Editors Note: Having a strong background in coaching/athletics we want to try to share tidbits of information that help not only our clients but the coaching/playing/parenting community as a whole and will be sharing motivation, social media, and video tips regularly.  ENJOY

In a generation where the vast majority of teenagers and young are very active on social media, we hear story after story about kids posting inappropriate and reckless messages on various social media sites.  The tweet, “never let a 140 character tweet cost you a $140,000 scholarship” has made its rounds through twitter over the past six months being continually retweeted by coaches and parents alike.  But how can we help these students, and more specifically these student-athletes learn how to use social media in a positive way.

Some high school and college coaches embrace social media and strive to teach their players to use it in the right manner, while others resort to banning players from posting on social media sites.  Coach John Calipari, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky is one of the most active coaches on social media, using it as a platform to get out information and various messages to his rabid fan base – the Big Blue Nation.  Coach Cal believes in teaching his players to use social media in a positive way as an opportunity to say what you feel.  He brings in professionals to talk to his student-athletes about the do’s and dont’s of social media.  Calipari tells his players “Hey, you build your brand or you break your brand down.”

So, how as coaches and parents can we help our student-athletes to “build their brand” – use these couple of ideas to get them started.

ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS PUBLIC

No matter if you delete it or not, it’s still there.  Some great advice would be if you’re not sure – DON’T PRESS SEND!  Yes, you have freedom of speech, but you’re also accountable for what you say.  It’s best practice to refrain from tweeting during emotional times – immediately following a game, after taking a test, etc.  Wait until the emotions have cooled down and decide if you really want to send out the tweet.  Complaints on teachers, playing time and teammates aren’t the type of things you want to share with the world.

IF YOU RETWEET IT, YOU OWN IT!

We can’t tell you how many times we have heard student-athletes say that it’s just song lyrics, or it’s just a re-tweet.  Whatever shows up on your feed is yours.  You’ve got to own it and realize that it represents you, regardless of the actual “author” of the information.  Don’t retweet anything that you wouldn’t actually post on your own.

So, how can you accomplish Positive Personal Branding?

Use twitter, facebook, instagram etc. to build your personal brand.  If a coach, CEO of a company or an admissions counselor were to look at your social media activity, what would they know about you?  Use social media to share news, stats and game scores.  Talk about your friends and family, hobbies and interests.  Follow positive people / accounts and encourage them to follow you back.  Newspapers and recruiting services love to include players twitter handles in tweets about your accomplishments, so make sure your page doesn’t discourage potential colleges and employers.  Remember, this is your first impression for many people in life – what are you telling them?