Social Media – Things to watch out for
What not to post on social media
Social Media is a big recruiting tool coaches use when looking for prospective student-athletes. Some social media Platforms that coaches use are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok. However, should you be careful about what you post and what you send privately to your friends and family? The answer is yes! Below are important things to know!
Not all countries have the legal drinking age of 21 years old like the USA. One example is in New Zealand, the legal drinking age is 18 years old, whereas, in the USA, it is 21 years old. So if a photo of you is on Facebook or a Snapchat screenshot is sent around of you doing something illegal (in the eyes of the USA constitution), then the possibility of a college coach seeing it increases. Without a doubt, college coaches will be stalking your profile. If they can’t see your photos on Facebook, they will look at your friends’ accounts to see if there are any photos of you there. This is because they want to find out who you really are as a person. Remember, you are not competing for yourself but for the coach, team and University. So be careful and make smart decisions! As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Stay clear from online forum debates
It is absolutely ok to have an opinion on politics, sports or any other ideas. However, if you get into a “debate” and are arguing with someone, it may make you less recruitable. A coach needs to know if you will be able to get along with the teammates. Suppose you are a very opinionated person and have a history of arguing with people on specific topics. In that case, this may turn the coach’s attention away from you. One example could be the US presidential election. You may disagree with Donald Trump, but the coach or the teammates might! If you express your opinion against theirs, then you will be limiting the schools that will offer scholarships. Stay clear and focus more on your athletic profile.
Are you breaching NCAA rules without knowing?
As mentioned earlier in the article, there are some obvious things to prevent you from breaking NCAA rules (illegal activity & maintaining amateurism); however without you knowing your rules important could ruin your college career before it even starts. For example, suppose you are a freshman or a sophomore in High School (first two years), and a college coach adds you on Facebook and starts a conversation. In that case, that is a breach of the NCAA bylaws! Now you might be wondering how the NCAA will know about your conversation? All it takes is someone who knows about this to contact the NCAA who wants the scholarship you are being offered. So don’t put yourself at risk; learn the rules and be smart on social media!
This is an obvious one! As said, you are representing the University. Even if you are in college and your favourite team loses the NBA Play-Offs, and you tweet a swear word, that could get you in trouble! Remember when you compete for a team, especially at the big colleges, you are seen as a superstar and a role model. No college coach wants someone on their team who comes across in a disrespectful way! So stay clear from any trouble and make sure you act in a professional manner at all times!
when you are posting things on social media. Student-athletes must understand that digital footprints are here to stay, which can both work in your favour and be highly detrimental to your future. Also, note that colleges in the US may use private companies to go through prospective student-athletes social media accounts before they sign them.
Be smart, post awesome things about yourself, and put your best digital footprint forward.