If you are looking for a great way to supplement your off-season learning (see post Planning Your Off-Season) hang on to your hat, get your twitter (or TweetDeck) up and running, and follow the hashtag #TXHSFBCHAT on Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:00 pm.
#TXHSFBCHAT is an online chat, moderated each week by Coach Chris Fisher,(@coachfisher_rp) the offensive line coach at Ridge Point High School in Missouri City, TX. While the name (and hashtag) of the chat is “TeXas High School FootBall CHAT”, coaches from all across the country participate each week, and it is but one of a number of these online chats sessions that sprung up last year during the football off-season.
The weekly schedule of these chats (some have yet to start back up yet this off-season) is:
- Monday – #HSQBCHAT
- Tuesday – #MNHSFBCHAT
- Wednesday – #TXHSFBCHAT
- Thursday – #NCHSFBCHAT
- Friday – #HOGFBCHAT
Here is how the sessions typically work. Each week there is a main topic … this past week it was off-season preparation. The moderator will begin each session by asking participating coaches to introduce (via twitter) themselves and where they are from, adding the hashtag #txhsfbchat to their intro. Of course, with the medium being twitter… limited to 140 characters… the intro’s are brief and to the point.
This, in itself, is a great networking opportunity!
After the intros the session really gets going. The moderator will pose a question, using the format Q1 (Question 1) and participants (if they choose) will answer using the format A1 (Answer to question 1)… with each question, answer and comment tagged with #txhsfbchat.
Here are some responses I clipped from this weeks chat… you can see the question posed by Coach Fisher (Q5) on the left, and some of the responses (A5) on the right.
The pace, for me at least, becomes pretty frenetic during the chats…. I am trying to “follow” new coaches that are on the chat, “retweet” and “like” responses that resonate with me, and also respond to the questions posed by the moderator. It is the fastest 60 minutes on the Internet!
Needless to say, with a 140 character limit, you are not going to be able to get down to the minutiae of running the pistol offense (or any topic really), but you can connect with colleagues who are experts in many subject… colleagues that you can reach out to later for more information.
I learn something every time I hop on the chat. Often it is simply a phrase or term a coach will use… or maybe just a slightly different way of thinking about something. Here is an example of something that struck me this past week… you can see the question, the response, and my comment to the response:
Finally, possibly the best part… you can participate as much or as little as you are comfortable with. If there is a topic that you feel strongly about and wish to contribute… then have at it! If you just feel like “listening” to the discussion, that is acceptable as well.
A final shout out to Coach Fisher… in addition to facilitating the chats, developing topics and questions each week, and scheduling guest coaches for the Q/A sessions, he also posts an archive (and upcoming topics) of each weeks chats on his web site txhsfbchat.com
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Any interest in a #MOHSFBCHAT or #KCHSFBCHAT??? Let me know.
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org