Student-athletes are natural leaders and represent more than their name; they represent their team, their school, and everyone in association with them. Social media has given athletes an opportunity to be seen and heard on a grand scale before going pro. High school and college student-athletes can become influential and affect change on a grand scale, but there are many obstacles and challenges involved.
High schools and universities have suspended and even dismissed players due to their presence on social media. It has become more frequent as coaches, administrators, and parents have learned how to police the social media platforms and discover less than savory conversation. Most of the time, the teenagers don’t think in the moment and appreciate the gravity of their online presence. However, the i-SAFE Foundation discovered in a bullying statistic that 1 in 3 youngsters experience cyber-threats online. In fact, 25% of teens have been bullied through social media repeatedly.
marketing channels can be too expensive for a school’s budget. People are sensitive to how schools spend their money, so extra costs such as marketing are heavily scrutinized. Social media platforms offer a free marketing option that actually performs better than most paid options. The concept of sharing stories and information freely offers an infinite reach that is bolstered through the personal touch it requires. Communities are more willing to read news and stories from a student-athlete or coach than paid advertisement.
#6: Students create positive image for recruiting
“If you want to be a good recruiter in today’s college football, you have to be on social media,” John Kuceyeski said. He is the Iowa State director for recruiting, and believes in positive social media use. He went on to say, “If you’re not doing it, you’re going to get beat by somebody that’s doing it. You have to be out there. You have to be different. You have to be completely visible and be accessible, and the best way to do that in today’s recruiting world is through social media.”
Recruiters are using social media as a way to familiarize themselves with potential recruits. They have discovered that student-athletes may be a much different person online than who they are with coaches and administration. It’s important for student-athletes who are serious about recruitment keep in mind their social media presence is permanent. Things said are archived, shared, and repeated, making social media platforms giant echo chambers. Keeping their online identity respectful and positive will help when recruiters are doing research and deciding who potential stars are.
#7: Highlight student-athletes
Validation and acknowledgement are strong tools when reinforcing student-athlete’s positive use of social media. Social media allows users to invest in the players and highlight who they are through write-ups and exciting iterations of intense game play. Coaches can be emphasized as well, showing people who works with their kids and what kind of influence they are. People naturally want to be recognized for their deeds and talents, so this can be the strongest use of social media. Student-athletes will naturally uphold the positive, strong image that has been created and set a good example for younger generations.
Ohio University’s Online Master of Athletic Administration program specializes in developing interscholastic Athletic Directors, building on the students’ passion for serving young student-athletes and running a highly-successful athletic department. Ohio University is the pioneer in sports education. By establishing the first academic program in the field of sports administration, this online program is recognized today as the premier professional training program for candidates seeking careers in the sports industry.