Before social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, there was a time where coaches and recruiters would have to recruit prospects behind closed doors.
With the growing popularity of social media during this day of age, it is not only about your play on the field that will get you an offer to your dream school, it's also how you portray yourself online that's starting to become important to coaches as they look to recruit future stars to their program. For better or worse this also opens the door for diehard fans of their teams to message, tweet and try and pursue athletes into potentially joining their favorite team.
Notre Dame’s special team coach Brian Polian says, “Social media is an incredible tool. If you are not using it, you will fall way behind.” This quote states how important it is to have a good presence on social media and how coaches and recruiters look to prospects social media accounts before handed them in an offer.
Jeremy Crabtree, former editor and analyst for both ESPN.com and Rivals.com wrote an article titled "The ‘social’ science of recruiting," where he pointed out that in 2016, “RecruitingNation surveyed 80 of the nation's top high school football players at the Under Armour All-America Game earlier this month. Of those surveyed, 23 percent said fans on social media influenced their recruiting process.”
It is startling to see athletes being persuaded by an outside source that may not be looking out for their best interest.
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Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind to stand out the right away when it comes to social media.
First, for Twitter pick a clean username and use hashtags to your advantage. Pick appropriate hashtags that relates to what your posting to help create traffic. Also, be sure to follow coaches and schools that you have an interest in. They may not follow you back but you can always try and communicate with them and they will also receive an email through their account that you are following them. Also be sure to be respectful and tweet, it is not enough to just make a Twitter account you must also do your best to promote yourself in the best way.
Second, be careful what you post on Facebook. Coaches and recruiters want to recruit players that have a high character. If you're about to post something that you'd be ashamed of your family seeing, don’t post it. An inappropriate post could potentially cost you an offer from your dream school. The internet is filled with stories from college coaches, including Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand deciding against making offers to athletes based solely on their social media conduct. In 2014 Hand made a post on twitter where he said "Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence...Actually glad I got to see the 'real' person before we offered him." Be sure to untag your yourself from inappropriate posts or photos that you do not want future recruiters to see. Join groups and pages that interest you and do not be afraid to promote your talent and ability.
Third, use YouTube to promote your film from practice and games whether it’s highlights of an entire season or a brief play you made. You never know who and what coaches are watching. You can also use YouTube to show of your skills and use social media sites as Facebook and Twitter to help increase your exposure.
Overall, Social media is heavily used in the recruitment world and you can take advantage of these three-social media platinum to further promote your character and your talent on the field. Your positive presence on social media can help boost your chances into getting into your dream school.
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