Student Athletes and Social Networking

We know most student athletes today are heavily involved in social networking for their personal lives, but are they using this powerful tool to their advantage to get ahead in the sporting world? Our friends at SportsForce weigh in with their latest article in our series of college recruiting advice for student athletes.

What Every Student-Athlete Needs to Know About Social Networking

As we all know by now, social networking sites are considered to be a part of the daily routine of most peoples’ lives. When anything good, bad, exciting, or sad happens, our first thought is to write about it on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog. But before being too hasty and writing anything that may be on our mind, everyone should consider the pros and cons of social networking. For student-athletes, especially, social media sites can either make you or break you when moving forward.

­­­Everything You Say and Do Can Be Seen

Nowadays on social networking sites, there are tons of different privacy settings that you can play with. You can choose to show every little thing on your profile to anyone that stumbles across it, or you can choose to hide everything so only friends can see. But just because you hide everything doesn’t mean that people still can’t see what you are saying and doing. Things that you share with friends, like pictures and comments, can be seen on your friends’ pages if they do not have everything hidden. Also, there are many companies, professional and college teams that admit to making fake profiles and befriending potential prospects so they can get a feel of what you are like off the field. This is why you should always be cautious with what you are putting on the internet, because you never know who may see it.

Learn From Others’ Mistakes

Unfortunately, there have too many times that student-athletes have gotten in trouble for things they had said and done on social networking sites. One example is former University of Texas center, Buck Burnette. After Barack Obama had been elected president, Burnette wrote a status that consisted of racist vocabulary. The next day, Coach Mack Brown released him from the team. Even things you say that may not sound offensive at all can potentially get you in trouble. Ask former San Diego Chargers cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, who made a comment on Twitter about the training camp food, and was then fined for it. These are examples of why you need to be careful about the things you put on your social networking sites. One wrong statement or picture could affect your whole entire career.

Use These Sites For What the Name Comes From: Networking

With the popularity of social networking sites, college recruits are now using them to get in contact with and get a better idea of what a prospect is all about. Social networking profiles are great tools for coaches to find athletes they are interested in and get to know them. It’s also a great way to talk to current athletes that play at schools you are interested in and get their input on the program.

Social networking sites need to be used with caution by student-athletes. Use it for the purposes it was made for: to connect with friends and network. Remember that the internet is available to all the public, so let your social networking sites be a positive representation of you.

To get more advanced recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit the SportsForce website and sign up for their complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide Here.

(Article courtesy of SportsForce, home for professional and affordable College Sports Preparation and Recruiting Education, Tools, Tips, Online Profiles, Highlight Videos and Premium Services.)

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