As the high school and college seasons get underway, I’d like to encourage all athletes, and everyone for that matter, to be careful what you post on social media. I’d always tell the UMaine student-athletes that if you would not be willing to write your social media post on a piece of paper, sign your name to it, and hand it to your mother or coach, then you probably should not post it.
Young athletes start practicing and begin dreaming of a college scholarship when they are as young as eight or nine sometimes. Those that get the college scholarship dream of playing professionally. Don’t let one stupid Facebook update, Twitter post or Instagram photo ruin it all. Yes, coaches and professional scouts have passed over players because of their social media posts. Please don’t let one stupid post ruin your future.
Sean Newcomb was a baseball standout for America East rival Hartford. He is now a starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. On July 29, he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning. He retired the first two batters before surrendering his first hit. Most of the national sports media outlets were talking about Newcomb the next day, but not because of his performance on the field. In 2011 and 2012, Newcomb tweeted and did not use his best judgment. When he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, someone decided to learn more about him and found these tweets. Instead of being asked about his near no-hitter, the questions in the post-game press conference mainly revolved around his tweets six and seven years prior.
Any time that I’ve been on a search committee or hired someone, I searched their social media accounts. I know coaches who have tossed aside a candidate’s resume because of what they found when they looked on their Facebook account.
Social media is a great way for fans to get to know their favorite athletes, from high school to college to the pros. I enjoy using it and encourage others to, but just proceed with caution. Hey, my last post was about my little lamb licking the electric fence. Yes, that went over about as well as you would expect.
Don’t post when you are angry. Don’t post something that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. When you lose a game say little, when you win, say less. Support and encourage others. Don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. If you don’t know someone, how do you know that they are not just trying to dig up dirt on you?
In this day and age, one social media post can ruin it all for someone. It can also add to your resume. Show a potential coach or employer some impressive posts, shares, and retweets. That can go a long way too. Social media updates can be super fun. Win the social media game, just like you win on the field, ice, diamond, court.