ESTABLISHING YOUR COACHING DEVELOPMENT PLAN – Part One

ESTABLISHING YOUR COACHING DEVELOPMENT PLAN – Part One

The competitive nature of sports continues to grow with improved athletes and better, more innovative coaching. We ask our athletes to put in the time to become better. Like other aspects of coaching, we must also model our own improvement. In order for a coach to stay abreast of current trends and pick up those “nuggets” that may improve communication with his athletes, he must continue to work at his own craft.

Throughout the next couple weeks I will post a three-part blog series about different strategies that coaches can utilize to develop their own professional development plan. I utilize some examples from my experience as a high school basketball coach, but many of these experiences can be transferred to your own sport. In the first of this multi-blog series I will concentrate on some online strategies.

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Coaches tend to be busy people. You may not utilize each of these strategies but you better utilize most because your coaching competition is.

• Social Media – The amount of people involved in the coaching profession that are utilizing social media is remarkable. Many coaches have mastered the use of Twitter to grow their profession. Numerous coaches do a great job posting worthwhile “coaching nuggets.” Reading tweets daily from coaches who offer sound advice provides motivation to be a better coach. I have found that Facebook doesn’t have as much of the great information that Twitter does (perhaps because Twitter is more condensed information) but many coaching information sources utilize it with Twitter. Kevin Eastman, now an Assistant Basketball Coach with the Los Angeles Clippers, is tremendous with Twitter. He guarantees two coaching points each morning on his Twitter feed (@kevineastman). One of my new favorites is “Coaching Confidence” (www.coachingconfidence.co.uk). They do a great job of gathering and sharing great coaching advice from many resources. YouTube is a means to utilize great coaching and motivational resources, as well. I used several YouTube clips as visual teaching tools with my teams.

• Internet – When I first started coaching thirteen years ago, there were a handful of coaching resources available online. Today, it seems like they’re everywhere. I like to utilize sites such as http://www.ihoops.com, http://www.positivecoach.org, http://www.coachingtoolbox.net, and http://www.hoopsroundtable.com. Also, blogs have become popular places to find internet coaching resources. You’re using one of them right now. One of the first, and best, blogs I have come across is from Bob Starkey, a veteran women’s basketball coach – now an assistant at Texas A&M (www.hoopthoughts.blogspot.com). Coach Starkey summarizes many nuggets from a variety of coaching sources.

• Newsletters – Newsletters, usually received in your e-mail inbox, are a great source with lots of online information. I subscribe to a handful of coaching newsletters; most are basketball-related. My favorite is from recently-named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Washington, Mike Neighbors. He has a subscriber list that numbers 66,000, and for good reason. He posts several great coaching attachments in his weekly e-mail newsletter. Arizona and Xavier’s Men’s Basketball Programs e-mail frequent newsletters with plays and coaching bites. CoachingULive.com produces a Monday newsletter with great basketball coaching information. Randy Brown, a former college basketball coach, also produces a quality newsletter (www.CoachRB.com). Even if basketball is not your sport I am sure you can find several newsletters that you will like within the coaching profession.

Part two of “Establishing Your Coaching Development Plan” will be posted next week.

Resources Mentioned in This Blog:

Twitter Feed: Kevin Eastman http://www.twitter.com/KevinEastman
Website: Coaching Confidence http://www.coachingconfidence.co.uk
Website: IHoops: The Official Youth Basketball Website of USA Basketball http://www.ihoops.com
Website: Positive Coaching Alliance http://www.positivecoach.org
Website: The Coaching Toolbox http://www.coachingtoolbox.net
Website: Hoops Roundtable http://www.hoopsroundtable.com
Website: Hoop Thoughts http://www.hoopthoughts.blogspot.com
Newsletter: CoachingULive (Subscribe at http://www.coachingulive.com)
Newsletter: Coach RB (Subscribe at http://www.coachrb.com)
Newsletter: University of Washington Women’s Basketball Newsletter (E-mail nabes22@uw.edu to subscribe.)
Newsletter: University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Newsletter (E-mail basketball@arizona.edu to subscribe.)
Newsletter: Xavier University Men’s Basketball Newsletter (E-mail mercuriom@xavier.edu to subscribe.)

Question: How do you utilize social media to develop your coaching skills?

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