Relationships are everything as a coach.
Connecting with other coaches is a great way to learn new things and open up new opportunities that you might never have known existed.
I’ve realised the benefit of having a close-knit group of fellow coaches that are there to talk to and bounce ideas off, because let’s face it, we all have our friends and family, but none can relate to the ups and downs of a season like another coach.
The only problem is finding other coaches to connect with isn’t always easy to do.
Too often people view other coaches as ‘the enemy’. They don’t want to connect with coaches they’re going to be playing against. “What if they steal my secrets!?”. I disagree.
Some of the coaches I’ve went into battle against are the same coaches I’ve met up with on weekends to discuss ideas. You can learn something new from everyone.
The first step is to find out where other coaches are hanging out and become part of that conversation. Get your name on the map.
Here are 10 places you can begin connecting with other coaches…
1. Volunteer at Basketball Clinics
Volunteering is where it all begins for most coaches. Attend as many clinics and camps as possible. This is a fantastic opportunity to connect with as many other coaches as you can. Most of them will be in the same situation as you!
2. Attend Coaching Clinics
Though I haven’t been able attend many of these clinics, I’ve heard countless stories of the contacts people have made by attending them. Coaches go there specifically to meet other coaches and learn. Make sure you take some business cards to hand out to people in case they want to contact you in the future.
3. Leave a Comment on their Blog
There are a ton of basketball coaches with blogs online. Reading them is what inspired me to begin my own blog a couple of years ago.
Not only is reading blogs a great way to learn more about coaching basketball, it also provides you with opportunity to connect with some of the most influential coaches in the profession.
But don’t just leave any old crappy comment, contribute to the conversation or ask a follow-up question on the post. Most will respond. I always do.
A few blogs you might want to look at:
4. Create your own Blog
Let’s flip things on their head for a minute and reverse the situation. You want to connect with other coaches… well why not have them come to you instead of you chasing them?
Creating a blog isn’t hard and it’s a great way to share information that could benefit other coaches.
Just from starting this blog I receive numerous e-mails every week from fellow coaches asking questions and basically just wanting to connect. That’s one of my favourite things about running a blog!
5. Send them an E-mail
When sending an e-mail be sure to remember that some blogs receive hundreds of e-mails per day. They might not be able to get back to you, and this definitely doesn’t mean they don’t want to, but not all coaches will have the time.
My best advice is to keep the e-mail relatively short. Let them know that you appreciate the content they’re sending out and maybe ask a quick question or two.
6. Master Social Networking
There are a lot of coaches on social media. There are many different reasons for this – scouting potential players (character stands out on social media), monitoring the social media of current players – but the point is… a lot of coaches that use it. And you should too!
Share their posts, reply to their tweets, like their photos. These things only take a couple of seconds to do but will always be appreciated.
7. Submit a Guest Post
By contributing a guest post to blogs that you’re interested in can lead to forming new relationships with the readers of the article and the owner of the blog.
I know a lot of basketball coaches that blog that simply can’t find the time to keep their website updated as often as they’d like to (myself included). By requesting to submit a blog post you’ll not only have the satisfaction of helping others by sharing your knowledge, you can be sure the owner of the blog will appreciate it too.
Most blogs will allow you to link back to your website or social networking sites so that readers of the article can follow the links and connect with you.
8. Join a Forum
There are a few great forums on basketball coaching. I haven’t really had a chance to contribute much to any of them, but I hope to one day soon. If you ever have a question you need answered, there are a ton of great basketball minds on these forums.
A couple that stand out in my mind are:
Start Connecting – Now!
For no other reason than there’s simply no point in waiting any longer. The sooner you start developing relationships, the sooner opportunities you’ve never even thought could be possibilities will begin to appear.
Let me know in the comments if there are any other ways you’ve connected with other coaches.