Protect what you’ve built
While on a recent trip to do social media training with student-athletes at Wichita State University. Before I spoke they had Jody Adams, head coach of their women’s basketball team, get up and speak about winning championships and what it meant to be a student-athlete at WSU.
While on a recent trip to do social media training with student-athletes at Wichita State University. Before I spoke they had Jody Adams, head coach of their women’s basketball team, get up and speak about winning championships and what it meant to be a student-athlete at WSU. They won 8 conference titles last year and she was acknowledging that they, as a program, have a target on their back.
“Protect what you’ve built.” That was her challenge to them. It was powerful statement, one that resonated with me beyond the realm of sports.
As individuals, your freshman student-athletes have an identity, a reputation. They were recruited for their skills but they were also recruited for their character. They’ve worked most of their young lives to get to this point. One emotional tweet, one unfiltered Facebook post, one immature Instagram picture, one offensive snap sent on Snapchat and that can all be undone. They have to be intentional with their social media use. They have to protect what they’ve built.
Your non-freshman players have been on campus for at least a year. They’ve been working, practicing, executing on the playing field and in the classroom. They’ve won championships, they’ve helped rebuild programs. They represent athletics departments and universities with proud traditions. Their actions, on and off the field, matter. What they do on social media is being watched. Watched by teammates, coaches, administration, fellow students, the community, fans, opponents, media, family, potential employers. They are men and women of character, trying to establish themselves in this world – both as athletes and as individuals. Social Media can play a huge role in helping that, but they also need to be mindful to protect what they’ve built.
There’s a lot of weight on the shoulders of collegiate student-athletes. At a young age they are expected to represent teammates, coaches, administrators, the university and the community on social media. That’s not always a natural or easy thing. That’s not something most of us have ever had to deal with, especially when you add social media to the mix.
We have to walk alongside them. We have to educate them, guide them, mentor and prepare them. We have to help them to protect what they’ve built.
Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 60 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.