With the ever-increasing use of technology in sports and the explosion of social media, it is no surprise that the number of coaches using the internet is growing at a rapid rate. Exchanging ideas on philosophy, strategies, teaching techniques, etc., which previously took place in off-season clinics and conferences, is now taking place on a daily basis. It is not uncommon to find a high school coach from Minnesota sharing information on how to break a full court press with a club coach from Spain through e-mail or a LinkedIn discussion group. A coach’s ability to access information about his or her profession has never been greater in the history of the game than it is today. And with every new sports web site popping up daily on the Internet, we could be just scratching the surface.
Using the Internet to Benefit Your Program
As stated earlier, you can find just about anything about your sport on the Internet. It is helpful to search the web with a particular purpose; other wise it is easy to get sidetracked and wind up reading the latest standings in the Malaysian Professional League. The following list is an example of some of the uses that can be helpful:
1. Exchanging ideas with other coaches: To improve your understanding of the game, there are a number of web sites that offer discussion groups, questions and answers, articles, and a number of other resources that can help you increase your knowledge of the game and how to teach it. Learn how other coaches teach your particular system of play or implement your coaching philosophy. You can find information on every topic from strength training to knowing what to say at half time to your team. It is a great opportunity to share ideas and possibly gain a different perspective on the way you already do things in your own program.
2. Accessing resource information on offensive and defensive systems of play: From the motion offense in basketball to the 3-4 defense in football, you can find information on any system of play. This includes how to teach it, the necessary drills, the strengths and weakness of the system, the type of personnel needed, etc.
3. Finding out the latest information on clinics, purchasing resource materials, etc: You can access a list of every book, video, software program, etc., related to your sport and order it right over the Internet. Find out when the Nike clinic is in town or where the next coach’s association convention will be held just by staying up to date on specific Facebook pages.
4. Find a job, scheduling games and tournaments, etc.: Maybe the most important resource of them all is the coaching vacancy list! You can also find information on tournament openings, games wanted, summer camps and summer tournaments. If you are interested in taking a team to a foreign country, you can find out information on companies specializing in setting up tours. Connect with coaches on LinkedIn that have played in similar regions or against common opponents and build your coaching network!
5. Accessing information on scouting and recruiting: There are a number of web sites that provide comprehensive and up-to-date statistical reports on one of your possible upcoming opponents. You can always stay current with high school players and college signing days via Twitter. Many high schools are beginning to post their own home pages, which can be a source of added information to your scouting report if you are an opponent or recruiting profile if you are a college coach.
You cannot afford to be a step behind the competition! In this day and age where the little things really do make a difference, you cannot allow your opponents any advantage, especially in an area where you can utilize the same resources.