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By Matt Hewett, Graduate Assistant Tennessee Tech & Patrick O’Neal Graduate Assistant University of Cincinnati

In today’s strength and conditioning field, it is important to understand new trends such as social media. Social media allows strength coaches to learn the latest techniques and keep contact with other coaches in the field. There are several different networking sites that can be utilized by strength coaches including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Strength and Performance Network.

YouTube is social networking web site focused on uploading and sharing multi-media videos. Strength coaches will use this site to post videos showing their methods and techniques used in their everyday routines. This can be extremely helpful to both players and future strength coaches because understanding proper technique before they meet with the coach can help give them a “leg-up” in the program. When uploading videos of your training, it shows athletes that your skills as a coach, emphasizes proper technique, and puts a face to your name.

Facebook is the largest and fastest growing social networking site in the world, continuously allowing people to connect with almost anyone anywhere. All you have to do is search for a coach’s name, and add him/her as a friend. You can send messages to coaches, and interact on a personal level. When creating a membership you should create a professional page that promotes yourself and highlights your skills. Another benefit of Facebook is the ability to connect with most of your players. When coaching, every player is different and reacts differently to what you say to them; Facebook allows you to gain insight into the player’s background to possibly better understand their personality type.

Twitter is a social networking text based blog. You can create a Twitter account and post 140 charter long messages that are directly available to people who follow your activity. These messages, also known as “Tweets”, allow thousands of people to follow you directly and view every message you post. Strength coaches can use this tool to network by Tweeting links to other social media networks such as Facebook. They can also post links to strength articles, videos, and personal pages. Twitter is another tool that a strength coach can use to build his contact base.

LinkedIn is another way to network through social media, but more on a professional level. LinkedIn connects people in the same field of work, but also allows coaches to post resumes, recommendations, and past experiences. It can connect people in the same region, state, or in areas that interest you. LinkedIn is just another way that coaches can network for future references, jobs, and techniques.

Strength and Performance Network
The previously mentioned sites are open to all users, but the Strength and Performance network is devoted to everyone specifically in the strength and conditioning field. On this web site, you can interact with different coaches, and make your name known to other people in the industry. You can also find articles and resources related directly to the strength profession. You can follow members to see how they are coaching their players, and learn methods or techniques that you might want to incorporate in your own routine. You can post videos from YouTube, and put them on your personal page. The great thing about this website is that everyone can see your profile with your videos. When a coach looks at your videos, he might see something that he likes and remember your name for a future job.

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