I recently spoke with a coaching friend Jon DeMarco. I personally coached against Coach DeMarco one season and his teams were always physical and disciplined. We found that out the hard way in two blowout losses. In his last season, the team advanced to the north finals in the Massachusetts state tournament. Since that run, Coach DeMarco has welcomed a baby girl into the world. As a result of being a father and a school administrator he has pivoted from coaching a high school team. That is not to say that Coach DeMarco has completely abandoned coaching basketball. He continues to grow his knowledge of the game while helping develop the skill sets of individual players.
Most Wednesday nights on Twitter, Coach DeMarco (@Coach_DeMarco – he’s a must follow that only tweets about coaching) asks a series of about six questions for his followers to share their thoughts. The Q & A attracts as many as 100 coaches from diverse levels and organizations. Unsurprisingly, Coach DeMarco’s knowledge and appreciation for the game has grown along with his followers throughout this process.
I often get swamped and put blogging in the back of my priorities. I was more interested as a coach in why he was learning than what he was learning. His answer was simple, but has stuck with me in the days since we spoke.
Coach DeMarco loves coaching, but as a result of his work and family, he needed to find a new medium to scratch the coaching itch. The GetBetBB Chat (short for Get Better Basketball Chat) has allowed him to grow his knowledge, and do it on his time. Finding the discipline to do this is not hard when the passion for it is there. The chat allows him to help other coaches and trainers, grow his own knowledge, and has even opened his eyes in how to effectively use social media.
Coaching Basketball via Individualized Training
In addition to getting new ideas from Twitter, Coach DeMarco is using it as a platform to help him with individualized training. He has posted many videos on his Twitter of the athletes that he trains, the methods he trains them with, and the reasons for those methods. He told me the only marketing he really does has been through CoachUp (initially), word of mouth, and Twitter.
As the case was with Twitter, the individual based training allows Coach DeMarco to work on a more flexible schedule. His son will tag along to the games of the athletes he trains and knows exactly who the players are. If he were a head coach, the dynamic of sitting with his son would not be possible.
Coach DeMarco is trying to be cautious when it comes to next steps. He has experienced growth and positive experiences working with individual athletes. As word of mouth and social media create more opportunities, he does not want to deviate from giving individualized attention. Being a parent of two and a school administrator, he has found a creative way to stay in touch with the game without running a team.
Coaching basketball or any sport is addicting. Being a parent and working full-time are priorities that go ahead of that passion. For coaches that are in the same life phase as Coach DeMarco, the social media and training route might be the best way to balance passion with lifestyle.