When the season's over, the next one begins. Post-season evaluation is a major part of that process.
These are 9 key points that your staff needs to discuss during the off-season. Address them, you get better. Ignore them, you get disaster.
Why do you coach?
Is it because you like football? Well of course.
Maybe you're really competitive. Wins and losses.
On Thursday night, before our last game, I was reminded of why I coach football.
We have a tradition called the Senior Speeches. And it's an annual reminder to me, and the rest of our staff, of why this is all worth it.
In Episode 143 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll tell you what our players say that reminds us that coaching is an important profession.
One of the most important professions, honestly.
Listen to Episode 143 on Why We Coach Football now, and give yourself a reminder why all the blood, sweat, tears and time are all worth it!
The weather is getting colder. The sun goes down a lot earlier.
Football season is winding down.
And that's when the really important stuff happens!
Rivalry games. Playoffs. BIG things.
But kids don't always see all of that as a reason to work. A reason to continue to grind.
As a coach, you have the ability to change how your football players approach their craft. Even this late in the season.
One way is to shake up your practice. Try some new ideas. Do something out of the ordinary.
Listen to Episode 142 for some great ideas on how to shake up your football practice this fall!
It's happened to every coach. Some of your kids are checked out.
Football is a long season. A grind. Not everyone has the focus and tenacity to push all the way through.
At least not with a little help. And that's where you come in.
When the wheels seem to be coming off, and you need to re-focus your players to finish strong, there are things you can do.
But it all comes down to you as a football coach. What will you do to get your players back on track?
Finish strong. Listen to Episode 141 of The Football Coaching Podcast. And stop wishing the season would end!
They come up at the worst time. Those special situations you forgot.
The game is in hand, then something happens. You know you should have worked on it... but you just didn't.
I've worked to put together a complete list of special situations for your football team. I know it isn't complete because - well, it never is. But this is a start.
I've also included the spreadsheet I made in our JDFB Insider Forum .
You can add more situations that your football team works on - or needs to work on - in the forum. We'll compile a big list and have it ready for 2015.
As it stands, there are a ton of situations that come up in a football game that you have to be prepared for. Listen to Episode 140 of The Football Coaching Podcast to make sure you've got these big one's checked off!
The season is under way. And everything may not be going exactly as planned.
You're a problem solver. A fixer. When something isn't working... you do something about it.
But here in the world of football coaching, we tend to do too much. To over react.
The best thing you can do, often times, is to stay the course. Constant change means your kids will never get good at anything.
They can lose confidence in themselves as players. In the technique you teach. And in you as a coach.
That's never what we want. We want our kids to believe that they can do it. All they need to do, is do their jobs.
You spent a whole off season putting this playbook together. Researching drills. Studying the talent you had coming along...
And when you did that, your mind was clear. You were sane.
Now it's football season. You're amped up. Sleep deprived. Maybe a little panicked.
Can we all agree that clear headed you is a little more sane, a little smarter, than amped up, sleep deprived, panicked you? I thought so.
So stay the course. Keep with the plan. Focus on fixing the problems, not changing the plan entirely.
What's the hottest new concept in Offensive Football Coaching this season? That's easy.
Run-Pass Option plays. RPO's.
OK they're not exactly new. But you might be seeing more RPO's now, than ever before.
What is a Run-Pass Option? Why have they exploded in popularity in recent years? And how can you incorporate RPO's into your Offensive Playbook?
In Episode 136 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll take a look at all of these questions. Plus, what are some of the issues with RPO's that you need to be prepared for, if you decide to incorporate them into your offense?
You've got those really cool blitzes in your package. And you love to bring the heat.
But when is the right time? Or is there a right time?
Rather than just calling your blitzes at random, how about using some reason and logic behind them?
In Episode 135 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll tell you my 7 top reasons to use a blitz when calling a game.
Game Planning gets this mystic wonder attached to it. Fans often confuse a team being better at executing, with a coach having a great game plan.
The truth is that game plans rarely will win you the football game. And the pursuit of the perfect game plan can help you coach yourself right out of a victory.
So what should you be looking for? What do you need to do to prepare the perfect game plan?
