In order to maximise their chances of reaching the pinnacle of their chosen athletic pursuit, young athletes have to tick many boxes to give themselves their best chance at success.
From academics, to training, to nutrition, and conditioning, not to mention actual competition, it’s no wonder that sometimes the focus of this blog is overlooked.
Fair or not, athletes are being judged based on their online behaviour and content. Luckily, unlike umpire calls, weather conditions, or even genetics – your online reputation is something that all athletes can control, and here is why you should…
“Social Media is one of the first things I look at when I’m looking to recruit an athlete. It’s say a lot about who they are, and it’s important to know as a recruiter what type of athlete you’re getting down the road.” – Carl Sheffield, Track and Field Head Coach.
A positive online presence and reputation is no longer simply a ‘nice to have’. It is a ‘must have’. Recruiters and coaches are making assumptions on overall value and character of athletes purely based on what they find on their social media profiles. Too many athletes (Australians included) have had offers pulled based on inappropriate content found online.
Physically being located so far North America, for Aussie athletes, your social media profile is often the ‘first impression’ you give to recruiters and schools. They treat your social media pages like a resume, do you? How many of you would be happy to apply for a job, scholarship or opportunity and simply send links to your social media accounts in place of a traditional resume or application – and be confident they represented you well?
“If you don’t display common sense on social media, why would college coaches assume you’re going to show it in the classroom or on the field? Coaches don’t get the opportunity to be around and get to know prospects much so we depend heavily on social media to see who you are.” – Derek Jones, Football Coach
The worst possible outcome for an aspiring athlete is to have their dreams dashed due to something completely avoidable, and unrelated to their prowess on the court, field or track – their social media behaviour and online reputation.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid the online space altogether. There are also great opportunities to build your reputation, showcase your qualities and become more attractive to potential schools and coaches, based on your ability to showcase a strong online reputation.
“Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence… Actually glad I got to see the ‘real’ person before we offered him.” – Coach Herb Hand.
Think about what you want to be known for, and take the time to make sure that the off-line matches the online. Coaches look at your social media content and profiles as a representation of the ‘real’ you. Use that insight to your advantage and start showcasing your value.
Ryan Mobilia is a ‘social (media) communications’ educator. He works with current and aspiring athletes and sports organisations to help them build a positive online reputation. He is the author of ‘Social Media Scouting Report: Helping Athletes To Shine Online’. https://ryanmobilia.com/