Chalk Talk – Episode 80 – A Year In Review – Thanks For Joining Us!
Thank you to all those who have made this first year of podcasting so special! We are going to be taking a ‘summer break’ from posting new episodes, but we will be back in the fall!
One year and 80 episodes later, a big shout out and thank you to our coaches and teachers across the country who listened, watched, and even came on to the podcast to contribute from time to time. If one thing is for certain, we serve a unique and special audience, that deserves relevant and informative content. We hope that you enjoyed listening along the way, and we will see you back in the fall!
Check out how PLT4M can partner with your school!
A year ago, we set out to start an even deeper conversation for our audience and community. I personally was excited, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to tackle all things strength and conditioning and fitness. I looked at other podcasts to see what people were and were not talking about.
What exactly could we accomplish by starting a podcast?
And now, a year and 80 episodes later, I thought it was important to reflect. Let’s start with the obvious…
1) Coaches & Teachers Wear Many Hats
First and foremost, can we just acknowledge how much you all as educators take on? I was hesitant to even say ‘coaches and teachers’ knowing that even that did not begin to capture who our audience and community consisted of.
Educators are chameleons juggling roles as coaches, teachers, administrators, and more. And while the list might come with many official purposes, so many take on unofficial roles to keep schools functioning. From serving as chaperones, bus drivers, and all sorts of various positions needed to keep the things moving, you folks have what the kids call ‘no quit.’
(Not to mention, you have lives that exist outside school…even if your students and athletes don’t believe that.)
And so making a podcast that could touch on all the different groups you as coaches and teachers serve is hard. Do we stick to strength and conditioning? Do we expand and talk outside our wheelhouse?
I wanted to be careful, we did not just add to the growing noise and confusion I see day in and day out. This leads me to my next important point.
2) Coaches & Teachers Have Information Overload
There are a lot of people telling you what to do and what not to do. Whether it is in the given sport you coach or classes you teach, someone has the magic solution for you. And there is a lot of great stuff out there, but also a lot of noise.
“You are a great coach if you do this.” “You are a terrible coach if you do that.” “As a teacher, you need to be doing this in your classes, or you are missing the boat.”
While some claim authority and others just seem to yell the loudest, it can get confusing and overwhelming trying to sift through it all. And with all there is to digest from content, I see people left uncertain if what they are doing is ‘right’ or if they are going to get run through the mud because of the choices they make as coaches or teachers. (Insert kid not squatting to depth in a video and be ready to get ridiculed and told what you need to do differently!)
So if coaches and teachers have information overload, why add to the noise with another podcast? What could we at PLT4M accomplish by putting even more out to a very crowded space?
3) Engage, Educate, & Empower
Well, taking a look back at 80 episodes, what I am proud to say is that we started conversations that did not draw lines in the sand, but rather welcomed more folks to the table.
We dedicated time to unpacking hot topics, invited those who had insights to the table, and created a community where all ideas were welcome.
I would often ask coaches or teachers to join me on the podcast and was met with the statement,
“Well, sure, but…I am not sure if anyone will want to listen to what I have to say, but if you think I can add value, I would love to contribute.”
And yet time and time again, we would get feedback hearing about how one little idea or strategy from a guest was impactful to a listener. Rather than just the constant thread from experts, people want and need to hear from other coaches and teachers who share the same challenges day in and day out.
And so by just starting conversations, we were able to engage, educate, and empower a group of coaches both as guests and listeners to advance our profession.
What did we get out of it? A little bit of everything! We had coaches talking about in season, offseason, introductions to training. We spoke about juggling busy weight rooms and classes that had students brand new to fitness, and those looking to go to college for sport. We talked about meeting all of our students as human beings, building connections and relationships with our students and athletes, and finding ways to advance our profession. We got technical, philosophical, passionate, and all things that we know involve coaching.
(And a shameless plug to go check out any episode of the first 79 which you might have missed!)
So what is next?
4) We Started Somewhere, Now We Must Keep Going
In my reflection, what I came to understand is that this is just a start. We have a long way to go, not only for Chalk Talk but for the broader profession of coaching and teaching in this industry in general. We have just scratched the surface!
Having coaches and teachers be proud of what they do, wear it as a badge of honor, and know that things exist to empower them was our most significant success.
People walk away knowing that we are on their side, never telling them what to do, but giving insights and strategies to consider.
If the last few months are any indication, we have no idea what lies next. Remote classes? PE or strength and conditioning could drastically change, but going forward, we must keep our conversation open. We must still live to listen to others and provide value when needed.
Thank you to those that have listened to our first year of Chalk Talk. Thank you to those who have contributed with ideas, jumped on podcasts, and are willing to advance the profession as a whole.
Enjoy your summers, reach out as you have questions and please let us know if you are ever in need of anything! At PLT4M, our proudest accomplishment is that anyone looks at us as a partner in this crazy world of high school education and athletics.
To close, like I always do, I offer up the simple words “In Pursuit Of Better.” It is what we seek out here; it is what many of you seek out as professionals, seek out for your students, and something I am happy to send us all out before we come back in a few months with.
Thanks again, and remember at PLT4M, it is always in pursuit of better.