A Click Away

Athletes using social media to promote themselves

From masterfully edited action pics to carefully designed graphics detailing when, where, and who an athlete’s team will be playing, athletes use social media in all sorts of ways. 

While these posts may become lost in most of our own feeds as we scroll, they can be pivotal for an athlete when it comes to getting recruited.

Social media platforms provide a more convenient outlet for athletes to be discovered by coaches or simply to display their talents.

Twitter is one of the most popular platforms used by student-athletes, including senior and South Dakota State University softball commit Maddie McGee.

“[Twitter is] where most coaches go to see stuff; you’ll post your highlights and stuff like that, that’s where you’ll follow all the coaches and when other people retweet your stuff, that’s when they can see it,” McGee said.

Social media is effective when it comes to quick communication and sharing talents to a large audience, in comparison to the past when sole communication was through email.

“Instead of using emails or anything, like the old-fashioned sort of deal, with Twitter I was able to expand it to around 15 colleges that I could pick and talk to the coaches, and constantly be in the loop,” senior and University of Mary football commit Chris Frazier said. “It’s a lot more effective than the past couple years of recruiting.”

Prospective recruits post content on their pages to promote themselves and showcase their abilities. This content often includes highlights, events they’re attending, and even academic or community accomplishments.

“I post things such as events or college showcases I will be at so they can come and watch my games,” junior soccer player Ella Rodgers said. “I also post highlights to showcase my talent online.”

This strategy has proven very effective for athletes looking to play sports at any collegiate level.

“Through Twitter I had a bunch of D2 coaches message me, and it really widened out my areas where I could go for playing football,” Frazier said.

Using a social media feed, coaches are able to get a well-rounded view of the athlete without needing to meet them in person. 

“You can follow [coaches] on there and they can track you, not only with sports stuff but with school, like you earning grades and different stuff you do in the community,” McGee said.

Not only can athletes showcase themselves, but they can also be supported by others on social media through retweets, likes, and shares. Sports team accounts also play a big role in showing off their players.

“Social media can also help support your teammates. You can repost and help them and spread positivity,” Rodgers said. “The high school team helps me by having people who follow MN’s account also get a sneak peek at me.”

Additionally, athletes can focus on building up their own reputation and brand by posting content about their beliefs and goals.

“I want to be able to play football and also be a role model for other people,” Frazier said. “I would…push for movements and other stuff that I agree with and I believe in and help spread awareness for other things…even helping out with my own brand if I were to ever get that big.”

Social media has created an opportunity for athletes to reach more people, showcase themselves, and communicate quicker and more effectively than ever before. With it, the athletic recruitment process has entered a new era.