Power Networking for basketball coaches

I recently attended a Junior College game that featured two of the best teams in the Midwest. When the stands filled up, I noticed about a dozen college coaches in attendance. I will use this to explain how powerful your network can be and how it will grow exponentially.

Your network is only as strong as you make it and that includes the strength of the trainers in your network. For example, you may meet 30 trainers after a couple of years in the profession. If none of those trainers are linked to larger, more diverse networks, then you don’t have much. If your group of 30 trainers has some trainers that are connected to bigger and stronger networks, then you are on your way.

The incredible thing about networking is that it can grow exponentially in just a few years, from 1 to 100,001 trainers.

Here is my network composition while watching the game last night. All of the following trainers were present.

This is an example of Networks in Action:

Orv Salmon, Head Coach, DMACC. Orv and I have known each other for years and we both work for Gary Garner at Drake University.

Ben Jacobson, Head Coach, University of Northern Iowa. I recruited Ben to play for the University of North Dakota.

Steve Krafcisin, Women’s Head Coach, DMACC. We have two schools in common. North Dakota and Iowa State University.

Bob Sundvold, former college coach for 22 years. Bob and I work together at Iowa State and are now business partners.

Matt Murken, Assistant Coach, Wayne State University. Matt works with head coach Rico Burkett at WSU. I recruited Rico in North Dakota and he joined my staff as an assistant at Stetson University.

Thom McDonald, Iowa Community College Athletics Commissioner. Thom and I both work for Championship Productions and he was also an assistant at Drake University.

Spencer Esslinger, assistant coach, DMACC. Spencer worked our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.

Dana Goodwin, DMACC Women’s Assistant Coach. Dana worked our basketball camps at Iowa State University for many summers.

BJ McGinn, assistant coach, DMACC. BJ has been a college assistant in Arizona and an assistant at Wayne State University for Rico Burkett.

Jim Glash, assistant coach, Missouri-Rolla. Jim was a successful coach for 9 years at Olney Community College. Bob Sundvold and I recruited some of Jim’s players in Olney.

Rob Jeter, Head Coach, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Rob is friends with Ben Jacobson and the two have played against each other. Due to their relationship, Rob is also connected to all of the above.

Then after the game, Bob and I headed back to Ames and met the Iowa State University staff after their win over the Missouri Tigers. The network continued with the following people:

Jeff Rutter, assistant coach, Iowa State University. Jeff worked our camps at Marquette, was an assistant on my Stetson staff, and then served as a head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Greg McDermott, Head Coach, Iowa State University. Greg is linked in various ways to this group. He followed me as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. There he trained Ben Jacobson and Rico Burkett. He then was a head coach at Wayne State University, then North Dakota State. Burkett helped him at Wayne State and Jacobson at NDSU. Before ISU, Greg was a head coach at the University of Northern Iowa. Two of his assistants were Jeff Rutter and Ben Jacobson.

TJ Otzelberger, assistant coach, Iowa State University. TJ has been an AAU trainer and assistant at Chipola CC, Florida. TJ played for Jeff Rutter at Parkside for a year. He was on McDermott’s original staff at ISU.

Eric Henderson, student assistant, Iowa State University. Hendo played for McDermott and Burkett at Wayne State.

Josh Carper, Graduate Manager, Iowa State University. Carper played in Sioux City East for Jeff Vanderloo, a friend of mine and McDermott’s.

There were 16 connections to my network that I saw last night. The surprising thing is that he had not planned to see any of those trainers. They were just there doing their job as recruiters.

Networking is essential to the health and productivity of your career. Once you’re aligned with a trainer, you’ll automatically be connected to all of your connections, and all of your connections, and all of your connections… that’s how you build from 1 to 100,001!

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