Let's face it, we are in unchartered territory. The impact of Covid-19 has everyone from athletes to administrators, conference commissions, university presidents, and the NCAA scratching their heads, trying to create a plan to move forward with college athletics this fall. The number of factors that play into the decision-making is dizzying, even for the most experienced leaders. But when it comes right down to it, outside of the day to day planning of their respective programs, coaches will have limited say as to how soon athletes are allowed back on campus. Or how soon they can hit the recruiting trail. Basically, these decisions are essentially out of the hands of coaches. So it's worth asking with this knowledge in hand.
Why do coaches continue to bury their own brand when it comes to social media?
Of course, we are not saying you aren't entitled to an opinion. But in the era of name, image & likeness, your brand as a coach MATTERS and goes hand-in-hand with your social media. Every tweet, every post, every retweet will promote (positively or negatively) what you value as a coach. And now more than ever, athletic departments across the country are asking coaches to increase their presence on social media, desperate to fill the void left in the wake of the cancellations that continue to mount. From non-stop zooms, to 'cooking with coaches', you are what you tweet.
Regardless of the sport, we can all name coaches that were hired because they have mastered the social media game. Even administrators often can't distinguish the difference between the person and their posts.
But the list of coaches who have struggled to advance their careers or have seen their movement stalled in-place because of increasingly controversial tweets is even longer.
Coaches are not immune to pushback or alienating people. Heck, every half-time speech or post-game wrap-up, coaches concede that the message being convened will likely upset at least a portion of their student-athletes. You can't please everyone! What's the expression?
If you want to be liked, sell ice-cream!
It is certainly a personal and professional choice whether coaches believe their social media presence is an extension of them as a private person or their role as a representative of a university community or a collegiate conference. The answer to this question lies in your current privacy settings. Friend to all or only a select audience?
Coaches need to decide how far is too far on social media.
Bottom line. Unless you have your sights set on becoming a social media 'influencer' after your coaching career is over, there is little to be gained (and much to be lost) by inserting personal opinions into the already complicated and emotional discussion of all things Covid-19. But as always, make sure you continue to document the decisions your administration is making for you and your program along the way.
To learn more about how docUssist can help you manage your program documentation and protect you professionally from legal risk and liability. Visit us at www.docUssist.org or sign up for a demo here.