling properly. This means eating a small meal or snack 30 minutes to an hour before your physical activity.

One of the best pre-workout snacks you can have is the simple, classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an easily digestible and tasty treat with plenty of protein and calories to keep you fueled.

To go along with the classic PBJ, a number of other peanut butter sandwich creations can be made for pre-workout fuel as well. Here are three of our favorite recipes from our partner

  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Waffle Taco


  • 1 Special K frozen waffle
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp. honey


  1. Toast the waffle to personal preference
  2. Spread peanut butter evenly over the waffle
  3. Place banana in waffle’s center
  4. Fold waffle in half with banana in center

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 376.33
Fat: 17.55 g
Carbohydrates: 51.67 g
Protein: 10.1 g

  1. Peanut Butter and Apple Quesadilla


  • 1 100% whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 tsp. of honey


  1. Place a pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Spread peanut butter evenly over tortilla
  3. Slice apple into thin slices and divide evenly on half the tortilla
  4. Drizzle honey evenly over tortilla
  5. Fold tortilla in half
  6. Place tortilla on pan and grill until it starts to brown — flip over and repeat

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 383.33
Fat: 16.67 g
Carbohydrates: 54.67 g
Protein: 10.78 g

  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap


  • 1 100% whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp. honey


  1. Spread peanut butter evenly over the tortilla
  2. Drizzle honey evenly over the tortilla
  3. Place banana on tortilla’s edge
  4. Roll the tortilla with the banana until completely covered

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 393.33
Fat: 16.75 g
Carbohydrates: 56.21 g
Protein: 11.46 g

Although peanut butter is a great pre-workout snack, we know some may not enjoy it and others may be allergic. Other options like a small bowl of healthy cereal, yogurt, dried fruit, oatmeal, or even a fruit smoothie are also easily digestible foods that won’t upset your stomach, and can give you the needed protein.

So next week while working on homework in your afternoon study hall, take a few minutes to refuel before your workout with a healthy and protein-packed snack!