Social media has radically changed the world of athletic recruiting. It provides coaches with a new medium to research and contact prospective players and enables athletes to build their social resumes to increase their chances of being recruited.
Today, your social media presence could make or break your chances of being recruited to play at the next level.
Interested in positioning yourself in the best way possible to get picked up by your dream school and avoid any possible “land mines” that could repel coaches? Keep the following pointers in mind:
Getting Recruited in a Social Media World
Develop Your Athletic Brand Now
You may not realize it, but even as a teenager you are already developing your own personal sports brand. The core of your recruitment does not rely solely on your ability. Who you are as a student, family member, and friend is also critical to attracting recruiters. In fact, at most universities student-athletes’ social media pages are monitored 24 hours a day by compliance. Be sure to show coaches and the rest of the athletic community that you are a good teammate who is hard working and respectful on and off the court. The spotlight is always on you when you use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you are delivering a message that you want others to see and won’t get you in trouble further down the road.
Showcase Your Skills
It goes without saying that you should be attending as many exposure events and camps as humanly possible. In addition, since almost all phones now have video cameras, recording a clip highlighting your skills is easier than ever before. Don’t just tell a coach you can run a 4.50 second 40-yard dash, show him. Be proactive about highlighting your strengths and work with a teammate or a trainer to capture some simple footage. Featuring your strengths via video will continue to build your athletic brand online and set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Take the Initiative
Understandably, coaches are incredibly busy with their programs. Make their lives easier by taking control and reaching out to them rather than waiting around for them to find you. Speak to older teammates who have been through this process before and they will tell you that unless you are the absolute cream of the crop, placement is a very tricky thing. You can easily contact coaches through email and staff directories are often publicly available on schools’ web site.
Do Your Homework
If you are interested in a specific university or universities, be sure to research their academic and athletic programs. Prospective coaches will often ask if you are familiar with the school’s history and tradition, so make sure you have a good understanding of what that coach and the school are all about. Read interviews, follow the players on their social platforms and know how the team is performing – that knowledge will come though in your conversations with them.
At the end of the day, only you have the power to control your own athletic brand. Making your social profiles as strong as possible and always being mindful of what you are sharing on your social networks can dramatically influence your chances of being recruited and playing at the next level.
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