Believe it or not, social media is one of – if not THE most – widely used methods of connecting with people and learning more about them as individuals in this day and age. This is even more true in today's world of college and high school athletics and the recruitment process. If a college coach is keeping tabs on a possible recruit, and his tweets/Facebook/IG posts are inappropriate, the odds of that recruit staying on their board takes a dramatic nosedive. And all it takes is one bad decision to immediately end the recruiting process with a program.

With that being said, what DO college coaches want to see on a recruit’s social media timeline? Below are 5 tips on what high school athletes should and should not be tweeting or posting:

1)     Is it all about you?

Confidence is without a doubt a very important character trait that coaches want to see in a player they are recruiting. But when confidence turns into outright cockiness and brings the self-imposed aura of superiority along with it, that will turn many coaches off immediately. You do not need to post 31 selfies a day. You do not need to post “My Top 15 Schools” every other Tuesday. Talk more about your teammates, your school, family, and friends. No one likes a self-centered, egomaniac prima donna. Coaches want to be able to help mold you into not only a better player – but a better person. So before hitting 'Submit' on that next tweet or post... ask yourself: Will this next post paint you in a positive light or might it misrepresent who you are and cause a college coach to view you negatively? 

2)     Are your posts appropriate?

Nothing can be more damaging to a recruit's stock with a particular coach or program than tweeting/posting profanity laced tirades all over your feed. Not only does it look tacky – it shows that something so obviously inappropriate did not make you stop and think “Gee, maybe I shouldn’t attach myself to such a negative thing” like a mature young man/woman obviously would. A coach is not going to recruit you based on the number of retweets your World Star Hip Hop fight video received nor is he/she going to view you positively for posting it.

3)     How much do you REALLY love the game?

Coaches want to see substance in their recruits social media feeds. It is a breath of fresh air for them when they can see that a student-athlete is tweeting about being in the weight room at 6am to prepare for Week 1, or complimenting his teammate on his excellent catch at practice. Why do little things like this matter? Because it shows that you understand that this is not an overnight process. It is one that requires hard work, dedication, and being able to respect and share the shine with your other teammates. Re-tweeting every compliment you receive from different fanbases to get as much attention as possible is NOT going to cut it and sends a very strong message about your personality, leadership, and even your coachability.

4)     Are you easy to find on social media?

While it might not be the most “cool” thing to do, do yourself a favor and make your display name your REAL name. “Josh_Clark” is much easier to find than “@Youngg_Squadd100”. This can be very frustrating for a college coach, especially if they are looking to interact with you through social media. It also shows that you are willing to truly make yourself visible on social media to all, not just people who managed to locate you despite your ridiculously complicated (and let's be honest, rather immature) username.

5)     Your social media presence represents who you are.

In conclusion, social media has flipped the recruiting scene and the process on its ear. Depending on what you post, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Remember – your social media presence is NOT worth losing a scholarship over. As young men and women begin their journey into adulthood, small things like not tweeting/posting inappropriate things about yourself or those around you and avoiding posts about your teammates/family/community in a negative light are crucial. Be smart, stay focused, and DON’T throw your future away because of a tweet or Facebook post. Make good decisions on and off the field and your recruiting process will be much more successful.

Now, with all that said... stop Tweeting and get off Facebook. Sign-off Instagram and close your Snapchat app.
It's time to take control of your college recruitment.

Let’s find you a home at the next level. Let’s do it TOGETHER.