Midwest Elite Basketball » Coaching Innovation: Effectively Using Social Media and the Latest Technology

Coaching Innovation: Effectively Using Social Media and the Latest Technology

Coaching Innovation: Effectively Using Social Media and the Latest Technology

Post-Season Coaching Essentials to Maximize Your Off-Season, Part 7

Imagine a nursing home today vs. a nursing home in 2060. Yes, many of you reading this may be sitting in the home on a computer, probably on Twitter, Facebook, an instant messaging service or another website that has taken over the world of social media. You will be able to communicate with your grandchildren, your children, and keep up on the former schools you coached at. What a world it will be!
Why is this possible? If the Information Age has taught us anything it is that we must adapt to change. Now there are even platforms like NIM by Tools4Ever that enables businesses to manage identity and optimize their business. There will be a learning curve in every new opportunity; however, the time to learn the “new” is marginal in comparison to the inefficiency of our continued actions. If you do not adapt, you will be left in the past.
What does all of this have to do with coaching? It is pertinent that you keep up with modern technology to run a smooth operation. Here are a few things to consider utilizing:
  1. Google Calendars: As a coach you have around 500-750 things on your calendar each day. Personally, you only have 30-40 things; however, you have 12-18+ players who each have the same number if not more. As their coach you are responsible for them as well as yourself. Utilize Google Calendars to view each player’s class schedule, weights, individual workouts, and other things such as recruiting and community engagement events. Best yet, using Google Calendars is free.
  2. Twitter: This is a great resource for getting information. Follow fellow coaches, basketball organizations (such as Midwest Elite Basketball, @MidwestEliteBB), AAU programs, and even celebrities such as Kim Kardashian (well, maybe not Kim). Also, promote your program and yourself using this great resource. The coaching community has really bought into Twitter. If you are not on board yet, then you are behind the 8-ball. Fans, recruits, and fellow work associates care about you and your thoughts. This is another free resource which, when utilized correctly, is a powerful tool.Note: If one of your players is re-tweeting rappers talking about illicit drugs, or if they are talking about how much they drank last night, they will probably not get recruited. Twitter can be abused and really hurt people. Make sure your players are being smart.
  3. Facebook: Having a personal facebook page is good to keep up with friends, post pictures of your family, and allow you to stay in touch with the hundreds of people in your past life and current life. It can also be a good resource for your team. Launch a team page and promote it. The more likes, you get, the easier it is to pass along positive information about your program. Facebook currently has over 900 million active users. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to promote your program (especially at the high school level where athletic websites are often times subpar). According to Bloomberg, Facebook is valued at over 100 billion dollars. However, the service is free for you.
  4. Blog: As a coach, using a blog to promote your program is a great way to pass along information. This is primarily so at the high school and junior college level. Steve Smiley, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at NJCAA Powerhouse Sheridan College is one coach who utilizes a blog very effectively. Check his blog out at: http://www.generalsnation.blogspot.com/
  5. YouTube: Everybody wants to see your program. Post clips from games, season highlights, and post-game interviews to keep recruits and fans in-tune with your program from all over the world. This is another free service that will keep people coming back if it is utilized correctly.
  6. Drop Box: At Midwest Elite Basketball, we just recently got into using DropBox. This is a free service (though expanded services cost $19.99/month) that allows you to access your computer’s files anywhere in the world using a cloud-based server. Instead of emailing yourself files, use dropbox. Instead of emailing assistant coaches updated files, use dropbox. When this service is utilized with permission grants, each coach will have access to all files in the folder (which can be put on your desktop). If a coach updates a file in the dropbox then it is updated for everyone. DropBox is free! If your business is only accepting cash or checks and not offering electronic payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, or mobile payments, you may be missing out on potential sales from customers who prefer these payment options. Compare the features and benefits offered by the Top 20 Merchant Service Provider.
  7. Video Software: I’ve heard coaches brag, we still cut up film using two VCR’s.” We can thank many respective conferences for mandating film exchange programs. Accoridng to Dallas Video Production, coaches can no longer resist using more efficient technology as they have to conform to the conference standards. If you are not required to use certain video editing software then consider using Espor, Hudl, Synergy or SportsTec to advance your program’s efficiency in the film room.
  8. Smart Phone: Paying $115/month is not fun; however, it is all but required in 2012.  Many athletic departments pay for phones for their coaches as they agree. You need access to your email as each message comes in, you need internet access on the fly, you need GPS services when your bus driver makes a wrong turn, and you need unlimited texts, minutes, and picture messaging for business and personal reasons. Ok, you don’t need any of it. But it certainly will allow you to be more productive.
It is important to understand that nearly everything I listed can be abused. The goal of these products and services is to make your life easier and allow for more efficient production. However, if you are staring at your smart phone 24/7, if you can’t get off Facebook and Twitter, and if you only think about work as a result of the technology, then you are doing yourself (and your loved ones) a disservice. Nearly everything in life is about balance. Utilize modern coaching innovation to make your life easier.