Back before the days of the internet, student-athletes were limited in how they could prepare for making the commitment to college. It was brochures, pamphlets, and the word of the coaches that the student and family was speaking to. Nowadays, that is no longer the case. One tool that high school athletes can rely on for making an educated decision is social media.
Whether you’re using Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other major social media platform, it doesn’t have to be all about personal use and entertainment. You can follow various pages to keep up to date on the latest developments in college sports so you can make an educated choice in where you’re going to spend the next one to four years. Make sure to look up and follow these social accounts so you can be better informed.
This is the most obvious one, but it also can be the most important one. If you’re going to a school to play a sport, following the NCAA is a must. They provide information about all sports and profile student-athletes. Information about the NCAA Constitution and rule changes would be shared, which can help you. They also may provide information about conferences and personnel that could benefit you before you decide where to go to school. Pro athletes keep updated about their leagues, you as a college athlete should as well.
Colleges You’re Interested In
Most high school student-athletes have a few schools in mind when they are contemplating college. Find those schools’ social handles and those for the sports you want to play and follow them. The school’s page can help you learn more about the classes and programs you wish to be involved with. They may profile various parts of their campus as well as faculty members. Seeing the programs in action and hearing the voices of those working in those departments can be beneficial as you consider the choices. You can also learn more about the communities that the schools are located in.
Conferences of those Colleges
Aside from the NCAA itself, following the conferences of the schools you’re considering would be a wise move. When you talk to the coaches or scouts of the schools, being knowledgeable of what is happening in that conference can be an advantage for you. They may also profile news and developments relevant to the school you’re considering. If a rule change is made or development regarding the schedule is announced, you would be among the first to know.
The student picking the school is supposed to choose the school, not the coach. However, the coach of the team is the main point of contact that you and your parents are going to be speaking to. Aside from that person, there are assistant coaches that you would be working with first-hand during your time there. Knowing as much as possible about them and being connected on social media can help you become better informed about the people, not just the school. This is especially true for Twitter. Many coaches are very active on Twitter thanks to the short space for writing posts.
Don’t stop there, though. Performance coaches are also great follows to have. They can share tips and insights that could help you improve your skills. Some of STACK’s writers are coaches, and their knowledge would be a great asset going forward.
High school teammates and future college teammates should also be high on your follow priority list. Beyond the connection you may already have, this can help you create a social media network beyond the court, field, or classroom. Supporting each other online as well as in-person can improve the camaraderie that you feel going forward. It can also help you be accountable to each other because you see what they’re posting, and they can see what you’re up to when you’re not together.
Local Media Markets
How is the team being covered in their area? What are the reporters and analysts saying about the program? The columns and posts by members of the media can help you gauge how they’re covered. More often than not, the local outlets are aware of some stories before the national media picks them up. Paying attention to that coverage could pay dividends as you decide where to commit.
Once you commit to the school, you may not want to pay as much attention to what they say and do because it could affect your mindset and performance during the season. So this would be the only suggestion that you may want to unfollow after committing to the school.