Social Media gets criticized greatly. In reality, social media is an amazing tool for athletes when used the right way! It is important to educate younger athletes on how to use social media to learn, grow and be a positive influence on others.
Posts on social media are public and are seen by teammates, fans, opponents, and coaches. It is in the public and anyone can get a hold of these posts. Many athletes don’t realize that the content posted on the internet can last forever. Content can be captured in screenshots or saved by other users. Social media and all of your profiles are like your personal digital resume. College coaches absolutely love this because it doesn’t take them very long to see if they want to continue recruiting a player.
Scholarships are not given from what’s posted, but a scholarship can be LOST quickly on derogatory or negative posts from prospects. There are plenty of stories where student-athletes lost scholarship opportunities or have faced legal charges because they posted something inappropriate.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when posting on social media:
#1 No DRAMA!!!!
If you have drama on your social media accounts, a coach can go ahead and assume that you will bring drama to their program. NO coach wants that! So be sure to leave your drama off your accounts. Plus handling your drama over the internet is not healthy.
Unfortunately, I see this from grown adults as well. You have a problem, don’t tweet about it, don’t post a subtle picture on IG, or write a passive-aggressive status on FB. If you need to, pick up your phone and call them or set up a time to meet them in person and handle your problems in the old fashion way. The internet and social media are no place to have your drama.
#2 Show Your Passion
Show what you are passionate about. For athletes, this one can be easy. Posting about how much you love your sport is a great idea. Coaches will eat that up!
You can also post about other things you are passionate about. That lets coaches and other people get to know the real you. Remember this is your digital resume! But you need to also realize that spending too much time on social media can give college coaches the impression that you don’t spend enough time on the important stuff in your life.
#3 Show Gratitude
Show gratitude for your fans, teammates, coaches, trainers, family, friends, etc. This is always a good idea. Coaches like to have players with High Character. I know multiple coaches who look for High Character players when recruiting. Obviously they want you to be skilled, but beyond that, they are looking for the intangibles.
One way to show your character is by using social media as a great platform to let others know that you appreciate them. It’s a win-win. Others get recognized publicly and you are perceived in a good light.
#4 Don’t Criticize (or Remain Positive, Especially After Adversity)
Don’t criticize teammates, coaches, fans, parents, opposing teams, refs, etc. Again this is an insight into your true character. So, after close defeats or poor individual performances, you will have negative remarks directed at you through social media. Avoid falling into the trap of responding and instead, focus on how the temporary setback can be turned into a positive one.
#5 Show Support of Others
Student-athletes can provide a positive example for other students by sending positive messages about their peers in other sports or activities at school. Even after a tough loss, congratulating the opposition shows a lot of character.
There’s a common theme here…be POSITIVE. That will take you so far in life!
Here a three rules to put in place to make sure you use social media in a positive way:
- Don’t Use Social Media When You Are Highly Emotional
If you are in a negative emotional state and want to post something that isn’t positive then I recommend sleeping on it. Allow a good night of sleep to get your emotions under control.
- Pause Before You Post
If it is something that you don’t feel good about in your gut , then don’t do it. Take a moment to think about the consequences of the post. If you can’t live with these consequences then don’t post it.
- Don’t Share What You Would Not Want Mom or Dad to Read
If you feel that your mom, dad or grandma would be disappointed to read it then don’t put it out there.
Please, don’t use social media in a way that can cost you an opportunity that you will regret for the rest of your life!
Also, if you’d like to learn more about the intangible qualities and develop basketball skills that help players excel, check out our Breakthrough Basketball Camp Schedule. There are different camps for all ages and skill levels across North America.
– Coach Jim Huber