Tag: social media students

02 Sep

On Social Media, Student Athletes Need Models Instead of Critics

Kevin DeShazo Leadership, Social Media Education Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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.


13 Feb

2014 Social Media use of Student Athletes [INFOGRAPHIC]

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , , 0 Comments

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.


SM2014 infographic


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.

09 Nov

Are your student athletes tweeting for the future?

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , , 0 Comments

It is not just students and student-athletes who are using social media. Look around you and you will notice the real world is also using it. Employers, entrepreneurs, teachers, salespersons, real estate agents, even The Pope. Many athletic administrators and coaches are active online. At the time of this writing, 19 of the coaches of the BCS Top 25 football teams had an active Twitter account (meaning they had tweeted within a few days).

We are living in the midst of a social, connection economy. For the first time in recorded history we have the ability to connect with almost anybody on the planet – for free. That is what social media is. An incredibly powerful tool that connects us with like-minded people around the world. Seth Godin, in his book The Icarus Deception, has this to say about the internet and social media:

The Internet wasn’t built to make it easy for you to watch Lady Gaga videos. The Internet is a connection machine, and anyone with a laptop or a smartphone is now connected to just about everyone else.

And it turns out that those connections are changing the world.


25 Oct

Should you promote your student-athletes’ Twitter handles?

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education, Social Media Strategy Tags: , , , 0 Comments

One of the great debates in college sports is whether or not athletic departments should promote the social media handles/usernames of their student-athletes. It came up again this week on a wonderful Google+ Hangout hosted by Derrick Docket of the Missouri Valley Conference, as well as during the #smsportschat Twitter chat last night.

Arguments are intense on both sides of the debate, with some thinking it’s absolutely wonderful and others believing it is an invasion of privacy and will lead to all sorts of death and destruction.

The truth? There’s no right answer. It’s completely up to each department and student-athlete (one non-negotiable: get the student-athlete’s approval). You have to determine what’s best for your program. Let’s look, however, at some pro’s and con’s.


24 Oct

What kind of legacy are you building online?

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , 0 Comments

Twitter isn’t yet 8 years old (founded March 2006). Facebook is nearing it’s 10th birthday in February.

YouTube is almost 9.

Instagram just turned 3 this month.

It’s pretty incredible how young and new social media is, yet how much of an impact it has had on our world. What that also means is that, for many of us, we are the beginning of our family tree when it comes to the digital age. For student-athletes, we often talk about what kind of identity they are building online. What type of first impression they are creating.


07 Oct

For student athletes, social media is the new first impression

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , 0 Comments

First impressions. We’ve all been told how important they are in life. Whether you’re gearing up for a job interview, giving a speech or headed out on a blind date, first impressions matter. As with many things, social media has changed the format of first impressions. In the other scenarios, you are (hopefully) prepared for your encounter. You’ve thought through your words, your appearance, every last detail. You know your audience and, as much as you can, you control the situation. With social media, all of this is happening online – many times before offline interaction takes place.


Social Media is the new first impression. Want to know what somebody is like? Head to their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts. How do they feel about certain issues? How do they communicate in public? What are their hobbies and passions? All of that can be found in a matter of minutes.


02 Oct

How do we define “inappropriate” for student athletes on social media?

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , 0 Comments

“Don’t tweet something inappropriate.”
“Clean up the inappropriate pictures from your Instagram account.”
“Employers will reject your resumé if you have inappropriate posts on Facebook.”

Inappropriate is a word that is thrown out often when it comes to student-athletes and social media. The problem, and something we address in our social media education sessions with student-athletes, is in defining inappropriate. Many times, this is impacted by your age.

What’s inappropriate to a 40-year-old hiring manager is most likely not considered inappropriate to a college student.


01 Oct

How to make your Facebook profile private

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , , 0 Comments

People want access to student-athletes. Whether it’s following them on Twitter, friending them on Facebook, or calling them. But what access should be allowed? When you ‘friend’ somebody on Facebook, you allow them to see a significant amount of personal information, including: email address, phone number, birthdate, friends, relationship status, family history, calendar of events. – not to mention every picture and video you appear in.

If you don’t know somebody, they have no right to view your personal information. It’s my personal strategy to not friend anybody on Facebook that I have not met in person. If you want to connect, follow me on Twitter. That’s as much access as you need until I determine otherwise.

It’s something we tell student-athletes in our social media education sessions. On private social media platforms, don’t friend/add people you don’t know. There’s no award handed out for the person with the most Facebook friends.

Some schools monitor their student-athletes’ social media activity, while others outsource it to firms like us. It’s an understandable strategy, but shouldn’t cross the line of invading privacy. With our monitoring service, we never access private information of student-athletes. Never.

Delaware, California and New Jersey have passed laws to prevent this, and other states are not far behind.(UPDATE: Oregon, New Mexico, Arkansas, Utah, Illinois, Michigan have now passed similar laws)

When it comes to monitoring, ask yourself, “Would I be ok with this if it were my 19 year old daughter being forced to friend and/or give some random company access to her private information?” The answer, of course, is no.

The problem is that most student-athletes simply don’t understand the available privacy settings or their rights. They should never be asked or forced to give access to their private accounts. For Facebook, here’s how they can make their profile private.

Note: this post has been updated to reflect Facebook’s rollout of Graph Search, effective October 2013

First, login to Facebook, click the on the padlock that now appears at the top right. This brings up the new privacy controls menu.

First up is “Who can see my stuff?”


25 Jul

2 Questions to Guide Social Media Use of Student Athletes

Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

In a recent blog post, I wrote about how social media education is more than just what to tweet and what not to tweet. That it’s about leadership and character development. About helping student-athletes understand the impact of their decisions, both online and off. About giving student-athletes a purpose for using social media well, beyond simply avoiding a meeting with the coach or compliance department. When you strip it all down, for student-athletes (or anybody) to be “successful” on social media, they have to answer two questions:

Who am I?

What do I want to be known for?

That’s it. Those two questions direct and guide not just how you use social media, but how you live your life. Like an athlete, your strength comes from your core. These questions get to the core of who you are, guiding how you approach relationships, your work, your family . Social Media is just one piece of that puzzle. An extension of you.