Not to the court, not to the field…right here online. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it.
We hear this all the time. And usually, we keep our social media sites updated for friends, teammates, and family. But who else “sees” us? If you consider yourself a potential college athlete, you should know many people care about what you post.
You may ask yourself, “Why would they care?” Consider this: being recruited by a college or university is like starting a new relationship. You’re excited and curious because they’re about to become a massive part of your life. As much as you want to have a fantastic school to call home, the institution also wants a great athlete to call its own. Back in the day, maybe this only meant jumping high and running fast, but in today’s high-tech society, it also means one must be socially presentable and respectable online.
In discussion with Notre Dame Volleyball’s assistant coach, Katie Wilson, emphasizes how important social media has become for their program. Wilson shares, “Once we are actively recruiting kids, we follow them on social media. We follow them on Twitter, we follow them on Snapchat, and we follow them on Instagram and Facebook.” When asked if social media could possibly affect the recruitment of a player, Wilson responded, “It has. We were ready to get on a plane to watch a kid, and we decided not to based on what we saw on social media.”
So, what does this mean? Your activity online is harmless, right? Not necessarily. Nearly everyone is accessible at the click of a button, even you. This means the pictures you posted at the state championship are just as easily seen as the pictures of you partying on New Year’s Eve. Not only this, whom you follow and what you like is available, too. Wilson confirms they monitor this to see what other schools their recruits are considering. The recruiting process gets more and more competitive every year, so coaches are always trying to find ways to narrow down the selection, including reviewing your social accounts. Are you someone they can trust to represent their school?
It’s not all bad news, though; the use of your social media sites can help you if you use them responsibly. “We are looking to see if you’re hanging out with your friends and teammates. Did you get a huge win at a tournament? Then yes, we definitely like to see pictures of you celebrating,” Wilson adds. By showing you are both responsible and a team player, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to your social media, be smart. It’s a tool for your success! Know how you want to portray yourself and know who is watching. My fellow athletes, you’ve never sold yourself short before, so next time you log in, up your game.
LRT Sports received feedback from some incredible coaches on what they think about social media and what they look for.
Minnesota Moorhead – Head Softball Coach Amanda Reckamp
“I don’t look a ton at social media, but my team does. When they know we have a recruit, they are searching to find out more about who you are. And if they find something not so good, they do tell me, and when you come to visit, they may have a preconceived opinion that may not be the real you. Promote yourself in the best light on social media. Personal branding can be the best thing or the worst thing for you when it comes to social media.”
University of Iowa – Head Baseball Coach Rick Heller
“It is big. We just had to call a recruit and tell them that if they didn’t stop doing stupid stuff on twitter we were not going to recruit them. It happens all the time. Kids put stuff up on social media that causes us to not recruit them or drop them. There are lots of educational pieces on line about what not to do. Most is common sense and helps us realize the type of person the kid is. So when they post dumb or controversial stuff we know they won’t fit in here.”
University of Pittsburgh – Head Soccer Coach Randy Waldrum
“Don’t put things on there that you will regret. If it would embarrass your parents, it probably shouldn’t be there. Language can be an issue, politically incorrect views about things are not good things to discuss, discussions about your teammates or coaches are a red flag, etc. BE VERY CAREFUL as those few seconds of typing could cost you dearly in scholarship opportunities.”
University of North Carolina – Head Women’s Soccer Coach Anson Dorrance
“They have to be careful. We had a major scholarship recipient that was doing some stuff on social media that we thought wasn’t going to represent our university very well, so basically informed her that her conduct, certainly seen through social media, was not the conduct of the sort of athlete that we wanted representing the University of North Carolina. Because of that, we advised her to find a different school to attend. So your social media profile is critical. So certainly make sure that you represent yourself in the right way on all of your social media platforms.”
Updated on 12/4/19
Posted on May 29, 2017 in Recruiting 101
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
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The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.