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Using Social Media as a Coach

It seems as though there is a new form of technology emerging almost every day. While coaches may not be entirely used to these new social media platforms, using them can make sharing information with and receiving information from your athletes quicker and easier. And chances are athletes will view and engage with information that you share through these new platforms more than some previous methods. 

How can coaches use social media to better their communication and their program? In an article for the Beaumont Enterprise by Matt Faye, multiple coaches share their methods for implementing social media. In fact, many coaches feel as though social media has become the main form of engaging with athletes outside of practice and games. 

“A lot of our kids don’t even answer the phone anymore,” said Eric Peevey, head football coach at West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas. “It’s literally just Twitter and texting. I didn’t really use social media, until I got (to West Brook), but once I became a head coach, I felt like it was pretty much mandatory.”

Some coaches like to use bulletin boards to post announcements, schedule changes, or other important notes. But there is a good chance that athletes won’t actively seek out these boards and will miss important information. Instead, coaches can use Twitter to disseminate this information. Josh Smalley, head football coach at Orangefield (Texas) High School, uses Twitter to share updates with his team such as changes in practice time. To make sure that no player misses these updates, he also uses a text message system that alerts athletes when a new Tweet is sent. 

Other platforms can be used for similar purposes. Snapchat has become popular among students, and coaches can use it to easily send a quick message to only their athletes. For example, when the Orangefield team had a change in schedule, senior captain Zach Dischler sent out information on the adjustment over social media..

“I had a lot of kids asking on Twitter and Snapchat what the schedule was,” said Dischler. “We have a group message on Snapchat, so I was able to let them know that we didn’t have film sessions and they could sleep in.”

But social media isn’t useful just for sending out updates. Coaches can also use it to show support for and promote their athletes and their program. If you want to increase school pride in your team, an easy way to do so is through creating a hashtag on social media. At West Brook, they use #BGOE, which means “Brook Gang Over Everything.” By doing this, athletes, coaches, students, or any other fans can support their team by using this hashtag along with a message, picture, or video.

“I like to use that hashtag just to let the players know that there’s always people here who have your back,” said Peevey.

Creating hashtags like this can even serve to bring your athletes closer together. At Memorial High School in Port Arthur, Texas, they use #TitanNation and #LeaveNoDoubt. “Oh yea, it’s Titan Nation over everything,” said senior running back Kobi Martin. “Those are just a way to bond us all together as one.”

One last positive use for social media is helping athletes get noticed by recruiters. With these platforms, it is easier than ever for coaches to share their athletes’ highest achievements both on and off the field of play. 

“(It helps me help them get to college,” said Peevey. “We share GPAs, stats and other accomplishments. The kids post their highlights and promote themselves. Recruiters watch for those kind of things.”

To read the full article, click here.

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