We get caught up in the X's and O's sometimes. Probably too much.
There's a lot that goes into a football season. Far beyond your playbook.
Do you have everything ready? Are you prepared to deal with the off the field stuff?
Make sure you've got all your gear ready.
Have a plan for the worst case scenario.
Put systems in place that will save time all season long.
Maybe even get a new whistle (I recommend the Fox 40 Classic).
This week's episode of The Football Coaching Podcast isn't really sexy. No cool plays.
This time of year, all that should be in place. If it's not, you better get moving.
We're getting everything in place to have a great season.
Limit the headaches so that you can do what you love doing... Coach Football!
It’s the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. Not the X’s and O’s.
You know that. You still spend a boat load of time on your scheme. After all, your kids are the one’s you’ve got. You gotta do something to fill your obsessive football junkie time.
Where you put those players is just as important as how good they are. That’s what this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast is all about.
There are 5 key factors to consider when you start putting your players into positions...
Keep your schemes simple. Because you won’t get it perfect every year (or ever).
Injuries play a big role, too. You may need to move some guys around. It’s all about having the best 11 football players on the field!
If you need to perfect your defensive scheme, download my free eBook, The Defensive Installation Manual. It’s a 7 step process for choosing the right defense for your team.
You love football. You study it constantly. Always learning.
We have an abundance of knowledge at our fingertips. When is it too much?
To become a better football coach (fast!) you need to focus on what matters.
We’re talking Pareto Principle here. 80/20 rule.
20% of your stuff gives you 80% of the results.
20% of the plays in your playbook might get 80% of your yards. 80% of your points.
20% of the technique you’re teaching on how to block or tackle is producing 80% of the success.
Crazy stuff, right? Most of us are well aware of the 80/20 rule. But we don’t always apply it to coaching.
Your playbook gets bigger as the season goes on. As your career goes on.
The drill library expands. More drills. Better drills. Bigger drills.
Is all that stuff producing results? Sure. But some of it... about 20%... is producing most of your results.
So here it is, Episode 163 of The Football Coaching Podcast. The secret. The holy grail.
How to become a better football coach, right now... in one simple step.
OK, I’m not an expert on this. It took me 4 steps. Listen to the podcast to hear me outline those 4 steps!
Kirk Ferentz is the Head Football Coach for the University of Iowa. You probably know that.
In 2015 he led the Hawkeyes to an undefeated regular season and a Rose Bowl appearance. He received the Big 10 Coach of the Year Award for the 4th time.
Coach Ferentz was also the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Awards for 2015.
He’s going into his 18th season at the University of Iowa.
We talk about what it takes to build a successful football team. The importance of balance, keeping it simple, and building a culture.
Sound familiar? Football is basically the same at any level.
Coach Simple. Play Fast. Win. That’s always the focus.
Want a balanced, simple approach to coaching your Offense? Get my free video series on the Pistol Power Offense System.
Chris Brooks has a decade of experience coaching the Wing-T Offense for Youth Football. He is the creator of WingT-Football.com.
Chris has a Wing-T Football coaching pedigree that started with coaching the Youth program in Sherwood, Oregon. He learned the offense from the local High School coaches, who have over 20 years of experience with it.
We’ll talk about how to create a mutually beneficial relationship between Youth and High School coaches in your area.
We look at the Wing-T Offense, and the terminology involved.
We also talk about specialization of athletes. When is it a good thing, when is it a bad thing?
On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 9:00pm Eastern, 6:00pm Pacific, Coach Brooks will be hosting a JDFB Insider exclusive Web Clinic on the Wing-T Buck Series. Insiders can log in and sign up.
Not a JDFB Insider yet? You should be. Click here to learn more.
This week on The Football Coaching Podcast it’s all about going fast. Our guest is Coach Bill Legg, the Offensive Coordinator at Marshall University since 2010 under Head Coach Doc Holliday.
