Are Your Social Media Accounts Jeopardizing Your Recruiting Opportunities?

Your social media accounts are either helping or hurting your chances of being recruited to play college sports.

Some facts: 

  1. American teens (ages 13-18) used entertainment screen media for an average of 7 hours and 22 minutes each day in 2019. (Common Sense Census study, 2019)
  2. Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat were the most popular social media apps used among teens in 2019. (Statista, 2019)
  3. 75% of people between 18-24 use Instagram and spend about 15 minutes scrolling through content. (Entrepreneur, Pew Research)
  4. TikTok was the top downloaded App of 2020. (Pew Research)
  5. On average, people have 8 social media accounts. (Omnicore)

Did you know: 

  1. College coaches DO follow you on social media?
  2. Some coaches will stop recruiting athletes based on posts?
  3. College coaches know how to find your “other” accounts?
  4. Nothing is really deleted from social media?

The bottom line is: coaches are always watching. If you posted things in your past, even before you began the recruiting process, coaches can still find that information. Your best bet is to post as if your next opportunity is right around the corner.

Female taking smiling selfie in workout gear and leaning against a railing

Tips for Social Media

We put together some tips for you to check yourself and your accounts to make sure they are college- or job-ready when that next opportunity comes your way.

Keep It Authentic

Be genuine and real. Be yourself. College coaches can tell when you are not being yourself. Posting fake information will not help in the long run. College coaches want to get to know you and will obtain a lot of information from your social media accounts, especially before they are able to communicate with you personally.

What do you want them to know about you, and how can you present yourself in the best, most authentic light? By being genuine. Have fun being you.

Keep It Clean

College coaches have dropped student athletes who use profanity on social media accounts, even slang profanity. Many college coaches don’t allow certain swear words in practices or around their programs. A bunch of words, even spelled in symbols, may cause you to be dropped from a recruiting list. It’s best just to avoid profanity.

Girl on social media with hearts, smilies and thumbs up images floating around her

Watch Who You Like and What You Share

When coaches follow you on social media, then everyone you share, like, and know is also followed. I know coaches who have dropped student athletes from lists, not just because of what they are posting but also because of what their classmates, friends, teammates, or parents are posting. Be careful what and who you like and what you share.

Be Careful When Posting Pictures With Others

When you post pictures, make sure you double-check the location of the pictures as well as who is in the picture with you. Standing next to someone at a party who is partaking in underage drinking or worse could get you in trouble later. Hand gestures or symbols by friends in pictures could reflect poorly on you. Coaches don’t scour your pictures, but if something stands out, it could be the difference between you and the next person on their recruiting list.

Stay Positive and Inclusive

Athletics is one of the most diverse and inclusive activities that exist. Most colleges and universities have diversity and inclusion policies in place. They also have discrimination protocols. Calling out groups of people and making racial, gender, or other hurtful comments could cause you to lose opportunities.

Negatively calling out teammates or coaches from your own team or an opponent is not a professional way to handle your social media account. College coaches frown upon those types of posts.

Two female and one guy smiling and watching something on a mobile phone

Follow College Programs of Interest

Social media is a great way to research the college programs and coaches you are interested in. Coaches monitor who is following them and their programs on their social media accounts.

You can learn a lot from following them. Most will post clips of games, practices, or drills. Some will post press-conference statements. Many post quotes or other motivational material.

The same way coaches learn about you is the way you can learn about them. You may decide to drop or add a college due to social media posts from colleges, coaches, or players.

Avoid Trying to Be Like Someone Else

Student athletes, both in college and in high school, use their social media accounts in many ways. Their posts should not influence you to post in ways that do not match who you are. In other words, use your channels in a way that works for you to be yourself.

Some athletes will post about every offer, visit, phone call, and letter they receive from college coaches. That does not mean you should do the same. In fact, some college coaches are not impressed with recruits who post about everything that happens.

What you post will depend on who you are and what your priorities are.

Do what is right for you. If you want to post, post, but don’t do it because you are in a race with someone else or because you are trying to be like someone else. Remember to be authentic and confident in who you are.

The goal of the recruiting process is to find the right college fit.
Social media is a great tool to help your recruiting process, but it pays to monitor what you post, like, and share. Make it yours. Have fun with it. Be yourself. It can pay huge dividends.


  1. Kubbco
  2. Pew Research
  3. Statistica
  4. Omnicore

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