These are my five keys to getting the most out of your Social Media account as a Coach.
Any coach who is plugged into social media knows that there are tons of benefits but some very clear pitfalls. On the positive side social media provides an excellent vehicle to connect with fellow coaches as well as providing endless streams of debate, information, and strategy. On the negative side it can create a "Fear of Missing Out", provide conflicting information, and in some cases cast doubt in your beliefs. After using social media fairly heavily over the last four years I think I have developed a short list of "keys" that will help get the most out of this platform.
1 - Don't be Afraid to be a Consumer
This may be a key that only applies to a small population of coaches on Social Media - however I think it's an important one. Even the most successful coaches can benefit from becoming the consumer every once in a while. Perhaps there is a coach out there that you can learn a new concept from, or a coach that can help reinforce one of your core beliefs. Observing how someone else uses different teaching methods or how they deliver their own content could be a great way to improve your own instructional practices through social media. The main idea for this key is that we shouldn't be afraid (or be too proud) to be a consumer.
These are a few of my favorite things I've consumed this offseason:
2 - Be Your Own Filter
Information Overload is a real thing and I truly believe that this has happened to every single person who actively uses social media. This year's quarantine spawned an endless stream of Web Clinics, Blog Posts, Videos, Playbooks & Shared Content. Which has been amazing, but at the same time has been overwhelming.
The best advice I have to combat this is to simple become your own filter. It is impossible and unnecessary to watch, read, research or listen to everything that is out there. We must simply figure out the few systems or concepts you want to investigate or master and then ignore the rest. Coaches must realize that there are no "right answers" out there - there are just simply options that we can choose from.
3 - Try to Produce Your Own Content
I truly believe that one of the best professional practices a coach can do is to produce their own content. This type of project is not only going to give you a valuable resource but will also help clarify your own vision. In the process of creating your own content you will most likely conduct a number of beneficial studies:
Putting together film clips
Clearly Lay Out Teaching Points
Match those Film Clips to those Teaching Points
Produce Fast Model Diagrams
Explain the Installation Process
Develop a Thought Our Practice Plan
For the teachers amongst us this type of endeavor will allow us to reach the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (Graphic Below). Through the production of our own content we are gaining a much higher level of understanding of our own systems. There are other side benefits to producing your own content, such as connecting with other like minded coaches, which will naturally occur if your content is solid.
My Offseason Example would be the Motion Strong Clinic:
4 - Ask People Questions
Personally, one of the best parts of Social Media has been the opportunity to ask questions to coaches from across the country. In my own experience coaches who I have approached with questions have been more than willing to respond. If you see a post that you really like - my advice would be to reach out and inquire about details that you are interested in. Social Media provides coaches with networking opportunities that you would not get normally.
5 - Carefully Organize the Info that You Collect
Most coaches would agree that they accumulate far information than they could ever possibly use. Developing a system for organizing the best information that you uncover is essential for making sure that it actually get used. This offseason I created a Google Doc where I would link the best Notes, Video Links, Articles, & Special Situation Sets I came across during the offseason. Here's the Blog Post link:
One subject I approached in that article is that we will have filter out the information we are gathering at some point. I think a good rule of thumb might be that everytime we add something new to our organizer we should consider removing something. Especially if we are looking at what we might potentially introduce in the upcoming season.
You could argue that Social Media represents the best opportunity for professional development that coaches have ever had. There is no doubt that things like information overload and conflicting information are realistic downfalls - but if we are employing the 5 keys we discussed in the post you will be poised to gain all the value without any of the negative.
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