These days, a lot of college and professional athletes “brand” their personalities by how they carry themselves while competing and what they present on social media. Some athletes are known for being low key and reserved, others are more flamboyant, while still others portray themselves as controversial. Often, as a result of how athletes craft their personalities on the field and through the media, they become known to the public through a specific lens, for better or for worse.
Young athletes have many of the same opportunities to cultivate their personalities through sports, albeit on a much smaller stage when compared to elite-level athletes who often have tens — if not hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Still, even if a young athlete only has a small following, there are countless opportunities to “brand” the better, more desirable qualities of the individual. Why is this important? Because you never know who might be looking at your profile, including college coaches, potential employers, and many other people of influence.
A few things kids should think about when developing their personality and brand include:
- On-field behaviors. How you carry yourself on the field tells a lot about your character. Athletes who call a lot of attention to themselves are often seen as self-centered, non-team players only concerned with their own success. Conversely, athletes who prioritize team first, respect opponents, and treat officials with appreciation present themselves as responsible, classy individuals.
- Negative social media posts. Language, images, videos, and every other means of communicating through social media needs to be examined and scrutinized regularly. If something looks or sounds like it might be offensive to people, it’s probably best not to post it.
- Positive social media posts. Yes, young athletes can make the choice to brand themselves in healthy, positive ways! Help kids show their better human qualities, including acts of kindness, humility, and various leadership roles they have experienced.
Since information on the internet often lives indefinitely, it is vitally important for kids to get it right when it comes to the way they play and what they post on the web. Fans often unknowingly video games and post clips to the web, so be sure to play fair and always display sportsmanship — and double- and triple-check what is posted online to make sure it conveys appropriate language and images.
Check out our increasing sport performance video library here!