I’ve seen Coach Legg speak at Glazier Clinics on two different occasions. He has a great football mind. He’s also incredibly willing to share and help other coaches.
We’ll talk about the role of an Offensive Coordinator in staff meetings. How to utilize the talent and knowledge of every coach in the room.
Then we get into Tempo. How to play fast.
How does using the hurry up, no huddle system change your offensive play calling?
How can you, as a play caller, prepare yourself to call plays so fast?
How do you get the play calls into your players?
In JDFB Insiders, we have a module all about how to go fast, and use the hurry up tempo with our Pistol Power Offense System. You can get all the information here
Have questions or feedback? Post a comment here!
Coach Bill Weiss is has been the Head Football Coach at Chisago Lakes High School in Minnesota for 19 seasons. His teams won their 2013 and 2014 Conference Championships.
Coach Weiss joins us to talk about putting together a successful program on both sides of the ball. On April 27, 2016 at 9:00pm ET he’ll be talking Defensive Line Technique on a JDFB Insider Exclusive Web Clinic.
Coach Weiss talks about his Triple Option Offense and 4-3 Defense and why consistency has been important. He also shares how to adjust your playbook for your players each year.
His passion is on the Defensive Line, though. And that’s where we’ll focus in on philosophy and technique for playing tough up front.
Check out this week’s episode of The Football Coaching Podcast – and JDFB Insider subscribers don’t miss that Defensive Line Web Clinic!
This week’s episode is nothing but a rant. Seriously. I was set off by one comment from a coach I don’t even know.
The comment was by new Georgia Tech head basketball coach Josh Pastner. I read about it in an article on football scoop (read it here).
The whole thing is ridiculous. If you want to be the guy who works 100 hours a week or more, great. Sometimes I am too, but it’s not because I want to be.
I’m sure not making anyone else do it, either.
So I turned on the microphone and went on a rant for Episode 157 of The Football Coaching Podcast.
Let me be clear. I don’t care about Josh Pastner, or Georgia Tech Basketball. He may be a great person. The comments may be out of context.
The article really just clicked a little something that I hear all of the time. From coaches, from business men, from teachers. From everyone.
You do not need to work yourself to death, neglecting your family and your health. You certainly don’t need to wear it as a badge of honor.
Some guys love the “grind.” Working from 4am to midnight.
Sleeping just long enough to keep from stumbling through the day. Mumbling something about brains.
This podcast is a message to the guys who are not that guy. You don’t have to be.
For the guy who wants to be… do you, bro. Just know that there are other ways to succeed.
In this episode, I also mentioned The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey. Here’s the link
Are you using empty formations in your offense? If not, you need to listen to this episode.
Incorporating empty formations into your offense is easy. You should do it without actually changing what you do or who you are.
The advantage is that we’re either getting Cover 0, or a really clean look inside the box. I like either one.
For many defensive coordinators, myself included, the first answer to empty formations is to load the box. Bring heat. Make you get the ball out in a hurry.
But the truth is, once you burn them… decisions have to be made. Stay in Cover 0 and risk getting roasted again? Or give the offense a 3-2 box or a 4-1 box.
Those 5 man boxes are so clean. You’ve got hats on hats. They are respecting your receivers.
To an athletic Quarterback, this is a dream. You can really open up your running game now!
Get all the details on how to use empty formations in your offense. Listen to this week’s episode of The Football Coaching Podcast!
You know how important leadership is to your football team. If you don’t have it, you really know how important leadership is.
When coaches are trying to change the path that a program is on, leadership is the first place we look. No one knows that better than Coach Chris Zablocki.
Following a string of 9 straight playoff appearances at Cedar Grove-Belgium High School (WI), Coach Zablocki was ready for a new challenge.
He found that challenge at Sheboygan North High School (WI). Chris took over in 2015 after the team struggled through a winless season the year before.
Changing a culture and turning a program around are not an easy task. But Coach Zablocki has a plan. One he’s used before.
