Tag: social media athletes
When we are on campus doing social media education sessions with student-athletes, we also do sessions with coaches and staff. Part of that is to better equip them to have meaningful conversations with their student-athletes about social media use, and part of it is to help them understand how/why they should be active on social media. Slowly but surely, coaches are coming around to the idea that it is beneficial for them to be present on social media. For those who work in social media this seems like a no-brainer, but for many it is still a tough thing to embrace.
One of the topics we hit on with coaches is how powerful social media can be for recruiting. As Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops stated after he was asked why he created a Twitter account in 2012, “Strictly for recruiting. Got to. Gotta reach ’em.”
Student-Athletes have a lot of critics. From fans to media to opponents, even parents and coaches can, at times, be critics. It seems everyone has an opinion on what they should do. When it comes to shaping behavior, what they really need are models. Critics tell them what not to do, while models show them what to do. Critics call them out, models call them up to what they’re capable of being.
At practice, coaches spend a significant amount of time reinforcing good technique, good habits, good decisions. If you continually tell a player to not drop the pass, they end up focusing so much on not dropping the pass that, of course, they drop the pass. There’s so much tension and anxiety around not screwing up.
Instead, we coach them on what needs to happen in order to reach the desired goal of catching the pass. We focus on good route-running skills, timing and proper hand position. When they drop it, we step out and show them how it’s done so that they can see it. They can visualize it. We model the right way to do it. Then we send them back out to practice it over and over until it becomes second nature to simply catch the pass. The fear of dropping it is no longer there.
When it comes to social media, too often we are doing the exact opposite. We are coaching them on what not to do, continually criticizing their poor behavior and decisions. We bring in speakers who are unfamiliar with social media, who only know the negative side of it and try to instill in them a fear of messing up. We have coaches who don’t use the platforms preaching that same message. They only thing they know about social media is what not to do. When that’s all you are focused on, you are bound to slip up.
What student-athletes need on social media are models. Someone to guide them on how to use social media well, to help them develop goals for their social media use. Leaders who can explain what that looks like and why that matters. Someone who uses it often and can show them how powerful social media can be when used with a purpose. They need coaches, staff members, people in the community and business world to follow online who can show them what it means to use social media for more than just talking to your friends. People they can learn from and model their social media behavior after.
As educators, it is our job to model. To preach purpose over fear. To prepare them for success online. We have the opportunity to shape how they view and use social media. Are we taking the best approach?
To quote John Wooden, “young people need models, not critics.
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 130 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.
This weekend the 2014 Summit for International Association for Communication and Sport took place in New York. It was a fantastic event with an incredible amount of research presented, from social media and image rehabilitation, media coverage of scandals, sports media in the digital age and more. One paper discussed was the research of professors Jimmy Sanderson (Clemson) and Blair Browning (Baylor). Sanderson and Browning examined how college athletes perceive social media training.
It’s worth discussing some of the highlights of their presentation:
Exploring College Athletes’ Perception of Social Media Training
Rick Pitino has been in the headlines this week for his take on social media as it pertains to athletes. In a quote shared by FoxSports, Pitino said, “I think anybody who reads social media who’s in sports is not all there. To me, I think it’s the great class of underachievers who live on the Internet with social media. I think it’s people that waste their time, and underachieve because they’re not paying attention to what they should be.” This was retweeted and overreacted to by many, myself included. Turns out Pitino was talking about those who spew hatred and racism at student-athletes. Clearly, on that point, he’s right.
Last week we posted the results of our recent survey looking at the social media use of over 500 NCAA student athletes. It is incredible to look at how social media use has grown and changed among student-athletes, and how much a part of their life it continues to be. The results also display the need for intentional, proactive social media education.
Here is an infographic (courtesy of Michael Lane at InfoLaunch) breaking down the results.
Fieldhouse Media is a firm dedicated to helping student-athletes and coaches use social media in a positive, appropriate way through education and monitoring. To find out more about us or to join the over 70 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today.
The topic of how companies use social media in screening applicants isn’t a new one. We know that 94% of companies use social media in the recruiting process. Craig Pintens, Oregon’s Senior Associate AD of Marketing/Public Relations, recently tweeted that they eliminated a candidate in their search for an Assistant AD based on what they found on Twitter.
So how can student-athletes use social media in the job search? Not just to avoid having their resumé thrown in the trash, but to stand out in a positive way? To show employers that they are reliable, trustworthy, have integrity and fit into their workplace culture? You can teach a new employee almost any skill, from marketing to accounting to sales, but you can’t teach character and how to make good decisions. Things that employers can learn about you from your social media presence.
We had a great session with a group of senior student-athletes recently on how they can use social media in the job search, and thought it was worth sharing those tips from that discussion.
We recently conducted our second annual survey looking at the social media use of student-athletes, or what we call the iAthlete. You can read the results from last year here. Truth be told, we could do this survey several times per year given how often the social media landscape changes.
To the administrators who passed the survey on to their student-athletes, we can’t thank you enough. We had well over 500 responses. This information helps us serve you better when we’re on campus doing our social media education sessions, and we hope that it is also useful for you as you interact with your student-athletes on this topic on a regular basis. Let’s get to it.
We’ve talked before about how social media education for student-athletes isn’t about tweet this, not that. Coming at it from a right or wrong approach is one of the quickest ways to make sure your message goes in one ear and out the other.
Remember the last time you were lectured about what was right and wrong? Odds are you tuned it out quickly. Unfortunately, this is the only message many student-athletes have heard when it comes to social media.
Say that six times fast before your first cup of coffee.
I got an email last night from a student-athlete who recently graduated from one of the more than 20 programs we worked with this fall on social media education. I get emails like this from student-athletes fairly often, but I guess this one hit harder because of the holiday season and reflection that comes with the end of the year.