Social media has always been seen as a this new age fad filled with mumbo jumbo. The true power and reach of social media can make a convert of anyone, and it seems even sports scouts and recruiters have jumped on board to stay ahead and keep their jobs.
Much like Billy Beane turned baseball’s old fashion 120-year-old system of scouting on its head, social media has evolved some very old methods of recruiting and scouting players across all sports.
Facebook and Twitter are opening up a world of insight into the kids that plan to be multi-million dollar investments for sports franchises.
Scouts and recruiters are not allowed to contact recruits or draftees via social media, except during arranged contact periods. On Twitter, a coach, recruiter or scout can not mention the name of any potential player.
Social media messaging has become not only common place, but it is now a prefered method of contact. Several collegiate scouts have even labelled social media an amazing tool. It’s not hard to see why.
Many scouts want to look beyond stats and projectable skill to find winners; that rare personality. Most recruits and draftees have Facebook and Twitter accounts and tend to post with reckless abandon. It is now possible to get a glimpse into someone’s family life, social circles, cultural background and how they spend their spare time.
On the flipside, many young athletes use social media as a publicity tool. Some who play on a team off the grid can use social media to follow and friend scouts and recruiter to get their attention. If used properly they can build meaningful relationships.
Young people with athletic aspirations need to be aware they are being watched and a scorecard is being kept. Scouting and recruiting is a dirty, ugly business, and social media is not a wild card but a necessity. Those who don’t use it will not only miss out on players, but they will lose their jobs to those who “get it”.