Women in Coaching: Networking

Being a part of a sport is awesome!  It is an opportunity to do something you love doing as well as a chance to meet people from every corner of the world.   You will never know what impact these people may have on your life, at the time, or in the future. In the past 12 years I have been coaching (wow has it really been 12 years?), I have met so many people (coaches, athletes, and curling supporters) and the connection with these people is instant. I think back to my playing days and remember being a fierce competitor (by the way, I get some leeway here because I was quite young and maybe naive).  I look back and have some regrets.  I regret that I did not embrace the moments or the people, especially the athletes, or the significance of the relationships I was forming.  These were people from all over the world – how cool was that?!!   For the athletes, I only saw them as competition. As a competitor it was my job to beat them. I have learned how small the world is and what an extraordinary family curling provides, because I have now reconnected with so many people from my past.   I am proud and fortunate to call them my friends. One avenue that has provided me a way to reconnect to many of these people has been the use of social networking (i.e. Facebook). Now that I am coaching you can only imagine the number of people I am meeting.  it is overwhelming, but also very special.  For example, back in my first blog (March), I wrote about the Women in Coaching (Coaching Association of Canada) Conference in Ontario. The theme was “Learning from Leaders”.   It was an amazing educational environment and the cast of attendees was phenomenal. For example, there were coaches from the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver (Melody Davidson – Coach of Women’s Hockey, Xiuli Wang, coach of Speedskaters Kristina Groves and Clara Hughes), “Own the Podium’s” Teresa Schlacter and world renowned Sports Psychologist Penny Werthner, just to name a few.  Usually after these kinds of events, you leave and never have the opportunity to reconnect with the individuals who made an impact on your learning.  Through social networking I have maintained contact with many of the participants. To find myself receiving friend requests and being able to stay connected and continue to share our learning and experiences is something I have found both useful and rewarding. Recently, the Coaching Association of Canada has joined the Facebook family. This is such great news!!  This is going to be another important way to communicate within the coaching family.  Make sure you log on to Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coaching-Assocation-of-Canada/108965632492884 In addition to Facebook, workshops, conferences and spiels, I know I will continue to meet and reestablish connections with those with whom I have crossed paths over the years. As we move forward, I am excited about seeing, meeting and talking with you all.  Now that I am older, and more mature (yeah right!)), I have learned to embrace every relationship and I hope I am able to keep finding old friends and making new ones along my journey. Happy Coaching and Communicating!!!! Melissa