This month I am releasing The Game Planning eCourse for JDFB Insider Members. We'll look at every aspect of preparing a great game plan.
In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, we scratch the surface of preparing your Offensive game plan.
Coach Simple. Play Fast. Win.
That's the message with Joe Daniel Football. But how does it apply to the field?
This year I've been working harder than ever to simplify. To give our kids the bare essentials of instruction that produce the results.
Kind of 80/20 approach. 80% of the results are produced by 20% of the coaching that we give our kids.
So why not cut out the other 80% of verbiage, drills, and detail? All the stuff that is clouding up our football player's heads.
In Episode 133, I'll share 5 tips that are helping us to keep it simpler during the 2015 Football Season.
At the time I recorded this, we were less than 24 hours removed from the first scrimmage. And while it wasn't great, we are far ahead of last season.
The first day of practice is almost here. And in Virginia, that means 3 days with just helmets. 2 days in helments and shoulder pads.
How can we get the most out of the opening of camp? I used to think those first 3 days were a waste. They're not.
Football practice without pads can be a huge benefit for your team. You can get your playbook installed, but there's even more.
Focus on footwork. Teach attack angles. Learn how to practice fast, without contact.
But safety is still your number one concern. I'll give you some pointers on staying safe during your pads-free practice, too.
You need to be prepared for anything, and that goes far beyond X's and O's. These are 8 important parts of your program that need to be addressed before practice starts.
How you install your defense shouldn't be scary. There's no right way to do it - but there's a lot of wrong ways.
Coaches are often concerned way too much with how much to install, how fast. That's not the big issue.
If you install too much, too fast, it's because you have too much in your playbook. It's a whole different issue - but one that I'll address in this podcast too.
No, your bigger conern is not how much or how fast. The question is, is your focus in the right place?
When you start installing all kinds of whacky defensive fronts and blitzes, your focus is no longer on the kids. Your focus is now on the X's and O's. That doesn't win football games.
Listen to Episode 129 of The Football Coaching Podcast to find out how you can keep your focus where it needs to be when you install your defense this season.
There's a lot of myths about tackling. But the truth of coaching better tackling is much simpler.
I always hear coaches talking about violence. There's some misguided idea that if you don't lay the lumber you can't play defense. In reality, the whole goal of tackling is to get the man with the football on to the ground.
He doesn't need to be hurt. We don't need cracked ribs, or snot bubbles (yes, a The Program reference). We just need him down on the ground, not gaining any more yards.
How do you make that happen? It's not some special sauce. You don't need to hire some tackling guru. I do like what I've seen of USA Football by the way, I just don't believe that alone could fix your tackling woes.
The key to better tackling is to coach specifically what you want from your kids in a tackle. Build confidence in their own abilities to make a tackle. And then get some help for them.
1 on 1 tackling is always going to be a tough job. The kids who carry the football are usually the best athletes on the field. If they weren't... well, they'd play more defense. But 3 on 1 is always good odds.
By pursuing to the football, defeating blocks, and getting better with our reads and keys, tackling will automatically improve. More guys to the football means more chances to finish the tackle.
It's a huge Mail Bag episode today! Plus a short interview with Coach Ricky Coon from Southeast Missouri State.
Here's what's on the menu...
Big mailbag show. Dive in and find some good stuff.
Are you getting all you can out of your practice time? Practices need to be geared toward winning football games.
Not looking at your practices that way? You're leaving something on the field.
Listen to Episode 125 to find out...
And you'll learn about the latest Live Web Clinic from Joe Daniel Football!
Coach Rob Patterson sat in with me for The Football Coaching Podcast in this episode. He's currently the JV Coach for Southern Lee High School in Sanford, NC.
Coach Patterson has been on a path a lot of coaches want to know how to follow. He started coaching youth football when his son was playing. And he fell in love with it.
After many years of coaching, he's moved to the Middle School and now High School coaching ranks. And he's winning.
Rob is a Joe Daniel Football Insider member as well as a member of the 4-3 Defense eCourse. His youth team won their Pop Warner championship. He took his defense to the Middle School level and allowed just 8 ppg.
Currently, he is coaching with the Junior Varsity at Southern Lee and also working in the box and as Quality Control for the Linebackers on the Varsity.
