Recruitment

Recruiting Football Players Through Social Media

Coaches no longer have to make trips to different locations to watch and assess potential recruits and to spend many hours on office phones trying to communicate with potential recruits with the advent of social media. Currently, coaches can now easily target prospective athletes through social media and reach out to them to offer the opportunity.

Chris Stutzriem, who is the offensive coordinator for Rocky college, opines that every responsible member of the coaching staff needs to use social media despite all issues like an Instagram hack and Instagram security account breaches. He also adds that the use of social media as a coaching tool has spiked enormously in the last six years. Additionally, most high school teams and college trainers use Hudl, which is a site that gives players the opportunity to share their performance videos quickly. Hudl has reduced the time it took to deliver videos of recruits compared to the previous media which included DVD or VHS tape. Coaches can now quickly assess the capabilities of their recruits on Hurdl.

According to Jason Petrino, who is the senior football coach at Rocky Mountain college, social media is an effective recruitment aid that has improved communication between the recruits and the recruiting coaches. Moreover, young players can see pictures of the training facilities easily with social media’s help.

When Petrino and his subordinates assumed office in January 2016, the college football squad had a Facebook account but lacked a twitter page. Now the team is on twitter and all the assistant coaches have set up twitter accounts to interact with the players on a personal level. Social media makes it easier for coaches to pass information about football programs to the players. Furthermore, it allows potential players to learn about the training site of their prospective teams by looking at pictures and following the pages of the coaching programs.

The application of social media in the recruitment process is now a trend. Initially, the NCAA discouraged schools from communicating with recruits via texts. Each text would incur additional charges, thus leaving the parents of the player with hefty phone bills. However, the restrictions were removed and now recruiter is free to send messages to talented young players. Furthermore, bigger programs have proceeded to hire social media directors to coordinate the smooth operation of social media recruitment drives.

After the assessment stage, the coach asks for the phone number of the player and develops a friendship with the recruit. Conversely, a player might also be the first to contact the recruiting agent. An example is JoJo Bones who is a defensive linesman hailing from Stockton, California. The six-foot-tall player had just rekindled his interest in the sport of football last fall, and he wished to play again. After following various teams on social media, he eventually chose Rocky and contacted the coaching staff because he was fascinated with their uniforms.  Senior players also use social media to mentor younger recruits. They post tweets welcoming them to the programs. Indeed, social media has been a great asset not just in recruiting athletes but in just about anything related to talent acquisition.

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