The Football Coaching Podcast with Joe Daniel

Coach Joe Daniel from helps you build a better football team at any level. Youth Football Coaches, Middle School Football Coaches, High School Football Coaches, College Football Coaches and Semi-Professional Football Coaches will get great ideas and discussion from The Football Coaching Podcast.
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The Football Coaching Podcast with Joe Daniel









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Apr 11, 2016

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!

Apr 5, 2016

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.

Mar 31, 2016

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...

  • How to keep your players from jumping to other sports instead of football
  • How to give your kids more confidence in their ability
  • How to coach when you have lots of kids on different ability levels
  • How to build your program so that parents aren't the problem 

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!

Mar 24, 2016

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. 

Mar 8, 2016

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


Feb 24, 2016

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!

Feb 16, 2016

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!


Feb 7, 2016

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.


Jan 20, 2016

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. 

Jan 7, 2016

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.

Dec 29, 2015

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!

Dec 11, 2015

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!

Nov 26, 2015

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.



Nov 9, 2015

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!

Nov 5, 2015

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!

Nov 2, 2015

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!

Oct 23, 2015

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!


Oct 16, 2015

We all dream of that day. Giving the halftime speech that wins the big game.

Seriously, as I dreamed of becoming a Head Football Coach, this was what I thought about. It's like the iconic moment of coaching football.

It just doesn't happen that way, though. Not very often.

So when the moment comes... are you going to miss it? Are you going to deliver the halftime speech that wins the game for your team?

Or might it be the speech that loses the game? Highly unlikely, but it could. You might be going about this all wrong.

In Episode 139 of The Football Coaching Podcast, we're talking about the 6 keys to delivering a great halftime speech. I'll even tell you the best speech I ever heard.

I also want to hear your favorite halftime speeches. You can leave them in the comments below here, or go to our JDFB Insider Forum to share.

Sep 18, 2015

Our job as football coaches goes way beyond X's and O's. And it goes far beyond drills, too.

One of the biggest obstacles to success is player motivation. Getting kids to buy in. To play hard. To just want to.

But motivation is not some mystical concept that we either have or do not. It's something that coaches can cultivate.

In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, we're talking about how to motivate your football players. I'll give you 7 tips that can help you start increasing your player's motivation on the field.

And you can start right now.

Sep 10, 2015

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.

Sep 4, 2015

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?

Aug 27, 2015

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.


Aug 18, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Jul 30, 2015

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.


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