INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

How #SundayShare took off from nowhere

It began in January as a way of alleviating lockdown boredom.

Lee Cosgrove – first-team coach and Under-15s manager at English non-league club Aylestone Park – was kicking his heels one Saturday and decided to share some of his session plans on Twitter.

What started as #SaturdayShare became #SundayShare the following week – and it slowly gained traction.

Now, he estimates hundreds of coaches contribute, amplify or use the practices that appear under the hashtag.

Lee has often dedicated much of his Sundays to leaving encouraging comments, stopping any negativity in its tracks and promoting new sharers.

But in the week he announced he would step back from that unofficial moderator’s role, we caught up with him to explore the origins of #SundayShare – and how SCW subscribers can keep it alive.

When his phone is not blowing up with #SundayShare notifications, Lee Cosgrove is coach of Aylestone Park men’s first team and manager of their Under-15s side

SCW: Lee, first of all, what is your coaching background?

LC: “I’m currently doing the Aylestone Park Under-15s, which is my son’s team, and for the last four or five months, they have asked me to help coach the seniors there.

“Aylestone Park are a well-established club in Leicester. Gary Lineker started there. I started my youth career there back in 1978, so I’ve kind of gone full circle.

“Previous to this role, I have probably been managing teams for about 20 years or so, but really got into coaching, and badges, back in 2012.”

 

SCW: How did #SundayShare come about?

LC: “I had shared drills before and sometimes videos of things. I don’t want to be one of these coaches that is secretive, or afraid to show where they are. Sometimes you want to show off a little bit if you’ve got a good drill.

“It was a Saturday in January. Nothing was happening. We were in full lockdown and I was bored. I made some drills up and laminated them.

“I thought ‘let’s put this one out’ on social media. #SaturdayShare, the very first one was called, because it was a Saturday. I put that one out and a couple of people commented on it.

“Then, the next week, I happened to be bored on the Sunday. There was no football going on whatsoever. So I did another one and called it the #SundayShare.

 

“It started literally out of boredom and then a couple of people just jumped on it…”

 

“A couple of friends and coaching colleagues on Twitter said they might do one too, and put it out with the hashtag #SundayShare. Then it just went from there really.

“It just literally started out of boredom and then a couple of people jumped on it.”

 

SCW: Coaching is a community, isn’t it? Coaches are very willing to share – that’s why it has been such a success, I guess?

LC: “There was definitely no big idea to get this big community going. But I kind of managed it and tried to make sure it stayed positive.

“A lot of people were sharing for the first time because I made sure there was no negativity. It’s a hard place to step into, Twitter – you don’t want to dip your toe in, in case somebody laughs at you or says it’s not very good.

“So a lot of it was new people sharing and then a lot of people started to do it out of loyalty and it just took off from there really. And the more it went on, the more it got a name for itself.

“A lot of the time, I didn’t share anything myself on a Sunday. I haven’t got that much to share. I’ll share what I’ve got – but then it was just a case of managing it and trying to keep it going.

“I commented on what everybody shared and kept it going for people. I’d make sure I’d retweet and make a comment.

“Really, that’s what people like – they like to get retweets and comments. So I just kept doing it and then when it took off, it just became too time consuming.

“Peter said to me a while ago, ‘people have tried this before, but you’re the only one who’s made it stick’. And that kept me going.”

 

SCW: Have you been surprised by the reaction to your tweet about you not doing it? It will still exist in some form – it is what people make of it. But were you surprised by what people have said about how useful it has been to them?

PJ: ” Some of the comments made me realize what it meant to people – I just never thought of it in that way. My wife saw a few of the comments and said ‘I didn’t realize it was such a big thing!’ – and I said ‘well, neither did I!’.

“Some of the comments have been great and I think people have enjoyed doing it. Hopefully it’ll carry on and the people that have sent the messages might be the ones that keep it going.

“The word’s still spreading so hopefully we’ll get new people in and they’ll continue to do it. I will jump in now and again and I’ll share something but I just can’t sit there and go through everybody’s stuff.

“One bloke said to me ‘what’s next?’. I said ‘I’m having my Sundays back, that’s what I’m doing next!’.

 

LEE’S #SUNDAYSHARE ‘RULES’

REMEMBER, IT IS #SUNDAYSHARE – AND DON’T FORGET!

“There’s so many people on there now, I have good banter with them.

“I tell people off if they’ve missed a week, or if somebody’s used it too early. #SundayShare on a Saturday night? Whoa, hang on! There’s rules here!”

BE ENCOURAGING – INTERACT WITH OTHER COACHES

“If you do see something you like, instead of just saying to yourself ‘that looks good, I’ll have that’, make a comment on it, retweet it or like it, because that will make that person share again.

“If people don’t get any interaction, they won’t share, and that’s when it will fizzle out. It needs a lot of people to comment, instead of just looking at it. Just say ‘I love this’ or ‘I like that’, or ask a question.

“Even if you just click ‘like’, that person who has done it will think, ‘Brilliant, I got about 15 likes this week – I only got 10 last week’.

LET PEOPLE KNOW IF YOU HAVE USED THEIR SESSION OR PRACTICE

“There’s always people that are going to post and comment, and those who are lurkers.

“I have had a couple of comments from people saying, ‘Oh yeah on Monday, I go through that and look for stuff’.

“I think, if you’re going to use something, just say, ‘Yeah, I’ve stolen that’, ‘Love that, I’m going to use that’ or ‘I tried that Thursday and it worked really well, thanks for that’.

A little bit of engagement from people will encourage people.

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