There was a time in my life where I valued getting to where I wanted by toughing it out by myself. And while I have a lot of success personally due to being able to grind it out for myself, I never thought I would achieve some of the milestones that I have without networking. One specific example is quite new to me, but it began back in November of 2019.
While coaching track for Tosa East one of my athletes told me her father runs an AAU basketball program. I reached out to him and offered my services understanding that I had no idea what this may bring. The director then got back to me and told me that he would love to have me on his program. So I started working with him for the 8th grade team as his assistant coach. Through that program, I met several elite players and knowledgable coaches from the greater Milwaukee area. One of those coaches is a young man named Andrew, who was an varsity assistant coach at Tosa East for their girls’ team. We worked as assistants in the program for some of the different teams. Towards the end of the AAU season Andrew got a head coaching job at Cudahy High School for varsity girl’s basketball. A few months later, there was a posting for JV girls coach at Cudahy High School. I reached out to Andrew telling him that I would apply and he encouraged me to do so. After the interview, I was called by the athletic director at CHS to alert me that I have been offered the JV coaching position at the school. Of course, I took the position gladly and can proudly say that for the first time I am a head coach at the high school level.
This milestone would not have happened without getting my name out to like minded individuals in my profession. Networking as a technique for growing yourself as a person is almost a required skill at this point in human history. Being able to connect with those who are in your profession only benefits you and the work that you look to do. As with anything, it is an acquired skill that needs practice but the benefits are almost always positive. The only negative I can see is that for the first time in my life I have to say “Go Packers” and actually mean it.
As always, thanks for reading and make sure to be good to yourself and those around you.