Don't Let Social Media Ruin Your Sports Potential

Athletes can hurt their recruiting chances if they are not careful with social media. Make social media work for you rather than against you with these three tips.

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What you post on social media can seriously affect the way coaches, teams and schools regard you during recruiting. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: anything you post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social sites will live on the Internet forever. Once it's there, it's there, and coaches will not hesitate to remove you as a potential recruit if you post something stupid or offensive.

Here are three quick tips on how to use social media to your advantage:

Be Patient

We all want to be the first to post about how great a hit was, or how badly someone got dunked on. But you shouldn't post anything without first giving it some thought, especially negative things that could get you in trouble. Before you post, ask yourself whether you would want your parents to read it. If you have to think for more than five seconds, don't post it. It's probably questionable and should be left unsaid.

Take Ownership of WhoYou Are

Your social media accounts can reveal a lot about you as a person and as an athlete. Coaches examine everything when evaluating a prospect. They may see or read something on your Twitter feed and immediately remove you from consideration as a potential recruit. On the other hand, posting clean and meaningful content will give coaches another reason to like you.

Use Social Media to Highlight Your Accomplishments

Social media can be a powerful tool to reach people to whom you normally wouldn't have access, so use it to your advantage. Highlight the different camps you attend, an intense workout or a big game. Make sure you show some class and don't come across as arrogant.

Consider Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine as tools to build your brand. The messaging you put on these platforms represents what you do as an athlete and determines how you are perceived by the outside world. Use itto enhance your abilities and characteristics and not to detract from your athletic talent. Be smart and humble, and don't use social media in ways that could jeopardize your sports career.

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