On the flip side, it is equally important for prospects and families to realize that social media is a “public platform”, one where information and opinions are shared, and will directly define the prospect's core character and values.
Social media and the accelerated landscape of college recruiting is simply an example of two areas of evolution that have merged into one streamlined communication platform.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are just a few examples of valuable places to share your personal story. That aside, it is the manner and tone of your message that will, in the end, define you in the eyes of college coaches.
Think of the social media platform as an opportunity to make your personal statement to both the public and to college coaches. Envision each post as individual threads that will weave your college recruiting experience into a seamless and comprehensive package.
Inspire your followers with positive messages and experiences and avoid using it as a platform to unload express irresponsible and potentially damaging opinions.
- Introduce yourself
- Provide your college mission statement and goals
- Share your glorious moments and success
- Do not be afraid to share your failed moments
- Demonstrate the importance of team and loyalty to your coaches
Prospects rarely realize the potential severity of their actions on social media. In today’s high tech society, everything you communicate is out there for people to see and recruits need to be vigilant to the information they share and the manner in which they respond to critics. I suggest the following bullets as an informal reference guide:
- Everything you put on the Internet is easily shared and therefore “permanent.”
- Understand the potential repercussions before sharing your opinions.
- Carefully review any photos or videos you post that even remotely degrade your character and personality.
- Use a communication coach (mom, dad, club coach) to review your posts before they are activated.
High school athletes are being observed and evaluated on several complex levels and college coaches are now using social platforms to get inside the mind, spirit and emotion of prospects. This should serve as an important reference to boys and girls who regularly navigate social media sites.
Make an effort to keep your posts positive and share messages that take the “high road” and serve as inspiration for upcoming student-athletes. Avoid at all cost using social media as a sounding board to debate reckless viewpoints. Keep anything remotely negative to yourself.
Social media and the constantly changing technological strategy with communication is a big part of the new frontier where prospects can connect instantaneously with college coaches. That being the case, a well-organized prospective student-athlete will take great care in organizing and managing social media communication in a way that will promote his or her chances in impressing college coaches and do so in a positive and responsible manner.
About Tom Kovic:
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college gymnastics coach (Penn) and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence”, an educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com
Editor's Note: Publication of this article is not an endorsement of any recruiting service. Always check with the NCAA or your school's compliance officer for any questions regarding recruiting rules, the latest timelines, or other issues.