Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757
Read this and check your social media!
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
It’s hard to escape the influence of social media these days.
Sure, you could opt out completely, but few do that.
As a potential college recruit, you need to realize that social media can make you or break you.
Here’s how it can make you:
1. Social Media is a means to communicate. College coaches will look you up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat. Coaches are looking high and low for prospects, and once they find you on social media, it’s a great way for them to keep up with you. Also, it’s a great way for you to communicate with them. They want to get to know you. You’re more likely to earn a scholarship offer once you’ve shown them who you are as a person. You can’t just sit back and wait for people to notice you. REACH OUT to college coaches and communicate with them.
2. Social Media is a way to showcase your work. There’s a fine line between tooting your own horn and getting a big head. One of the easiest ways for college coaches to keep up to date with you is for you to share positive press, post about your achievements, or even simply show that you’re in the right places and doing the right things. Do you put in a weight lifting session three days a week at 6 a.m.? Share that dedication to your craft. Did you visit a college or attend a camp? Show that you’re putting your best foot forward. Are you volunteering in your community? Definitely show that. You got straight A’s on your report card? That demonstrates your dedication to class work.
3. Use social media to establish a sort of resume. This is related to point no. 2. This is your chance to put your best foot forward and show that you’re serious about earning college scholarship offers. Treat this like you’re applying for a job. If you’re looking to play college football, this effort should be like pursuing your dream job. In your “about me” section, list achievements that college coaches will be impressed with. Make sure your photos reflect you in a positive light. What would you include in a resume that would encourage a future boss to hire you?
Here’s how it can break you:
1. You can miss opportunities by sharing the wrong things. College coaches have a long list of prospects. Don’t give them a reason to scratch you off their list. Your talents aren’t as rare as you think they are. You want to make yourself look irresistible. Don’t make yourself look like a problem coming their way. References to drug use, drinking, gang activity, partying, promiscuity, sexual behavior, anger, resentment, violence, or any other thought, belief or activity that could be viewed as negative have NO place on your social media.
Everything you say or do isn’t appropriate for social media. It’s up to you to know what you should and should not post. If you wouldn’t say or do it in a job interview you shouldn’t post it on social media. #Ap2w
— Derek Jones (@dukecoachdj) July 5, 2018
2. Monitor your friend list and your friends’ social media. You are the company you keep. Whether you think it’s right or wrong, your friends can reflect positively on you or negatively on you. I have seen prospects lose college opportunities because of their friends. In one case, a hot prospect had an offer pulled because of a photo on his friends social media. In the photo, there was a party where the prospect was present. A vodka bottle was in the photo. Was he drinking? Who knows for sure. The college coach wasn’t going to take a chance that the prospect would come on campus and demonstrate that behavior. Again, this photo of the prospect was on his friend’s social media.
Just deleted a recruit for language on Twitter 🤷🏾♂️
— David Porter (@coachporterAS) July 3, 2018
3. Posts can be taken out of context. Have you ever received a text message that you took the wrong way? Don’t give a coach any way to misunderstand your intentions. If you think something is innocent, but might be misunderstood, just DON’T post it. It might be funny in the moment, but it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars of scholarship money.
Don’t do something that will cost you your dream job.
There are thousands of teenage athletes just like you who want the same opportunity you do. You may think you’re special, but in reality, no matter how unique your performances are and no matter how big, strong or fast you are, there’s always someone who is your equal or better. Once you get to college, you’ll realize that everyone on your team was likely the best athlete at their high school. You start all over in terms of earning respect. Don’t get caught up in who has what offers or who has a star rating. It doesn’t matter.
Here’s what matters: you need to focus on getting the college opportunity that’s right for you. That may mean you end your recruitment with one scholarship offer. Even the guys who have 50 offers can only take one. Star ratings don’t get you recruited. Hard work and attention to detail gets you recruited. The star ratings come later and they honestly have no impact on what college coaches think of you. Star ratings are for college football fans.
You NEED to do everything you can to put yourself ahead of other prospects who want the same opportunities you do. That means not only being bigger, faster and stronger. That also means getting great grades. That means being a great teammate and a solid leader. That means being nice to people. You never know who is going to have to speak on your behalf. That means doing work in the community if you can. Serve others.
Culture doesn’t change when a coach tells a player he’s wrong; it changes when PLAYERS tell other players “no that’s not how we do things here”.
— David Porter (@coachporterAS) July 5, 2018
College coaches make good money. They’re not going to risk their job bringing in a knucklehead. If you want to give yourself a leg up in college recruiting, you’ll do everything I mentioned above.
College Recruiting Checklist:
1. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center – this is essentially registering to be recruited
2. Best possible grades
3. Prep and take the SAT/ACT early – know the sliding scale for Division I and Division II recruiting
4. Be leader for your team – that means setting a good example and speaking up to support the achievement of team goals
5. Be a leader at your school – provide a good example in the classroom and on campus
6. Be a leader in your community – volunteer where you can. It’s going to make you a better person.
7. Keep your social media clean – that’s your digital business card. It tells coaches who you are.
8. Develop relationships with college coaches – visit campuses, go to camps, talk to/message college coaches
9. Be the best player you can be
A smart college coach will check with others before they get deeply into recruiting you. They may talk to your guidance counselor, the librarian, the lunch lady or even the custodian at your school. What would those people say about you?
Parents, you’re not off the hook either. College coaches are checking you out as well. You know the old saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”? College coaches will avoid your son if they have a feeling that they are going to mimic your behavior. Your approach to life and even your social media can reflect negatively on your son.
Players, if you get good grades, lead others down the right path, put your best foot forward, AND you’re a good athlete, what could a college coach complain about?
You may be seen as a Division I prospect, Division II or Division III. You can’t control all of that. Control what you can control, and that is… make yourself the best, most attractive prospect you can be.
Are you doing what you need to do in order to be recruited?
– Andy Hilton