In order to do your best at maintaining top-quality fields, you need up-to-date information. There are new products, new or different ways to do things and solutions that you may not have considered. It is important to maximize your sources of information. Besides reading SportsField Management, what are you doing to keep up?

The winter months are an ideal time to catch up on what’s new. There are the local, regional and national conferences and shows. The educational sessions cover a myriad of topics. Some are on turf management. Some are on professional and personal development. Others cover various additional field management issues. Trade shows are an excellent source for information on new products or new uses for older products. Another great aspect of these get-togethers is the opportunity for networking. You can talk face to face with the people you’ve heard about and read about. You can ask questions that directly relate to your situation. As you learn from others, you develop friendships. If you have a problem in your program, it is easier going to someone you know to ask for advice.

This is also a good time to look at courses of study that will add to your knowledge base. If you live in or near a college town, you may want to take a class or two on-site. There are also numerous correspondence courses available. Web-based education is another option. Don’t forget to look for books that cover the subjects that you’d like to become more proficient in. Some cover very specific topics. Others may cover a wide area. Maybe a chapter or two of some of these would give you just what you need. As you visit with your peers, ask them what they’ve read lately that has helped them.

Education is a lifelong process. Utilize all the tools you can to make sure you have the most up-to-date solutions to any challenges you face.

The author is a contributing editor for SportsField Management.