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What You Need to Know About Social Media & College Recruiting

Let’s face it – social media is intertwined in our daily lives. It connects us, it entertains us — but it can also have a negative effect on how people see us (such as a college coach).

When recruiting for college, your social media should be used to tell your story, show your personality, and highlight your accomplishments. You are in control of the message and your image, so make sure that everything you share reflects positively on your program, your team, and yourself.

“Read each tweet about 95 times before you send it. Look at every Instagram post about 95 times before you send it. A reputation takes years and years and years to build and it takes one press of a button to ruin it.” – J.J. Watt

Get control of your social media by avoiding these mistakes:

  • If it’s illegal, don’t do it. This may seem obvious, but a number of athletes have blown potential scholarships by posting about illicit or illegal activities on their social media.
  • Don’t let your emotions boil over. What may seem like a fine post at the time could look terrible in hindsight after you’ve had the chance to cool off. Be you, but think before you post and keep some aspects of your personal life personal.
  • Don’t use foul language or make lewd comments. This may sound like a no-brainer, but this kind of behavior online could have huge ramifications if a college coach is monitoring your social media.
  • Don’t post content that does not belong to you without taking the proper steps to get permission. Sharing, retweeting, and reposting is fine if you give credit where credit is due. Also, never pretend to be someone you are not online.
  • Don’t attack people.  Especially random haters or trolls — it’s what they want. This pointless activity is not worth your time or energy and usually never ends well, even if you didn’t start it.

The number one thing to keep in mind is that anything shared on social media is public and considered ‘on the record’. Screen-shots are forever. College coaches are paying attention and are actively searching all of your social profiles looking for potential issues. Who you are off the field is just as important as who you are on the field. If two athletes are in a dead heat for a scholarship offer, social media could very well be a deciding factor. 

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