Going to College Archive

Can Facebook or a Social Network Site Affect How I am Recruited?

Be aware of protecting your image and choosing your friends wisely.

College coaches have always evaluated prospective student-athletes on the golf course and in the classroom. Attitude and mental toughness are also factored into a coach’s decision when recruiting a player. Recruiting prospective student-athletes who have good reputations is important for college coaches. Each incoming player will greatly influence team chemistry and the culture of the program as well as be an ambassador for the university. Now, in the age of the Internet and social networks, it is important for junior golfers to pay attention to what they include on social media sites, such as Facebook. Your reputation and image can be affected, both positively and negatively, by what you post on your online profile. College coaches may look to these sites to learn more about you, your reputation, and your off course behavior. There are college coaches who have stopped recruiting players because of inappropriate content they saw or were told about on a recruit’s social networking site.

These sites, if used correctly, are great for keeping in touch with friends and expressing yourself by sharing funny stories and posting your favorite pictures, movie lines, videos, and music. However, you need to understand that posting the wrong information on your profile and communicating with people you do not know personally could jeopardize your image and reputation not only with your teachers and college admissions counselors, but also with college golf coaches as well. Just as attitude and behavior are important to college coaches, so too is the image you portray on these social networking sites. The content you choose to post on your site should be something you would feel comfortable showing to a college coach who is recruiting you.

Equally important is whom you accept as a “friend” on these social networking sites. Although these “friends” may seem cool, you should choose them wisely. Again, sites like Facebook are great ways to share your interests and communicate with your friends. However, be aware that what you think is private information may be shared by others with other people whom you do not know. The golf world is very small, and although every college coach may not be on these social media sites, someone they know will be.

Some things to consider when posting items on your profile:

    • Do not post your personal information, such as your address or cell phone number.

    • Make sure you or your parents are the only people who know your password.

    • Think first prior to posting your photos and opinions of other people, and always use appropriate language (including your email address).

    • Do not reply to inappropriate comments posted on your profile and make sure to delete any “friends” who post these types of comments.

    • Establish privacy settings for people to view your full profile and to view your photos or wall.

    • Do not accept someone as a “friend” unless you have personally met him or her.

    • Always remember that teachers, college coaches, and others may go online to find out things about you from your profile. Make sure you are comfortable with these people viewing the content on your profile.

Continue to enjoy connecting and sharing with your friends via social networks sites like Facebook. Using good judgment in what you share on your profiles and with whom you share it is critical. This ensures that anyone viewing your Facebook (or similar social networking site) profile, including college coaches, will come away with a positive impression of you and your character.

Ted Gleason
Road to College Golf


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