We have all learned by now that many colleges look into a student's social media activity during the application process. When it comes to recruiting a high school athlete, you can be absolutely certain your computer use will be monitored by the college recruiting you.
The World Is Watching
Very often conflicting schedules and budget restraints will not allow coaches to get out and meet the high school player as frequently as they would like. Also, NCAA recruiting rules put a cap on personal visits. Therefore college coaches rely on other ways to get to know their potential stars. Keeping up with an athlete on their social media is certainly a common trend. As always, even if you are not 'friends' with the coaches through these accounts, it doesn't mean they can't find out what you are putting out there. Unavoidably, it can and will likely get back to them... and your recruiting days will be over.
Think Before You Post
It may be something as innocent as, 'tweaked my ankle again in practice today, #alwaysinjured' or something as lewd as 'maybe if my coach knew what he were doing, we'd win a few more games, (#mycoachsucks)'. Either way, these are just two examples of postings high school student-athletes don't hesitate to publish for the world to see, not realizing it can be detrimental when they are being recruited. Think about the information these two statements tell a potential coach. First, maybe you are not as healthy as you appear or maybe you don't take good enough care of yourself. A college coach wants to recruit a player who can perform at the best of their ability and be able to participate at 100% from Day 1, not to mention the college game will require more endurance and strength both physical and mental. By being #alwaysinjured, you are indirectly telling the coach that you can't handle the next level of play. As for statement two (#mycoachsucks), that speaks for itself. If you don't believe in your coach's system and think you know more than him, who's to say you will not have the same pretentious attitude in college. To me, this type of player is a cancer on a team. If this player has not yet signed for an athletic scholarship to a particular college, it is likely he/she would stop being recruited instantly by the schools that have discovered this post. A coach knows that this same ostentatious arrogance will emerge sometime over the next four years and you, no matter how talented, are not worth the risk.
It is also important to keep in mind that college coaches often share stories about recruits. When they are attending summer recruiting camps or travel team tournaments most will absolutely disclose the information they learn about you. So even if you think you are safe because you deleted a post/pic after a problem emerged during your recruiting process, it may still come back to haunt you.
As a high school athlete, now is the time to practice being smart and aware - do not to use social media to get hyped for a game by putting down your opponents. You can be proud of yourself after a win or frustrated after a loss, but players need to learn to be gracious winners and losers. Get psyched for a game in the locker room or at practice, not over the internet. After a loss, get revenge on the court the next time you play that team, not over the internet. Not following this team rule can cost a player time on the court and usually a few extremely draining practices for the entire squad.
So, as you have vehemently heard from coaches, parents, friends and teachers please be careful of what you post on social media for the world to see. It can absolutely change the trajectory of your recruiting journey, for better or worse.