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How not to let Social Media ruin your chances of getting recruited to play or even just be accepted to a College! 

While this Social Media guide is written as part of my college sports recruiting guidebook for parents and high school athletes, most points discussed pertain to any student looking to enter any post HS education (college or a trade school), the workforce or the military.  Please feel free to use the “share” button to help others!

A student using social media must realize that once you post a picture, video, tweet, comment or “like”, it then becomes public in some way and you no longer “own it”.  Even if you remove it from the social media service, it lives on within their ecosystem and possibly their search. Even if you have a ‘private’ account, anyone who you are ‘friends’ with can screen-cap and save for a later date.  There have been stories of ex-friend “A” sending old incriminating social media pics/posts of ex-friend “B” to B’s potential college coach in an effort to ruin friend B’s recruiting process.

I will repeat: Once you post a photo or comment on a social networking site, that photo,video or comment becomes the property of the site and may be searchable even after you remove it.

Your future can be affected by what you post! Many employers, college admission staff, and coaches look at social networking when creating their overall evaluation of you. Consider how you want people to see you before you give them a chance to misjudge you!

I always tell my athletes, before they make any social media posts,  to reflect on what their parents or grandparents would think about it!  

You may think that sites like VSCO are private but college coaches may have access to your account and I know of college coaches who have nixed athletes because of what they found there. 

Items listed below would not only hurt your recruiting & scholarship process but may get you in trouble with your high school as well:

  • Comments about teams you are playing or have played.  If you see other schools making comments about your team or school, let your coach know asap.  DO NOT REPLY!

  • Creating serious danger to the safety of another person or making a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person.

  • Derogatory language or comments about teammates or coaches; other school student/athletes, teachers,  coaches, or reps from other schools, including comments that may be disrespectful to other teams. 

  • Incriminating photos or comments depicting violence, hazing, sexual harassment; full or partial nudity, inappropriate gestures; vandalism; underage drinking, selling/possessing/using controlled substances or any other inappropriate behavior & profanity

  • Remember when holding alcohol anyone can take a picture and may use it against you at any time.  My AD suspended a player when a picture surfaced from her freshman year. This includes any alcohol or indication of alcohol (SOLO Cup) or any smoking products. JUST DON’T DO IT! 

  • Never be involved with alcohol or any controlled substance. Posting pictures, retweeting, or liking a post where this behavior is happening indicates your approval!

  • Keep all your politics off of social media in every way! 

How to lower your risk of social media causing a recruiting or scholarship problem

  • Go back now and scrub anything off your social media accounts that you think is questionable.  If unsure what is on there, delete the whole account and start over.

  • Keep all your social media posts, comments & likes positive.  Again post nothing that would make a coach pre-judge you negatively.

  • Look at anything you are tagged in and ask the poster to remove any questionable posts completely or at least untag you!

  • Even if you are young and not thinking about college sports yet, start living by these rules in an effort to keep you out of trouble! 

If you see something, say something. Report anything you feel is inappropriate. Block or unfollow those that post negative comments on your timeline or theirs, make you uncomfortable or harass/hurt you in any way.

If anyone, whether you know them or not, offers you any illegal substances or a stranger offers to meet you please tell your parents immediately!  Beware of possible adults acting like high school or college students trying to get to know you or meet up!

Remember nothing on social media is private no matter what you think! Don’t let social media be the reason you don’t get an offer or a scholarship.

Do not have a false sense of security about the rights to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not unlimited. Social network sites are not a forum where you can do whatever you want without possible fallout. 

What you post on a social network site is public information.


Think about what you represent, yourself, your family, your team, coaches, and school. People are going to associate everything you post, like and comment on with you.. Protect yourself with a self-image that you can be proud of for 10+ years. 

Please share this page on Facebook and social media to help others! 

College Sports Recruiting Handbook for High School Student/Athletes & Parents

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