Twitter has become a valuable “free” tool for a prospective student athlete to use to provide college coaches, recruiting assistants and scouting services with valuable information that can help their recruitment. As someone who spends a significant amount of time using Twitter to acquire information on prospects, I’ve accumulated a checklist of best practices that all prospective students athletes should implement to maximize their Twitter accounts.
Make sure that you use your actual name (First and Last Name) on your account and avoid using “nicknames”. This makes it easier for colleges to confirm that the account belongs to you.
If possible, choose a headshot from a camp or showcase you have attended. You can also use your iphone to take a picture and crop it.
Twitter Header Photo
If you have an action photo playing in a game, the header photo can be a great option.
Instructions to customize your Twitter profile
This is an area where I see prospects struggle to leverage information that college coaches and recruiting assistants are looking for. Here is my list of “must haves” in your “Bio”
High School Name, City and State (City and State can help differentiate between schools with the same name. For example, we have more than one St. Francis in the state of New York)
Sports played (This is an area where I see many athletes underreport. If you have played multiple sports in High School, list all of them, especially Track and Field. Verified Track and Field is a trending data point that has tremendous value in recruiting. Tracking Football is an analytics and recruiting service that uses verified Track and Field data to provide context to data. For example, Troy High School (Troy, NY) RB Xavier Leigh (Prospect NYS Power 100 Selection) benefited from his 100m verified time. Prospect NYS discovered that Leigh ran a 10.98 100m time which has very little value if you are unable to provide context. Tracking football was able to provide that context by concluding that “Xavier’s 10.98 100m puts him in top 7% of players in the 2021 class (153 of 2268). This gives a recruiter that uses Tracking Football a key piece of context to use when creating their board of players they want to target when recruiting.
Positions played (College coaches want to know if you play another position. For example, they may project you switching from WR to DB in college. If they know that you play another position, it makes you a more versatile recruit.)
Height and Weight (Update this yearly. Players will grow throughout their High School years and you want to have the most updated height and weight)
GPA – This is a data point that many prospective student athletes forget about as a key component of their recruitment. The NCAA has specific eligibility requirements and including your GPA is something coaches need to know. It is also important to note that colleges have different academic requirements. For example, schools such as Vanderbilt and Rice have rigorous academic standards. Have your transcripts readily available and keep a folder of all of your report cards starting in 9th grade.
Twitter gives you an option to include a website in your profile which will appear as a hyperlink. This is the perfect opportunity for you to include your HUDL link. Simply go to your HUDL page and click on “Share” and then click on the “Copy URL” option. Then go back to your Twitter account, click on “edit profile” and paste your HUDL URL in the website section. After you click “save”, your HUDL link will appear on your profile page, making it easy to locate your film. This saves coaches and recruiters time by including your HUDL link. It also makes it easier to differentiate between players that have the same name.
Not only is Twitter a means to provide colleges with important demographics, it is also a means to show how you are involved in extracurricular activities and in your community. This could include, food drives, student government, and any leadership roles you may have.
All athletes should take the time to update their Twitter accounts with accurate information. Treat it like a resume. If you need advice or assistance with your Twitter account, talk to your coach, athletic director and guidance counselor. Social media is a powerful tool and it can be used in a way that benefits you.