In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, you get details about the foundation of Coach Zablocki’s plan to change a football program. And it starts with building leadership.
JDFB Insiders will get a much deeper look into Chris Zablocki’s plan for establishing leadership and turning a program around. On April 14, 2016 at 9:00pm Eastern, 6:00pm Pacific, Chris will be presenting an exclusive web clinic for JDFB Insiders.
Want to be a part of that event? Click here for all the details on how to become a JDFB Insider right now.
You might not think you can learn much from a soccer guy. We're football coaches.
Once you listen to my interview with Coach John O'Sullivan today, you'll realize you were wrong. There's a lot to learn.
Of course, John O'Sullivan is much more than a soccer coach. John's website at Changing The Game Project website will tell you that quickly.
He is a best selling author and speaker on how coaches and parents can make our sport - any sport - a great experience for the people that matter.
Who matters? The players, of course.
We lose sight of that. Adults ruin everything.
I met John about a year ago. He has studied the single topic that matters the most. How to get your players to perform their best.
Schemes don't matter. X's and O's don't matter. Not when your kids are not giving their all. Not when they don't love to play the game.
That's what John is all about.
In the interview we talk about some really important topics including...
You'll never eliminate all of the problems, of course. Humans do not allow for problem-free environments.
But you can take some serious steps to eliminate the issues.
In this episode, we also talk about the upcoming conference on changing your team's culture, July 8-10, 2016 in Boulder, CO. Click here for more information
Jump into Episode 154 of The Football Coaching Podcast and listen to my interview with Coach John O'Sullivan, right now!
Coaches like to talk about empowering your players. But when is the right time? What should they have power over?
In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, we're looking at how much pull your kids should have in the decisions we make.
Can they decide when practice starts? When it ends?
Should you let your players pick team captains?
Do players get to decide where they're going to play?
How much input should your players have in play calling decisions?
Do the players have any input in playing time?
Can your kids help you decide what to do in the weight room?
How much should you listen to your players regarding injuries?
And do your players get to have a say in the design of your playbook?
I'll go over each of these topics and how you should handle player's input on each.
RPO's are the hot topic at clinics all over the country this year. But almost everyone is talking using run-pass options from a Spread formation.
So we're bringing in Coach Justin Dottavio for a little JDFB Insider exclusive Web Clinic to talk RPO's in his Pistol Wing-T Offense. Something a little different.
Coach Dottavio is the Head Football Coach, among other titles, at Cornerstone Charter Academy in Belle Isle, Florida.
At a small school, you need to find the offense that fits your players. Justin and his staff came to the Pistol Wing-T Offense. Then they added in to RPOs.
We also talk about the defense, the special teams, and Wrestlemania. Important topics.
Want to be a part of Coach Dottavio's Insider Web Clinic on March 15, 2016 at 8:00pm Eastern, 5:00pm Pacific? Click here to become a JDFB Insider now
Putting together your Offensive Playbook for the upcoming season? Here's a checklist.
What do you need to have to make sure your playbook is complete for your football team? It's not as easy as it seems.
Well you'll need to know how you plan to call your formations. Can you get into all the looks you want to show? And you need to be able to do it easily.
Then there's your motions and shifts. Who can you move, where can you move them.
Now the important stuff. Your base run play. Nothing is more critical.
You'll want a counter play off of that. And a way to get the football in the air with the Play Action Pass off that base run.
How about some screens and draws when the Defensive Line is breathing down your neck? Better add those in.
Get the ball out to the perimeter with your quick game passing. Then be able to go down the field if you're falling behind (or if that's just what you do).
What if the game is on the line and time is running out? Do you have a 2 Minute Offense plan?
Don't forget that the field is severely shrunken inside the 5 yard line. What's your special plan on the Goal Line?
Finally, your playbook needs a Plan B. And Plan C. Got it?
It's all detailed in this week's episode of The Football Coaching Podcast!
