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We have always known that social media is an important tool that college coaches use to evaluate the character of their recruits. Now, it’s been proven to be a viable way for recruits to create meaningful exposure to and communicate with college coaches. To put it simply, in 2020 social media is a huge part of the recruiting process and if you aren’t using it as a tool to help yourself get recruited, you are missing out.
We have several articles about the importance of social media and steps you can take to ensure you are recruitable online. These resources include, Coaches Want Players with Clean Social Media and Be Smart About Social Media. If the message in these articles is not clear enough about your need to have clean online footprint, research and feedback from our college coach surveys should be convincing.
Over the years, we’ve asked college coaches from every level questions about the importance of social media. Here’s a sampling of feedback:
When we ask coaches, “On a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 10 (extremely important), please rate how important it is for a recruit to have clean social media.” Nearly half of the coach respondents have ranked it a 10 with the vast majority (around 80%) ranked it 7 or higher.
In a separate question we asked coaches, “What are 1 or 2 things that a recruit might do that will cause you to cross them off your recruiting list immediately regardless of how good they are?” Predictably, more than a few coaches mentioned “Bad social media,” or something similar.
Another question we’ve asked is, “How do you feel about a high school player using their social media for recruiting related purposes (e.g. to share recruiting video and game footage, to DM/message coaches, etc.)?” Every coach has responded favorably to the use of social media for recruiting related purposes, while nearly half of the responses indicated that they like it. Additionally, half of the coaches indicated that they either occasionally or frequently find players through social media.
So what does this mean for you as a recruit? It means that everything you do online matters. Coaches are looking at your social media and they are using it to make important decisions about your character and how you might fit in their program. Similar to your body language, coaches are using social media to make important snap judgments about you. Not only are coaches looking at what you say for yourself, they are also looking at what you retweet or share, the frequency of your use, the times that you are using social media (looking to see if you are using it during inappropriate times like during school, at practice, etc.), who you follow and who follows you, how you portray yourself in pictures, and much more.
During the pandemic, many parents have wondered how players continue to get interest and commit to programs, even while there is a dead period. Social media and video are a big part of that. Even before the pandemic, coaches were turning to social media as a way to find recruits. Platforms like Flatground App have made it free and easy to get video and measurable data in the hands of college coaches all over the country. For more on the ins-and-outs of how to use social media to get recruited, read our article on the topic HERE.
Social media is a double-edged sword that you should use carefully, but more than anything, it’s a tool that can really advance your chances of being recruited when used properly. What coaches see in your social media can add to your appeal as a recruit as much as it can hurt. You should use social media as a free way to create exposure to and communicate with college coaches. Set up a quality profile that gives coaches information that they need (grad year, school, teams, positions, measurables, contact info, photos, etc). Use it to show that you are a player with strong character. Use it to show that you can make good decisions and not get caught up in the moment. Post recruiting video, upcoming schedules, and other information that can help college coaches engage with you and evaluate you.
At the same time, you should also use social media as a tool for evaluating coaches at schools of interest in the same way that they are using it to evaluate you. Do they talk about the things you value as important? Are they sharing information that gives you insight to their programs? Use this valuable information to your advantage. Finally, use the mass amounts of information shared on Twitter to learn and improve your critical thinking skills. Many people and organizations are putting out great information, KPB included!
Using social media doesn’t have to be complex. It’s a platform that lends to sharing insight and information about who you are as a player and person. When coaches look to see how you are trending on social media, leave no doubt that you are the type of person that they would want in their program. Show you can make smart decisions and use social platforms to help yourself get recruited!