Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in June 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
Hoping to play sports in college? Make sure your social media accounts send the right message to recruiters.
“Right or wrong, most college coaches will assume that how you act on social media will be how you act on campus,” according to a recent USA Today column by Fred Bastie. “For that reason, your actions and behavior on social media in high school are critical if you expect to play in college.”
According to Bastie, college coaches are increasingly using social media as a means to research and communicate with potential recruits. Oftentimes, coaches will peruse a student-athlete’s online accounts before reaching out via an email or phone call.
Students who post inappropriate material are often passed by.
“Many college athletic programs actually have someone in charge of reviewing and monitoring the social media accounts of prospective athletes,” said Bastie, founder of a company that helps student-athletes navigate the recruitment process. “They’re hoping to not find racist, sexist, vulgar or profane posts. If they do, they will move on to the next recruit.”
Bastie offers these recommendations for student-athletes:
• Keep it clean. “If you have any doubt whatsoever about something you have just typed into your phone, delete it before you post it.”
• Know your limits. “If a student-athlete has the time to be on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook 24/7, coaches might question a recruit’s priorities.”
• Nix the negativity. “If it is apparent from your posts that you don’t get along with your coaches or teammates, that you dread practice or hate homework, that might be a sign for a college coach to steer away from you.”
• Own up to any mistakes. “If you realize that you tweeted or posted something you shouldn’t have: 1. Delete it immediately. 2. Take responsibility for it.”
Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.