Special Bonus: How To Build A Whiteboard, or... Why I Cannot Drive My Truck Right Now.
Earlier in the week I wrote an article about the true nature of the 4-3 Defense. The way I see it, anyway.
The 4-3 Defense has certain rules. A few years ago I wrote about the 8 Laws of The 4-3 Defense.
Block down, step down. Spill the football.
7 Man Front. Mike Linebacker has to be a 2-gap player.
I know a lot of people don't see the 4-3 Defense this way. That's OK for them. For me, the Miami 4-3 Defense as it was designed by Jimmy Johnson and his staff at The "U" is where it's at.
And it is still one of the best defenses in football. So sit back and listen to How To Coach The 4-3 Defense!
There's more to getting ready for a football season than printing out a pretty playbook. Your football team has to execute fundamentals if they're going to win.
That means you need to have your drills ready. And this week, we're looking at how to build your defensive drill package for the upcoming season.
Follow this 5 step process to decide how you're going to put your drills together. And know that your package will be a forever growing and changing entity.
If you are going to follow these steps, you need to get Step 1 nailed down first. And that means you need the Defensive Installation Manual.
I get a lot of emails asking about the Install Schedule. There's more to it than that.
While most of my eCourses give an in-depth look at the install schedule for the scheme, there's a key. Those courses include why you install each piece.
That is why I'm not real excited to email you a spreadsheet of our install schedule. It changes every year.
So check out episode 120 of The Football Coaching Podcast to see the 4 questions you need to ask when setting up your install schedule.
I look at this specifically from the standpoint of Spring Practice, because it is April here as I record the podcast. But you should apply the same logic in the Fall as well.
One last note. I just moved into a new office with it's own little studio. I recorded this without thinking - I knew there'd be an echo, just not how bad it would be.
I'll hang up some blankets and put a couple books on the shelf before the next episode. But I thought this episode was too good from a content standpoint to just throw out (they're never as good the second time).
[02:45] Spring Practice Schedule
[04:30] Why I don't sent out install schedules
[07:07] Step 1 - What do you need to get good at?
[10:04] Step 2 - What do you need to find out?
[14:10] Step 3 - What do you install in the first 2 weeks of the season?
[18:56] What coaches should be doing in Spring Practice
[23:55] Step 4 - Ask yourself why.
[33:40] Question: Which side is the Read Side in Robber Coverage against 11 Personnel?
[39:30] Question: How do you call your strength alignment to 12 personnel formations?
Our coaching staff is considering a two platoon system for the 2015 season. That's not unusual, since it comes up every year. We just may be closer to it this season.
It's time to look over the pro's and con's of the two platoon system in Episode 119 of The Football Coaching Podcast.. On the surface most coaches view the concept as being either "The Solution" or a complete impossibility. We have to dig deeper before we make the decision one way or another.
Here's the hardest part. Once you make the decision you have to stick to your guns. You'll be tempted to play a lot of guys both ways. Two Platooning only the kids who are not good enough to start, however, won't change much.
And then you have to be ready to play kids both ways when it's absolutely necessary, or the right decision for your football team. See the fine line?
I'd love to hear your experiences with coaching a Two Platoon football team at the High School level. Post it in the comments!
The Football Coaching Podcast, Episode 80 - there's only 4 types of defense. http://joedanielfootball.com/80
[00:27] Announcement on open enrollment for Joe Daniel Football
[02:30] Coaching a Two Platoon Football Team: Pro's and Con's
[23:55] How To Defend Tight End Trips (Trey Formation) in the 3-3 Stack Defense
[29:30] Can You Use The 3-2-6 Defense For Passing Downs Or As A Change-Up?
Tons of new stuff on this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast. Among those, this is the first episode coming from directly from Joe Daniel Football.
I'll announce some of the changes that are taking place and explain - for the first time - why I made the switch from three sites down to just one. And some of the behind the scenes that made this change so... errr, exciting.
Ranting? Yes there is a rant or two. Specifically, what not to ask when you have the chance to meet an offensive guru. Or any genius, for that matter.
And finally, I'll dive into the mailbag for a few questions:
All that is this week on The Football Coaching Podcast!