I listen to a lot of different podcasts and audiobooks. Usually not about football.
But I get a lot of the ideas for The Football Coaching Podcast episodes from those other places. And this episode is a great example.
Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish host a podcast for entrepreneurs called the 10x Talk Podcast. It's one I've been listening to a lot, lately.
And in that podcast, I heard a great way to categorize our kids.
This is all about deciding how to manage your kids. How to work with your kids. Who you need to put more of your energy into, and who you don't.
It has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with people.
If your kids aren't bringing the energy, the motivation, and the enthusiasm to the game like you need them to, then Episode 150 is for you!
Episode 149 is based on a discussion from our private JDFB Insider forum. Michael asked for advice heading into his first year as a Defensive Coordinator.
It sounded like a great topic to me. I sent my own response, flipped through the advice from other coaches, and started making a list.
I was shooting for 8 tips for 1st year coordinators. Either side of the ball, let's not limit it.
Instead I ended up with 15 before I stopped myself and turned the microphone on. It is Super Bowl Sunday afterall, I don't need to be doing this all day.
And here it is. 15 tips for 1st year coordinators. And head coaches. And assistant coaches.
OK, these are tips any football coach should probably pay attention to.
Today we're getting a little deep. Some off the field stuff.
And I'll travel back to 1937 for some help.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of my favorite books. It's not some get rich quick garbage like the title might make it sound.
It's a book every football coach should read. Every person, really.
We're looking specifically at the 10 Causes of Failure of Leadership from Chapter 6 in the book.
This is a book I come back to over and over again, and you should really look into it if you've never read it. Here it is on Amazon.
All football coaches are in a leadership role. Whether you are the head coach, coordinator, or position coach, you are leading.
We lead other coaches, and more important we lead our players. Pay close attention to these points from many years ago, and see how they fit into your football coaching today.
It's the off season. And the centerpiece of your off season is the weight room.
Don't get carried away with X's and O's. That's a lot of fun. But remember one thing...
Jimmy's and Joe's matter more. A lot more.
And you can make massive improvements for your guys in the weight room this season. A lot more than you can make on paper.
So what does it take to run a great weight program?
You don't need a ton of equipment. And you don't have to be a full time strength coach.
You need to know enough about the lifts to teach them, and teach the lifts safely. Safety is above-all-else the most important aspect of coaching weight training.
You've got to have enthusiasm. Believe that the weight room is important. Show your players that.
And you need a plan. A path to follow. Where does the off season in the weight room start? What's the end game?
How do you get there?
Check out this episode for some ideas on building your championship weight room!
And click here to join us on January 14, 2016 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT for the Critical Keys To Running A Championship Weight Room Web Clinic.
Defending the Double Wing is always a fun topic. It's a great offense for exposing your defense.
The fact is, this is a tough task no matter what you run. It's a great argument against balance.
I've been working on our 3-4 Defense eCourse and this is a topic that's sure to come up. So I'm preparing myself.
Episode 146 is a collection of my ideas on defending the Double Wing Offense. It's not the end all, not the solution forever. Just ideas.
Hopefully it gets your wheels turning as we head into the off-season!
There is no 'right' way. The sooner you learn that, the better your coaching career goes.
It's not easy to accept, of course. I wish there was a right way. I wish there was one single scheme that would beat everyone else every day.
As long as no one else knew about it, of course.
But there is not. Every scheme can work. Offense, Defense, Special Teams. If it's sound and it fits your players (and you can teach it), you can win with it.
And every football team is different. Your players are probably different from week to week - and even day to day.
How your scheme gels together... how you turn 11 individuals into one unit... that is going to change every day.
That requires you to be a flexible football coach. To have a toolbox of answers waiting.
Knowing when you use them? How to teach them? That separates good coaches from great coaches.
Check out Episode 145 of The Football Coaching Podcast to find out how you can be a Flexible Football Coach!
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!