By Ethan Guevin
A few years ago, we posted ‘Are You Being Smart About Social Media?‘ offering advice on how to avoid recruiting trouble due to social media mistakes. A MUST READ for any serious recruit, the value of the original advice has grown as the use of social media has exploded.
With a rise in the number of stories where college coaches drop recruits for social media miscues or inappropriate content, we felt it is important to re-visit this important topic especially because a single mistake can make you lose your chance to play ball at the next level.
It’s quick and easy for college coaches to learn a lot about you from your social media accounts. Make sure you avoid the pitfalls of many recruits before you. First, we suggest reading or re-reading ‘Are You Being Smart About Social Media?’
. Second, check out the following list of 6 things college coaches/recruiters want you to know about your social media use:
1. Having clean and appropriate social media accounts can help you just as much as a bad one can hurt you. Coaches are looking for the good and the bad!
2. Be careful what you re-tweet! Because re-tweets are a click away, it’s easier to get caught up in the moment and make a mistake (even if it’s an accident). Think twice as hard before re-tweeting and make sure you know exactly what you are doing and how your re-tweet will look to other people.
3. It’s not only your content that gives coaches information. Frequency of use, timing of use, followers, who you follow, and many other things can be red flags when checking on social media accounts. For example, no coach wants to see that you are tweeting in class or during a game/practice, among other things.
4. Think twice about what kind of conversations and opinions you want to be public. This may seem obvious, but that back-and-forth public conversation about your weekend plans that seems harmless can backfire quickly if your friend says the wrong thing. It’s safest to assume that anything you post online might become public. Keep that in mind at all times.
5. Pictures/videos are worth 1,000 words, and you don’t always get to explain the story. Pay attention to any pictures or videos of you that are posted by others. Your friends may not have as much at stake.
6. There are no take-backs. Fair or not, coaches are using everything they can to evaluate character and cross-check what you say and do when interacting with them. With dozens of interest emails pouring in each day, coaches are likely to say “next” before giving you a chance to explain. Be smart and make sure your social media accounts show that you are the responsible and capable recruit that coaches are looking for.