Basketball & Social Media – Neither Are Going Anywhere
It is almost impossible to envision present day life without social media. Not only does everybody have a Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram account but it seems that every business, school and believe it or not churches have them as well. It helps us connect with the world and the people around us like we have never experienced before as a society. While there are many benefits and joys to having these outlets they can also a wealth of problems if they are not managed correctly.
Showcasing Your Basketball Skills On Social Media
It seems like everybody trying to play college basketball has a highlight tape or game footage on YouTube. If you are an elite player in this country, you probably have numerous videos of you online from different AAU basketball tournaments and high school games. Some companies will even go to watch these players play pick up and post highlights from those sessions online. The majority of young athletes do not have this luxury however and have to either record the footage themselves or pay for the service of having their game recorded. Once you have your footage recorded you need to make sure the quality is up to par. While every player is different and will showcase different abilities, you want to make sure that present your best work possible. Furthermore, you want to make the correct music selection. The best and safest selection is to just select an instrumental of a song. This way you do not have to worry about lyrical content and all of the focus is on your skills in the video. If for some reason you are not able to get an instrumental song or are just adamant about having a regular song, make sure it has no explicit language! This does not display good character on your part if you have a song that is cursing every other word. With all this being said, YouTube is a great tool to showcase your skills. Before, most players were just subjected to the region they were in to get recruited, now any coach anywhere in the country can see you play with just the click of a button.
Social Media & Your Life Off the Basketball Court
While YouTube is a form of social media, it is not usually one of the platforms that first jumps to the front of conversations when people are discussing social media. Facebook and Instagram are two different platforms many players get into trouble with the same issue, being tagged in photos. While everybody has a life outside of basketball, not every moment is meant to be shared. Furthermore, if you are trying to secure a roster spot on a college team or already are on a college team you have to be more aware of your surroundings then your peers. Being at parties where underage drinking is occurring is a bad idea and being in a picture where alcohol is visible is even worst. Even if you were honestly and genuinely doing nothing, being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time makes you appear guilty, and as in most cases in life, we can only make decisions off what we can perceive.
Twitter and Basketball
However, the ultimate form of social media that is getting everybody in significant trouble on a weekly basis is twitter. With only 140 characters it is very easily to be misinterpreted and put your foot in your mouth. Players on all levels ,(high school, college and pro) continually to misuse this social media platform the most. Whether its high school recruit saying he is being recruited by schools he isn’t, a college athlete disrespecting the institution he plays for, or a professional using a vulgar phrase filled message, nobody seems to be learning a lesson. Even if a player has a valid stance on a topic, with such a small range of words to use, you can run into an unfavorable situation fast. As far as getting exposure if you are a player, it is a great way to provide access to other links you might have on other social media sites, but you aren’t going to be able to provide any material of your own with any substance.
With the landscape of social media and the way we interact changing at a faster rate then ever before, we are seeing some companies adjust to the shift. NIVO, a small startup app company, based in Manhattan, NY, is trying to be apart of that shift. NIVO showcases athletic abilities for all sports and athletes. However, it is exclusively for athletic achievements, you will not find videos of dancing, singing or blooper reels. On this platform, you can also vote on a scale of how impressed you were by the video. This is a great tool, because it takes away a lot of the possibility to generate any negative feedback, which is where a lot of the off-putting comments come from that get players into trouble. They understand that if there is a need to basketball players to showcase their skills on social media, why not give them an opportunity to do that separate from the social media juggernauts. NIVO, is not the only company doing this, there are many other small start ups around the country and world with similar ideas.
Social media plays such a huge factor in today’s society that it is hard to ignore. In addition, each year it seems like younger people are creating profiles and getting involved. Similar to players receiving media training to be able to talk to reporters, people are starting to realize social media training is something that is required as well. It has the power to positively affect your brand and image beyond measure, but in that same instance can take it all away. A decent portion of the news and advertisement is now done thru social media. Unfortunately, as with most things, people learn thru trial and error, but hopefully up and coming players can see how a badly timed picture and being outspoken at the wrong moments can negatively affect your career for years on end. Basketball players must learn to manage their social media presence. Manage it or let it manage you!