Social networking in strength and conditioning

In the technology press this week was the news that Facebook has suffered a drop in use in the UK, for the second month in succession. I use Facebook, mainly as a tool to stay in touch with friends and to distribute links to this blog, and I have to say that I too have experienced a little fatigue in using it. Not enough to stop though. I also use Twitter (@nwconditioning) and Linkedin, both of these I use more as a strength and conditioning coach/business owner and definitely find I get more from these two tools.

The strength and conditioning roundtable on Linkedin has been useful for coaches to share ideas and debate certain topics. Linkedin has a fairly large strength and conditioning community to connect with but I don’t find it’s format especially intuitive and so the major use I get from it is to post my blogs to it. I’m also not a huge fan the feature allowing you to see who’s viewed your page, it definitely restricts the amount I browse on there.

By far and away the tool I use most though is Twitter. If you pick your followers wisely, the content you can be directed to takes a lot of time out of browsing for it yourself. That’s what I use it for. There’s a of  posts on there that I’m not fussed about  reading but after using for a little while you can identify those who post things you find useful and use the list feature. I use it as a bit of a filter. In terms of tweets, I’m quite targeted about what I put on there, if I find something I think is useful for people to see then I’ll post it or retweet it. I also use it to get some advice such as info certain products or text books and to occasionally mention something I’m doing to maintain activity on the site.

To be honest though, I think you get more out of a 5 minute chat with another coach rather than from 140 characters at a time, which is one reason I’m looking forward to the UKSCA conference this weekend. I try to make sure that social networking via the internet doesn’t detract from actual face to face networking and try to meet up with a couple of other coaches each month to share ideas and grow my network. I also think Skype is a great tool that I’m hoping to use more for networking so if any coaches reading this fancy a Skype chat anytime just give me a shout (Skype name is neilwelch).

Neil Welch

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