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Why athletes should use social media

Olympic gold medalist Rosie MacClennan has over 14,000 followers on Twitter. With that many followers, it isn’t hard to imagine that she can raise awareness of her sport, her causes, her sponsors and herself.

But if you’re not an Olympic gold medalist does it matter what you Tweet or Like or post on Instagram? Yes!!

All athletes can use social media to promote gymnastics and their careers. And just because you may think your schedule of school, gym, homework and repeat is boring, doesn’t mean everyone does.

What do you have to offer?

Gymnastics is one of the most popular events at the Olympics. It is also one that most people wonder just how do those gymnasts do that! They can imagine themselves, or they already are, playing hockey or baseball, but jumping 20 feet in the air twisting and turning, no way!

So you can use social media to give people a chance to see what it takes to do those skills. Just like trying to learn the magician’s tricks, people love to see what’s behind those amazing skills. And remember, your skills, no matter your level, are amazing.

Did you get a new skill? Have a great, or not so great, training session? Share it with your followers. Inevitably there are athletes looking for motivation. Seeing what you put in to your training may just be the inspiration they need!

And you can be part of something bigger. By joining the gymnastics community through social media, you can help spread the word about how great gymnastics is. If you are following an athlete like Rosie, share her story with your followers. Just because you’re not an Olympian (at least not yet), doesn’t mean everyone can’t know that you and Rosie are part of the same sport!

Three things to keep in mind

Number 1- Keep personal and public separate

Controversy is something you don’t need. Unfortunate comments have cost athletes scholarships, spots at the Olympics and sponsors.

You can set-up accounts that are just for the public to learn more about gymnastics and your accomplishments. Then, adopt strict privacy settings for your personal accounts. Of course remember nothing is really private online.

Number 2 - Be yourself

Don’t be so scared of what you post online that you sound like a robot. If you love to laugh, be funny. If you think about things philosophically, then ask (or answer) the deep questions. Your followers will love a great laugh or finally understanding the meaning of life.

Number 3 - Make sure your coaches are okay with what you’re posting.

You may be posting something you think is helpful or interesting. But you coach may not want you to post your carefully put together training plan for the world to see.

Final thoughts

  • Using social media as an athlete has lots of benefits. You can:
  • Attract media attention
  • Build your brand or reputation
  • Connect with gymnastics fans
  • Inspire and motivate as you share your journey
  • Provide exposure for your club, your sponsors, your sport

Regardless of why and how you use social media…remember the golden rule: if you wouldn’t want to see it on a billboard, don’t post it!

More resources

9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes

D-I Coach: “We stop recruiting” Athletes with Questionable Social Media Accounts

Social Media: What A Student-Athlete Posts Online Matters, More Than You May Think

Tweet Smart, Tweet Often

15 Tips for Athletes Using Social Media

12 ways for athletes to find social media success

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