While technology has enabled us to learn more and access more research than ever before, there is still no real substitution for face to face, human interaction. No matter what line of work you’re in, networking is often the difference between success and failure. Networking provides a long list of invaluable benefits that go far beyond the surface of what you do and can help make you a better professional, a better leader, and even a better person. But, how does networking apply to the world of basketball coaching?
It is highly likely that other coaches have either dealt with an issue that you are currently facing or are facing a similar situation themselves. Networking creates open lines of communication for you to talk about your struggles with like-minded peers in your field. While each situation may not be a mirror image of what your colleague has dealt with, there may be enough similarities between those issues that you can both find mutual ground and beneficial information that will improve everyone involved.
Anyone who has ever coached at any competitive level knows what it’s like to try to fill out those last few open dates on a schedule. You’re aware going into the process that you’re going to play the teams in your district, region, or area, however your league is set up, but, there are still dates that have to be filled in to get your players on the court the maximum number of times.
If you’ve built a solid network of basketball coaches like yourself, you will be more likely to have an easier time filling those open dates. It can be challenging and somewhat debilitating having to cold call other coaches and ask if they have space in their schedules to fit your team in. Having a network can enable you to make rough plans numerous seasons in advance.
Being a coach at one level of basketball does not mean you can only network with those within the same league. In fact, it’s crucial that you create networks with coaches in multiple levels above yours. This will create opportunities for you and your players who have potential to take the next step in front of coaches who can help them succeed. For example, high school coaches should expand their professional network to local college coaches. This can get next-level eyes on your current top prospects, making you more attractive to the next wave of players.