Social Media & Student Athletes
Social Media’s Involvement
Social media is the creative phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. It allows people to connect, share, and create in the same space. But like all things there is a degree of discretion one must have especially when it comes to media because everyone has the ability to see what they post.
For student athletes, social media can either be their gateway or there blockade. In the 21st century social media has found its way to help shape a person’s identity, yet it does not necessarily define them. For the young high school athletes with 7 classes, after school practice and competitions to compete in, they might not realize the importance the media has on their life regarding continuing not just education, but athletics in college as well. The media has found a way to help each individual student athlete feel different and set apart from the rest.
Things such as a certain athletes stats, personal records, recorded tackles and times benefit when using the media and social media especially. Recruiting profiles are the biggest and number one way that college coaches search for prospective athletes for the future. The standard height and weight is normal, but it is the creativity in each athlete’s page that makes it so unique.
Examples of Websites and Star Athletes
However, it is the highlights that stand out the most. Websites such as NCSA (National Collegiate Student Athletes) actually break down each individual play and run specifying the athlete so coaches know who to look for, technique and execution. A big example of high school athletic recruiting is recently Texas A&M Committed linebacker Anthony Hines III.
Now a senior at Plano East Senior High School, before committing Anthony had more than 90 plus full-ride football scholarships to universities and colleges around the united states. This is not just because he plays football in Texas, where high school football is taken seriously; but because of the amount of importance and depth that was put into the recruiting process via social media.
All of the major football games were filmed and uploaded to multiple recruiting sites, emails and letters were sent to college coaches garnering attention for Hines. But this isn’t the true straw that broke the camel’s back rather, it is social media that really showcased his talent. Every football camp and combine he competed in gained attention via everything from quick clips on twitter, to post game interviews on facebook and instagram showcasing his personality as well his skill. In his junior year of highschool, ESPN ranked him the #1 Linebacker recruit for the class of 2017, after that expansion of popularity and outlook, all the offers started to come in.
The Connection between Social Media and Student Athletes
Social media in general has helped the lives and abilities of student athletes not just in highschool, but in college as well. The social media accounts of any major athlete at college not only has a lot of followers; but some of them have the certified check mark just to verify it is them. Being an athlete and successful floods a lot of responsibility that social media gives the student athlete to choose wisely. The more wise and responsible the athlete is in their decisions of what to post and comment on shows the type of maturity it takes to represent not just themselves, but the organization that compete apart of as well.
This sets apart the good athletes from the great ones. For the sport I compete in which is track and field. The establishment of the website www.milesplit.com has transended that amount of coverage, statistics and performance of highschool athletes all over the country. From the weekly updates of what’s new in the world of track, to the little switches in rankings of fastests times even detailed to your specific grade. This type of media coverage and outlook helps college coaches pick the right competitors not just based on performance, but overall skill level too. The inclusion on online interviews, webcasts, skype calls and video-recaps gives student athletes that outreach they need to stand out in the recruiting process.
The Negative Effects of Social Media
Students looking for jobs are advised to monitor their social media but what about prospective high school athletes? Just like an employer is looking for an employee, recruiters are looking for well rounded athletes. Just because an athlete’s profile is on private does not mean what they post is private. The loss of scholarships and titles have often been the result of inappropriate posts by athletes in high school damaging their chances of recruitment by colleges. During my research on this topic an athlete kept coming up, his name is Yuri Wright.
Wright was a football player for Don Bosco Prep high school, a star athlete in his own right and top prospect by many universities. In 2012 he was ranked top 40 player nationally by ESPN and was named in the top 10 of multiple recruiting services. He was talented athlete that neglected to monitor what he posted on Twitter. The vulgar and explicit tweet’s led to his expulsion in the spring semester of his senior year and Michigan was no longer recruiting him. However, Wright still prevailed and signed to the University of Colorado Boulder.
Overall, this type of connectivity that social media and the media has with student athletes is amazing and very innovative in separating each and every athlete from the rest. It certainly has just as much reward as it does consequence with it comes to it’s use, functions and above all else, it’s effect.