The growth of social media has made a tremendous impact on recruiting. While there are many positive ways to use social media, there can be serious consequences if you misuse it.

During the recruiting process, it is easy for athletes to neglect their social media profiles. Everything that is posted, shared, or liked becomes public and can be accessed by college coaches.

Here are some of the most common mistakes athletes make on social media that can hurt their chances of playing at the next level:

 

1) Sharing, liking, or commenting on offensive posts.

While social media gives you the freedom to express yourself, be sure to avoid posts that may be disrespectful or offensive. Posting content that is positive or support good causes is always a good rule to follow.

This also goes for sharing or liking posts as well. When you retweet, share, or like an offensive or inappropriate post, it implies that you support the content in that post. College coaches review your social media profiles and posts to get a better understanding of who you are off the field or court, including what you like, share, or retweet.

 

2) Using foul language.

Be professional and polite when you post on social media. If you wouldn’t say it to your coaches, parents, teachers, or bosses, don’t post it. Even professional athletes deal with the consequences of using foul language on social media. Keep it clean and appropriate. You’re not only representing yourself, but also your team, school and community.

 

3) Posting inappropriate photos/videos.

Never post anything that shows or implies an illegal or inappropriate activity. Instead, post photos and videos that show your personality and best qualities. Remember that nothing on social media is ever truly private. College coaches, admissions officers, and employers all look at your social media to find out more about you. Remember that your social media is a representation of yourself to the world, so make sure you’re portraying yourself positively.

 

4) Bashing teams or players.

College coaches review your social media to better understand your character and what type of teammate you are. Being a team player means supporting your teammates and never putting them or other athletes down. Think about how you would want your teammates or competitors to treat you, and do the same for them. Always be supportive, positive, encouraging and humble when posting about games, whether you win or lose.

 

5) Using incorrect spelling/grammar.

College coaches are not only looking for great athletes, but outstanding students as well. Show college coaches that you have attention to detail by using spell check and good grammar. Using correct grammar and spelling also shows that you put thought and effort into your posts. Take the time to review your posts as if you were emailing college coaches or admission officers.

When used correctly, social media can help an athlete’s career by generating awareness and creating a personal brand. However, it can also restrict opportunities if these mistakes are made. Be mindful of what you post and the way it portrays you. College coaches will be looking at how your social media represents your overall character.