One of the keys to a successful career in collegiate athletics is access to professional development. We work in an industry that sees us compete against other institutions on the playing fields and in recruiting. Despite our on-going efforts to beat the competition, the best part about working in collegiate athletics is the willingness that folks have to share ideas. Networking (growing the list of people that you know and can call on for advice and insight) and exchanging ideas(finding out the details of how others are doing things) are critical to your continued growth in this business and your ability to deliver the results that your department needs.
I’m proud to announce that we are bringing #scachat back. #scachat is a weekly Twitter chat that I hosted with Paul Smith, Kirby Garry, and Ryan Ivey from 2014-17. The chat will be starting back up on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 8pm CST. To join the chat merely plug the hashtag #scachat into the search box in Twitter and hop on in. The chat will last one hour and hopefully attract administrators from around the country to add insight, ask questions, and connect with one another.
There are lots of opportunities for professional development in college athletics. I will detail these more at the end of this post. Most of these opportunities require a financial investment, time away from the office, and some luck in “bumping into” the right person. I have attended and benefited from hundreds of these events over my career.
The great thing about the chat is that it is completely free of charge and you can participate from the comfort of your own living room or den. If you could regularly sit down and talk about issues that relate to your small college athletic department with other administrators from around the country, without having to leave your house…wouldn’t you do it? That is the basic concept behind the chat. Rather than waiting for the “annual” convention or workshop, why not just participate in conversations regularly and make connections with others who understand the challenges that you face?
I’m hoping that the chat will once again inspire idea sharing, networking, and professional growth. It really is just one more avenue in which to do this. Other areas for professional growth in collegiate athletics that you should be participating in include:
1. DI , D2 , D3 , and NAIA Ticker – This is a free email service and there are separate emails for each collegiate division. Each email includes articles highlighting events, shares breaking news, and announcements specific to that division. I work for an NAIA institution but I read all four of these each time they are delivered in a given week and find them as a great resource of information.
2. Workshops and Conventions – The traditional form of professional development and networking is attending annual conventions. There is a plethora to choose from with lots of great sessions and presenters:
I hope that you will join the conversation when #scachat starts back on January 14th. Regardless, make growing your network and growing professionally a priority. The impact it will have on you personally and professionally will be significant!