Welcome to SoccerNation’s “Ask The College Coach” column. In this series we take questions from soccer parents from around the country and have real, currently employed college coaches answer. If you’re interested in having a coach answer your question, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Ask the College Coach”.
Dear Ask The College Coach,
We are trying to help our son understand how important it is that his social media accounts can take away his chance to playing college soccer. We heard at the College Soccer Panels that everything that a kid posts is seen by the college coaches when they are looking to recruit him.
How important is the social media footprint of my son to college coaches and do you have tips on how we as parents can get across to him that he needs to watch everything?
In the ever changing landscape of college recruiting, social media is the newest challenge we all face in identifying the right people for our programs. Social media has quickly become the main medium for how teenagers communicate. Texting has been replaced by snapchat, bullying can now be done from a keyboard.
Because of all this, kids seem to only think about an individual moment and not the potential long term consequences. So often we hear negative reports of tweets or snaps made by celebrities, pro athletes or politicians that get deleted almost immediately, but that only deletes them from their feed. Once something is put out on the internet, it must be considered as being there forever.
In the college recruiting process, I really look at it this way; your social media accounts will likely never have a positive impact in your recruitment. However, it can have a drastically negative impact. One of the most talented players I’ve ever coached had her career completely derailed over social media. While her talent could make some of the difficult moments of coaching her manageable, what she showed on her social media accounts made it clear her priorities were not it the right place. At that point, all the talent in the world wasn’t enough to keep her in a program.
College soccer is becoming more and more competitive to break into every day. Recruits are being scrutinized not only by coaches but colleges as well. You may find a coach who is interested but in getting the student to apply for school, they may find out from admissions that there are red flags on the student’s social media accounts. The school may deny the student admission based on this alone.
We all know that kids can make mistakes and that can include posts on social media. Being vigilant on monitoring your accounts and limiting opportunities for compromising posts can minimize those mistakes. It’s important to think of what the response to your post would be from potential recruiters and coaches. Keeping that in mind before posting is important. As we often say on college panels, don’t let a 140 character tweet cost you a $140,000 education.
Best of luck in the recruiting process!
Head Coach – Women’s Soccer
Holy Names University